Re: Sam Harris Solves the Problem of Islamic Faith

KW

(My friend L was turned back at the comment guardhouse on October 23. I have entertained her response to the post about religion and Ken Wilber here, and, provided some clarifying comments.

I’m familiar with ken wilbur’s work, and always enjoy his take on matters philosophical and anthropological, psychosocial. at least, i did when i read his books many years back. i am not aware of this ‘integral theory’ as so-named. so in reading the above, this is the possible reason why it is not clear to me why the chagrin is so obvious.
i’ll also admit to not having seen the maher and affleck face-off, although i did of course hear reports.

and, one more thing is that, for me, ‘religion’ is a very broad term  – i see it as mainly institutional, despite the exhortations around the christian teaching i experienced as a youth, to see JC as a ‘personal saviour’. i always found this a bit of a cop-out, although i understood what they were getting at.

i also do not believe in god – or any overseeing entity.

islam i see as a set of prescriptions, christianity also in some ways, and buddhism too. each have their sets of ‘leeways’ for these prescriptions. different people are attracted to different prescriptions as it suits their way of thinking. buddhism makes sense to me as it is logical, and does not depend on a discrete entity outside the self and the general. it does not, at base, believe one can ‘petition the lord with prayer’ (although prayer itself is another thing, and not merely owned by one religious institution).

but beyond religion, there is also personal experience of.. being.

one aspect of religion, linked to their prescriptions, but not at all the same in many instances, are the teachings, the helpful aids in deciphering one’s sense of ‘being’ – the guides from those who have gone before, who reach out and say, you’re not the only one to have experienced this.

this is helpful.

OK, but because of all these drawbacks on my part, i am unable to understand the seeming vehemence of your stance re the ‘integralists’.

i have not read alain de botton’s latest ‘religion for atheists’, but i think i will.
that is all for now.

L.

Vehement was part of the impression I evoked–hmmm.

“Religion” is the term any person might deploy to signify and describe whatever it is he or she is willing to, able to, gonna offer, about being–I like that–and about stuff greater than one’s self, and, about all the other stuff which might inhere to answer to the question, “What to you is religion?”

Religion would be so broad in this meta-sense that it could encompass all answers to the question. This could be a good way to start an inquiry that isn’t anchored in developmental suppositions. The present Integral view is almost entirely developmental, so it misses a great deal of stuff about religion.

Gregory Bateson: In the purely material world there could be no irony, and a monstrous lack of humor of all kinds. But in the world of patterns and ideas, irony is everywhere; and by irony you may (perhaps) reach that small enlightenment which is a moment of seeing the larger gestalt. [from Sacred Unity]

Although I think it unnecessary to qualify this insight in terms of the material world, still the insight seems to me to point in the direction of comprehending what I would term the ‘religious abduction.’ What does a person understand to be the explanatory domain of religion? This move for the sake of clarifying the varieties of explanation about religion should next encompass the believer, the unbeliever, the atheist, and agnostic; and I am certain the patterns would be profuse.

Religion? What has been learned, what could be learned, and what are the messy, dangling ends? What are the boundary conditions?

I am a Humean agnostic, which is to say that the normative religious ideas able to be projected upon me by either the non-ironic believer or atheist, (“as if” my main metaphysical deficit is to not see what is obvious to such a person,) strike me as being nonsensical on their face.

Am I really just a lapsed Catholic living in a Universe entirely created to unfold the glorious scheme for my coming to know as much–that it was created for this purpose? And, atheism?

Religion when taut and not playful and miserably antagonistic toward irony, and, worse, not able to sketch out its scope for learning aims to erase all the answers, or at least subsume responses from the creatura. The Integral nowadays reaches for its own version of a joyless ‘we’ve figured it out so you don’t have to do so.’ Nonsense too, not funny, and only ironic if you are standing out of it far enough way to see the buzzing of its gestalt and contextualized by, among many gestalts, the gestalt given by all the prolix answers to: ‘what to you is religion?’

(Related: what to you is self-development?)

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