Friday, January 20, 2012

Philosophy of Stephen Fry

thanks to Matthew for this link:

 Stephen Fry talks about how loosely the term philosophy is used; philosophers dont give us a way of living life but rather raise lots of questions. Bertrand Rusell history of philosphy: Xeno and the pre-socratics, Plato, socrates, aristotle (logic but had a pernicious effect on medieval thinking by categorising), Spinoza, Kant (questions make rethink everything), Locke, Hegel (like grabbing a salmon, feel very stupid). Buddhism or spiritual, niceness is good. Logic takes very hard work, often ignored - talking about 'spiritual' is just not good enougth!

3:40 Imagine there's no heaven (John Lennon) - Even IF it isn't true you must absolutely assume their is no afterlife, you cannot for one second abrogate the responsibilty of believing this is it. If you think your going to have an eternity to talk to Mozart on a cloud, or have an eternity to understand stuff, you won't bother NOW! I may be wrong and their is an afterlife, but at least I'll have had a crammed THIS LIFE.

5:01 What do you believe? Atheism comes in for bad press, Humanism is better. I don't believe in A God, but if I were to believe I'd believe in GODS (plural) (I can understand that eg mountains might be considered to have an inner animous and to personify as the Greeks did into Athena and other gods), monotheism is a staggering misapprehension. The world is beutiful and wonderful - but that doesn't mean that there is a god, you have to account for bone cancer in children, a parasitic worm eating a lambs eye etc, most animals in the wild live under stress and will die a violent bloody death. Atheists and Humanists wonder about the world. God was everything when we knew nothing a millenium ago. Now god is now a 'god of the gaps'. Greeks said that if there were gods, they were capricious, not loving. 

8:49 Good without God - empower ourselves to create own ethical standards. Euthrypro. God did not give us free will. Enlightenment of 400 years - no new Dark Ages - the battle lines must be drawn

10:57 What is Religion Good for? Music (composers write for power and money), paintings (same), pieces are numinous not devine; architecture and churches, kind people who give to the poor - not necessary to justify religion

13:01 Are ther religious leaders you admire? Trevor Huddlestone, Archbishop Tutu - forght for justice; Bonhoffer spoke out against Hitler, Dalai Lama.

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