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 Luther and transhumanism

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Thrasymachus
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PostSubject: Luther and transhumanism    Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:24 am

I'm going to try connecting Martin Luther and postmodernism/transhumanist nihilism.

I ran across the idea that philosophy (as the Greek projects of philosophy carried forward and being worked on in the Christian Middle Ages) and the Renaissance were aborted in their natural development by Luther, and that everything afterward is just a symptom of that problem. For example, the discrediting of Aristotle's conceptions of objectivity in truth and rationalist realism. So I want to explore this idea.

Luther achieves two things: he inserts a gap between the self ("soul", or subjectivity) and social capital, and he inserts a gap between the self as thought/ideation and the self as feeling/passion. The first gap he activates by denouncing the Catholic tradition of indulgences and by claiming that personal works or charity cannot lead to salvation; the second gap he activates by centering personal salvation on faith alone as a miracle of God's grace solely by our having faith, and by denouncing reason and free will as agents of sin or at least as merely secular concerns less important than faith.

I think these gaps are basically vacuums that nature filled in. The split between self and capital eventually led to Protestant work ethic and ultimately to capitalism (Max Weber), while the split between ideas and passions cut out reason/realism as a foundation for truthful thought and led to radical skepticism, subjectivism, relativism, and positivism.

Interestingly, while Luther wanted to eliminate greed and money as influences in so-called spiritual matters he actually freed greed and money to an even greater influence, because previously wealth was tied into the social substance as payments to the kings/princes "divine right of kings" concept as well as through being able to purchase salvation and the forgiveness of God through giving money to the church and other charitable deeds. In other words money was implicitly embedded in social structure and had a certain psychological link connecting it socially and to the forms of the past (politically and religiously). Luther did away with that, leading to a freedom of capital from such constraints, and while Luther thought this would lead to less greed it actually removed a barrier to greed, since after all human nature isn't going to suddenly change just because Luther removed these limits that he considered tied into greed/sin. Eventually Protestantism returned capital's place in the religious psyche through adopting as core virtues such things as industriousness, economic success and savings, frugality, hard work, etc.

But I think even more significant is how Luther divorced reason from faith, and I think this foreshadows Kant. Kant took this idea to the furthest extreme, made possible by Luther saying that reason should be free to exercise itself upon everything save for matters of God/faith. Reason became "mad" and was released without the natural connection to subjectivity, so that philosophy ultimately came to an aporia with logic, thought and reason on one side and feelings, sensation and passion on the other side. Kant simply took all that to its utmost conclusion. Yet from Kant we have come Hegel as a personification of Kant's aporiatic/schizoid method, as Hegel himself is basically "soulless" or at least is unable to reconcile his deeply penetrating reasoning with the subjectivity and self which reasons and which is ultimately targeted by reason. Hegel is a strange philosopher who dances around the aporia, trying to form rational links into the self but always failing to pass the threshold and actually conclude something of relevance to the self as substance and as living being. Hegel embodies the mad freedom of epistemology without recourse to ontology, or what is called phenomenology I suppose.

From Hegel then came both Schopenhauer and Marx. Schopenhauer continued the delusional methodology (denial of the notion of Aristotelian objective truth and the possibility of 'realism') and led to Nietzsche, who took it to a further extreme attempting to solve the problem of Kant and Socrates but without really absolving himself of their methods; Marx of course personifies the impersonal approach of Kant-->Hegel and culminates in recreating social economic theory without man as the center, indeed Marx basically makes politics and economics entirely inhuman (his core category and concept is the group, "class", and not the individual self or mind) [credit to Fixed Cross for his insight that Marxism removes human being from economics]. Thus the aporia pushed by Luther and philosophically enumerated by Kant became lived in Hegel (Kant lived it too) which led to Marx's psychosis and total break from reality in the abandonment of any recourse to truth. Marx doesn't even attempt to discover truth, for him there is no such thing as truth. Same basically goes for Nietzsche, but to a lesser degree than for Marx since Nietzsche's muse was Schopenhauer rather than Hegel, and Schopenhauer is already far more human than Hegel ever was.

From Marx and even too from Nietzsche to a degree comes pretty much everything wrong and insane with ("post")modern man: vacuous skepticism and solipsism, scientific nihilism, logical positivism and analytic philosophy, ironically both utilitarianism and new hedonism (following the same logically error that Luther made when he thought that he could decrease greed by removing barriers to it), critical theory and feminism, transhumanism (which includes transgenderism and transpersonalism); the Frankfurt school, New Left, Lacanian psychoanalysis, etc..

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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Last edited by Thrasymachus on Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:57 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Luther and transhumanism    Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:40 am

Now of course we have this massive nihilistic edifice split into two camps, which are now attempting somewhat to unite. Those two camps are the Left/Feminism/etc. and Liberated Globalized Capitalism. Each of those camps is a direct result of certain errors introduced or solidified into history by Luther and those who came after him. Technology is in part a way to sew those camps back together, to reverse what Heidegger said about technology being an extension of human being, into human being becoming an extension of "technology" (of the reified and absolutized two camps-come-together).

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: Luther and transhumanism    Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:33 pm

Brilliant.

Ive been having the desire to deconstruct modernity through reverse engineering Luther.
This is really good stuff, I will want to add to this, and maybe a subject for PH.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Luther and transhumanism    Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:00 pm

That's a good way of putting it, deconstructing modernity through reverse engineering Luther. Also I should point out that the insight about how Marx cut out human being from economics is something you said, that stuck with me as surprisingly accurate in its simplicity. I'll make sure to include that above.

Yes please add to this analysis, we can later form it into another book/pamphlet, or even include it in the proposed book/pamphlet on economics.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz


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PostSubject: Re: Luther and transhumanism    Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:13 pm

There's tons of potential space to explore here. For example the countless monks and scholars who helped work through translating and thinking about the old Greek writings, and who helped slowly flesh out Christianity throughout the Middle Ages. Eriugena is one Parodites has written about, there are so many others who probably have fascinating contributions. Obviously I'm not defending the Catholic Church, but it does seem like that gradual process of philosophical development in line with the original Greek ideas and categories was ultimately derailed, or at least warped, by Luther.

And then there's an interesting historical coincidence that Luther and Machiavelli were writing at just about the same time. I guess Luther's rival of sorts, Erasmus, who didn't really accept Reformation, was also writing in his disagreement against The Prince. I don't have enough knowledge here to do much other than point to the fact there are certainly mountains of hidden ideas and connections here.

Who knows what would have burst forth from the Renaissance had it not been for Luther catalyzing the "heretics" into true Reformation? But obviously Luther did contribute to opening up new space, maybe without that the Descartes and Spinozas of the world wouldn't have manifested so strongly... or maybe they would have manifested a much greater power of thought that was less fragmented and confused by Lutherian warping.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz


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