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The non-apologists: to preserve education and the scientific endeavor

Posted by Leonardo E. Villavicencio, Secular ThinkerJune 17, 2020 Leave a comment on the SECULAR THINKER international communities

We are humanists supporting rationalism and secularization. We promote the utilitarian, pragmatic and positive aspects of the scientific method. We’ve been creating social networks, discussion groups, and original content, as well as actively providing feedback within the secular community, since the early 2000s.

Our community includes active Historians, Philosophers, Psychologists, Linguists, specialists in Education, Artists and Humanists of all kinds. Many of our members are from Canada, New Zealand, the US, Mexico and Germany, but our communities have also grown in Brazil, Sweden, Japan, Thailand, South Africa, France, Qatar, Ukraine, Russia, Egypt, Ecuador, among other countries, especially places with a need for freedom of speech and ideas.

OUR STORY

 “Does current data seem unintelligible? New information may appear. Scientific hypotheses are falsifiable, therefore science is self-correcting.” – A message from the editor-

Christianity’s demand for “faith” suppressed the practice of science for almost two thousand years. Therefore, ancient scientists often had to try to document information without running afoul of Church authorities, sometimes codifying their findings the same way the church did, in images, in order to communicate with a research community. Many groundbreaking researchers were accused of heresy, burned alive or killed by stones. Even those who “repented” were, in many cases, imprisoned for life.
But with the scientific revolution a new cultural era emerged. Now, we’re here, and we demand better.
We applaud the love of traditional values, except when those ‘values’ are used as an excuse to oppose equality and freedom. We oppose the systemization of violence, misogyny, and homophobia.

Here, humanism, arts, sciences, technology, and education are celebrated.

Everyone can learn to be more polite and inclusive of others. We should be as caring as we are earnest. Life is something so precious and fragile; it is something absolutely worth valuing.

Secular Thinker started as a way to share the ideas of the past which encouraged free thought and paved the way for our rationalist lifestyles of today. Secular Thinker gradually also became a place to show those who feel isolated in the fight against dogma: they’re not alone, and they have never been. We have each independently recognized the need for freedom of thought, but here we can come together as like-minded individuals.

The non-apologists

Even if some may suggest that the ancient Church enabled the emergence of protoscience, or, as we acknowledge, that the Church was responsible for the preservation and maintenance of many manuscripts of utmost importance, we still assert that the credit for scientific breakthroughs should go to the individuals who made these discoveries, rather than the institutions or dogmas surrounding them. What we now know as the “scientific method” is a logical extension of human curiosity and our drive to seek out knowledge. Even absent the backing of an institution with authority and resources, the individual need to discover facts will emerge as a driving force.

Unlike Christian apologists, who reach for tenuous arguments to support their superstition and dogma, we hold that the process of logic leads to an unshakable philosophical foundation for a secular view of our universe.
In all our writings on this site, we endeavor to be mindful of Hegel’s Philosophy of History, and when analyzing historical documents, to be both reflective and critical:

“Philosophy of History, Introduction, II. Reflective History

II. The second kind of history we may call the reflective. It is
history whose mode of representation is not really confined by the limits of the time to which it relates, but whose spirit transcends the present. In this second order a strongly marked variety of species may be distinguished.

3. The third form of Reflective History is the Critical. This
deserves mention as pre-eminently the mode of treating history now current in Germany. It is not history itself that is here presented. We might more properly designate it as a History of History; a criticism of historical narratives and an investigation of their truth and credibility. Its peculiarity in point of fact and of intention, consists in the acuteness with which the writer extorts something from the records which was not in the matters recorded. 

G.W.F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History, page 17.

We are now creators:
-Philology & Philosophy of History-

This group provides a place for members to offer challenges to traditionally-accepted viewpoints, and to debate interpretations of the writings of the past. We encourage the ongoing application of philology, psychology, and other arts and sciences, to our understanding of history, in order to achieve a greater human knowledge: “…the humanistic philology that meticulously compared ancient sources and -cleaned up- the texts of important Christian writings was a serious challenge to the authority of the church. With new authorities or refined texts in hand, humanists found fault with established commentaries and questioned traditional interpretations…” (Robert Grudin). We continue to find fault and question the established and the traditional interpretations.


To uncover ancient knowledge wherever it hides.
To understand the evolution of language in order to better understand History.
To promote the Philosophy of History.
For love of Philology.

To preserve education, freedom of speech
and the scientific endeavour

is the task of a Secular Thinker

 
To know more about this subject:
patreon.com/SecularThinker

<Presentation Credits>

[Presentation – 1st edition]

Leonardo E. Villavicencio

[Presentation – Professional Edition]

Edition Coordination – Robert John

Edition Direction – Althea Morin

[Special Thanks]

All the caring, courageous and attractive humanists
that volunteer within our communities

The global secular humanist community

Ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent.

The most important task

Leonardo Villavicencio

· November 7, 2018

Social realities aren’t obvious. You really need to get into Biology, Phenomenology, Sociology, History, Philosophy, Psychology and finally, mix it with a little (lot) of criteria. Comprehending the scientific method provides the humbleness you need to get to the conclusion that, understanding ourselves is the most difficult task, and the most important one.

One of those friends

Leonardo Villavicencio, September 17, 2017 · 

Lama did have a very interesting conversation with Carl Sagan. When asked by Carl if he believed in god, to which he replied ” ‘God in the sense of some kind of ultimate reality: yes, we accept that. But God in the sense of an almighty creator Buddhists do not accept.‘ ‘I think that a scientific finding through careful experiment Buddhists will have to accept at once. No problem. Some scientists or some scientifically minded Buddhists as I think I should call them—say that they do not consider Buddhism to be a religion, but rather a science of mind. Sometimes they call Buddhism an inner science. So according to my own experience, as a result of meeting with scientists—in recent years I developed much contacts with scientists, mainly in the field of cosmology, neurobiology, physics, quantum mechanics and, of course psychology”.

Existentialism / Existencialismo

ENGLISH

The basic experience of existence, described by the philosophy that has become known as “Existentialism,” involves a general feeling of loneliness or abandonment (Geworfenheit, “having been thrown”) in/to a world that is not amenable to the primordial desires of the human being (cf. Jonas, p. 336). The recognition that the first or primal desire of the human being is for the actualization or positing of a concrete self or “I” (an autonomous and discrete individual existing and persisting amidst the flux and flow of temporal and external “reality”) leads to the disturbing realization that this world is not akin to the human being; for this world (so it seems) follows it own course, a course already mapped out and set in motion long before the advent of human consciousness. Furthermore, that the essential activity of the human being—that is, to actualize an autonomous self within the world—is carried out in opposition to a power or “will” (the force of nature) that always seems to thwart or subvert this supremely human endeavor, leads to the acknowledgment of an anti-human and therefore anti-intellectual power; and this power, since it seems to act, must also exist. However, the fact that its act does not manifest itself as a communication between humanity and nature (or pure objectivity), but rather as a mechanical process of blind necessity occurring apart from the human endeavor, places the human being in a superior position. For even though the force of nature may arbitrarily wipe out an individual human existent, just as easily as it brings one into existence, this natural force is not conscious of its activity. The human mind, on the other hand, is. And so a gap or fissure—a product of reflection—is set up, by which the human being may come to orient him/herself with and toward the world in which s/he exists and persists, for a brief moment. Martin Heidegger has described this brief moment of orientation with/in (toward) the world as “care” (Sorge), which is always a care or concern for the “moment” (Augenblick) within which all existence occurs; this “care” is understood as the product of humankind’s recognition of their unavoidable being-toward-death. But this orientation is never completed, since the human soul finds that it cannot achieve its purpose or complete actualization within the confines set by nature.

While the thwarting necessity of nature is, for the Existentialist, a simple, unquestioned fact; for the Gnostics it is the result of the malignant designs of an inferior god, the Demiurge, carried out through and by this ignorant deity’s own law. In other words, nature is, for modern Existentialism, merely indifferent, while for the Gnostics it was actively hostile toward the human endeavor. “[C]osmic law, once worshipped as the expression of a reason with which man’s reason can communicate in the act of cognition, is now seen only in its aspect of compulsion which thwarts man’s freedom” (Jonas, p. 328). Time and history come to be understood as the provenance of the human mind, over-against futile idealistic constructions like law and order, nomos and cosmos. Knowledge, at this point, becomes a concrete endeavor—a self-salvific task for the human race.

Becoming aware of itself, the self also discovers that it is not really its own, but is rather the involuntary executor of cosmic designs. Knowledge, gnosis, may liberate man from this servitude; but since the cosmos is contrary to life and to spirit, the saving knowledge cannot aim at integration into the cosmic whole and at compliance with its laws. For the Gnostics … man’s alienation from the world is to be deepened and brought to a head, for the extrication of the inner self which only thus can gain itself (Jonas, p. 329).

The obvious question, then—Where did we come from? — only becomes intelligible alongside and within the more dynamic question of Where are we heading?

ESPAÑOL:

La experiencia básica de la existencia, descrita por la filosofía que ha llegado a conocerse como “existencialismo”, implica un sentimiento general de soledad o abandono (Geworfenheit, “haber sido lanzado”) en / a un mundo que no es susceptible a los deseos primordiales de El ser humano (véase Jonas, pág. 336). El reconocimiento de que el primer o primordial deseo del ser humano es la actualización o postulación de un yo concreto o “yo” (un individuo autónomo y discreto que existe y persiste en medio del flujo de la “realidad” temporal y externa) La perturbadora comprensión de que este mundo no es semejante al ser humano; Para este mundo (así lo parece) sigue su propio curso, un curso ya trazado y puesto en movimiento mucho antes del advenimiento de la conciencia humana. Además, la actividad esencial del ser humano -esto es, actualizar un yo autónomo dentro del mundo- se lleva a cabo en oposición a un poder o “voluntad” (la fuerza de la naturaleza) que siempre parece frustrar o subvertir este esfuerzo supremamente Humano, conduce al reconocimiento de un poder anti-humano y por lo tanto anti-intelectual; Y este poder, puesto que parece actuar, también debe existir. Sin embargo, el hecho de que su acto no se manifieste como una comunicación entre la humanidad y la naturaleza (o objetividad pura), sino como un proceso mecánico de necesidad ciega que se produce aparte del esfuerzo humano, sitúa al ser humano en una posición superior. Pues aunque la fuerza de la naturaleza pueda aniquilar arbitrariamente a un individuo humano existente, con la misma facilidad con que lo lleva a la existencia, esta fuerza natural no es consciente de su actividad. La mente humana, por otra parte, lo es. Y así se establece una brecha o fisura -producto de la reflexión- por medio de la cual el ser humano puede llegar a orientarse con y hacia el mundo en el que existe y persiste, por un breve momento. Martin Heidegger ha descrito este breve momento de orientación con / en (hacia) el mundo como “cuidado” (Sorge), que es siempre un cuidado o preocupación por el “momento” (Augenblick) dentro del cual se produce toda existencia; Este «cuidado» se entiende como el producto del reconocimiento de la humanidad de su “ser inevitablemente hacia la muerte”. Pero esta orientación nunca se completa, ya que el alma humana encuentra que no puede alcanzar su propósito o actualización completa dentro de los límites establecidos por la naturaleza.

Mientras que la necesidad frustrante de la naturaleza es, para el existencialista, un hecho simple e incuestionable; Para los gnósticos es el resultado de los diseños malignos de un dios inferior, el Demiurgo, llevado a cabo a través y por la propia ley de la deidad ignorante. En otras palabras, la naturaleza es, para el existencialismo moderno, simplemente indiferente, mientras que para los gnósticos era activamente hostil hacia el esfuerzo humano. “La ley cósmica, una vez venerada como la expresión de una razón con la cual la razón del hombre puede comunicarse en el acto de la cognición, ahora se ve sólo en su aspecto de compulsión que frustra la libertad del hombre” (Jonas, p.328). El tiempo y la historia llegan a ser entendidos como la procedencia de la mente humana, en contra de las construcciones ideales fútiles como la ley y el orden, los nomos y el cosmos. El conocimiento, en este punto, se convierte en un esfuerzo concreto, una tarea auto-salvífica para la raza humana.

Al hacerse consciente de sí mismo, el yo también descubre que no es realmente suyo, sino que es más bien el ejecutor involuntario de los diseños cósmicos. El conocimiento, la gnosis, puede liberar al hombre de esta servidumbre; Pero como el cosmos es contrario a la vida y al espíritu, el conocimiento salvador no puede apuntar a la integración en el todo cósmico y al cumplimiento de sus leyes. Para los gnósticos … la alienación del hombre del mundo debe ser profundizada y llevada a una cabeza, para el desprendimiento del yo interior que sólo así puede ganar a sí mismo (Jonas, p.329).

La pregunta obvia, entonces-¿De dónde venimos? – sólo se hace comprensible al lado y dentro de la pregunta más dinámica de ¿A dónde nos dirigimos?

___
Translation: Leonardo Villavicencio, February 27, 2017

Enjoy/Disfrútenlo.

Mens sana in corpore sano – saying origins:

Latin /

“orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.
fortem posce animum mortis terrore carentem,
qui spatium vitae extremum inter munera ponat
naturae, qui ferre queat quoscumque labores,
nesciat irasci, cupiat nihil et potiores
Herculis aerumnas credat saevosque labores
et venere et cenis et pluma Sardanapalli.
monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare; semita certe
tranquillae per virtutem patet unica vitae.”
-Iunii Iuvenalis Aquinatis, Satura X (10.356)

Español /

“Se debe orar que se nos conceda una mente sana en un cuerpo sano.
Pedid un alma fuerte que carezca de miedo a la muerte,
que considere el espacio de vida restante un regalo de la naturaleza, que pueda soportar cualquier clase de esfuerzos,
que no sepa de ira, y esté libre de deseos
y crea que las adversidades y los terribles trabajos de Hércules son mejores que las satisfacciones, la fastuosa cena y la placentera cama de plumas de Sardanápalo
Te muestro lo que tú mismo puedes darte, con certeza que la virtud es la única senda para una vida tranquila.”
-Juvenal, Sátira X (10.356)

English /

“You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Ask for a stout heart that has no fear of death,
and deems length of days the least of Nature’s gifts
that can endure any kind of toil,
that knows neither wrath nor desire and thinks
the woes and hard labors of Hercules better than
the loves and banquets and downy cushions of Sardanapalus.
What I commend to you, you can give to yourself;
For assuredly, the only road to a life of peace is virtue.”
-Juvenal, Satire X (10.356)

Tabula Smaradigna


_ Latin

Verum, sine mendacio, certum et verissimum:
Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
Et sicut res omnes fuerunt ab uno, meditatione unius, sic omnes res natae ab hac una re, adaptatione.
Pater eius est Sol. Mater eius est Luna, portavit illud Ventus in ventre suo, nutrix eius terra est.
Pater omnis telesmi[10] totius mundi est hic.
Virtus eius integra est si versa fuerit in terram.
Separabis terram ab igne, subtile ab spisso, suaviter, magno cum ingenio.
Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas.
Haec est totius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis, quia vincet omnem rem subtilem, omnemque solidam penetrabit.
Sic mundus creatus est.
Hinc erunt adaptationes mirabiles, quarum modus est hic. Itaque vocatus sum Hermes Trismegistus, habens tres partes philosophiae totius mundi.
Completum est quod dixi de operatione Solis.

_ English

Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing
And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.
By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
& thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.
So was the world created.
From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world
That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.

_ Español

En verdad, sin mentira y ciertamente:
Lo de abajo es como lo de arriba, y lo de arriba es como lo de abajo, para obrar los milagros de una sola cosa.
Así como todas las cosas han sido hechas, así proceden de uno, por la meditación de uno, también todas las cosas nacen de esta cosa única por adaptación.
Su padre es el Sol, y su madre la Luna, el Viento lo llevó en su vientre, y su nodriza es la Tierra. El padre de todo el mundo está aquí. Su fuerza es entera aunque fuera vertida en la tierra.
Separa la Tierra del Fuego, lo sutil de lo espeso, dulcemente y con gran cuidado. Sube de la Tierra al Cielo, y de nuevo desciende a la Tierra, para recibir la fuerza de las cosas superiores e inferiores.
Por este medio tú poseerás la gloria de todo el mundo, y la oscuridad se alejará de ti.
Esta es la fuerza fuerte de toda fuerza, pues ella vencerá todo lo sutil, y penetrará todo lo sólido.
De esta manera ha sido creado el mundo.
Por ello, y de este modo, se obrarán aplicaciones prodigiosas, de las cuales el medio está aquí.
Por eso yo he sido llamado Hermes Trismegisto, pues poseo las tres partes de la Filosofía de todo el mundo.
Terminado y acabado está lo que he dicho de la obra del Sol.

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