"A Very Naughty Boy: Getting Right with Brian" by Randall Auxier Each faction (& denomination) is convinced that the others are bound for Hell... "my cue that God wants me to make fun of them." 65 fn., & see 18 Graham Chapman: “We did want to annoy [many churches]... They seem to forget about things like loving one another – more interested in joining their own little club and then thinking of other people in terms of 'that lot won't go to heaven, just us' which is really stupid and rather un-Christian... 'Think for yourselves, don't blindly follow'... I'm sure Mr. Christ would have agreed.” * Do you? Is it un-Christian (or un-spiritual, or inhu- mane) to take an exclusive path to salvation?
An example of exclusivity : "Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She's a much better person than I am. Honestly. She's, like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it's not fair if she doesn't make it, she's better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it.” Mel Gibson
Such remarks deeply embarrass two groups of Catholics: those who believe it but think it is best left unsaid, and those who don't believe it at all — no matter what "the chair" may pronounce. Daniel Dennett, "Common-Sense Religion" Chronicle of Higher Education 1.20.06
And, such remarks are mystifying to many non-Catholics as well - those who have ever admired, respected, or loved someone whose beliefs did not entirely mirror their own. How can a good person – let alone a “Saint” - be condemned and punished for withholding assent to beliefs for which there is no credible evidence? How can we assert and accept the notion that the very best people we know on Earth deserve eternal damnation? How can we embrace the legitimacy of any authority that would support such a judgment? (In other words, if “the chair” says your beloved soul-mate must fry in hell for all eternity, is it just too bad for her ? Or does it instead raise a serious question about the credibility, judgment, and moral wisdom of those who said so?
*Prayer and supplication – What would God say? Is there a “right” way to pray, and a right stance or attitude to adopt in addressing the divine? What is the purpose of prayer? "Oh, don't grovel! 67 HG clip #8 Every time I try to talk to someone it's sorry this and forgive me that and I'm not worthy... those miserable psalms [are] so depressing.” Socrates : Is piety a science of praying and sacrificing... asking and giving? Tell me what benefit accrues to the Gods from our gifts? -Euthyphro , 15-16 http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13726/13726-8.txt
Emerson on prayer- Prayer that craves a particular commodity,--any thing less than all good,--is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg... ( Essay on Self-reliance*) http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/emerson/essays/selfreliance.html *“Self-reliance” - http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/emerson/index.html bio- DivSchAdd- http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/emerson/essays/dsahyp.html
Nietzsche's "madman" : "God is Dead... We have killed him, you and I." 66-7
“ Life's a laugh and death's a joke. It's true. You'll see it's all a show. Keep 'em laughing as you go. Just remember that the last laugh is on you...” Who gets the last word?
The laughter with which the madman is greeted is the clue that whatever reverence the solemn God once commanded has lost its grip. 68 “ Laughter kills the cheerless God.” 67 * If His time was not up yet in 1882, what about 1979 (when the Pythons filmed Brian) or 2008? Does it depend on who and where you ask? But maybe He's not dead yet, and (as Nietzsche's prophet says) "this tremendous event is still on its way." Still, some signs of the apocalypse (if that's what you want to call “the end of the world as we know it”) may be in evidence...
http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/5372458.stm Dawkins : Politicians characterize the battle as a war against 'terror', as though terror were a kind of spirit or force, with a will and a mind of its own. Or they characterize terrorists as motivated by pure 'evil'. But they are not motivated by evil. However misguided we may think them, they are motivated, like the Christian murderers of abortion doctors, by what they perceive to be righteousness, faithfully pursuing what their religion tells them. They are not psychotic; they are religious idealists who, by their own lights, are rational. They perceive their acts to be good, not because of some warped personal idiosyncrasy, and not because they have been possessed by Satan, but because they have been brought up, from the cradle, to have total and unquestioning faith... --The God Delusion, ch8
http://www.slate.com/toolbar.aspx?action=print&id=2165033 There are four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking... (God is Not Great ) [go to LofB.odp #41 – Brights, Ehrman, Sweeney et al]
Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Philosophy, Gender, & Society by Rebecca Housel Arthurian and Grail romances represent the idea of the individual and a possibly- heroic quest. The Pythons give the Grail legend a gender twist, using it to parody patriarchy, or insti- tutionalized male social dominnce. 85 “ Finding the true self is what the Grail represents...” 90
Joseph Campbell finds holism and transcendence at the core of mythic stories about the questing hero, whose journey is ultimately toward “unity with the universe.” Although Arthur and the Knights band together in search of the grail, “the search is not conducted by a group but by separate individuals. 86 http://www.mythsdreamssymbols.com/campbell.html
“ Negotiating is more common to feminine ethics...” Masculine ethics entails “no negotiation, no exceptions, no exploration of gray areas... Relationships don't matter.” 86 For example, the Black Knight. [clip] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNKSzmM44gE
Masculine ethics is deeply threatened by the feminine, lead- ing to the vilification of “witches.” [clip] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr8DIg3oHFI
Villagers: (enter yelling) A witch! A witch! We've found a witch! Burn her! Burn her! (After Sir Bedimere gets the crowd to admit that they dressed her up as a witch, their only basis for accusing her is that one of them claims that she turned him into a newt. But because he "got better", they need some way of determining her guilt). Bedimere: there are ways of telling if she's a witch. What do you do with witches? Villagers: Burn them! Bedimere: And what do you burn, apart from witches? Villagers: Wood? Bedimere: Right! So why do witches burn? Villagers: Because they're made of wood? Bedimere: Right! . Now, what else do you do with wood?
Villagers: Build bridges with it! Bedimere: But do we not also build bridges from stone; does wood float in water? Villagers: Yes. Bedimere: And what else floats in water? King Arthur: (after more confused suggestions from the villagers) A duck! Bedimere: Right! So, if she weighs the same as a duck, she'd float in water, and she must be made of wood, so. Villagers: A witch! Burn her! (They weigh the woman on a large scale with a duck in the other balancing basket, but inexplicably the scales do not tilt one way or the other. As the villagers drag the woman away, the witch looks at the camera and says with resignation "it was a fair court".) Bedimere: (to King Arthur) Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?
http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/infocusprint.php?num=31&subject=Women Under Theocracy We mostly don't burn witches anymore. However... In Jharkhand, India, Ramani Devi was badly tortured after being branded a witch: “I was tortured and forced to eat human excreta just because I was branded a witch by the ojhas (witch doctors),” she reported. According to the crime branch of the Jharkhand police, 190 witch killings have been reported in the past five years.
And in many parts of the Islamic world, women are still held responsible for the “crime” of provoking lustful male fantasies...
We also still vilify and demonize and make slighting references to “things that rhyme with witch”... ( When asked what she thought of 1984 Vice- Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, Mrs. Bush said she couldn't say it on television, but it "rhymes with witch.")
“ ...males engaged in their duties must not become 'disengaged' on account of such temptations” as women embody... 89 Campbell's “Trial of the Perilous Bed” becomes the Pythons' trial of Castle Anthrax... [clip] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtcSYPjJbgg
Poor Launcelot! The harder he tries to be a patriarchal paragon of masculinity in pursuit of the idea of courtly love, the more he appears to be just the opposite... 91 Gender misidentification, exaggerated masculinity, homo- social bonding, the heterosexual matrix, and phallic allusions abound ...
Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield has whipped up a small storm with his call for the new embrace of an old idea: manliness. Men acting manly, says Mansfield, are what this world needs more of. John Waynes and Teddy Roosevelts, Papa Hemmingways and Schwarzeneggers who stride the modern range and get things done. The post-feminist dream of a gender-neutral society, says Manfield, has hurt both men and women, and it's time to bust out the manly men inside. Critics are agog. With Cheney and Rumsfeld and Dubya on the march, they ask, is that not enough saddle burn? A conversation with Harvey Mansfield about manly men and the call for more manliness... http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2006/08/20060830_a_main.asp “ Manliness”
Kay Hymowicz, Commentary : The ancient Greeks in particular had ideas about manliness that Mansfield considers instructive for the contemporary mind. Both Plato and Aristotle described an element in the human soul called thumos, a kind of animal spiritedness or "bristling" that vies with our reason, especially in men. Thumos, Mansfield observes, has "no natural end beyond itself." It is an impulse that must be tamed and trained, channeled into the virtue of manly courage. Even while recognizing the danger of men's natural assertiveness, the philosophers understood that a good society had to "give it its due."
Modern thinkers, according to Mansfield, followed Darwin's lead in turning their backs on this valuable ambiguity and sense of balance. Nietzsche, William James, Rudyard Kipling, Teddy Roosevelt—all were "manly nihilists," advocates of assertiveness for its own sake, of "transcendence with no stated goal." Feminists, starting with Simone de Beauvoir and continuing with Kate Millet and Germaine Greer, also threw in their lot with such nihilistic thinking, simultaneously denouncing men for their animal aggressiveness and demanding the same self-assertive rights for women... "Manliness favors war, likes risk, and admires heroes," Mansfield writes. "Rational control wants peace, discounts risk, and prefers role models to heroes."
*Are traditional gender stereotypes of masculinity and femininity obsolete? Do “real men” negotiate, compromise, and recognize the importance of maintaining and strengthen- ing relationships? Do “real women” stand their ground – even when they don't have a leg to stand on? *How do you decide when to negotiate and when to fight? What would you like to say to the next President (whoever he or she may be) about this? *If you reject the traditional gender stereotypes, what does it mean to discover your “true self” or to achieve “ transcendence”? What does gender-neutral heroism look like? Can you be a “whole person” without wholly em- bracing an ideal of masculinity or femininity?
Exam2 review - Monty Python: *6 - A Very Naughty Boy... - What Nietzsche meant by saying "God is Dead" 67, 69; the difference between philosophy and theology 68; Pascal's Wager 79, whether God is British 80 *7 - Holy Grail... - Joseph Campbell and the hero 84-5; masculine ethics 86-7; what the grail represents 90
Socrates in Love Part One, Eros - *Making Sex Taboos Taboo, 32f. - Russell on sexual ethics & love 32-3 *Eros Run Amok, 41f. - What was distinctive (and foreboding, for Greek civilization) about the Peloponnesian War? *Commitment, 57f. - Philip Roth on love & sex 58; On questioning commitments & unconditional love 60 *Strange Yet Familiar, 76f. - Plato's Symposium, and the myth of love's origin 78
Part Two, Storge (familial love, including & modeling the human family) - *All My Children, 88f. - Makiguchi on children *In the Name of Ubuntu, 109f. - on seeing ourselves as a single tribe 112 *Father Knows Best, 133f. - Socrates' philosophy of parenting 135 *Motherland, Fatherland, 137f. - Nietzsche on Socrates & fate *Love of Whole Persons, 306f. - Diotima, Symposium, what love can inspire us to do 308 *Genius of the Heart, 311f. - Versenyi on Socrates on love 312
Part Three, Xenia (stranger love) *Borders, 142 - Socrates on how to know yourself *Be My Guest, 143f. - Robert Frost on walls *Care and Care Alike, 159f. - Heidegger & Jonas on "care"; environment 161 *Failure to Care, 163f. - Peter Singer on how we spend our money *Connected, 167f. - Buddhism on balance 170; Epictetus on Socrates 172 Part Three, Xenia (stranger love) *Borders, 142 - Socrates on how to know yourself *Be My Guest, 143f. - Robert Frost on walls *Care and Care Alike, 159f. - Heidegger & Jonas on "care"; environment 161 *Failure to Care, 163f. - Peter Singer on how we spend our money *Connected, 167f. - Buddhism on balance 170; Epictetus on Socrates 172
Part Four, Philia (friendship love, w/deeeper connotation - "brotherly" love) *My Friend Socrates, 177f. - "What makes life worth living?" 178 *Inquiring Minds, 191f. - Azar Nafisi *Learning to Reason with Heart, 199f. - Martha Nussbaum on Socrates and "cultivating humanity" 201 *Bowling Together, 217f. - on travel, neighbors 218 *Compassionate Patriotism, 222f. Nussbaum on patriotism
Part Five, Agape (unconditional love) *The Last Crusade, 229f. - Sikh concept of Seva 232, Hebraic concept of tikkun alum 234 *Love Without Limits, 238f. - Joseph Campbell 238, Russell 239 *For God's Sake, 240f. - Kierkegaard and Job, 241-2 *Loving Tradition, 255f. - Kwame Gyekye on "shared humanity" 256 *Ikigai Arrested, 259f. - On "the most loving thing [you] can do for your country" 264 *Value creation, 270f. - Makiguchi on Socrates 271 *Destroying Destructive Emotions, 284f. - Dalai Lama on empathy, sentience, maternal love 286
Part Six, Socratic Love *Heartfelt Beliefs, 303f. - W.K. Clifford on our duty to question, responsibility for posterity 303-4; Kaufmann on love & hate 305 *Love of Whole Persons, 306f. - Diotima, Symposium, what love can inspire us to do 308 *Genius of the Heart, 311f. - Versenyi on Socrates on love 312