Wednesday 23 January 2019

Ve ask the qvestions...

Usually - but it's been about six weeks since commenters had a chance to do so.

(I seldom answer, or publish, off-topic questions from commenters, or ones that I don't happen to want to answer; since the ideal for which I aim is that the comment section should supplement, or at least not clash with, the post. And questions left hanging are bad form. Also, that is a 'troll' modus operandi - to timewaste with questions and requests - better to nip it in the bud, say I.) 

Here it is again. Any questions?


saladin89 said...

what about diet? is veganism the most "spiritual" diet? do you eat meat?

David Stanley said...

I've just listened to Edward Dutton on Luke Fords stream. Any insights on your former collaborater/student? I felt he was slightly exaggerating his accent for effect. Having read one of his books I have concluded I have lifelong low testosterone... Seems to explain everything!

Bruce Charlton said...

@saladin - Veganism does not sustain human life under natural circumstances (it requires high tech, targetted supplementation) - so from that persepctive it can't be intended for humans.

Biologically (and therefore presumably divinely) mortal Men are meant to eat animal products.

In general, veganism also seems to sap human vitality, and has obvious and adverse effects on personality.

A few individuals with particular pathologies might benefit - just as other special diets may help specific illnesses. But as a lifestyle trend; veganism is adverse, and symptomatic of spiritual pathology.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - I'm not keeping in touch with science these days. But Ed is (unlike me) *genuinely* posh, if that's what you are asking.

Francis Berger said...

Referring to your notion of Christian Romanticism, do you think artists could play as influential a role in this as they did in the Romantic Movement of the eighteenth century?

If so, what would the approach / characteristics of Christian Romantic artists / art be?
I ask these questions because I have been contemplating your ideas regarding Christian Romanticism as a viable way forward. I feel Christian Romantic art, if we can apply the term just for the sake of this question, would have to involve a reaffirmation of and a return to the transcendentals (truth, beauty, goodness).

However, mere aesthetic reversion seems insufficient to me, especially considering the devastating success contemporary leftist aesthetics has had at turning most people away from the transcendentals through a combination of subversion, inversion, and perversion.

Would the aesthetics of Christian Romanticism essentially rely on reversion, or would it, offer something else?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Francis - Certainly I think artists could and should play a role in Romantic Christianity.

"what would the approach / characteristics of Christian Romantic artists / art be? "

I look at William Arkle and observe the uncompromising honesty and integrity, the personal success in spiritual attainment - and the almost complete obscurity of his work! So, the artist must be prepared to pay the price of a small audience, and lack of fame and fortune from his art.

I certainly do NOT regard reversion as a possibility; Romantic Christianity is a new and unprecedented thing, and barely a handful of creative artists (that I know of) have even tried to work for such goals.

If we take the Inklings as an example; none actually succeeded in producing creative work within this framework - only Barfield understood what was needed, but he lacked the creative ability of Tolkien, CS Lewis or Charles Williams. Similarly Steiner.

So, aside from some very early, slender, not fully self-aware, artistic examples such as Blake, Coleridge and Novalis - it is uncharted territory!

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Any thoughts on the Epistle of James, supposed to have been written by Jesus' own brother?

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - It's never really made an impression on me.

Karl said...

Do you still think the Apocalypse is by the same author as the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles?

Karl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Charlton said...

@Karl - No I don't. I thought this when my idea was to place my beliefs under the authority of tradition as defined by the Eastern Orthodox churches.

My current understanding is that the Apocalypse has nothing to do with the Author of the Fourth Gospel - and indeed nothing much to do with the teachings of Jesus as known from that Gospel. The depiction of Heaven is one of 'Pythagorean' numerology and 'Platonic' stasis and bliss - very Nirvana-like; but Not like the Kingdom of God peopled with resurrected Men, the (deified) Sons and Daughters of God.

The first epistle of John - as it appears in the King James Bible - strikes me as *possibly* a garbled and expanded version of a ltter originating with the author of the Fourth Gospel; but if so, then so garbled as to be useless (to me). The second and their epistles seem so trivial as to be useless whoever wrote them.

Adil said...

I have some questions I meant to ask you the previous round but forgot.

1. Jesus said "nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them." This strikes me as profoundly true. Modern man seems obsessed about diet, putting the "right" things into the body to have good health effects. The reasoning is simple linear cause-effect based (good food causes good health). It's true but only as a complimentary to spiritual health. I have seen a lot of cases where very active and healthy people get sick and die. So I don't think modern people get sick because of bad food/smoking, because modern people seem very well fed. Especially here in Scandinavia, people are generally very fit, but are still plagued by all the modern diseases. It seems to me that how, why, with whom etc we eat, drink and smoke matters more.. The modern approach to food and health is very mechanical to say the least. Would you agree with this? When it comes to cancer, don't you think it would be more important for a victim to change his/her life or even dying than fighting the cancer with drugs and chemo-therapy? Because certainly, dying is important?

2. Do you have any favorite Christian movie? If you haven't seen it, I would like to recommend 'The Elephant Man' (starring Anthony Hopkins). While not explicitly christian, I think this movie captures why Christianity is good, beautiful and true.

Thanks again for your important and eye-opening writings.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Eric - 1. Without being specific, our life (mine, yours, everybody's) has a reason for being the way it is; and we ought to learn from that. What we do about it is a secondary matter - often enough, nothing helpful can be done.

2. "Do you have any favorite Christian movie?" - That's an interesting question, because I would have to say Not Really; in the sense that none of my favourite movies/ scenes are Christian.

But then again, I don't regard any movie as being all-that-good - none have changed my life for the better in the way that some books have (although some movies have encouraged me to be worse, more superficial - to see my life as if I was being filmed - e.g. the movies of Francois Truffaud).

I have some favourite movie scenes - such as the end of Blade Runner, when the replican Roy dies - that I find very moving. There is a 20 minute section of the last Harry Potter movie (Deathly Hallows part two) from Snape's dying, the scene when Harry sees snapes memories, and when Harry Sacrifices himself in the Forbidden Forest (allows Voldemort to kill him) - which I have only watched twice because it made me cry so much that my eyes got bruised. In the HP&tDH book these parts are very clearly Christian in their symbolism (death resurrection, self sacrificing love etc), and knowing that made the movie more effective.

But movie-induced emotion is passive and manipulated, een in such great moments (or the charge of the Riders of Rohan, in The Return of the King) - so tha tI can't link them with my life, I can't learn from them.

Most of these great movie scenes have great music - and that is part of it.