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Do you celebrate Christmas, or some semblance thereof?
Posted: 23 November 2007 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Wow, I thought there’d be more people here who celebrate Festivus  wink

It features great rituals like the ‘Airing of Grievances’.......and the pole is a helluva lot cheaper than a tree and requires no ‘tending’:)

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‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

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Posted: 23 November 2007 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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George - 22 November 2007 07:25 AM

BTW, have you ever read any of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales for example? Or any other non-Disney stories for kids? The crucifixion is a walk in the park compared to most of them.

I remember being horrified by some of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales as a child.  Of course, a parent can’t censor out all of the the bad parts of the “real” world.  But, they out to exercise serious caution as to how they frame the presentation of such things.

George - 22 November 2007 07:25 AM

And there is something else. The music. Most of the Christmas music from the past five hundred years is absolutely amazing.

I also adore winter solstice music as celebrated by many religious traditions- christian, jewish, etc.  I think that this is a far bigger challenge than just one of the winter solstice season.  It pertains to the whole of the canon of western musical literature.  We must preserve great music for its own sake, despite the outdated sorts of religious themes that are often part of it.  This presents us with a serious challenge in consideration of the point that much of contemporary society still regards such great music as being inseparably connected to its historical religious setting.

I hope that you had a nice Thanksgiving, George.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 23 November 2007 08:18 AM

I remember being horrified by some of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales as a child.  Of course, a parent can’t censor out all of the the bad parts of the “real” world.  But, they out to exercise serious caution as to how they frame the presentation of such things.

Trying to censor the bad parts of the real world reminds me of the Christians home-schooling their kids. I think children need to understand that violence does exist. And even more so, if they are boys. Give a little boy a stick to draw in sand and wait to see how long it’ll take him to turn the stick into a weapon. They are born with it. As such, I believe it is very important not to pretend that violence doesn’t exist. I do read my children the violent Grimm Brothers fairy tales, but never fail to point out that violence should always be the last mean of defense.

erasmusinfinity - 23 November 2007 08:18 AM

We must preserve great music for its own sake, despite the outdated sorts of religious themes that are often part of it. This presents us with a serious challenge in consideration of the point that much of contemporary society still regards such great music as being inseparably connected to its historical religious setting.

Do you really care what the story of an opera is? Does it matter who Mona Lisa “really” was? Should we find the beautiful structures of the old churches less appealing because they praise the non-existent god? Picasso needed to fall in love to produce his art. I’ve never met these women, but that doesn’t take away from my appreciation of his paintings. As long as artists succeed in triggering the desired emotions in my brain, I couldn’t care less what had inspired them.

erasmusinfinity - 23 November 2007 08:18 AM

I hope that you had a nice Thanksgiving, George.

In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. But I hope you enjoyed your day, erasmusinfinity.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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George - 23 November 2007 09:20 AM

Trying to censor the bad parts of the real world reminds me of the Christians home-schooling their kids. I think children need to understand that violence does exist. And even more so, if they are boys. Give a little boy a stick to draw in sand and wait to see how long it’ll take him to turn the stick into a weapon. They are born with it. As such, I believe it is very important not to pretend that violence doesn’t exist. I do read my children the violent Grimm Brothers fairy tales, but never fail to point out that violence should always be the last mean of defense.

I agree, more or less, about kids needing to see the real world as it actually is.  I just think that adult caregivers ought to try to frame things so that they are best digested, and work to present them in something of a processable sequence.

erasmusinfinity - 23 November 2007 08:18 AM

We must preserve great music for its own sake, despite the outdated sorts of religious themes that are often part of it. This presents us with a serious challenge in consideration of the point that much of contemporary society still regards such great music as being inseparably connected to its historical religious setting.

George - 23 November 2007 09:20 AM

Do you really care what the story of an opera is? Does it matter who Mona Lisa “really” was? Should we find the beautiful structures of the old churches less appealing because they praise the non-existent god? Picasso needed to fall in love to produce his art. I’ve never met these women, but that doesn’t take away from my appreciation of his paintings. As long as artists succeed in triggering the desired emotions in my brain, I couldn’t care less what had inspired them.

I do care about the story in opera, but much less than the music of course.  The story becomes even more central in theater as it also does in written fiction.  I did not say that music or churches were any less beautiful because of their religiousness.  I think that they are beautiful despite it.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 23 November 2007 09:57 AM

I did not say that music or churches were any less beautiful because of their religiousness.  I think that they are beautiful despite it.

Sorry. My response sounded as if I was disagreeing with you – which I wasn’t. OTOH, when I am in church listening to, say, Vivaldi’s Gloria, I like the feeling of “something divine” it creates within me – even though I don’t believe in the existence of anything divine. I could compare it to some fictional literature where, while I am reading the story, I become for the given moment the story’s hero. Hmm, maybe I believe in god while listening to religious music. Funny, I never thought about it that way…

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Posted: 23 November 2007 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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George, you sound a little like Bob Price with how you speak of church.

One thing I want to point out is that feeling you attribute to “maybe believing in god while listening to religious music” is purely brain chemistry.  The music stimulates chemicals in your brain giving you that unique feeling, whether one believes in a deity or not.  In a figurative way, the music is divine while you listen to it- thus the feeling of “something divine” created within you.  It is all within you, but triggered by the “divine” music.

That’s how I think of it at least.  Any music that is that good, deserves to be greatly appreciated while it’s playing.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Yes, Mriana. I agree. I also thought of something else I recently read in Pinker’s The Blank Slate:

The study of humans from evolutionary perspective has shown that many psychological faculties (such as our hunger for fatty food, for social status, and risky sexual liaisons) are better adapted to the evolutionary demands of our ancestral environment than to the actual demands of the current environment. (pg. 101)

I understand the same applies to eating sugar, for example. Maybe I crave religion (or the feeling of something divine) for the same reason. It has been with us for a long time and maybe I am still not ready to let go. (BTW, I love sugar! — not so much the fatty food, though.) Anyway, whatever temporary satisfaction we get out of eating sugar, or feeling the presence of god, shouldn’t be harmful I think, as long as we are aware that it’s nothing more that just some kind of an illusion playing plesant tricks with our mind.

[ Edited: 23 November 2007 11:04 AM by George ]
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Posted: 23 November 2007 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I rarely censor stories as I read to my daughter, but I also skim through books given as gift by relatives (often quite reliious), and some seem to represent such crappy morality or ethics that I choose not to read them. I don’t see this as fundamentally unreasonable, thought it is similar to what home-schoolers do. It is a natural part of parenting to teach one’s own values, and that means choosing fiction for your children that represent those values. Now it happens that thinking for oneself is on of my values, so I probably do less censoring than most. My own collection of adult books is always available to her once she’s able to read them (probably another year or two), so I’m all for letting her explore as she is motivated, but I don’t have to go out of my way to read to her stuff I think is stupid or ethically dubious.

That said, as for Grimm’s Fairy Tales, we laugh hysterically when I read them, uncensored. They are mostly pretty ridiculous by modern standards. So-and-so went here, got something, went there, got something else, then some ogre showed up and ate somebody, blah, blah, blah. The lack of coherence to many of the stories makes them quite funny. When I think of protecting my child from depicitons of violence, I’m thinking of The Accused w/ Jodie Foster or The Killing Fileds, not the kind of silly, over-the-top stuff in fairy tales. She’s sufficiently clear on the difference between fantasy and reality not to be bothered by such stuff. At six we were going to Harry Potter movies together, and none of my friends’ dire predictions about nightmares or psychological trauma seem to have been realized. I don’t know if that’s just her temperment or if I can claim credit for teaching her about reality and fantasy, but either way Grimm Bros. hardly seems scary to her.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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mckenzievmd - 23 November 2007 11:15 AM

So-and-so went here, got something, went there, got something else, then some ogre showed up and ate somebody, blah, blah, blah.

For a second I thought you were talking about the The Lord of the Rings. Just teasing! LOL Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Ouch, got me! grin

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Posted: 23 November 2007 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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George - 23 November 2007 10:57 AM

Yes, Mriana. I agree. I also thought of something else I recently read in Pinker’s The Blank Slate:

The study of humans from evolutionary perspective has shown that many psychological faculties (such as our hunger for fatty food, for social status, and risky sexual liaisons) are better adapted to the evolutionary demands of our ancestral environment than to the actual demands of the current environment. (pg. 101)

I understand the same applies to eating sugar, for example. Maybe I crave religion (or the feeling of something divine) for the same reason. It has been with us for a long time and maybe I am still not ready to let go. (BTW, I love sugar! — not so much the fatty food, though.) Anyway, whatever temporary satisfaction we get out of eating sugar, or feeling the presence of god, shouldn’t be harmful I think, as long as we are aware that it’s nothing more that just some kind of an illusion playing plesant tricks with our mind.

I love chocolate, but I know how chocolate works to alievate mild depression and alike too.  It has a chemical in it that helps with that and other things.  I have this saying, “Chocolate cures everything.”  LOL  yes, I know that is not true, but it does help.  smile

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 November 2007 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Mriana - 23 November 2007 11:50 AM

“Chocolate cures everything.”

This one is my favourite:
MirabellKugeln.JPG

I normally despise discussing food, but chocolate does seem to border between food and something (and here comes the word again) divine! BTW, doesn’t the word chocolate mean “the food of gods” in the language of the Mayas? I think I heard that somewhere…(?)

[ Edited: 23 November 2007 12:05 PM by George ]
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Posted: 23 November 2007 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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No, no dear.  It’s Christmas time.  Since I ate Santa last year, it has to be that 200 lb chocolate Jesus.  Now, where should I start in on eatting Jesus.  3.gif 20.gif

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 November 2007 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Ask the Christians! They eat him every Sunday.

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Posted: 23 November 2007 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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George - 23 November 2007 12:01 PM

I normally despise discussing food, but chocolate does seem to border between food and something (and here comes the word again) divine! BTW, doesn’t the word chocolate mean “the food of gods” in the language of the Mayas? I think I heard that somewhere…(?)

Actually, the word “chocolate” comes from the Nahuatl “bitter water”; check HERE. (I’ve also heard another etymology that has it coming from the Nahuatl for “flower water”).

I think you’re thinking of the scientific name for chocolate, “theobroma cacao”; “theobroma” means “food of the gods”.

BTW, also I’m a big fan of DARK chocolate ...  cheese

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