Are Symbols "primary"?

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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met
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Re: Are Symbols "primary"?

Post by met » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:18 am

Magritte wrote:Where does the symbolic being primary enter into this?

It's the basic post-structuralist stance - expressed as "writing is primary" or "the media is the message", etc - & now I gotta use quotes again, sorry....
The Symbolic: in contrast to the imaginary, the symbolic involves the formation of signifiers and language and is considered to be the "determining order of the subject" (Miller, 279). Seeing the entire system of the unconscious/conscious as manifesting in an endless web of signifiers/ieds and associations, Lacan claims that, "Symbols in fact envelop the life of man in a network so total that they join together, before he comes into the world, those who are going to engender him…" (Language, 42). And, "Man speaks therefore, but it is because the symbol has made him man" (39). The Symbolic Order functions as the way in which the subject is organized and, to a certain extent, how the psyche becomes accessible. It is associated with language, with words, with writing and can be aligned with Peirce’s "symbol" and Saussure’s "signifier." (see symbol-icon-index)
So if we can make machines or beings OUT OF OUR KNOWLEDGE BASE (and esp if, as Foucault says, all our knowledge is inextricably wrapped up in the histories of our various social systems of hierarchies, performances, competing, and controls) and then make a claim that somehow they can "know us better than we know ourselves", then, what's that mean? That, to me, seems problematic....



ETA- btw, Derrida, I bet,with his concept that meaning is always incomplete and deferred, would have grabbed onto your assertion on the other thread - "build a 'something' that knows us better than we know ourselves" - for it's obvious, messianic implication, the promise of someone or something finally overcoming the 'blind brain' and arriving at some actual 'meaning'....& even if we can't understand that 'meaning' for ourselves!
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Magritte
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Re: Are Symbols "primary"?

Post by Magritte » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:12 pm

'Do you remember,' he went on, 'writing in your diary, "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four"?'

'Yes,' said Winston.

O'Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.

'How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?'

'Four.'

'And if the party says that it is not four but five -- then how many?'

'Four.'

The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over Winston's body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could not stop. O'Brien watched him, the four fingers still extended. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only slightly eased.

'How many fingers, Winston?'

'Four.'

The needle went up to sixty.

'How many fingers, Winston?'

'Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!'

The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at it. The heavy, stern face and the four fingers filled his vision. The fingers stood up before his eyes like pillars, enormous, blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably four.

'How many fingers, Winston?'

'Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!'

'How many fingers, Winston?'

'Five! Five! Five!'

'No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?'

'Four! five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!'

Abruptly he was sitting up with O'Brien's arm round his shoulders. He had perhaps lost consciousness for a few seconds. The bonds that had held his body down were loosened. He felt very cold, he was shaking uncontrollably, his teeth were chattering, the tears were rolling down his cheeks. For a moment he clung to O'Brien like a baby, curiously comforted by the heavy arm round his shoulders. He had the feeling that O'Brien was his protector, that the pain was something that came from outside, from some other source, and that it was O'Brien who would save him from it.

'You are a slow learner, Winston,' said O'Brien gently.

'How can I help it?' he blubbered. 'How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.'

'Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.'
One of the hallmarks of freedom is that when you recognize someone is being intellectually dishonest or arguing with you in bad faith, you have the option to walk away without being punished, imprisoned or tortured.

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met
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Re: Are Symbols "primary"?

Post by met » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:58 pm

Yeah, it's good writing - memorable in fact - and a highly "symbolic" scene!

But ... is it real? ;)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01303.html

So, perhaps, that chilling conclusion ..."'He loved Big Brother" .... seems a bit far off, still, at least with existing techniques.

(Actually, I'm not sure what your point is here, other than to make me recall with something less than fondness my own childhood years, the wonderful times I had back in elementary school....)
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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met
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Re: Are Symbols "primary"?

Post by met » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:19 pm

From Peter Rollins, "Insurrection"' Ch 1.... ;)

. At the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland, a major piece of
funding was secured from the European Union in order to help train
the police force (the RUC). As a result, some of the RUC’s top officers were sent over to America to work alongside the FBI and the CIA
in a series of team-building exercises.
When they arrived, the officers met with their counterparts and
were then driven to a large forest for some team-building exercises.

Each group was given instructions to go into the forest and retrieve a rabbit.

The FBI went first. Ten men, fully armed, threw canisters of tear
gas into the forest before storming through the trees. After about
ten minutes of intense shouting, the sound of a single gunshot rang
through the air. Moments later the FBI returned with a small rabbit, a
bullet hole through the center of its head.


Next the CIA had their opportunity to prove themselves.
In contrast to the FBI, they disappeared into the forest without a sound.

Thirty minutes passed without any sound. Eventually the faint echo
of a single twig snapping broke the silence. Shortly afterwards the
CIA emerged from the undergrowth with a lifeless rabbit, not a mark
on its body.

Finally it was the RUC’s turn. The men put on their flak jackets,
loaded their weapons, and charged into the forest with batons raised.
Eventually they emerged from amidst the trees dragging behind them
a huge bear. The instructor shook his head in disbelief and said,
“Firstly, you were in there for three weeks; and secondly, that’s not a
rabbit, that’s a bear.”

But the largest RUC man simply smiled at the instructor, then
turned to the bear and looked deep into its eyes. Immediately the
bear began to tremble, looked at the instructor, and shouted, “I’m a
rabbit! I’m a rabbit!”
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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sgttomas
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Re: Are Symbols "primary"?

Post by sgttomas » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:47 pm

met wrote:
The Symbolic: in contrast to the imaginary, the symbolic involves the formation of signifiers and language and is considered to be the "determining order of the subject" (Miller, 279). Seeing the entire system of the unconscious/conscious as manifesting in an endless web of signifiers/ieds and associations, Lacan claims that, "Symbols in fact envelop the life of man in a network so total that they join together, before he comes into the world, those who are going to engender him…" (Language, 42). And, "Man speaks therefore, but it is because the symbol has made him man" (39). The Symbolic Order functions as the way in which the subject is organized and, to a certain extent, how the psyche becomes accessible. It is associated with language, with words, with writing and can be aligned with Peirce’s "symbol" and Saussure’s "signifier." (see symbol-icon-index)
Possibly related: my oldest daughter (now 5.... :!: ) was apparently deep in thought and I asked about it. She said, "I'm trying to remember when I was born".

It's hard to talk in specifics with a 5 year old, but I gathered that maybe she used to remember her birth and now she just remembers that there was once a memory. I thought, maybe this is because her thinking is considerably more sophisticated and her sense of self and other has evolved at a break-neck pace since she started kindergarden in Sep (it's CRAZY to watch it as a parent....they grow up so quick!!! cliche! ALSO TRUE!). Since none of us remembers our birth, I wondered if this was when it is happening for her. ...so I explained to her that grown ups don't remember their birth and that's a normal thing. And she just nodded and that was that.

-sgtt.
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

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met
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Re: Are Symbols "primary"?

Post by met » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:55 am

st, yep,

.... I think your story is apt here in a few different ways!
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

Jim B.
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Re: Are Symbols "primary"?

Post by Jim B. » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:14 pm

met wrote:Easy....
The world is made up of cups and tables and trees and relationships, &etc- but wait, please note! - all these things are not objects, as (it appears that) you so lazily assume, but categories of objects.
What the objects really are in themselves, as Kant, Heidegger, et al assert, 'is withdrawn from us', & we only know them as appearances, relationally, i.e. correlationally - 'in terms of the way we think about them.'
I'm joining this discussion late. It sounds like this is related to the problem of universals. The categories by which we experience things could also be symbolic of something *real*, if some form of realism is true. But I guess your position is based on non-realism of some kind (?)

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