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Husband cut off wife's ears and nose on Eid day Husband cut off wife's ears and nose on Eid day
by Abdulhadi Hairan
2007-12-30 10:07:19
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A man named Mumtaz in southern Zabul province of Afghanistan first shaved wife, Nazia’s head and then cut off her ears, and nose and damaged her teeth on the first day of Eid ul Adha, an Islamic ritual of sacrifice.

Hospital sources in Qalat, center of Zabul, told this scribe by phone that Nazia, 17, was admitted on Wednesday (First day of Eid) evening and now she was in a critical condition due to the severe beating she has borne.

Provincial Police Chief of Zabul, Gen. Mohammad Yaqub Khan, when contacted, confirmed this brutal incident and confessed that the police were still unable to arrest the man.

‘The police are searching for him, he has disappeared’ Khan added.

Moreover, he told that a brother of the culprit was police officer who is currently under investigation.

According to a resident of the area, the husband and wife were recently moved to Zabul from eastern Paktiya province for unknown reasons.

The abused woman Nazia, lying on her hospital bed and uncertain about her future, told that her husband, twice her age, had suspicions about her behavior. She added 'I swore to him many times that I was faithful to him but he did not believed. He used to beat me. A few days before Eid, he shaved my head and beat me severely. On the first day of the Eid, he cut my ears, then my nose, then damaged my teeth and beat me until my hands and legs were broken.'

'I was second wife of Mumtaz. The first wife was already killed by him' she added with a flow of tears from her eyes.

A report of BBCPashto adds that many women in Zabul province has protested on Saturday against this brutal act and demanded immediate arrest of the beast. 'We condemn this and we declare it the worst violation against the women' said a protester.

Fauzia Younasi, the provincial director of the women department has visited the hospital and shown her concerns over the matter. She ordered the doctors to do their best to save her life. 'She has suffered so much, she is beaten severly, her ears and nose is cut off, her teeth are totally damaged so she cant speak' she told media.

Residents of the area told that Nazia was married to this man one year ago.

The war-torn country is being to lead on a slow pace to democracy and political stability but violations against human rights, especially in the southern and eastern provinces, are still common. ‘Legal reforms designed to protect women are not implemented and women continued to be detained for breaching social mores. There was a rise in cases of “honour” killings of women and self-immolation by women’ says Amnesty International 2007 Report on Afghanistan.

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Emanuel Paparella2007-12-30 13:29:31
The disturbing act exposed by a brave journalist ought to be abhorrent to any ethical person in the world, be she/he a believer or non believer. It is the misguided action of a religious fanatic, a violation of universal human rights, to be universally condemned no matter who perpetrates it or where it occurs. But there is much more than meets the eyes here and it is in that intriguing juxtaposition of the picture of the victim on the cover of today’s Ovi magazine with that of a particular background biblical scene: Abraham getting ready to sacrifice his son Isaac. The nexus is obvious: Abraham, who is the father of faith for the three Abramitic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) whom Paul calls the paradigm of faith in Hebrew 11, was in reality a would be murderer like the husband of the victim. And so indeed he was, if one applies universal standards of ethics to his action. Therefore, the logically implied syllogism concludes that the way to most expeditious and simple method to eliminate religious fanaticism is to eliminate religion altogether. Only then, freed from religion can man, under the rule of “enlightened” reason, build an orderly reasonable society where everybody is happy and satisfied, a sort of heaven on earth as dreamed by Lucretius, Epicurus and Karl Marx. Then we can all sing along with John Lennon and “imagine” a just world without heaven and without religion. Imagine that: by removing faith one also eliminates fanaticism also. We get two pigeons with one stone. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2007-12-30 13:31:28
It is all neatly logical and rational. But what is conveniently overlooked is that by eliminating faith one not only deifies the assumed “politically correct” socio-political order of the day, (especially in Europe) but also figures such as Martin Luther King who moved a powerful religious critique to the established order; an order that he considered misguided in as much as it removes any transcendent meaning, depth and value from the lives of individual humans. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2007-12-30 13:32:35
In 1843, one of the greatest philosophers of Europe, the Danish Soren Kierkegaard, wrote a famous tract titled “Fear and Trembling.” He was only thirty years old at the time. He called it a “dialectical lyric” and that it is. It is a poetical response to the biblical story of Abraham’s sacrifice. It has become the most widely read book of Kierkegaard. He himself said that he rested his reputation as a philosopher on that book. It is regularly assigned in college philosophy courses.

The content of Fear and Trembling is none other than the significance of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac whom he calls “the knight of faith,” or “knight of infinite resignation,” and compares to “a tragic hero.” It must be kept in mind that Kierkegaard saw himself as the Danish Socrates of sort. Like Aeschylus’ “Antigone” this book poses sharply defined philosophical questions on the nexus between a life of religious faith and the ethical life; between personal virtue and integrity and social and political duties.

Kierkegaard proceeds in “fear and trembling” and with caution in his narrative and asks himself if this is not a dangerous narrative. He would be even more cautious in today’s world, one where religious fundamentalism tries to justify violence against innocent people by appealing to alleged commands from God. Kierkegaard asks: “Can one speak candidly about Abraham without running the risk that an individual in mental confusion might go and do likewise? (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2007-12-30 13:33:45
So there is this caveat, but the book also brilliantly shows that to lose the possibility of genuine faith is to lose something of incalculable value.

What follows is not meant as a commentary to the book which would take an article in its own right but simply to perhaps motivate some reader to go and read “Fear and Trembling.” Here I’ll just suggest some highlights to give a taste. In the book Kierkegaard suggests that at first sight Cain and Abraham appear the same, but the difference lies in the sacrifice they were offering: Cain offered what he did not want. Abraham offers what he loved most dearly. In other words, one cannot sacrifice what one hates, only what one loves. It is Abraham’s great love for Isaac (a son he had to wait 70 years to obtain) which by its paradoxical opposition to his love for God which renders his act a sacrifice. As Kirkegaard explains it, the distress of the paradox is that humanly speaking he is unable to make himself intelligible, for on a universal ethical level (we would say a Hegelian level today) is a mere murderer. This for Kierkegaard is the paradox of faith. The tragic hero resign himself in order to express the universal; the knight of Faith resigns the universal in order to become the “single individual.” To be stressed here that for Kierkegaard single individual does not mean vagabonds and vagrant geniuses with no community or country. That is not the knight of Faith. The knight of Faith knows that it glorious to belong to the universal but the paradox lies in the readiness to sacrifice even that. Kierkegaard points out that whomever does not understand this paradox is no knight of Faith. There is much more in Fear and Trembling and it is fascinating and numinous, but go find out for yourself why many continue to be fascinated by Kierkegaard’s narrative of Abraham’s sacrifice.

Sand2007-12-30 19:57:17
It is a sorry sight to see an apologist for brutality twist on the red hot grill of reality.

Alexandra Pereira2007-12-30 22:12:43
What a brutal, shameful act, and done to a girl of 17! Afghanistan authorities should better pay this girl for plastic reconstruction surgeries, at least. International authorities and organizations should intervene!! What are you doing, fighting about oil possessions instead, you morons??!! Wake up for this urgent calls, western and eastern governments!!

Jack2007-12-31 04:40:06
Wow. This is simply shocking. There certainly can be no justification for such an act. This is another example of violence and explotation of women around the world. Thank you for exposing such atrocities as to hopefully bring pressure from people and nations on to Afghanistan and insist on treating this and such acts as punishable crimes.

Emanuel Paparella2007-12-31 16:21:07
Kierkegaard too consigned to the hot virtual bonfire? A sorry signt indeed.

Sand2007-12-31 19:22:35
Along with your flaunting incessantly your incapability to spell there is your immense talent for associating your pitiful self with any prominent historical figure in such a vague way that no one can either confirm, deny or even comprehend your point, Paparella. Merely an ineffective attempt to throw up a confusing cloud like a verbal cuttlefish and scuttle away under a convenient rock.

Emanuel Paparella2007-12-31 22:17:34

"The point I wanted to make was that the one possession we each have which is hard defined and absolutely limited is time. How you spend it is the ultimate consideration we each much make." (Sand)

In the above there is a mispelling and there is also bad syntax. So the question is this: how wise is it for those who live in glass houses to be throwing stones at those walking by? Are we dealing with a red herring?

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 00:25:16

P.S. By the way, there is no such thing as "incapability," that too is a typo or a mispelling; as a noun the correct word is either "incapacity" or inability, albeit there is in the English language (at least that used in public and not with the voices in one's head) the adjective and the adverb "incapable."

Sand2008-01-01 04:35:13
It took you two posts and an overnight search to catch a spelling mistake which you no doubt feel gives you license to spew further gibberish and provide no further clarity over your murky content. You must be leaping with joy to delight that now all your spelling errors are fully justified. It doesn't do damned thing for your stupid misdirections.

Sand2008-01-01 07:23:42
The hard point is that no matter what convoluted idiotic justifications you thrust out tied to whatever prominent name you cannot make acceptable this obvious stupid brutality in the name of religious delusion.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 10:58:10
I thought you were interested in catching mispellings and bad syntax, or are you just interested in catching those of others?

By the way, "it doesn't do damned thing for your stupid misdirection" is also bad syntax. It should read "it doesn't do a darn thing for your stupid misdirection." So the question remains (and it applies to content as well as form): should those who live in glass houses....

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 11:02:24
As for the egregious accusation that I am an apologist for brutality, did the voices in your head urge you to put it out there? Don't listen to them; they are liars. This is what I wrote:

"The disturbing act exposed by a brave journalist ought to be abhorrent to any ethical person in the world, be she/he a believer or non believer. It is the misguided action of a religious fanatic, a violation of universal human rights, to be universally condemned no matter who perpetrates it or where it occurs."

Show it to the voices next time they come to visit and cofront them with their intellectual dishonesty.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 11:07:15
The problem may well be that you don't have the foggiest who Kierkegaard is, neither are you open minded enough to go and read what he wrote on Abraham in Fear and Trembling, never mind the stupid misdirections of Dr. Paparella. One must conclude that you prefer to dwell in the dark cave of your misguided and dishonest caricatures.

Sand2008-01-01 11:18:33
To darn is to repair a hole in a sock. If you are afraid of a thunderbolt from your mythical superbeing you will, of course fear blasphemy and adjust your speech accordingly. Since I am not superstitious and "damn" is such a well accepted word it fits the sentence and the sense quite well. When I am in search of an editor I will choose someone competent.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 11:50:04
True to form a rationalist will stay in his box come hell or high water. Since you insist on proper spelling and grammar and syntax, let us continue with grammar lesson; unfortunately you missed the point the first time around or, more likely, you are avoiding the point and attempting to mudde the waters to then scuttle away under some rock... Pay attention this time around: the sentence "it doesn't do damned thing for your stupid misdirection" is gramatically incorrect; it should read: "it doesn't do a damned thing for your stupid misdirection." Aside from distracting arguments on hell and heaven, even you, with or without an editor's help, make typos. So one is bound to wonder why the animus and the eagerness to correct those of people who disagree with you and then the reluctance to accept correction for one's own. That leads to content and intention: is there an agenda at work which has precious little to do with interest in proper grammar, never mind the search for the whole truth?

Sand2008-01-01 13:50:07
I really don't need your snide condescending academic bullshit. You have amply demonstrated your obvious lacks in simple common sense and have no opinion that is not clipped from some ancient obsolete and frequently ignorant source and when directly questioned on the sense of the matter at hand you resort to clumsy insult or some sort of verbal avoidance of the issue. But you are such an obvious stuffed shirt that it is fun to poke at you from time to time when no other form of entertainment presents itself. New Years Day is a rather dull time.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 14:07:40
A reply true to form, as I thought. Intriguing that despising of the academic and intellectual. After all, nobody has ever seen a mind walking about. O tempora, o mores.

Sand2008-01-01 14:27:53
There is no doubt you are an academic but that you claim to be an intellectual is one of the most humorous egotistical concoctions I have ever encountered. It implies intelligence. Very funny.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 14:44:16
Don't laugh too hard, or, like Sanmson, you may bring the house down and find yourself "deactivated" together with your fellow "intellectual" philistines and their false premises.

Sand2008-01-01 15:33:08
I looked up http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Sanmson-family-history.ashx?fn=&yr=0

Nothing there about bringing down houses.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 15:36:57
And yet one of them was in house demolition and some Philistines called him a terrorist of sort. Don't get discouraged. Keep searching and you shall be rewarded with a chocolate ice cream cone and a high five!

Sand2008-01-01 15:59:45
Right on schedule another lie.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 17:51:36
Is that what the voices in your head told you? Don't believe them. They are liars. Parables and myths are not lies. They contain more truth than historically documented facts or the factoids of an historical novel or pseudo documentary. Tell the voices to consult the most widely read book in the world. That ought to shut them up.

Sand2008-01-01 18:13:19
Is that what the noises in your stomach tell you? Obviously there are no voices in your head as the quiescent neurones up there have retired years ago.
The site I gave you has no references to housing collapses. I made no references to myth so your stomach is deceiving you.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 18:25:37
I seeeeeeeeeeeee, if it does not exist in one's book or site, it does not exist at all, and if in fact it exists in the most widely read book in the world, then consign that book to a bonfire, or perhaps more consonant with your poetics of defecation eat the book and dispose of it wia the stomach. Those voices are deceiving you; they are philistine voices, and that is why Samson had to bring the house down.

Sand2008-01-01 18:36:55
Samson? Why change the subject in the middle of the discussion? You brought up the Sanmsons and I merely took you at your word and gave you a proper reference site. Are you pulling another fast one?

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 20:15:10
Even Forrest Gump would recognize the disengenuous game you are playing that somehow you wish to pass as cleverness and perhaps even worthy of a high five from some sycophant or other. Or could it be that you are really stupid? Logically I see no other option. As I have already pointed out, you too, not being a god make typos but you like to point out only those of others, or better those who don't agree with your misguided assumptions. Indeed sophists and cultural philisotine are never interested in issues, only in winning an argument and having the last word. Eventually they acquire the reputation, in and out of academia, of charlatana peddling clever by half arguments. Or have the voices persuaded you that you are a god? Don't believe them. They are up to no good.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 20:18:41
The two typos above are "philistines" and "charlatans." That way you don't have to play the disengenuous intellectual bully one more time.

Sand2008-01-01 20:32:29
Poor Paparella! So afflicted with god nonsense that he sees them popping out of mouse holes and hiding under his bed. When I take you at your word you accuse me of fiddling with that poor inept vestigial lump of nerves in your head. You must drive your students insane with your malapropisms and naive view of fairytales and mythic superbeings and if they're not giggling behind their hands over this odd old nut they must wonder what mental contortions they must perform to escape with a passing grade. If you cannot write clearly without outrageous typos you have to accept the consequences. You compliment me as being terribly clever but you are merely acknowledging my rather standard mind with whatever blunt instrument you use to fudge up some sort of contribution.

Sand2008-01-01 20:36:30
Thinking like Forrest Gump, of course, lays well within your mental compass but those other guys you keep misquoting must give you a bit of a trial. Nevertheless I suppose I should commend you for trying.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 23:07:25
The voices told you that they were in my classroom and that I complimented you for your terrible cleverness? They have fooled you again. They are sychopants. Read again what I actually wrote about your rationalistic contortions. Admittedly it is not complimentary but it is the truth. Show it to the voices when they come to visit again.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-01 23:10:50
The typo above is "sycophant,' that will save the effort of mounting your horse for another quixotic fulminating charge at windmills.

Sand2008-01-01 23:29:23
Oh! What a shame. Hidden under all that philosophical manure is a highly amusing subconscious. I could never have thought up psychopants (although you slightly misspelled that too). Psychopants are obviously crazy trousers that carry you into the land of Serendipity. A great idea! If only I could free your wild subconscious from all that religious nonsense!

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-02 02:22:09
Amusing indeed! Those voices in your head must have a special private dictionary by which they speak to you. I suppose they couldn't resist advising you to once again pick one of your axes, mount your horse for a charge, despite the fact that the typo had already been corrected...And predictably you fell for it again. That poor horse needs a rest. Look how far you have taken him from the original issue. People may begin to suspect something.

Sand2008-01-02 07:12:36
I didn't "fall for" your funny typo, Paparella, I appreciated it - something you are unfortunately loathe to acclaim. You are so embedded in theological concrete you cannot see the wonder of random unexpected creativity, even if it is your own. What a shame!

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-02 12:55:10
Pity indeed. When you can get away from your narcisistic contortions for a few minutes pick up a telescope and look at the wonder of the universe and then ask yourself a simple theological question: why is there something rather than nothing? and what, if any, is the universe's purpose and meaning; did it really create itself with no prime cause? Who knows, one of these days the voices will go away and you may be able to jump out of the confining cave of rationalism, nihilism. and reductionism! Yes, there is a sun out there and it did not create itself either. The sun is no narcisist.

Sand2008-01-02 14:44:48
As usual you never miss an opportunity to exhibit your obvious idiocy. The structure and development of the universe admittedly had some input from theology which consistently had nothing to do with reality, the conflict with Galileo being typical.

I recently listened to a forum of current philosophers and someone brought up the something or nothing question which evoked general chuckles as being one of the sillier questions brought up by people claiming to know something about philosophy.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-02 15:07:11
True to form, what took Heidegger a whole book to reflect upon is dispatched with a few lines and chuckles. Being and Time to the bonfire you go...Food for the starving mind and soul.

Sand2008-01-02 15:43:43
Since Heidegger dismissed Plato as being out of whack and you seem to be so addicted to Plato you must be in something of a quandary.

Sand2008-01-02 15:53:05
According to accredited references on Heidegger many philosophers regard Heidegger's work as bombastic nonsense. And since he was a member of the Nazi party it again arouses questions as to your own relationship to that area of politics.

Sand2008-01-02 16:47:06
Your comment implying that the Sun did not create itself is a clear revelation of your naive mindset which totally mispercieves the continuity of process through time and space. Would you question as to whether a passing cloud created itself or do you think some huge creator somewhere outside your vision is pounding moisture into clouds? No wonder you are addicted to fairy tales and silly myths. How could someone with such a naive conception of reality have passed through the educational system and be so insulated against the way the universe functions?

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-02 18:43:35
So much for Being and Time. Issue dispatched! Which book is next for the big bonfire?

As regards what the voices in your head have been suggesting about my Nazi association, given that you were of age to enroll and participate in the Nazi party at the time, while I was only three years old when the war ended, logically they must be slightly confused. You may wish to remind them of those facts. I told you not to trust them. They are up to no good.

Sand2008-01-02 19:28:46
OK. I'll have to concede that your Nazi sympathies evidently arose later than I assumed. Something out of your Vatican sympathies.

But what bugs me is that pseudo philosophical question that you seem to feel is so devastating. "Why isn't there nothing rather than something?" I am very curious as to what kind of answer you might expect. It seems to me to be a mere syntactical exercise stringing words in the form of a question but it has no possible answer. Perhaps, you might be able to supply some possible answers other than that some theoretical being made up its mind to have something which is, of course, not an answer since it then requires the impossible psychological analysis of an imaginary being.

Sand2008-01-02 20:00:24
This strange hysterical reaction you have for my refusal to accept the theories of one of your philosophical pets assuming I really intend to add to global warming by burning books is a real indication of your mental imbalance. It is similar to your charge that I somehow have the power to censor you. Where did I ever indicate that?

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-02 21:30:52
Is that what the voices said I charged you with? You need to stop listening to them or you may even believe it yourself and end up proclaiming yourself Grand Inquisitor in charge of political correctness at Ovi. As for Being and Time, do read it before consigning it to the bonfire and you may find the answer to the question that makes you chuckle so much. But don't laugh too hard or you'll bring the whole house of cards down.

Sand2008-01-02 22:19:33
Not me that chuckled. A crew of philosophers. You keep asking the question. I am not about to waste time investigating it unless you can indicate it is a question. I don't see that it is so far. Convince me.
I don't like wild goose chases.

Sand2008-01-02 23:37:28
This excerpt from a web discussion of the matter quite nicely answer the question you evidently cannot.

Heidegger gives no intelligible answer to ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’. In many turgid passages of Being and Time, Heidegger appears to be sinking deeper with each step "forward". Logicians try to haul Heidegger out of the quicksand. They distinguish the quantifier ‘no’ from the logical operation of negation. The logicians prise apart senses of ‘is’ and clear up confusions about identity. They carefully compare and contrast ‘exist’ and ordinary predicates. Gradually looking more like philosophers, they pass to more elusive characters such as non-being, negative facts, and so on.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 00:11:54
"This... answers the question you evidently cannot"

"Convince me"

Those two statements are contradictory and would fail Logic 101. How can one convince somebody who is convinced that he has all the answers (seen from an assumed position of superiority)while the other "evidently" does not? It is quite impossible even on a mere logical level. So one ends up suspecting that we are not dealing here with the search for truth but for the search for power; to convince oneself, if nobody else, that one is right and win the childish game of upmanship. It would have been a bit different had you sent me the position of somebody who does not agree with you and than, keeping your mind open at least for a while, ask for a clarification. What one gets instead are positions that support one's own. The other side of the coin is never contemplated. One is in effect merely looking for another opportunity to put down somebody perceived as a threat to one's neatly boxed assumptions. Socrates called those rationalists sophists. Unfortunately those two realms of truth and power seem to be quite confused in the mind (oops, the computer of meat) of many a modern rationalist. I am afraid that the confusion will persist till they arrive at a more holistic conception of what reason is.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 00:17:20
Here are two different positions on the Heidegerrian question why is there something rather than nothing which goes back to the Socratic wonder that is philosophy. They probably don't agree with your misguided assumptions and therefore they are likely to be shot down with another position agreeing with one's own. If clarifications are needed you'll have to ask them for those are not my positions but I remain willing to consider other positions as any truly educated man ought to. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 00:21:05
In The Mystery of Existence(which I highly recommend) Milton K. Munitz argues that, unlike "Why is
there something rather than nothing?," the question "Why does the observed world exist?" is
well-framed, but unanswerable. (A genuine mystery, according to Munitz, is a question that can be
neither dismissed nor answered.) He rejects the theistic answer, i.e., the observed world exists
because God created it, but that rejection does not affect what we have said above. The mystery of
existence is neutral with respect to theism. Whether or not God exists, there is nothing outside the
totality of existing things (including or excluding a God) and therefore nothing that can yield an
explanation for its existence. That is, whether the totality equals "just the observed world" or "God
plus the observed world," there is — there canbe — nothing outside that totality which explains it.
Even when, according to theism, God was all that existed, there was no explanation for that fact, for
there were no other facts than his existence to which possible explanatory appeal could be made.

As Paul Edwards put it in his (also highly recommended) essay, "Why?," in The Encyclopedia of
Philosophy,". . . the word 'why' loses its meaning when it becomes logically impossible to go beyond
what one is trying to explain. This is a matter on which there need not be any disagreement between
atheists and theists or between rationalists and empiricists."
--Tony Flood

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 00:23:12
Heidegger's particular way (denkweg) of asking becomes hymnal (dankweg) as it returns to the
primal wonder of the beings for whom Being is an issue, to Being itself: that there is. We see in his
later lectures his thinking become thanking or thanksgiving. He has come under the sway of language
itself, he would say, as revealed in acts of language ie. the poems of Holderlin, Trakl and Rilke (we
shouldn't underestimate the influence of the latter because Heidegger is less than complimentary to
him). The 'philosophy' of Rilke is crucial to Heidegger I would argue, his Holderlin is Rilkean. But the
result, in any case, is that Heidegger has become wondrous before Being. Wonderful for him, but
perhaps for us, somewhat Germanly romantic.

As for my response, I must hide it behind the wonder of Levinas — but his response is worth hearing.
He says in his winter 1975 lecture course at the Sorbonne that Heidegger follows the Aristotelian
interpretation of wonder as the recognition of ignorance by itself "thereby making knowledge (savoir)
proceed from the love of knowledge (savoir). In so doing he denies to knowledge any origin in the
practical difficulties of life, in the difficulties of people who do not manage to communicate with one
another. The origin of knowledge is not in need but in knowledge itself." Hence Heidegger's originary
question: why are there things that are rather than nothing? But for Levinas this question is
predetermined by the Aristotelian interpretation of wonder, which Heidegger's originary question
makes unquestionable.

Matthew Del Nevo

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 02:36:24
To the general interested reader: My own position lies in between two extreme poles: on one hand an a priori support for “there is nothing” (based on the assumption that whomever asserts the existence of something has the burden of proof) and on the other hand Descartes' extreme position which has philosophers clear the slate, so to speak, assert an empty world and then cautiously admit only those entities that show their credentials (judged by reason but a reason that is clever by half and does not admit that the intuitive and the imaginative are integral part of reason).

There is a more harmonious, balanced and nuanced position and it is that of two humanists and philosophers of history: St. Augustine and Vico. They argue that history can be shown to have a telos (a purpose), that to discern that purpose one needs to imaginatively return to origins—the beginning—and project a future—the end, but they also assert that it is the consciousness of the observer that does this and he/she is neither at the beginning nor at the end, but in the middle of history, albeit within it. If one makes the mistake of starting from nothing with Descartes one will lack the needed bearings to navigate forward and arrive at a verdict about the existence of controversial things. That verdict can only be reached by an unbiased assessment of how well those controversial entities harmonize with the existence of better established things. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 02:39:09
Hence the importance of history with its particularities in complement with the mytho-poetic and its universalities. I have just submitted a contribution wherein the importance of the mytho-poetic for a holistic view of reason is further explored. So, stay tuned if genuinely interested.

Sand2008-01-03 06:41:59
It seem I struck nerve by not swallowing your totally meaningless question. I gave you an opportunity to at least vaguely indicate there was meaning to your question and as usual you replied with a ton of meaningless bullshit again.

The question "Why is there something instead of nothing?" is of the same class as "What is north of the North Pole?" or "Which way is up when you are in a gravity free environment?"
They are questions which seem to have meaning because they depend upon a linguistic architecture which can present real questions but they are based on language which has no reference to reality. They are only linguistic traps and are not real questions about the real universe but mere linguistic illusions not worth serious consideration.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 08:26:07
And so with five lines on the ambiguity of language (which has a literature of three thousand years)ornated with a gem from the poetics of defecation, voilà we have dispatched the issue. It would have been a bit more impressive had you given a scientilla of evidence that you had understood (not necessarily agree with)other postitions than yours and those who agree with you. The reason schools eventually went out of business in the dark ages is that there were too many people who agreed only with themselves. They were not interested in truth, only in power. Enter Machiavelli and Nitzsche.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 09:01:33
P.S. Indeed the problem with most rabid rationalists is that their skepticism, cynicism and misguided satire has rendered them incapable of the wonder which is the beginning of philosophy. As Matthew Del Nevo well puts it when he refers to Levinas' response on the issue, that is what modern man in search of a soul has lost and tragically does not even know he has lost it. Kierkegaard called that condition the sickness unto death. Indeed.

Sand2008-01-03 09:49:10
I would assume that anyone concerned with philosophy would, at minimum, have learned to spell Nietzsche, undoubtedly a pisser of name but rather elementary for someone in the field.

I am not about to concern myself with nonsense questions such as how many angels could dance on a pin or the nature of the non-existent human soul or spatial ether or phlogiston which doubtlessly concerned reasonable minds throughout history but have no relevance whatsoever today. Paparella continuously flounders in this morass of nonsense because he is far more concerned with revering obsolete authorities than understanding current discoveries which depend on the new tools now available to genuinely inquiring minds. I understand that, making his career on these tired old useless pieces of intellectual junk, he is loathe to discard them for new adventures in inquiry since he has grown fond of them, they are his emotional pets, but I have other interests.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-03 12:30:17
And so Kierkegaard and Nietzsche too are consgned to the bonfire since "history is bunk" and what whe are interested in are "the new tools for genuinely inquiring minds." The silver lining here is that the mind is assumed as something that transcends a computer of meat called the brain. But the Emperor remains naked, I am afraid, even if he goes around correcting typos.

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