Reply To: Conspiracy theory spread

  • Whit Blauvelt

    March 28, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    Don, Lucy,

    I working through his “God” chapter now. As a side note, McGilchrist lists “tao” as a Chinese equivalent to “God.” The closest correspondence to “God” in Taoism is “Tian” (heaven). “Tao” means “way(s),” can be singular or plural. As Chuang Tzu wrote of the “hinge of the ways,” in Taoism the plural generally might be the best reading (in contrast to the Christian claim of Jesus as The Way).

    Personally, I favor Shaftesbury’s stance in his earliest work (published anonymously in Amsterdam) where he argues that to hold a flawed image of God is worse than to hold no image at all. I’m glad to see McGilchrist take a stance on virtue and the moral sense which owes much to Hutcheson. Hutcheson drew from Shaftesbury while staying more of a Christian perspective. Hutcheson was foundational to the Scottish Enlightenment. McGilchrist does in passing cast aspersions on the Enlightenment as being too LH. Hutcheson though, grounded his logic in aesthetics — and saw beauty as essential to reality. He may fairly be seen as exemplifying putting the LH into the service of the RH.

    As for personifying the holy, we might discuss whether there are advantages to the plural “gods” rather than “god,” as there may be advantages to the Taoist “ways” rather than “way.” Perhaps counting the holy is too LH either way? The old Taoists should agree that Tian is “at hand” — although without insisting we “repent” on account of this.