Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 7th, 2021

I have to agree with Baruch Spinoza

with one comment

The brief video summary gives the reasons I agree, and I further would say that the only appropriate prayers are those of praise or gratitude. Asking God to make your football team win is (IMO) so misguided that one doesn’t know where to begin — it’s on a part with asking God to make Lima the capital of Boliva because that’s the answer you gave on the mid-term. Petitions to God are, in my view, never appropriate — at least for those who believe that God is all-loving, all-wise, and all-powerful. The only petitionary prayer that makes sense is, “Thy will be done. Amen”

So far as Spinoza’s omissions, I don’t see them as significant. So far as rituals are concerned, one can celebrate any number of things — obvious examples are the winter solstice, when the celebration is the turn toward longer days; the vernal equinox, when daylight lasts longer than night; the summer solstice, the peak of the sun and the beginning of the sumer; and the autumnal equinox, when harvest celebrations might begin. And of course one has rituals to recognize births, marriages, deaths, and anniversaries (such as birthdays or Bastille Day or the like). In fact, the equinoxes and solstices are often co-opted by religions, which time religious rituals to (roughly) coincide with those natural demarcations.

And belonging to a group does not require religion — one’s family is a start, and there are groups based on shared enthusiasms (sports fans, game players, literary discussion groups, bowling leagues), shared experiences (classmates, veterans organizations), shared location (neighborhood groups, civic organizations), shared outlooks (political parties and organizations, environmental groups).

At any rate, I was struck by Spinoza’s view of the world in which we find ourselves.

The video is from an Open Culture post by Josh Jones, which begins:

The so-called Enlightenment period encompasses a surprisingly diverse collection of thinkers, if not always in ethnic or national origin, at least in intellectual disposition, including perhaps the age’s most influential philosopher, the “philosopher’s philosopher,” writes Assad MeymandiBaruch Spinoza did not fit the image of the bewigged philosopher-gentleman of means we tend to popularly associate with Enlightenment thought.

He was born to a family of Sephardic Portuguese Marranos, Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism but who reclaimed their Judaism when they relocated to Calvinist Amsterdam. Spinoza himself was “excommunicated by Amsterdam Jewry in 1656,” writes Harold Bloom in a review of Rebecca Goldstein’s Betraying Spinoza: “The not deeply chagrined 23-year-old Spinoza did not become a Calvinist, and instead consorted with more liberal Christians, particularly Mennonites.” . . .

Continue reading. There’s more, including links.

Written by Leisureguy

7 January 2021 at 11:43 am

Propaganda Vol 3 and the aftershave, with Phoenix Ascension

with 2 comments

I like the fragrance of Dr. Jon’s Propaganda a lot, so I gave in to the temptation to buy the soap in the latest formulation, Vol 3. Oddly, the lather was not quite so good as previously, so I suspect that this might be a soap that works best with a synthetic brush. I’ll give that a try. It could also just be normal variation in user performance, of course.

Still, I got an excellent result, with a little work — time to change the blade in the Ascension. I am working through a pack of Swedish Gillettes, so that’s what I’ll use.

The aftershave is quite nice, except for the menthol. Sometimes I like menthol, but this morning it was not all that pleasing. I could truly do without the menthol, but it seems to be used in all his aftershaves. Be warned.

Written by Leisureguy

7 January 2021 at 7:30 am

Posted in Shaving

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