Peter S Trying to Talk

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:10 pm
Subject: Peter S trying to talk

At the WC list, Peter Staudenmaier is ruminating about the ordeal trying to talk with anthroposophists, especially as evidenced through the recent dialogue between Diana and myself and Daniel.

On the WC list in a thread entitled, "trying to talk with anthroposophists," Peter Staudenmaier writes:

I was particularly interested in the discussion of Steiner's deeply ambivalent attitude toward modern science, not just because the topic itself is compelling, but also because the way the discussion evolved offered a fascinating glimpse of the difficulties involved when non-anthroposophists try to talk with anthroposophists.

Why someone who considers spiritual science nutty and whacky finds the controversy at hand compelling seems to be a good question for psychiatrists. There is no ambivalence in Steiner's attitude toward natural science. He stands firmly on the ground of natural science what its methods and facts are concerned, but he disagrees with how scientific facts are interpreted by many people, including the researchers themselves. For this reason, when Steiner speaks of "modern science," he sometimes means not the methods and facts, but the personal opinions and interpretations held by some scientists - opinions and interpretations that contribute to the molding of public beliefs. These are the materialistic beliefs that Steiner also refers to as modern superstitions.

Staudenmaier continues:

In a post from January 18, Diana remarked in passing that "Steiner, of course, spoke against modern science frequently". This elicited a couple of posts from Tarjei Straume and Daniel Hindes about Steiner's skepticism toward materialistic thinking within modern science, pretty much standard anthro fare. But then something peculiar happened: each time Diana replied with a more nuanced and specific explanation of her original remark, Tarjei's and Daniel's responses got less nuanced and less specific. Although Diana never offered any generalized characterization of Steiner's views on science as such, on January 19 Tarjei imputed to her the claim that Steiner "opposed modern science" altogether.

Hold it a minute. After Diana wrote, "Steiner, of course, spoke against modern science frequently," I retorted: "Can you quote Steiner where he spoke against 'modern science', or are you getting it mixed up with his critique of materialistic _thinking_ in modern science?" I did not impute to Diana any claim that she had not made. And nobody who reads these posts will be left with the impression that I did so, with the possible exception of Staudenmaier's less critical congregation at the WC.

Staudenmaier:

Diana took the opportunity to clarify her position again on January 20, writing to Tarjei:

"If a person says two contradictory things, one doesn't negate the other, it's the contradiction that would need explanation. And the way I read many of your favorite Steiner-on-science quotes, he is not speaking as a supporter of modern science, but trying to give "spiritual science" legitimacy and respectability. It doesn't matter if someone *says* they support modern science when they continue proclaiming many things that directly contradict it, espouse a method that is plainly not scientific, or, when asked to show how or where science backs up spiritual claims, suddenly insist the scientific method is all wrong."

Instead of clarifying the dispute, however, this simply lead to further misunderstanding; in his next post, Daniel said "I would like to see the quotes that show Steiner to be against science." Thus within the space of a few days, the topic had shifted from 'Steiner frequently spoke against modern science' to 'Steiner was against science pure and simple'.

What is the difference between frequently speaking against science and being opposed to science? Nobody has said there is anything "pure and simple" about this; that's Staudenmaier's convenient little invention, his own cog in this wheel of semantic drivel. The topic is indeed complicated for those who consider spiritual science to be pure fantasy, but to say that Daniel and I challenged Diana about something she had not uttered is intellectually dishonest.

Staudenmaier:

To top it all off, Daniel went on to give Diana a little lecture on choosing one's words carefully, admonishing her that "Simply stating that "Steiner was against science" is a misrepresentation of Steiner's own position." But Diana did not state this; what she said was merely that Steiner often spoke against modern science, not that this was all he ever had to say on the topic, much less that his own expressed position could be summed up as simply "against science" overall.

This is bullshit, and Peter S knows it. He is quite an accomplished artist when it comes to *subtle* bullshit and semantic nonsense of this kind. Someone who frequently speaks against modern science is clearly an opponent of modern science, regardless of whether or not he mentions some of its redeeming qualities that he can support. Daniel asked Diana to quote some of Steiner's utterances against modern science, which she had claimed that Steiner made. Daniel asked her to show some cards to back up her claim. He did not impute to her anything she had not claimed.

Staudenmaier:

What Daniel and Tarjei managed to overlook, moreover, is that Diana's original claim is accurate. Steiner did indeed speak against modern science frequently, just as he frequently claimed the mantle of modern science for his own system.

When Diana claims that Steiner frequently spoke against modern science, it may be based upon a confusion or mixing of research and results (facts) on the one hand, and opinions, comclusions, and materialistic superstitions on the other hand. (See above.) When Peter S echoes the same claim, however, it is often a deliberate attempt to distort things in order to appear very clever when in fact he is proving the opposite.

Staudenmaier:

This was the standard paradigm among Theosophists, who often praised the achievements of the contemporary natural sciences and insisted that their own doctrines were entirely compatible with scientific methods, while simultaneously disparaging the materialistic assumptions and mechanistic methodologies which supposedly afflict the scientific mindset.

The Theosophists (before Steiner) did not take a scientific approach to the spiritual, but a spiritualistic-atavistic one. They did claim that there was no contradiction between their spiritual reality and the reality of natural science, but they did not use the scientific method and did not claim to do so. Steiner, on the other hand, abandoned the old theosophical approach with spiritualistic seances, crystal balls, awakening of atavistic faculties and so on, and introduced a revolutionary method based upon an epistemology that chose Darwinism as its point of departure.

Staudenmaier:

Steiner adopted this contradictory approach,

False. Steiner did not adopt any approach. He invented a new approach and abandoned the old one.

Staudenmaier:

and added his own anthroposophical spin to it, while sometimes virtually equating "science" and "materialism".

The only "spin" involved here is the "Staudenmaier approach," which is pure nonsense and deliberate falsehood.

Staudenmaier:

Here are a few selections from Steiner's less approving remarks on modern science.

In a 1915 lecture on "Preparing for the Sixth Epoch" Steiner warned that "Beginning with the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, science and materialistic consciousness have laid hold of the human being." At times he associated this unwelcome development with the British national soul, which was inappropriate for Central Europeans, and at other times he associated it with Ahriman. Two of his favorite targets were Darwin and Einstein. In a 1918 lecture in Zurich he declared: "Ahriman is in truth the teacher par excellence of materialistic Darwinism." He considered Einstein's theories a prime example of "extreme abstraction" which has "deviated from actuality". A number of Steiner's observations along these lines can be found in the text "Man: Hieroglyph of the Universe", which can be read at the online Steiner archive; in particular, see here:

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/19200424p01.html

and

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/19200515p01.html

Is this supposed to be an example of Steiner speaking against science? Think again. When it comes to Darwinism, for instance, Steiner endorsed its approach and used it as his own point of departure when developing a new epistemology in "Philosophy of Freedom." But even Charles Darwin himself, albeit probably the greatest scientist who ever lived, an assessment that was certainly shared by Rudolf Steiner, was led to theoretical conclusions that are highly disputable and challengeable, especially when we take into consideration that his "survival of the fittest" idea may have been a reflection of his own times, the Industrial Revolution and the rule of capitalism. Steiner recognized Darwin's greatness and his pioneering work as a scientist while at the same time taking a critical approach to the philosophical consequences of a thoroughly materialistic approach to biological evolution. There is a difference between criticizing materialistic thinking connected with biological evolution and criticizing the science of biological evolution - a science that was also amplified by Goethe.

When it comes to Einstein, the situation was slightly different due to the fact that Steiner evidently misunderstood his theory of relativity in spades when it was first published in 1905. That's why he called it pure nonsense. Darwin is fairly easy to understand; he had a great gift as a writer; he wrote voluminously and meticulously, explaining every single step of his research in a way that any student can follow him. Einstein was more of a riddle. Everybody talked about his theory, but very few people understood it. And Steiner did not understand it until much later. In "The Riddles of Philosophy," however, Steiner acknowledges Einstein to the point of giving him a prominent place in the history of philosophy. I don't know whether or not Steiner ever reached the point of a proper understanding of Einstein, but some of his criticism of Einstein was based upon a misunderstanding of his theory, not an opposition to modern science.

Without Ahriman, there would be no science, no logic, no rationality, no intellect. Steiner did not suggest a rejection of the Ahrimanic influence, but of the Ahrimanic deception, which is the trap of the thinking that is purely intellecttual. The "thinking of the heart" must be added; moral thinking and moral imagination.

Staudenmaier:

On other occasions Steiner offered a more sweeping negative assessment of the "scientific attitude"; here is one example from 1912:

"Modern science, recognising only those abstract laws which it calls the “laws of Nature,” will certainly be prone, where these laws prove inapplicable, to speak of “mere chance,” of something, that is to say, in regard to which conformity to law cannot be admitted. When modern science speaks of “chance” in cases to which its laws do not apply, it really puts a ban upon any suggestion of conformity to law. Both generally and in particulars, there is hardly anything more intolerant in human life than the “scientific attitude.” I do not, of course, refer to scientific facts, for they are presented in a way which does science the very highest credit, and intolerance does not come into question here. I am speaking of the “scientific attitude” which arises on the foundation of these facts. The attitude of materialistic thought today is an example of almost the greatest intolerance to be found in history."

The full lecture can be found here:

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Festivals/Easter/19120326p01.html

The intolerance of the modern "scientific attitude" can be corroborated by many Nobel Prize winners. I recently listened to a group of ten or twelve such Nobel Prize winnners being interviewed by the BBC in Stockholm. They were all unique contributors to innovations in physics, biology, medicine and so on, and most of them had experienced the prejudice and intolerance described by Steiner. The success of their ventures put the scientific community to shame.

Staudenmaier:

At times Steiner extended this negative verdict to "the whole of modern science", declaring in a 1919 lecture on "The Ahrimanic Deception":

"A right attitude in regard to the whole of modern science, insofar as it thinks along these lines, will recognize that its knowledge is illusion. Now, in order that his incarnation may take the most profitable form, it is of the utmost interest to Ahriman that people should perfect themselves in all our illusory modern science, but without knowing that it is illusion. Ahriman has the greatest possible interest in instructing men in mathematics, but not in instructing them that mathematical-mechanistic concepts of the universe are merely illusions. He is intensely interested in bringing men chemistry, physics, biology and so on, as they are presented today in all their remarkable effects, but he is interested in making men believe that these are absolute truths, not that they are only points of view, like photographs from one side. If you photograph a tree from one side, it can be a correct photograph, yet it does not give a picture of the whole tree. If you photograph it from four sides, you can in any case get an idea of it. To conceal from mankind that in modern intellectual, rationalistic science with its supplement of a superstitious empiricism, one is dealing with a great illusion, a deception - that men should not recognize this is of the greatest possible interest to Ahriman. It would be a triumphant experience for him if the scientific superstition which grips all circles today and by which men even want to organize their social science, should prevail into the third millennium. He would have the greatest success if he could then come as a human being into Western civilization and find the scientific superstition."

Steiner goes on to say, somewhat incongruously, that such illusions are nevertheless necessary and that the natural sciences are worthy of study. The full lecture can be found here

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/AhrDec_index.html

"The Ahrimanic Deception" is one of my personal favorites among Steiner's lectures. The idea that physical existence is in reality maya (illusion) is not unique for anthroposophy. The same concept is expressed in Buddhism, Hinduism, and also in Christianity. It is a philosophical-epistemological position that stands in contrast to the notion that physical existence is the one and only reality, and that life, existence, consciousness, cannot exist independently of a "biological unit" (to borrow an expression from an old Star Trek episode). Physical existence is subject to its own laws: the laws of natural science. Rudolf Steiner stood on the very ground of this principle, which he expanded into the spiritual realm to enable us to move from faith to knowledge concerning things previously attributed only to religion. For this reason, he was a cultural heretic and therefore challenging to understand for those who cling to the notions of fundamentalistic materialism.

Staudenmaier:

Another of Steiner's favorite tropes was to juxtapose "scientific thought" to "the spirit", as in this comment from 1909:

"Today it is in every sense an ideal to explain the world from the mechanical standpoint, as a mechanism, from which all spirit is eliminated. This is due to the fact that those portions of the human brain which are the instrument and organ of scientific thought are today so deadened that they are unable to convey new life to the conceptions they form, and the latter becomes ever poorer and poorer. As things are, it is a fact that science has not grown richer in ideas. The ideas of antiquity are far more replete with life, far loftier and grander. The ideas of Darwinism are like a squeezed lemon. Darwin merely collected data and connected these with the now impoverished concepts. This trend of science distinctly points to a process of gradual atrophy. There is a part of the human brain in process of decay - namely, the part which functions in modern scientific thought. And this is due to the fact that the part of the etheric body which should enliven this atrophied brain has not yet attained the Christ-impulse. Science will remain lifeless until the Christ-impulse flows into this part of the human brain also, whose function it is to serve science. This is grounded in the great laws of the universe. If science continues as heretofore, it will become increasingly poor in ideas. Ideas will die out more and more."

The full text can be found here:

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/19090705p01.html

This does indeed call for a redemption of science from the pitfall of materialism.

Staudenmaier:

In an attempt to overcome the inconsistencies and incompatibilities in Steiner's contradictory claims about science, some latter day anthroposohists draw a distinction between "Baconian science" and "Goethean science"; they consider the former, based on empirical observation and the various methodologies typically associated with mainstream scientific inquiry, to be essentially Ahrimanic in inspiration.

As previously mentioned, all scientific endeavor is ahrimanically inspired. We wouldn't have working brains without Ahriman. Here is another quote from the lecture "Exoteric and Esoteric Christianity" (Dornach, 2 April, 1922, GA 211) which can be read in full at http://www.uncletaz.com/exoeso.html :

It is not possible for us, higher hierarchies, to form the Earth in such a way that it is able to supply the forces which lead man towards the intellect. We must rely, for this, on an entirely different being, on a being who comes from another direction than our own - The Ahrimanic Being. Ahriman is a being who does not belong to our hierarchy. Ahriman comes into the stream of evolution from another direction. If we tolerate Ahriman in the evolution of the Earth, if we allow him a share in it, he brings us death, and with it, the intellect, and we can take up in the human being death and intellect. Ahriman knows death, because he is at one with the Earth and has trodden paths which have brought him into connection with the evolution of the Earth. He is an initiate, a sage of death, and for this reason he is the ruler of the intellect. The gods had to reckon with Ahriman - if I may express it in this way. They had to say: the evolution cannot proceed without Ahriman. It is only a question of admitting Ahriman into the evolution. But if Ahriman is admitted and becomes the lord of death and, consequently, of the intellect too, we forfeit the Earth, and Ahriman, whose sole interest lies in permeating the Earth with intellect, will claim the Earth for himself. The gods faced the great problem of losing to a certain extent their rule over the Earth in favour of Ahriman. There was only one possibility - that the gods themselves should learn to know something which they could not learn in their godly abodes which were not permeated by Ahriman - namely, that the gods should learn to know death itself, on the Earth, through one of their emissaries - the Christ. A god had to die on earth, and he had to die in such a way that this was not grounded in the wisdom of the gods, but in the human error which would hold sway if Ahriman alone were to rule. A god had to pass through death and he had to overcome death.

Thus the Mystery of Golgotha meant this for the gods: a greater wealth of knowledge through the wisdom of death. If a god had not passed through death, the whole Earth would have become entirely intellectual, without ever reaching the evolution which the gods had planned for it from the very beginning.

Staudenmaier:

Steiner's "occult science", on the other hand, is concerned with precisely those phenomena that are inaccessible to sensory perception, and its methods are at odds with the basic parameters of what is usually called "modern science".

Only if you ignore the most indispensable tool of all for all scientific inquiry: Thinking. If this mode of thinking and inquiry is applied to the spiritual realm in the right way, you get anthroposophically oriented spiritual science.

Staudenmaier:

For a critical overview of these issues, I recommend the article "Is Anthroposophy Science?" by Sven Ove Hansson, which can be found at the waldorfcritics site:

http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/articles/Hansson.html

Perhaps someone on this list would be kind enough to write a critical review of this article.

Staudenmaier:

In the hope of someday achieving a meaningful dialogue with anthroposophists about the published views of their founder, I commend Diana for her fortitude.

Peter S may be lamenting the fact that most anthroposophists have found it wise to stay away from the WC list and let the "critics" talk to themselves in their own den.

I would however second Staudenmaier's applause for Diana's fortitude in participating on this list.

Peter S has endeavored to establish that Steiner spoke against science, but he has been very unsuccessful. Steiner always endorsed science, but he spoke against modern superstitions and prejudices arising from the poinions and the worldview that many people create in its name.

Cheers,

Tarjei Straume
http://www.uncletaz.com/anthrocritics.html

"The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Mixed Opinions and Maxims

...................................................................................................................................

From: Sune Nordwall
Date: Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:18 pm
Subject: On Sven Ove Hansson's 'Is Anthroposophy Science'?

In a posting [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Peter S trying to talk, Tarjei quotes

Peter S:

For a critical overview of these issues, I recommend the article "Is Anthroposophy Science?" by Sven Ove Hansson, which can be found at the waldorfcritics site:

http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/articles/Hansson.html

and writes:

(Tarjei:)

Perhaps someone on this list would be kind enough to write a critical review of this article.

For some comments on the article by Sven Ove Hansson, see http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/comments/Hanson-commented.htm

The comments do not include a comment on the argument by SOH about the treatment of syphilis with mercury, and RS' comment on it in 1922/23 as showing RS' alleged inability to understand and judge contemporary medical issues in his time.

http://www.nobel.se/medicine/laureates/1939/press.html describes some of the context for the comment by Steiner in 1922/23 on the value of mercury treatment in relation to other new treatments of syphilis, with one possibly being Salvarsan, containing arsenic.

http://www.freewebs.com/scientific_anti_vivisectionism9/antibiotics.htm describes the situation regarding the treatment of syphilis with Salvarsan few years before the comment by RS.

It tells about the serious side effects of the new 'Magic Bullet' Salvarsan in the treatment of syphilis:

"Some expressed doubts as to Salvarsan`s value as a treatment of syphilis, and some medical opinions questioned whether it was a valid substitute for mercury - a view shared in the `Journal of the American Medical Association` in 1914(8). An estimated 274 people died as a result of Salvarsan (9)."

The pages show that Steiner's comment on the value of mercury in the treatment of syphilis in relation to probably at least partly Salvarsan was quite reasonable at the time and in the context it was made.

While Stokes in his classic textbook in 1926 on Modern Clinical Syphilology: Diagnosis, Treatment, Case Studies (http://www.imsdocs.com/syphilis.htm) praises the use of arsenicals like arsphenamine and neoarsphenamine in the treatment of syphylis, the article describing the treatment of syphilis at the Mayo Clinic, 1916-1955 writes:

*arsenical therapy represented a major advance, it proved expensive, difficult to administer, time consuming (especially in the case of the intravenous drip method or intrathecal therapy) and unavoidably toxic. Moreover, the deficiencies of the standard therapies in improving the outcome in neurosyphilis further encouraged continued searching by investigators worldwide.*

Stokes himself wrote:

*The use of mercurial rubs for early (primary) syphilis and for "vascular and visceral" syphilis was advocated: "In eight years of systematic use of the inunction as interim treatment by some ten thousand patients who have taken an aggregate of hundreds of thousands of rubs I can personally testify to this really extraordinary factor of safety combined with therapeutic effectiveness."*.

Only some 10 years after the comment by Steiner, on the probably contemporary debate on the value of mercury treatment in relation to arsenicals, were sulphonamide and penicillin introduced.

In general, a closer analysis of the article by SOH on the question 'Is Anthroposophy Science?' shows that it is superficial and distorting of the sources it quotes in its argumentation to the extent of very much lacking value as an alleged 'scientific' argument about the subjects it purports to be a discussion of, in spite of the impressive title of the Austrian journal in which it was published in 1991.

It reveals that it primarily has the character of not a serious discussion of the philosophical scientific aspects of the concept of science at the core of anthroposophy as a strife to develop spiritual scientific research (http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/SCIENCE/Science.htm), but of a piece of ideological rhetoric as part of his efforts and work in his role of one of the, if not the main initiator of the Swedish branch of CSICOP in 1982 (http://www.physto.se/~vetfolk/presentation.html#start).

Sune

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sat Jan 24, 2004 9:22 am
Subject: Re: Peter S trying to talk

Tarjei:

On the WC list in a thread entitled, "trying to talk with anthroposophists," Peter Staudenmaier writes:

Staudenmaier continues:

In a post from January 18, Diana remarked in passing that "Steiner, of course, spoke against modern science frequently". This elicited a couple of posts from Tarjei Straume and Daniel Hindes about Steiner's skepticism toward materialistic thinking within modern science, pretty much standard anthro fare. But then something peculiar happened: each time Diana replied with a more nuanced and specific explanation of her original remark, Tarjei's and Daniel's responses got less nuanced and less specific.

Dottie

Oi vey!!! Peter S. once again trying to teach the critics how to think!!! Somehow Diana and the critics can't seem to understand the discussion without Peter stomping in to make it 'clear' to others. As if he has the low down on "Anthro speak" as he calls it. He should open a school: "Let me interpret for you" And one of the first subjects he would probably speak on if given a wide open forum is that Christianity is a racist doctrine. Steiner is a small fish compared to the big one he is after.

Staudenmaier:

Instead of clarifying the dispute, however, this simply lead to further misunderstanding; in his next post, Daniel said "I would like to see the quotes that show Steiner to be against science." Thus within the space of a few days, the topic had shifted from 'Steiner frequently spoke against modern science' to 'Steiner was against science pure and simple'.

Dottie

Staudenmaiers favorite way of avoiding facts: no quotes available in English: Hit the guy with how hes trying to avoid a subject instead of providing anything tangible.

Are the critics as hard headed as Peter S seems to be? I think it is inevitable when having a master twister on your list who thinks he knows better than the one having the conversation. I don't think Diana needs to have Peter be interpreting for her. Step aside Peter, Diana can handle herself much better than you. And I am sure the critics know how to interpret a thing being said here on this list without your stupid twisted insinuations. I find him to be so arrogant to think others can not think for themselves and in this was the phrase "Cult of Peter" formed: Let Peter explain it for you who are too stupid to get it.

Staudenmaier:

To top it all off, Daniel went on to give Diana a little lecture on choosing one's words carefully, admonishing her that "Simply stating that "Steiner was against science" is a misrepresentation of Steiner's own position."

Dottie

If Peter knew how to speak English, he might not be embarrasing himself to the extent he does. He seems to not be able to have a 'regular' debate. How hard it must be for one like him to listen in to honest debates where people ask questions where one is asked to back up what they have found with quotes. Come on Peter we know you hate verifiable quotes but let others point to them if they can.

It almost feels like you do not trust Diana can come up with those quotes. I have more faith in the fact that she realizes Daniel is not bullying her as has happened to most of us when in your company, nor that he is trying to find a way out of the science conversation by changing the subject.

Admonishing her???? Puhleasse. You must get a grip on yourself with this kind of interpretation of other peoples words. You are making such a fool of yourself can you clearly not see this. If you even step outside the coccoon Dan Dugan has helped you hide in you would be torn to shreds by real criticle thinkers of the world not to mention historians. Thank God they make you go to a real school to claim that kind of title and not some lefty, aethistic, blow up in your face credentials as the one you attended.

Staudenmaier:

This was the standard paradigm among Theosophists, who often praised the achievements of the contemporary natural sciences and insisted that their own doctrines were entirely compatible with scientific methods, while simultaneously disparaging the materialistic assumptions and mechanistic methodologies which supposedly afflict the scientific mindset.

Dottie

Has he even read any of the Theospist works? If so how could he make this kind of clearly ignorant statement that Theosophy insisted on scientific methods. He's kidding right?

Staudenmaier:

Steiner adopted this contradictory approach,

Dottie

Okay this is kind of getting ridiculous. Even Sharon could show him wrong on this point I am sure. Steiner brought this method forth. Really, what is Peter thinking?

Staudenmaier:

and added his own anthroposophical spin to it, while sometimes virtually equating "science" and "materialism".

Dottie

Oh okay. I am so glad this man can be seen for how ignorant he is of these studies. Truly. He is just making my day.

Tarjei

Is this supposed to be an example of Steiner speaking against science? Think again.

Dottie

I don't think he can Tarjei, he is stuck on the same ol same ol record that plays over and over and over again.

What I would like to know is since when did Peter become the collective conscience of the critics to the point he has to explain to others what is being said here. It's a John the Baptist nightmare:)

Enough of this twisted business for a Saturday,

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:42 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Peter S trying to talk

At 00:10 24.01.2004, I wrote the following comment to Staudenmaier's recommended link:

Staudenmaier:

For a critical overview of these issues, I recommend the article "Is Anthroposophy Science?" by Sven Ove Hansson, which can be found at the waldorfcritics site:

http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/articles/Hansson.html

Tarjei:

Perhaps someone on this list would be kind enough to write a critical review of this article.

Sune was kind enough to snort the following all the way from Stockholm:

For some comments on the article by Sven Ove Hansson, see
http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/comments/Hanson-commented.htm

The comments do not include a comment on the argument by SOH about the treatment of syphilis with mercury, and RS' comment on it in 1922/23 as showing RS' alleged inability to understand and judge contemporary medical issues in his time.

http://www.nobel.se/medicine/laureates/1939/press.html describes some of the context for the comment by Steiner in 1922/23 on the value of mercury treatment in relation to other new treatments of syphilis, with one possibly being Salvarsan, containing arsenic.

http://www.freewebs.com/scientific_anti_vivisectionism9/antibiotics.htm describes the situation regarding the treatment of syphilis with Salvarsan few years before the comment by RS.

It tells about the serious side effects of the new 'Magic Bullet' Salvarsan in the treatment of syphilis:

"Some expressed doubts as to Salvarsan`s value as a treatment of syphilis, and some medical opinions questioned whether it was a valid substitute for mercury - a view shared in the `Journal of the American Medical Association` in 1914(8). An estimated 274 people died as a result of Salvarsan (9)."

The pages show that Steiner's comment on the value of mercury in the treatment of syphilis in relation to probably at least partly Salvarsan was quite reasonable at the time and in the context it was made.

While Stokes in his classic textbook in 1926 on Modern Clinical Syphilology: Diagnosis, Treatment, Case Studies (http://www.imsdocs.com/syphilis.htm) praises the use of arsenicals like arsphenamine and neoarsphenamine in the treatment of syphylis, the article describing the treatment of syphilis at the Mayo Clinic, 1916-1955 writes:

*arsenical therapy represented a major advance, it proved expensive, difficult to administer, time consuming (especially in the case of the intravenous drip method or intrathecal therapy) and unavoidably toxic. Moreover, the deficiencies of the standard therapies in improving the outcome in neurosyphilis further encouraged continued searching by investigators worldwide.*

Stokes himself wrote:

*The use of mercurial rubs for early (primary) syphilis and for "vascular and visceral" syphilis was advocated: "In eight years of systematic use of the inunction as interim treatment by some ten thousand patients who have taken an aggregate of hundreds of thousands of rubs I can personally testify to this really extraordinary factor of safety combined with therapeutic effectiveness."*.

Only some 10 years after the comment by Steiner, on the probably contemporary debate on the value of mercury treatment in relation to arsenicals, were sulphonamide and penicillin introduced.

In general, a closer analysis of the article by SOH on the question 'Is Anthroposophy Science?' shows that it is superficial and distorting of the sources it quotes in its argumentation to the extent of very much lacking value as an alleged 'scientific' argument about the subjects it purports to be a discussion of, in spite of the impressive title of the Austrian journal in which it was published in 1991.

It reveals that it primarily has the character of not a serious discussion of the philosophical scientific aspects of the concept of science at the core of anthroposophy as a strife to develop spiritual scientific research (http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/SCIENCE/Science.htm), but of a piece of ideological rhetoric as part of his efforts and work in his role of one of the, if not the main initiator of the Swedish branch of CSICOP in 1982 (http://www.physto.se/~vetfolk/presentation.html#start).

Thank you, Sune.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

...................................................................................................................................

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:24 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Peter S trying to talk

----- Original Message -----
From: dottie zold
To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2004 12:22 PM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Peter S trying to talk

Tarjei:

On the WC list in a thread entitled, "trying to talk with anthroposophists," Peter Staudenmaier writes:

Staudenmaier continues:

In a post from January 18, Diana remarked in passing that "Steiner, of course, spoke against modern science frequently". This elicited a couple of posts from Tarjei Straume and Daniel Hindes about Steiner's skepticism toward materialistic thinking within modern science, pretty much standard anthro fare. But then something peculiar happened: each time Diana replied with a more nuanced and specific explanation of her original remark, Tarjei's and Daniel's responses got less nuanced and less specific.

Dottie

Oi vey!!! Peter S. once again trying to teach the critics how to think!!! Somehow Diana and the critics can't seem to understand the discussion without Peter stomping in to make it 'clear' to others. As if he has the low down on "Anthro speak" as he calls it. He should open a school: "Let me interpret for you" And one of the first subjects he would probably speak on if given a wide open forum is that Christianity is a racist doctrine. Steiner is a small fish compared to the big one he is after.

Mike:

Well said Dottie!

I appreciate Dianna's telling us a bit of her story, and at times even saying nice things. I do not want to go into "psychologizing the Other" with her because 1)she types and spells better than me. 2)I have some respect for what I see as her Motives for criticizing RS and especially Waldorf.

What I see as Peter S's Motives for his Prosaic nonsense, as to Anthroposophy being rotten to the core, are elusive and quite suspect at best. And he has not proven to me that he has any real respect for the people that he disses all the time with his passive-aggressive snake-in-the-grass word-smithing.

It sounds like a bunch of intellectual masturbation to me.

Text and Analysis

Mike

...................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:32 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Peter S trying to talk

At 20:24 24.01.2004, Mike wrote:

What I see as Peter S's Motives for his Prosaic nonsense, as to Anthroposophy being rotten to the core, are elusive and quite suspect at best. And he has not proven to me that he has any real respect for the people that he disses all the time with his passive-aggressive snake-in-the-grass word-smithing.

It sounds like a bunch of intellectual masturbation to me.

Peter Staudenmaier is reminiscent of Christopher Rocancourt posing as 'Christopher Rockefeller', described in a 60 Minutes feature documented April 20, 2003 at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/04/18/60minutes/main550070.shtml

We asked him if he was familiar with the Seventh Commandment? Thou Shalt Not Steal.

"I never steal," claims Rocancourt. "Never."

So how does Rocancourt explain what he's doing in prison?

"It's like I say to you, 'Let me borrow your tie right now.' Well, you say, 'Okay, that is my tie. I'll let you borrow it.' But today, I don't give back your tie. I broke a promise, yeah? That makes me a thief," he asks.

"I did borrow it, but that doesn't mean I'm a thief. I didn't grab it. I didn't take it. I didn't steal it."

But he admits he lied, even though he didn't steal.

Peter S is a teller of fables who plays games with his readers.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Click to subscribe to anthroposophy_tomorrow
 

January/February 2004

The Uncle Taz "Anthroposophy Tomorrow" Files

Anthroposophy & Anarchism

Anthroposophy & Scientology

Anthroposophical Morsels

Anthroposophy, Critics, and Controversy

Search this site powered by FreeFind