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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Why Dogma?
Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Yawn. Think Dan Brown.
Please, Lord, no.

[ 31. January 2013, 09:39: Message edited by: Honest Ron Bacardi ]

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Evensong
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Oh but he was so entertaining!


(Ya'll give KHANDS a break wot? He means well and he's a noob.)

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a theological scrapbook

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte
The ability to to forgive sins could have been delegated.

Is there any passage in the Bible which mentions such delegating?

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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KHANDS
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quote:
without any actual verbs of his own, KHANDS quotes:
...a link to some shit from Elaine Pagels which he really doesn't understand...

Ya gotta up your game KHANDS; people are losing interest. [/QB][/QUOTE]

Is this yours SA? I don't see it anywhere else. Pretty harsh. I'd expect better from you than ad hominem dismissals.

I sense an increasing unwillingness to reach across the divide. I guess we're all closed minded (and I include myself)to some degree given our limited capacities to know fully.
I would offer that stepping outside one's comfort zone of belief can never be a bad thing. As I see it skepticism is the path to understanding.
I've enjoyed our exchanges.

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belief is truth to the believer

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Zach82
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Oh, save us from our narrow-minded, dogmatic prison, KHANDS!

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Don't give up yet, no, don't ever quit/ There's always a chance of a critical hit. Ghost Mice

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quetzalcoatl
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Skepticism is fine; that's why I question the idea of 'multiple resurrections and multiple virgin births' as a parallel to Jesus. I am happy to read scholarly research on this, but the usual internet tripe is not scholarly, just parallelomania, often inspired by anti-theism.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte
The ability to to forgive sins could have been delegated.

Is there any passage in the Bible which mentions such delegating?
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me....” (Mt 28:18)

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Alogon
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It's one thing to say "I have trouble believing X". That's fair enough. Believing a doctrine is not something to be commanded. Furthermore, we have all had to revise a few beliefs in the light of experience. What reason do those of us who have little trouble believing a doctrine (or saying that we do) have to pat ourselves on the back? What if our acceptance is too facile? Have we led too sheltered an existence? Will a few grim experiences in the future cause us to reject these beliefs as others have done?

But it's quite another matter to say "X is absurd and the church should stop teaching it." This may well be an arrogant insult to the tradition that formed the culture in which we are fortunate to live.

Why should we think that we are smarter than our forebears two thousand years ago? Not Darwinian evolution, surely. According to Darwin, evolution takes ages, at least among organisms with so many years between generations as ours. Humans haven't been exactly selecting for intelligence these two millennia. Rather the opposite, if anything. Stephen Jay Gould, further, disabuses us of an assumption that this trait in which our species excels is any kind of inevitable development. It's just chance, he says: it serves a niche we've found ourselves in; but it is costly, and the time may come when it would be more adaptive to invest in some other trait. What some call dogma others can call a respect for the intelligence of ancient and medieval people. Some of their own accomplishments inspired by their faith still benefit us today and were unique enough in their time to be called miraculous. I would doubt that such insight, discipline, and endurance as they demonstrated could be summoned by merely pretending to believe.

So where does that leave us? I'd suggest it leaves us, if not believing what they believed, at least respecting it, pondering it, and praying, "Help my unbelief."

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

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Anglican_Brat
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Coming back to the OP, I guess to follow the teachings without the dogma would be sorta like saying I should remember what my mother taught me and not who she is. Christological Dogma is a meditation on who Jesus is. A Christian who rejects dogma as part of the faith is a person who claims to love Christ but is uninterested in who he is.

[ 31. January 2013, 17:06: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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Holy Smoke
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Coming back to the OP, I guess to follow the teachings without the dogma would be sorta like saying I should remember what my mother taught me and not who she is. Christological Dogma is a meditation on who Jesus is. A Christian who rejects dogma as part of the faith is a person who claims to love Christ but is uninterested in who he is.

Very roughly speaking, the deities of pre-Christian pagan religions were mythical, as were their deeds, and nobody really believed otherwise, at least, not in the more educated classes. On the other hand, the great innovation of Chrisitianity was their claim that their god really did all those things - was born of a virgin, incarnated as a man, performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc. The only problem was that there was no firm evidence that their claims were true, so they said that it all had to be believed out of 'faith', and 'faith' was deemed to be something worth having.

Thus 2000 years later, the conservative Christian still holds to these literal beliefs, and asserts that anyone who wishes to call himself a Christian must do likewise. He will sometimes say that he sees no point in being a Christian unless one believes that Christianity is 'true', as he puts it.

The broad churchman, on the other hand, doubts to a greater or lesser extent the literal truth of some or all of these propositions, and feels that they represent, in a symbolic or metaphorical form, the deeper, inexpressible mysteries of the faith, those same universal truths which are shared with the other great religious traditions, though clothed in different stories, symbols, and deities. He has, therefore, to an extent, re-paganised Christianity, and these days he will likely as not look outside Christianity for his religious and spiritual needs. However, if he decides to stay within Christianity, he will regard the creeds and dogmas as a framework from which to explore, rather than as the be-all and end-all of his faith.

He may privately shake his head sadly when confronted by the conservative, but will generally see the futility of attempting to change his mind, and will even see the value of conservative traditions in preserving the church in the face of the growing tide of secularism. At least, that's how I see it.

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gorpo
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:

The broad churchman, on the other hand, doubts to a greater or lesser extent the literal truth of some or all of these propositions, and feels that they represent, in a symbolic or metaphorical form, the deeper, inexpressible mysteries of the faith, those same universal truths which are shared with the other great religious traditions, though clothed in different stories, symbols, and deities.

I don´t think that is a description of the majority of real life christians, therefore, it can´t be a description of what the "broad churchmen" thinks. That is only a description of a small fraction of all christians. Even in mainline denominations, the average church goer believes in all the traditional claims about Jesus. The clergy might not, but they will make sure that their parishioners don´t notice it in their sermons. The whole "metaphorical or symbolical" meaning is just mental acrobatics to avoid the feeling of guilty when they talk about stuff they don´t actually believe. I´m yet to hear a preacher telling his parishioners that Jesus body decomposed on the thomb, or that Mary had sex before Jesus was conceived.

Therefore, making it look as if conservative chirsitans who believe in traditional christian dogmas are a small sect behind the broader Church is not a very realistic description of today´s Christianity.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:

The broad churchman, on the other hand, doubts to a greater or lesser extent the literal truth of some or all of these propositions, and feels that they represent, in a symbolic or metaphorical form, the deeper, inexpressible mysteries of the faith, those same universal truths which are shared with the other great religious traditions, though clothed in different stories, symbols, and deities.

I don´t think that is a description of the majority of real life christians, therefore, it can´t be a description of what the "broad churchmen" thinks. That is only a description of a small fraction of all christians. Even in mainline denominations, the average church goer believes in all the traditional claims about Jesus. The clergy might not, but they will make sure that their parishioners don´t notice it in their sermons. The whole "metaphorical or symbolical" meaning is just mental acrobatics to avoid the feeling of guilty when they talk about stuff they don´t actually believe. I´m yet to hear a preacher telling his parishioners that Jesus body decomposed on the thomb, or that Mary had sex before Jesus was conceived.

Therefore, making it look as if conservative chirsitans who believe in traditional christian dogmas are a small sect behind the broader Church is not a very realistic description of today´s Christianity.

Theology doesn't divorce fact and meaning, which is the real reason why religion is counter to Enlightenment thinking.

For the Christian, the Resurrection isn't just about the reanimation of a single dead human body 2000 years ago, it is about the reconciliation of the human race and God, the raising of humanity into divine life, and the defeat of sin and death. So trying to "prove" the Resurrection as a historical fact while missing these deeper theological implications is nonsensical.

The real difference between a liberal and a conservative on theology is, (to oversimplify based on years of observing the ideological conflict between left and right in Christianity)

For the conservative, a theological belief has to have some true factual basis in order for it to have deeper theological meaning.

For the liberal, a theological belief does not have to be factually correct in order for it to convey a theological meaning.

To a liberal, the conservative apologist's insistence on "proofs" for Christian doctrine is anti-intellectual. For the conservative, the liberal approach is simply fancy pleading that camouflages genuine disbelief and rejection of Christianity.

[ 01. February 2013, 02:04: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
For the liberal, a theological belief does not have to be factually correct in order for it to convey a theological meaning.

What exactly do you do with theological beliefs you don't believe, but think are meaningful? And what exactly does "meaningful" mean in this context? Makes you feel good?

If you mean they point to a "deeper truth" -- then do you believe the deeper truth?

Can you give me an example of a theological belief that a liberal knows is wrong, but finds meaningful? I don't mean a historical belief, but a theological belief. And what does it mean, and why is it important.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
For the liberal, a theological belief does not have to be factually correct in order for it to convey a theological meaning.

What exactly do you do with theological beliefs you don't believe, but think are meaningful? And what exactly does "meaningful" mean in this context? Makes you feel good?

If you mean they point to a "deeper truth" -- then do you believe the deeper truth?

Can you give me an example of a theological belief that a liberal knows is wrong, but finds meaningful? I don't mean a historical belief, but a theological belief. And what does it mean, and why is it important.

Well, the stereotypical example is the Resurrection is about life overcoming death, love overcoming hatred. Some liberals might say that the notion that life overcomes death is true even if Jesus wasn't physically reanimated.

My criticism of this argument is that it turns the notion that "life overcomes death" into a trite, syrupy notion that is devoid of any substance. But then as I'm a bad conservative, I'm also not the best liberal.
[Razz]

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mousethief

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"Life overcomes death" except it didn't. [Big Grin]

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The Silent Acolyte

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Perhaps it wasn't all hugs and kisses, but it wasn't ad hominen, KHANDS. Here is your post.
quote:
Originally posted by KHANDS:
I think some of you are over-reacting. There's legitimate reason to question the make-up of the NT.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/pagels.html

Dunno about your experience, but I've got no patience for folk flinging around links to web sites without any of their own comment or synthesis. Or, even indicating how the linked material adds to the discussion. I think I'm not alone in this.

3586 words in the linked text to all of seventeen of your own words. Why should anyone be arsed to read (or even to think that you have read) that text.

It is as though you are too lazy to make your own argument and, in a playground move, point indignantly and pout, "There!"

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Barnabas62
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[Wearing my Host Hat for a minute, The Silent Acolyte, although straying a bit into junior Hosting and Commandment 3 "ad hominem" territory, makes a good point. Posting long links without any explanation doesn't really help discussions.

B62, Purg Host]

Contributing as a Shipmate now.

KHANDS, you'd be wrong to assume that folks on this site have never heard of or read Elaine Pagels. "The Gnostic Gospels" and "Beyond Belief" both sit on my bookshelf. I read them with some enjoyment. They represent a distinctly personal take (stimulated as Pagels admits herself by the challenges to her faith which were produced by personal suffering) on the developments of what is now seen as orthodox Christianity. "Beyond Belief" was written several years after "The Gnostic Gospels" and contains some corrections of assertions and conclusions in that book.

Did you know, for example, that Pagels believes that Irenaeus (Against Heresies) was essentially correct in his swingeing criticisms of the elitism of many of the Gnostics (including their dismissal of 2nd century martyrs)? She says so in "Beyond Belief".

I think Pagels writes well and is accessible. Her background research work shows both her scholarship and general (though by no means infallible) thoroughness. She is often illuminating about early church history and makes, for example, some good points about the growing influence of John's gospel. Unlike the careless, emetic speculations of the novelist Dan Brown, Pagels' writings do provide some serious food for thought about the formation of faith, at least that is what I found. But she is by no means the only author to have written on that topic and her views do not represent any kind of typical, mainstream academic, take.

Pagels is of course well versed in the methods of Higher Criticism - but then so are many contributors to this website. Fundamentalists get a pretty searching examination in discussions on this forum. Take a look in Dead Horses sometime and you'll see what I mean.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
For the liberal, a theological belief does not have to be factually correct in order for it to convey a theological meaning.

What exactly do you do with theological beliefs you don't believe, but think are meaningful? And what exactly does "meaningful" mean in this context? Makes you feel good?

If you mean they point to a "deeper truth" -- then do you believe the deeper truth?

Can you give me an example of a theological belief that a liberal knows is wrong, but finds meaningful? I don't mean a historical belief, but a theological belief. And what does it mean, and why is it important.

I suppose I am some sort of liberal, but I wouldn't say that I know something is wrong. Say, with the virgin birth, I don't know if it really happened factually. However, I don't feel distressed by not knowing really. And I see it as very valuable, and one of its meanings is that God emerges out of nothing, not man-made, or as they say, like the virgin rainforest.

I'm not saying that that is the only meaning of it either. God is being instantiated right now, for example.

I don't know if this would be considered syrupy or not.

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:


For the conservative, a theological belief has to have some true factual basis in order for it to have deeper theological meaning.

I thought that was a Reformation development.

Before that, Augustine's fourfold method of hermeneutics was the norm. Literalism was only one of those.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I thought that was a Reformation development.

Before that, Augustine's fourfold method of hermeneutics was the norm. Literalism was only one of those.

Indeed one of the ancient tug-of-wars (tugs-of-war?) in church theology was between the Antiochian school, who were keen on the historicity thing, and the Alexandrian school, who were fine with taking the OT allegorically. Thus the latter is hardly something new.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:


For the conservative, a theological belief has to have some true factual basis in order for it to have deeper theological meaning.

I thought that was a Reformation development.

Before that, Augustine's fourfold method of hermeneutics was the norm. Literalism was only one of those.

Pre-critical hermenuetics went beyond the literal, but never denied the literal meaning. You certainly would have faced charges of heresy if you argued that Jesus wasn't virgin born in the patristic and medieval periods even if allegory was the rage in the Christian academy.

It was only with the advent of higher criticism that people began to question seriously the historicity of much of the Bible.

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:


It was only with the advent of higher criticism that people began to question seriously the historicity of much of the Bible.

And definitions of historicity changed as well IMO.

My trouble with all this stuff is this.

The conservative and liberal still end up at the same place regardless of belief in historicity and the miraculous etc.

Accept all the miraculous stuff in the creed? Fine. Still doesn't tell you what it means tho.

Don't accept the creed literally or historically but accept it in other ways? Fine. Still have to ask what it means tho.

So either way, one still has to interpret what it means and how it makes a difference today.

So it strikes me as rather a moot point in many ways.

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Pre-critical hermenuetics went beyond the literal, but never denied the literal meaning.

I believe Augustine's hermeneutic was that if the literal meaning contradicted the Rule of Faith or other scriptures, it was automatically relegated to a non - literal meaning.

***

I'd really like a response to the previous post btw.......anyone......please?

It's something that's bothering me.

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a theological scrapbook

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:


It was only with the advent of higher criticism that people began to question seriously the historicity of much of the Bible.

And definitions of historicity changed as well IMO.

My trouble with all this stuff is this.

The conservative and liberal still end up at the same place regardless of belief in historicity and the miraculous etc.

Accept all the miraculous stuff in the creed? Fine. Still doesn't tell you what it means tho.

Don't accept the creed literally or historically but accept it in other ways? Fine. Still have to ask what it means tho.

So either way, one still has to interpret what it means and how it makes a difference today.

So it strikes me as rather a moot point in many ways.

I agree with you that in the end, all this tussle over whether we take things literally or allegorically, misses the point of how we find meaning in both Scripture and Tradition. I suppose if someone asks me if I considered Scripture the Word of God, I would say something like this:

"Well, I'm still reading it so I'm ascribing some sort of authority to it."

Whether that pleases the fundamentalist, I don't know.

In regards to your second point, Augustine's precise argument was that if a "literal" interpretation did not support the Christian imperative to love God and love neighbor, then we are obliged to look at it allegorically. One could say that that was a ray of liberalism in Augustine's overall theology, which is often caricatured as traditionalist and reactionary.

[ 03. February 2013, 12:53: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Dinghy Sailor

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It's worth pointing out that the meaning of the "literal" sense of scripture was that it was the meaning the author intended his text to have. This is not the same as the modern meaning of "literal" and it could include metaphor etc.

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
I agree with you that in the end, all this tussle over whether we take things literally or allegorically, misses the point of how we find meaning in both Scripture and Tradition. I suppose if someone asks me if I considered Scripture the Word of God, I would say something like this:

"Well, I'm still reading it so I'm ascribing some sort of authority to it."

Whether that pleases the fundamentalist, I don't know.

Thank you

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a theological scrapbook

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gorpo
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
The conservative and liberal still end up at the same place regardless of belief in historicity and the miraculous etc.


I don´t think so. You really think there´s no difference between believing Jesus actually existed and ressurrected, and merely believe that it was a nice story and we all can learn something from it? That would put faith in Jesus on the same level as the apreciation of ancient mithology or children stories. I can read Harry Potter and learn a lot of things from it. We can get meaning from books, movies, songs, etc. The whole point of God´s incarnation is that He became part of our history. If God´s incarnation is mere fiction, then Christinity is nothing but a solar religion like mithraism or any other cult of solar gods.

And I do understand there are many ways of interpretation other then literal. However, none of these would lead to deny the claims of historicity of Jesus´ life facts on the gospels. For example, there´s a difference between sayng you don´t believe in Jesus´ virginal conception and sayng the texts do not support the virginal conception literally. The interpretation of a text is not to be confused with the reader´s opinion on the text´s content.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Gorpo - why would you imagine that not literally believing in the virgin birth and/or a physical resuscitation style resurrection means that one does not believe that the Incarnation was a real event?

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
The whole point of God´s incarnation is that He became part of our history.

Not so.

God has been active in history both before and after the incarnation if the bible has any say on the matter.

The incarnation means the fullest revelation of God earth to date.

What does that tell us about the nature of God?

A number of things.......which is where the "meaning" issue comes in.


quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
If God´s incarnation is mere fiction, then Christinity is nothing but a solar religion like mithraism or any other cult of solar gods.

What makes you think other religion's myths are not based on history like ours is?

On what basis do you discern that?

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a theological scrapbook

Posts: 9481 | From: Australia | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
God has been active in history both before and after the incarnation if the bible has any say on the matter.

I wonder if you can give one example of where God has bneen active that cannot be explained by a natural and/or human cause?
Why should the Bible have anything to say on the matter? It was thought of and written by real, ordinary people who believed that it was on God's ideas, and of course it has been re-interpreted continuously since then..
Funnily enough, I have been toying with the idea of starting a topic, 'What does God do?' but hadnt got round to it yet! [Smile]

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
I wonder if you can give one example of where God has bneen active that cannot be explained by a natural and/or human cause?

Once again, you are asking a question that proves you are the living under the illusion of a false dichotomy. Do you know what that is SusanDoris? Pleas look it up, it'll save you a lot of wasted breath on this bulletin board.

In other words, that's an invalid question SusanDoris.

God works by and in nature and humankind. God is not separate from nature and humankind.

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a theological scrapbook

Posts: 9481 | From: Australia | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Bostonman
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# 17108

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
God has been active in history both before and after the incarnation if the bible has any say on the matter.

I wonder if you can give one example of where God has bneen active that cannot be explained by a natural and/or human cause?
Why should the Bible have anything to say on the matter? It was thought of and written by real, ordinary people who believed that it was on God's ideas, and of course it has been re-interpreted continuously since then..
Funnily enough, I have been toying with the idea of starting a topic, 'What does God do?' but hadnt got round to it yet! [Smile]

1. This is like people who ask for evidence of the historical Jesus and start by excluding the New Testament. It's quite a bit less objective to start by excluding huge numbers of documents than vice versa.
2. I suppose you'd explain any spiritual experience, any experience of God's presence, love, and so on as having human/natural causes. Many of us would explain them as having a human/natural manifestation (obviously we don't experience things that have no physical impact on our brains...) but a divine cause. That's not something that can be proved, so good luck trying to get anyone to prove it!

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Anglican_Brat
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# 12349

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
[qb] The whole point of God´s incarnation is that He became part of our history.

Not so.

God has been active in history both before and after the incarnation if the bible has any say on the matter.

The incarnation means the fullest revelation of God earth to date.

What does that tell us about the nature of God?

A number of things.......which is where the "meaning" issue comes in.

One view, proposed by those who advocate a panentheistic understanding of God is that the Incarnation wasn't so much about God entering in from the "outside" since panentheists believe that God is radically immanent within the created order, without being identified with it (which is what pantheism means), but the Incarnation was a signal, a sacramental sign to the underlying closeness that God experiences with creation at all times.

This approach might be more conducive to interfaith and pluralist ventures since its proponents say that Christians, while maintaining that the Christ event is definitive in that it is how they experience God, it is not definitive as to say that it's the only way for everyone else to experience God.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
I wonder if you can give one example of where God has bneen active that cannot be explained by a natural and/or human cause?

Once again, you are asking a question that proves you are the living under the illusion of a false dichotomy. Do you know what that is SusanDoris? Pleas look it up, it'll save you a lot of wasted breath on this bulletin board.
Yes, I did know what it meant, but I looked it up to make sure. However, my choice sometimes is to choose two options only in order to focus on one point rather than too many.
quote:
In other words, that's an invalid question SusanDoris.
Not to me it wasn't!! [Smile]
quote:
God works by and in nature and humankind. God is not separate from nature and humankind.
Those are assertions, are they not?

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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tclune
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# 7959

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Once again, you are asking a question that proves you are the living under the illusion of a false dichotomy. Do you know what that is SusanDoris? Pleas look it up, it'll save you a lot of wasted breath on this bulletin board.

You are being a jerk, Evensong. Do you know what that is? Please look it up. It will save you from being planked for violating Ship rules.

--Tom Clune, Purgatory Host

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This space left blank intentionally.

Posts: 8013 | From: Western MA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
In other words, that's an invalid question SusanDoris.

Not to me it wasn't!! [Smile]

Seems as valid as a thing with validity to me, too.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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gorpo
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# 17025

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Gorpo - why would you imagine that not literally believing in the virgin birth and/or a physical resuscitation style resurrection means that one does not believe that the Incarnation was a real event?

Because incarnation to me is a bigger miracle then the virgin birth or the physical ressurrection, and it´s obviously not logical or scientifically acceptable... I don´t know why someone would believe in the "more", but not in the "less".

And also because most liberal theologians who denied the literal virgin birth or the physical ressurrection have defended a view of the incarnation that can in no way be described as "real". In fact, they merely believe that Jesus had qualities and did things that reflect God was in Him, and this God who was in him obviously was not a personal being, but an impersonal force or feeling, kind of like Tillich´s "ground of all being", whatever that means.

However, if one sincerely believes that the Almighty God has really become flash, tough the authors of the gospels had to make up fake stories to make it prettier (as if that event, by itself, wasn´t special enough), I respect that view, even tough I strongly disagree, and veemently protest against it being preached in historical churches. I don´t have a problem with those who believe different then historical christianity creating their own denominations or defending their ideas outside of the church, tough.

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gorpo
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# 17025

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:

[/qb]

What makes you think other religion's myths are not based on history like ours is?

On what basis do you discern that? [/QB][/QUOTE]

On faith.

As a christian, I should not take the sacred texts and beliefs of other religions in the same regard as in the Bible, and I should not believe the stories about Muhammad and his ascencion to Heaven the same way as I believe the stories about Jesus. However, I don´t go at mosques and preach them muslims that their prophet has not ascended to Heaven and has not received any revelation from Allah... as I believe that nobody should teach from a position of authority in the Church against what the Church believes.

And don´t tell me that faith is only about the meaning of the events, and not its historicity. When Mary found out that Jesus had ressurrected she ran to tell what happened to the apostles. They took their time latter to work out what that meant, however the first news is that Jesus ressurected. If they found out that Mary was lying and nothing happened except in her heart, they wouldn´t bother thinking about what that means. As it looks kinda pathetic to think about the meaning of an event that did not happen.

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Once again, you are asking a question that proves you are the living under the illusion of a false dichotomy. Do you know what that is SusanDoris? Pleas look it up, it'll save you a lot of wasted breath on this bulletin board.

You are being a jerk, Evensong. Do you know what that is? Please look it up. It will save you from being planked for violating Ship rules.

--Tom Clune, Purgatory Host

Yes. Fair enough. My apologies.

I will take it to Hell. It's what I should have done months ago.

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a theological scrapbook

Posts: 9481 | From: Australia | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Zach82
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# 3208

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quote:
Because incarnation to me is a bigger miracle then the virgin birth or the physical ressurrection, and it´s obviously not logical or scientifically acceptable... I don´t know why someone would believe in the "more", but not in the "less".
Not to mention believing in an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly benevolent God. I would think all bets would be off if one believes that, but to my amazement I know a great many people for whom that is not the case. Omnipotent, but incapable of making a baby without sex!

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Don't give up yet, no, don't ever quit/ There's always a chance of a critical hit. Ghost Mice

Posts: 9148 | From: Boston, MA | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Evensong
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# 14696

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
I wonder if you can give one example of where God has bneen active that cannot be explained by a natural and/or human cause?

Once again, you are asking a question that proves you are the living under the illusion of a false dichotomy. Do you know what that is SusanDoris? Pleas look it up, it'll save you a lot of wasted breath on this bulletin board.
Yes, I did know what it meant, but I looked it up to make sure. However, my choice sometimes is to choose two options only in order to focus on one point rather than too many.
quote:
In other words, that's an invalid question SusanDoris.
Not to me it wasn't!! [Smile]
quote:
God works by and in nature and humankind. God is not separate from nature and humankind.
Those are assertions, are they not?

Let us continue this conversation in Hell.

--------------------
a theological scrapbook

Posts: 9481 | From: Australia | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
Omnipotent, but incapable of making a baby without sex!

Well . . . just the one time. [Big Grin]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10706 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evensong
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# 14696

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quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:


What makes you think other religion's myths are not based on history like ours is?

On what basis do you discern that? [/QB]

On faith.

[/QB][/QUOTE]

But that's not faith in God, that's faith in exclusivity.

If it somehow came to light that other religion's historical claims were true (as we believe ours to be), your faith would crumble.

Bit dangerous don't you think? Building a house on sand?

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a theological scrapbook

Posts: 9481 | From: Australia | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
But that's not faith in God, that's faith in exclusivity. If it somehow came to light that other religion's historical claims were true (as we believe ours to be), your faith would crumble. Bit dangerous don't you think? Building a house on sand?

Christianity, and its ancestor Judaism, are essentially exclusive. It is one chosen people, not many. It is one Messiah, not many. A limited amount of Divine favour for other people and religions is compatible with that. But if other religions indeed had serious historical support for their claims to be the true religion, then necessarily Christianity (and Judaism) is false. This is not building a house on sand, this is simply dealing with the facts of the matter. Faith is about something concrete, it is not some abstract and vague sentiment that strings us along.

Now, if Christianity turns out to be false, and it can turn out to be false based on evidence gathered in this world, then I would not for example become an atheist. I know by insuperable philosophical argument that a God much like the Christian God exists. Quite possibly I would even retain some beliefs that I have received from Christianity, for example the concept that immaterial spiritual entities ("angels and demons") exist. But if sufficient evidence is presented for the falsehood of Christianity, then I would turn from it as true religion faster than you can say "hasta la vista". There is no value whatsoever in clinging to false faith, it always is a hindrance to true faith.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

Posts: 12010 | From: Gone fishing | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Holy Smoke
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# 14866

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
...Now, if Christianity turns out to be false, and it can turn out to be false based on evidence gathered in this world, then I would not for example become an atheist. I know by insuperable philosophical argument that a God much like the Christian God exists. Quite possibly I would even retain some beliefs that I have received from Christianity, for example the concept that immaterial spiritual entities ("angels and demons") exist. But if sufficient evidence is presented for the falsehood of Christianity, then I would turn from it as true religion faster than you can say "hasta la vista"...

I don't know what this makes me, but I have yet to see any convincing evidence that any of Christianity's historical claims are true (except, perhaps, Jesus's execution by the Romans), including her claim to uniqueness. There is, to my mind, sufficient evidence of various sorts that there is at least some truth in its spiritual claims, especially those elements which are shared with other belief systems and religions, or perhaps that there is truth in some sort of universal religion or spiritual system which is imperfectly expressed through a religion such as Christianity. Or at the very least, that it is worth taking such a system as a working hypothesis against the time when one is able to validate the facts for oneself.

What I don't see is why it has to be an either/or proposition - either one accepts Christianity (presumably in your case the Roman Catholic Catechism) in its entirety, or one rejects it in its entirety, and runs screaming from the building - why not a middle course, where one recognizes that there is truth in it, even if it is not of itself, The Truth?

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
But that's not faith in God, that's faith in exclusivity. If it somehow came to light that other religion's historical claims were true (as we believe ours to be), your faith would crumble. Bit dangerous don't you think? Building a house on sand?

Christianity, and its ancestor Judaism, are essentially exclusive.
That is to ignore the teachings of the prophets, that all the ethnoi/nations would come.

Most Jews would react very angrily to your suggestion.

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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gorpo
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:


What makes you think other religion's myths are not based on history like ours is?

On what basis do you discern that?

On faith.

[/QB]

But that's not faith in God, that's faith in exclusivity.

If it somehow came to light that other religion's historical claims were true (as we believe ours to be), your faith would crumble.

Bit dangerous don't you think? Building a house on sand? [/QB][/QUOTE]

I don´t think any hypothetical proof of other religion´s claims would affect me in any way. The Bible itself talks about apparent miracles being performed among pagans (for example, the egyptians turning sticks into snakes in front of Moses), and even if it didn´t, there´s nothing that stops God from acting outside of judeo-christianity if He wishes so.

However, supposing there was some type of scientifical evidence that would convince me that Jesus did not ressurrect and my faith would then crumble, I don´t get the argument. You´re sayng that I should not believe because I run the risk of my faith crumbling? If my faith is false, then my faith crumbling would be a good thing. If my faith is true, then not having faith to avoid the possibility of loosing it makes no sense.

But if the founding event of the christian faith, which is Jesus´ressurrection, it false or is merely a fictious story to warm the disciple´s hearts, then I see no value in keeping that faith, other then the smells, bells, community and friends meeting at the Church. That would make the christian church exactly like the atheist church being discussed in another topic.

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
I don't know what this makes me, but I have yet to see any convincing evidence that any of Christianity's historical claims are true (except, perhaps, Jesus's execution by the Romans), including her claim to uniqueness.

I hear that there is considerable historical agreement on a bit more than that, e.g., that it is rather clear that Jesus' tomb was indeed found empty. But it doesn't matter to me, personally. My own faith in Christ is not based on history, really. My point was simply that if there was historical proof for other religions, then that would be a serious problem for Christianity (and Judaism).

quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
There is, to my mind, sufficient evidence of various sorts that there is at least some truth in its spiritual claims, especially those elements which are shared with other belief systems and religions, or perhaps that there is truth in some sort of universal religion or spiritual system which is imperfectly expressed through a religion such as Christianity. Or at the very least, that it is worth taking such a system as a working hypothesis against the time when one is able to validate the facts for oneself.

I consider this to be insufficient. But it is not so easy to explain why. It has to do with what religion is like, essentially, which makes such reductionism impossible. We cannot say for example that this piece of Picasso is also found in Monet, and Rembrandt, and therefore is "true art" whereas what they do not share isn't. It doesn't work that way. Not that one cannot isolate say the use of colour as important to painting. But in isolation this means nothing. Likewise, there is no sense in seeking some kind of "lowest common denominator" of religion, as far as being religious is concerned. There may be academic interest in that, but it cannot move you. For religion to work, it has to grasp you. Whole.

quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
What I don't see is why it has to be an either/or proposition - either one accepts Christianity (presumably in your case the Roman Catholic Catechism) in its entirety, or one rejects it in its entirety, and runs screaming from the building - why not a middle course, where one recognizes that there is truth in it, even if it is not of itself, The Truth?

Religion has to go beyond you. How can it do that, if you are the ultimate judge of its truths? You can judge where you place your bet. But if you don't risk, you cannot win.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

Posts: 12010 | From: Gone fishing | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
My point was simply that if there was historical proof for other religions, then that would be a serious problem for Christianity (and Judaism).

I can imagine a third century Christian (Tertullian?) claiming that if there were historical proof for pagan philosophy, then that would be a serious problem for Christianity. Saints of the church have shown otherwise by incorporating Aristotle and Plato into Christian theology.
I don't see why other religions cannot be incorporated on the same basis. In both cases, there are propositions that are flatly incompatible with Christian faith. But in the case of Greek philosophy there were also propositions that clarified key doctrines. For example, the Christian doctrine of God as creator is clarified by Greek philosophy.
In this context, the distinction between philosophy and religion is entirely arbitrary.
(One exasperating fact is that a lot of the people who are most keen on recognising Indian or Chinese thought think that recognising Greek thought was a mistake.)

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10567 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I don't see why other religions cannot be incorporated on the same basis.

Because there is an essential difference between philosophy and religion.

quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
In this context, the distinction between philosophy and religion is entirely arbitrary.

Rather, it is historically self-evident and utterly crucial.

Setting aside questions of mere inculturation (i.e., accidental rather than essential adaptations to a prevailing culture which in part will have been shaped by previous religion), Graeco-Roman religion was incompatible with Christianity. Graeco-Roman philosopy not. Because true religion contains, or at least is compatible with, all truth, including all the natural truths that philosophy of whatever origin and aim can potentially discover. But true religion is never compatible with falsehoods, such as the super-natural (i.e., not accessible to unaided natural reason) falsehoods that false religion inevitably entails.

Apart from the total logical fail that religious syncretism represents, it also is entirely unworkable given the human psyche. Actual religion requires spiritual dedication that cannot be achieved with religious vagaries. Notably, when religions seem to "hoover up" other religions, they invariably subsume the new variety as accidental, not essential. If it doesn't matter whether you pray to A, B or C, and whether you do it via X, Y or Z, then indeed that doesn't matter. This does however merely indicate that something else matters. And conflicts there are not acceptable, because that would put single-minded dedication itself into doubt and thereby destroy the long-term viability of that religion.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

Posts: 12010 | From: Gone fishing | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged



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