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Source: (consider it) Thread: What should we do about 'our own' terrorists?
mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
According to Plato, then, the corruption of the young involved Socrates encouraging them to venerate different gods

Very little would give me greater joy than discussing Plato and Socrates - it is a lot more complex than you're suggesting.

But I fear that this is a tangent too far for this thread. Maybe another time.

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure, although in fairness they'd be outliers whereas at times in the past they would have represented something akin to received wisdom.


OK, but then how is one determining "outliers"? Measured against the RCC and Orthodox, all Reformation churches are outliers.

It is stupid, and circular, to make a universal claim of knowledge direct from the bible which clearly cannot be supported without a whole lot of interpretation and which owes a lot to a developing understanding of biblical interpretation developed by the very structures that Evangelicals claim that they can bypass and within the context of a theological structure they say that they don't need.

But it is even more stupid to claim that one's own hermeneutic is the only valid one and then to use that to measure whether or not other churches or movements are outliers.

This talk of outliers is just code with Evangelicals use to pretend that they can create theology in toto from the bible - and then use it as a stick to beat everyone else with.

I get that, but my point was a lot simpler - namely that within evangelical circles those who would advocate anything approaching state-owned violence against 'heretics' and unbelievers would be in a marginal minority.

That said, I don't think such views would be very far beneath the surface with some of the more right-wing evangelicals - although not in a very 'realised' or systematic way - more a vague kind of belief that the state should uphold their values in some way.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
within evangelical circles those who would advocate anything approaching state-owned violence against 'heretics' and unbelievers would be in a marginal minority.

That said, I don't think such views would be very far beneath the surface with some of the more right-wing evangelicals

"Marginal minority"?

It's not impossible that they exist, but I have never come across a single instance of a present-day evangelical who thinks that a "Christian" state should kill heretics or unbelievers.

On the other hand, there are definitely those on the ultra-nationalist extreme of Orthodoxy who want the state used against the non-Orthodox, though AFAIK that doesn't extend to wanting them actually killed.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
RC Sproul

R C Sproul - now you're wheeling out the heavy artillery!

Seriously, Sproul is scarcely a Bible scholar in the academic sense of the word, and even if he were, popping up his name in the context of this issue would be like producing a Christian with a genuine science doctorate to refute the case for a four billion year-old earth and evolution.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
If I were as maniacal and authoritarian as you suggest I'd be inviting you to join me in the Nether Regions at this point, but I won't.

For fuck's sake settle down, Gamaliel.

If I called people to Hell every time they needled me, I'd spend my whole time on the Ship there, but I'm just not interested.

But if it makes you feel better, by all means go there and get it all out of your system.

Go nuts.

Knock yourself out.

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Gamaliel
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I have settled down, Kaplan and that's why I'm not calling you to Hell.

If it makes you feel any better, I haven't come across any evangelicals who'd advocate the kind of violence I described upthread either, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

There would be many of them, but they are out there - and largely in the US.

As for extreme and whacko Orthodox, yes, they exist too. I've come across Orthodox crackpots online although not, mercifully, in real life.

As for your irritating me to the point of a near-miss Hell call ...

No, you've not pushed me to the edge but think how irritating it'd be if I or anyone else here were to question your mental health, continually failed to read your posts for comprehension and continued to elide or dismiss any semblance of historical context in their remarks.

You'd get pissed off with them if anyone did that to you.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
think how irritating it'd be if I or anyone else here were to question your mental health

They come very close to it!

I would have thought that we know each other well enough for you to realise that my comments in this regard were part of the robust give and take of debate, but if you seriously feel that I have impugned your mental health, then I apologise unreservedly


quote:
continually failed to read your posts for comprehension

You'd get pissed off with them if anyone did that to you.

They do, all the time, and yes, I do get pissed off.

[ 17. July 2017, 01:48: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
As for extreme and whacko Orthodox, yes, they exist too. I've come across Orthodox crackpots online although not, mercifully, in real life.

Oh God, yes. I've been on the receiving end of their venomous spite. There was even a whole board -- comparable to Ecclesiantics or Kerygmania -- on an Orthodox online site dedicated to attacking me personally. Fun! These same people opined that Jesus never pissed or shat because that would be "seeing corruption".

There are also Orthodoxen who think Rasputin should be made a saint. Others (or really probably the same people) want to make Stalin a saint also.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Are you saying that there are no Christian traditions that believe in state power? Or that nobody thinks genocide is acceptable? Or that nobody thinks heretics should be rooted out?

Because there clearly are Christians who believe that. So it clearly isn't the case that there is a hermeneutic on these issues which is universally accepted by everyone.

I'm not sure that you know what a hermeneutic is.

It is a principle of interpretation, preferably the best on offer.

It does not refer to, as you imply, a method the efficacy of which is measured by whether or not it produces uniform results.

I have pointed this out a number of times.

A grammatical-historical hermeneutic will often throw up a number of acceptable possibilities, but it will also eliminate others as beyond the Pale.

Thus a hermeneutically sound exposition of the NT can be used to justify both just war and pacifism, but not the extermination of pagans.

Likewise it can be used to underpin a number of possible positions in ecclesiology, pneumatology, eschatology etc, but it cannot be used to to teach the prophetic content of the dimensions of the Great Pyramid, or that it is incumbent upon Christian kings to acquire one thousand sex partners.

It does not follow from the fact that some Christians in the past believed in killing the heathen, that their hermeneutic was as good as any other, and that there is therefore nothing to choose between hermeneutical systems.

It means that they were using a faulty hermeneutic, or misusing a sound one, or were ignorant, or were disobedient.

It doesn't work to trivialise or manipulate that into, "Sez you!", because all sane Christians (including yourself) believe that these days, as have countless Christians in the past.

[ 17. July 2017, 03:34: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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mr cheesy
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No, you don't get to define words in a particular way because it suits your argument.

There is no sense that violence against heathens is a nonviable hermeneutic simply because better ideas are available. That's nonsense.

Because ultimately you don't get to be the judge to decide on whether other people have ideas which are viable.

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Gamaliel
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FWIW, it's because I know you well enough and have met you real life and thought you were cool, that I haven't toppled over into Hell with this one ...

The robustness too, I like. It does me good. I'm British and can far too equivocal.

No, the thing that rankled is the same thing that appears to be mr cheesy's gripe - albeit less personally - that you apparently - I said apparently - feel that you have priveleged access to a position where you can act as judge and jury on the conclusions / attitudes of previous generations without fully grappling with the issues / conditions that led them to adopting those positions.

You can call me nutty as a fruitcake if you like. I don't mind. But it came across as if you felt your own view was so self-evident that if anyone disagreed they must have a screw or two loose.

Also, you'd apparently overlooked or misunderstood the point I was making about pre-Reformation and pre-Enlightenment hermeneutics, as if I were making out that they were a completely radical departure from what had gone before rather than a gradual divergence or development.

Other than that, I'm cool with your conclusions - just not convinced of the route you are taking to arrive at them.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


Other than that, I'm cool with your conclusions - just not convinced of the route you are taking to arrive at them.

I'm not. It is an effort to cast Christianity as inherently peaceful in contrast to Islam which is painted as inherently violent.

And, more importantly, it is bollocks. It is crap to say that it is impossible to believe a "theory of interpretation" of Christianity which is violent to non-believers.

It is perfectly possible to come up with a theory of interpretation which holds together that takes account of the NT and which understands it within the context of a spiritual kingdom after Joshua.

Believers in such a thing do not accept ideas or theories that are "non-viable", they're absolutely viable and consistent with a certain way to interpret the bible.

You don't have to make up a load of additional crap to believe that God is telling you to destroy his enemies, you just have to read the bible in a certain way.

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Martin60
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And it was not just possible but inevitable, mandatory, unavoidable in church-state theocracy from Constantine through Philip of Spain, Puritanism, all European colonialism and imperialism, taken up in US theocapitalism with sacred Israel.

This is the dominant Christian hermeneutic. That of the Beast and his prophet.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:

This is the dominant Christian hermeneutic.

Mmm. I'm not sure that crusader-style destruction of "the other" is the dominent hermeneutic however it is clearly true even in our times that Christianity has no problem having power in societies that practice extreme violence.

Sometimes it is just that the dominant theology takes no account of political violence and is content to sit on the sidelines and say nothing. But there are clearly times when the political violence is sanctioned by the dominant Christian theology which has the power to act it out.

I think most of us would agree that only a few Christian extremists today would think they can justify genocide theologically. But a far larger number believe that they can justify dropping nuclear weapons on enemies, greater still that aggressive wars are justified, greater still that certain kinds of non-believers should have their rights removed.

Saying that few today believe in the kind of hideous terrorist acts we sadly associate with some corners of Islam ignores the fact that Christianity is tied to systems of power that oppress and commit state violence in other ways.

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mr cheesy
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At the same time it seeks to downplay the acts of various forms of Christian extremists as those of crazed heretics whilst at the same time claiming that those who make the same kinds of horrible violence in the name of Islam are reflecting the central logic and position of that religion.

It is the double standard here that is absolutely sickening.

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Martin60
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Aye. We live in the spirit of that hermeneutic. We have institutionalized that evil above all. Resurrected Babylon. Confusion.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
RC Sproul

R C Sproul - now you're wheeling out the heavy artillery!

Seriously, Sproul is scarcely a Bible scholar in the academic sense of the word

Well, I have no idea of why you asked lilbuddha the original question that led down this tangent - and you have cut the rest of my post that lends context.

My point was that there are theologians and teachers across the ages who have differed on something as relatively simple as the authorship of Hebrews.

Sproul taught at two conservative reformed seminaries, doubtless he has had an impact in shaping how the average Christian in the denominations fed from those seminaries think about all sorts of things. When society at large thinks in a particular way, the same thing happens at a more macro level.

In general, a large amount of effort has been expended in keeping theology 'reasoned' - the church wasn't just picking a grab bag of reasons to believe six impossible things before breakfast, or at least was trying not to. That you believe their stances to be wrong given the weight of an additional thousand years of thinking doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't have a reasoned defence of what they thought.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:

In general, a large amount of effort has been expended in keeping theology 'reasoned' - the church wasn't just picking a grab bag of reasons to believe six impossible things before breakfast, or at least was trying not to. That you believe their stances to be wrong given the weight of an additional thousand years of thinking doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't have a reasoned defence of what they thought.

Exactly. I understand that the JWs believe Hebrews was written by Paul. Presumably because this fits within a theological hermeneutic and metanarrative and worldview that they hold.

It seems nonsense to me to claim that the JWs have an "invalid" hermeneutic given that it holds together, it is worked out and gives an over-arching structure to understand the scriptures. If the measure of validity of a hermeneutic isn't internal consistency and that it gives a framework for understanding and interpretation, then what is it?

I can't see that pointing to or claiming certain historical authority figures that one happens to agree with is any kind of measure of hermeneutical validity, although I suppose a hermeneutic is unlikely to be invalid if a bunch of people have worked within it in different ways. But surely that cuts both ways - a bunch of JW theologians have worked within their hermeneutic, therefore in what sense can it be said to be invalid?

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Gamaliel
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I get the points you are making, mr cheesy and am in broad agreement.

My point is that I agree with the conclusions Kaplan has reached - that it is wrong to kill pagans and heretics - but I don't believe for one moment that he has arrived at that conclusion purely by applying some kind of anti-Semitic, squeaky clean application of an historical-grammatical hermeneutic.

Rather, he has reached that conclusion by a whole set of influences, some of which wouldn't have been available to Charlemagne.

It's the anachronistic approach I am objecting to.

I don't believe in executing pagans and heretics not because there's a verse which tells me not to do so but because I'm the product of a whole range of cultural, theological and societal influences that says that it ain't a smart thing to do.

Kaplan - ITSM - is applying a later hermeneutic unrealistically, natively and anachronistically whilst trying to claim it is self-evident. Which is bollocks.

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Gamaliel
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Bugger that predictive text! That should have read 'anti-septic' not 'anti-Semitic.'

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Martin60
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@mr cheesy, aye, guilty as I am of binary rhetoric above, I wouldn't formally declare an entire hermeneutic black or white. I've always liked functional decomposition, algorithm flow charts: an information science approach ... there must be a Bayesian network for all this.

But at the end of the day, what's whitest?

[ 17. July 2017, 09:46: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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mr cheesy
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The best theology is a different question as to whether something is or isn't a valid hermeneutic.

I happen to believe that all violence and state religion is wrong for the Christian. But other (wrong) views are available and I'm not trying to pretend that they're not to be understood as a real theological tradition within the religion.

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Martin60
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Understood, agreed. Inclusively looping back to the OP and beyond, extreme Islamist hermeneutics are similarly valid too.

[ 17. July 2017, 13:41: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Inclusively looping back to the OP and beyond, extreme Islamist hermeneutics are similarly valid too.

I don't know, but I suspect that they are - at least it appears that the violence is part of a particular framework which developed in order to understand the religion.

The only way I can see that it could be invalid would be if the extremist claimed it to be Islam but had nothing at all to do with it. So someone maybe claiming the name of Islam but in practice getting all their theological ideas from watching TV wrestling.

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Gamaliel
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Surely it's for Muslims to decide whether or not extreme jihadism or Islamism uses a valid hermeneutic or not?

As for whether Charlemagne and his contemporaries were using a valid or an invalid approach, the whole point is that nobody's approach is value-free nor isolated in some way from their particular context.

Kaplan insists that the historical-grammatical method that is now apparently in vogue right across the board is 'the only one we have.'

Even if it was it's used alongside all sorts of other criteria and never used in isolation.

We have 'scripture, reason and tradition', we have Big T Tradition, we have small t tradition ...

What we don't have is a universally agreed hermeneutical method that is hermetically sealed in a box and which operates independently or us and independently of the accumulated wisdom (or otherwise) of the various Christian faith communities down the ages.

No-one has that kind of luxury. Not the Jews, not the Muslims, not the Christians ...

No-one.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Surely it's for Muslims to decide whether or not extreme jihadism or Islamism uses a valid hermeneutic or not?

Mmm I don't know. It kinda stretches the meaning of words if the idea of valid/invalid is only determined by the people in a particular religion.

A more interesting question for me is about the point when a particular religion grows and changes to the extent that it isn't any longer the same thing.

So I've been pondering whether Bahai can be considered a valid hermeneutic of Islam and Mormonism of Christianity. I think it is hard to say - they're both valid at least in the sense that they make sense and give a structured way to understand their faith. But one might also argue that the faith they're seeking to understand isn't Islam/Christianity, at least as far as many others might understand it.

So I've been pondering whether we might say that violent Crusader Christians might be said to have a valid hermeneutic but that the thing they're believing in is no longer Christianity.

The problem is that there is no easy way to make that judgment, particularly when those engaging in this kind of activity in the Crusader era were clearly at the centre of the Christian religion as it was understood (at least in Western Europe).

So determining whether or not a violent person is correct in claiming that they're part of Islam or Christianity or whatnot must be an interpretation informed largely by the hermeneutic and worldview of the observer. No?

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Gamaliel
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Sure, but there's also the communal or collegial dimension ... and that also begs the question as to how far we extend that and who we include.

Who decides whether X, Y, Z brand / subset of Islam, say, is 'heretical' or unorthodox? Islam doesn't have a Magisterium.

Who decides whether Mormons, JWs, Christadelphians or other 'marginal' groups with a base, originally, in broadly orthodox Christianity, should be included or excluded from the fold?

It's a similar question as to how we determine what constitutes canonical scripture ... easier for the NT perhaps, but even then ...

Who decides/determines whether the Ethiopian Orthodox, for instance, should have as many books in their Bibles? They have 77 I think, or at least a lot more than anyone else ...

The simple answer would be that they decide themselves. The rest of us can have an opinion on it but ultimately it's up to them to decide using whatever criteria it is they use ...

On the Crusades issue, on one level I'm not even sure we're asking the right set of questions when it comes to debating whether their hermeneutic was faulty or not ...

Why? Because, as ever, there were a lot more forces and influences coming into play than whether someone could find chapter and verse to justify this, that or the other ...

On one level, many historians believe that the Papal sanction of Crusades arose partly to provide some kind of external / common enemy focus to distract ruffianly knights from knocking 12 shades of shit out of one another across Western Europe.

As far as I understand it, the Eastern Church/es were broadly in favour of the Crusades initially as they welcomed military assistance against a common foe. That changed when the Crusaders started whacking 12 shades of shit out of them as well as the Saracens ...

And also, it has to be said, taking revenge for The Massacre of the Latins in 1182 which is something you don't hear the Orthodox say a great deal about, for all the understandable whining they do about the Sack of Constantinople in 1204.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Latins

Whatever the case, I think there's an interesting dynamic going on throughout the whole thing that goes beyond finding proof-texts or citing chapter and verse for this, that or the other - as important as that clearly is, if done 'properly' as it were.

I've recently been impressed by Larry Siedentop's 'Inventing The Individual' (Penguin/Random House 2014 ISBN 978-0-141-00954-4)

Siedentop makes the case that Western Christianity helped to break down the aristocratic family/nabob type approach of the classical period paving the way for modern ideas of equality and individual freedom.

He's quite good on Charlemagne and 'The Carolingian Compromise' and whilst he doesn't elide the familiar concerns about the Papacy, he treats the whole thing very differently to the standard, 'Nasty old Popes, nasty medieval Catholics ...' thing - because he sees the Church as playing a key role in moderating both classical and 'barbarian' tendencies to down-grade the individual ...

It repays a read whether we are convinced by his conclusions or not.

I, of course, took a both/and view ...

[Big Grin] [Biased]

At any rate, the point is, there's far more to it than finding proof-texts and citing chapter and verse against this, that or the other.

It's far more holistic than that.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Surely it's for Muslims to decide whether or not extreme jihadism or Islamism uses a valid hermeneutic or not?

Mmm I don't know. It kinda stretches the meaning of words if the idea of valid/invalid is only determi
How is "can perforce be determined by people outside the religion in question" part of the meaning of the words "valid" and "invalid"? That's not in, or implied by, any definition of the words I've ever seen.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
How is "can perforce be determined by people outside the religion in question" part of the meaning of the words "valid" and "invalid"? That's not in, or implied by, any definition of the words I've ever seen.

I'm not sure I understand what you've written here.

I was really reflecting on the words "valid hermeneutic" and whether one has to be a Muslim to know whether a given hermeneutic is or isn't valid. I did express some uncertainty, but I'm not entirely convinced that this must be the case.

Whilst it might be difficult for someone outside that worldview to be sure, it seems likely to me that it ought to be possible for someone who has studied Islam to determine whether violence is or isn't a valid hermeneutic for Muslims. As I said, the only way I can understand the term is to say that it is a broad methodology of theology to interpret the religion - with the validity related to whether the ideas hold together, have internal consistency and engage with the things that they're trying to explain.

A hermeneutic which would be invalid would be something on the level of saying that Muslims have to wage violent jihad because the robots are taking over the solar system and only people with curly eyebrows can save humanity. That seems to me to be invalid because it contains a whole load of stuff which can't be inferred from the writings, tradition etc of that religion.

Violence can reasonably be inferred from the bible and, I think, the Koran because there are various passages which seem to suggest it is a good idea. A theological methodology of interpretation which includes violence would therefore seem to be within the collection of theologies which could be validly held about those religions.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Surely it's for Muslims to decide whether or not extreme jihadism or Islamism uses a valid hermeneutic or not?

All depends on your hermeneutic hermeneutic.

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Love wins

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I don't believe in executing pagans and heretics not because there's a verse which tells me not to do so but because I'm the product of a whole range of cultural, theological and societal influences that says that it ain't a smart thing to do.

"Smart"?

You don't believe in executing pagans and heretics because it's not smart?

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:

Originally posted by Russ:

quote:
Seems to me that either we understand Charlemagne's acts as:
a) Christian...
b) heretical...
c) secular... ...basically a king behaving as kings did in those days

Charlemagne inherited a tradition that probably goes back to the bronze age, but which at any rate was common in antiquity which said that the government had a responsibility to regulate religion...

Charlemagne didn't just pull this stuff out of his arse. He read his Bible (or had others read it to him) and came to the conclusion that as Emperor of the West it was his job to put down paganism in Saxony based on assumptions that had been pretty much par for the course in his part of the world for millennia...

but to suggest that Charlemagne ignored the clear meaning of scripture or was purely interested in advancing the power of the Carolignian dynasty is to wrench him from his historical context.

You think he saw his duty to God as providing strong and stable government ?

Your version lacks the cynicism of mine, but you locate the source of the act in pre-Christian ideas of the role of the monarch, rather than in the content of the Christian faith, so that's still a secular act rather than a Christian act.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

I think most of us would agree that only a few Christian extremists today would think they can justify genocide theologically. But a far larger number believe that they can justify dropping nuclear weapons on enemies, greater still that aggressive wars are justified, greater still that certain kinds of non-believers should have their rights removed.

Saying that few today believe in the kind of hideous terrorist acts we sadly associate with some corners of Islam ignores the fact that Christianity is tied to systems of power that oppress and commit state violence in other ways.

Seems to me that Christianity has always been ambivalent about state violence. In the earliest days some Christians refused to serve in the Roman army, while others have interpreted "render to Caesar" as justifying participation in all the activities of the state that secular thinking deems morally licit.

And those differences have not, in general, been the cause of the major divisions in Christianity. Pacifism and militarism crop up in most denominations, without either position featuring in the lists of principal heresies.

Neither position is characteristically Christian. Individual Christians have believed each in good conscience.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Kaplan insists that the historical-grammatical method that is now apparently in vogue right across the board is 'the only one we have.'

Even if it was it's used alongside all sorts of other criteria and never used in isolation.

We have 'scripture, reason and tradition', we have Big T Tradition, we have small t tradition ...

And as you know quite well, I have never denied the reality of Traditions/traditions, which can be beneficial, deleterious, or simply there to be acknowledged.

It doesn't follow that we forbidden to say things such as, "The slaughter of heathen by Charlemagne was driven by a tradition which distorted the best historical/grammatical interpretation of the biblical text".

The practice of good hermeneutics can never be perfect, but, as in the case of other values such as justice and impartiality, there is an ideal toward which should always persist.

We don't (or shouldn't) simply abandon the effort the effort because its too hard, and resign ourselves to relativism or mere subjective choice.

[ 18. July 2017, 00:58: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It is an effort to cast Christianity as inherently peaceful in contrast to Islam which is painted as inherently violent.

Your thinking is distorted by political and ideological paranoia.

It is perfectly possible to argue objectively that no rational hermeneutic can extract a case for slaughtering unbelievers from the NT, but that a hermeneutically sound case can be made from the Koran for perpetrating violence against unbelievers, without any "Islamophobic" subtext.

quote:
It is crap to say that it is impossible to believe a "theory of interpretation" of Christianity which is violent to non-believers.

But nobody has said that.

Obviously it is possible, because we have historical instances of people (like Charlemagne) apparently believing that very thing.

It is what they believed, and the process (if any) by which they reached that belief which is crap.

[ 18. July 2017, 01:12: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
our thinking is distorted by political and ideological paranoia.

Riiiiight.

quote:
It is perfectly possible to argue objectively that no rational hermeneutic can extract a case for slaughtering unbelievers from the NT, but that a hermeneutically sound case can be made from the Koran for perpetrating violence against unbelievers, without any "Islamophobic" subtext.
And it is perfectly possible to argue the opposite. Why is your argument and view better than mine?

quote:
But nobody has said that.

Obviously it is possible, because we have historical instances of people (like Charlemagne) apparently believing that very thing.

It is what they believed, and the process (if any) by which they reached that belief which is crap.

But what does that even mean? How can a process of theological thinking be crap (invalid)?

It can be wrong: I acknowledge that there is a body of thinking which has developed in Sikhism. I don't believe it is correct.

But in saying that the process is crap, you're asserting that there was no way they could have possibly come to the conclusion that they did within the parameters of Christianity; and you're asserting that if they'd done a bit more thinking it would have been obvious that this was the case.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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mdijon
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# 8520

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I guess by "crap" one is going further than labeling a hermeneutic¹ incorrect and saying it is so badly incorrect that one could not have got it that badly wrong without negligence, weakness or deliberate fault. It implies bad faith or corruption. I think that would have to be shown rather than asserted.

¹ [Does that word just mean interpretation by someone signalling that they are theologically inclined or does it mean something more?]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

[Does that word just mean interpretation by someone signalling that they are theologically inclined or does it mean something more?]

I think it means a worked-out system of thought in a theological setting. I don't think it necessarily means that any given individual has done the thinking, just that they're moving within a space where the thinking has been done.

I don't suppose that every Mormon has completely understood all of the detail of their system of theology, presumably many just accept that this is the way things are and work/think within it.

But then I think I believe in something like an evolution of ideas. Individual theologians may influence how later worldviews and hermeneutics develop, I'm not sure that they've themselves normally created it by signalling that they're thinking theologically.

In another context, I'd say that Marx wrote stuff which became a political hermeneutic in the sense that it gave a backing and intellectual understanding for a particular way of thinking about the world. But I think it only became that after Marx, during his lifetime is was just another idea floating around, it only had power when it got taken on and accepted as foundational by a lot of people.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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# 368

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We are such a slow, dumb, tiny minded species. It's not our fault. This is the body of death we are saved from in transcendence. We cannot shake off the body of death until we die or we're incredibly privileged by chance in this life and then we're still left with the damage done by having been bound to it. Intelligent, otherwise decent people are hopelessly enslaved by weird, nasty narratives all around. The vast majority of people of faith. What do we have to socially evolve to in a millennium or ten - after which hopefully none of our current institutions will exist, including English and Arabic - so that our biological subspecies can do best? Or do we have to wait for actual evolution to make us more intelligent, more plastic so that stories don't enslave us so easily? In at least hundreds of thousands of years?

As for our terrorists, nothing can be done for as long as the constitutional USA exists, when they wear a badge and carry a gun.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I think we have to consciously choose theologies which lead to peace and life. Not because it is plainly obvious from our scriptures, not because it is the plain truth from our traditions. And not because our interpretations are obviously invalid whereas those other interpretations are the only true, valid ones.

And I don't think we can even rely on the idea that these peaceful theologies were intended from the beginning - because I don't think it is possible to tell from this distance what was intended from the beginning.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

Pacifism and militarism crop up in most denominations, without either position featuring in the lists of principal heresies.

Neither position is characteristically Christian. Individual Christians have believed each in good conscience.

If that is the case, then that negates your previous claim that Charlemagne's acts were distinctively secular.

There's a separate problem posed too - that of teasing out the extent to which our current set of hermeneutics are defined and driven by what is currently secular - this is easier to see at a remove, and harder from close up. In that sense, there are probably parallels between historiography and the grammatical-historical.

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Martin60
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# 368

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@Mr cheesy, aye. The trouble is, do we have the time? Non-Muslim theologies are irrelevant in public discourse in Europe. Their throw weight is less than the mass of their adherents. And negative to playing catch-up with secular liberalism at best. In America it's much worse. The only discourse is going to be between European pluralism and European Islam and only in national, linguistic sub-cultures. Especially the English. And the German. What additional discourse is English Islam going to have to have internally that will enable it to transcend along the arc of the moral universe to a theology which leads to more peace and better life within a dominant secular pluralist culture? One that doesn't formally condemn? Or is this it? This is the best of all possible secular pluralist, growing Muslim minority (containing significant shuhada - 'witnesses' as in the Greek), Englands?

[ 18. July 2017, 13:05: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
What additional discourse is English Islam going to have to have internally that will enable it to transcend along the arc of the moral universe to a theology which leads to more peace and better life within a dominant secular pluralist culture? One that doesn't formally condemn? Or is this it? This is the best of all possible secular pluralist, growing Muslim minority (containing significant shuhada - 'witnesses' as in the Greek), Englands?

I don't know. If Christianity is anything to go by, Islam will develop theologies which stands aghast when faced with promoting the religion via knife-wielding murderers.. but there is a lot of work to do before it is generally accepted that a state religion or caliphate is a bad idea and that all violence with a religious name is bad.

Christianity has done a lot of work on this but is still fatally compromised on state religion and violence. There is little hope that Islam will bypass us and develop more progressive and peaceful theology than we have at the moment.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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# 368

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Ayyyye. Cuh. Fuh. As it invariably is, this IS the best of all possible worlds, of all possible trajectories of the moral universe. As for 'our' terrorists, i.e. terrorists from the dominant non-Muslim culture, they are so far only 1% as effective and as with Muslim terrorists, an open society is going to have to take hits and MAY BE learn to keep its fucking nose out of other people's back yards (despite Bliar's insane denial, we paid for Iraq and because of Cameron we paid for Libya and Iraq again), fuelling the whole cycle. I'm reading Ian M. Banks final masterpiece The Hydrogen Sonata and wondering what the Culture would do. Not a scenario it ever encountered internally.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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Banks' ...

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Love wins

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:

Originally posted by Russ:

quote:
Seems to me that either we understand Charlemagne's acts as:
a) Christian...
b) heretical...
c) secular... ...basically a king behaving as kings did in those days

Charlemagne inherited a tradition that probably goes back to the bronze age, but which at any rate was common in antiquity which said that the government had a responsibility to regulate religion...

Charlemagne didn't just pull this stuff out of his arse. He read his Bible (or had others read it to him) and came to the conclusion that as Emperor of the West it was his job to put down paganism in Saxony based on assumptions that had been pretty much par for the course in his part of the world for millennia...

but to suggest that Charlemagne ignored the clear meaning of scripture or was purely interested in advancing the power of the Carolignian dynasty is to wrench him from his historical context.

You think he saw his duty to God as providing strong and stable government ?

Your version lacks the cynicism of mine, but you locate the source of the act in pre-Christian ideas of the role of the monarch, rather than in the content of the Christian faith, so that's still a secular act rather than a Christian act.

Charlemagne was a medieval king so strong and stable government was pretty important to him.

As for defining his views as 'secular' on the grounds that they had pre-Christian antecedents, then you'd have to define quite a lot as secular on those grounds, including belief in God. In any event Charlemagne wouldn't have had a concept of the secular in the way the word is used nowadays.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Ayyyye. Cuh. Fuh. As it invariably is, this IS the best of all possible worlds, of all possible trajectories of the moral universe. As for 'our' terrorists, i.e. terrorists from the dominant non-Muslim culture, they are so far only 1% as effective and as with Muslim terrorists, an open society is going to have to take hits and MAY BE learn to keep its fucking nose out of other people's back yards

I don't know that Christian terrorists are only 1% as effective as the current Islamic ones. It rather depends on what one defines as terrorism.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Ayyyye. Cuh. Fuh. As it invariably is, this IS the best of all possible worlds, of all possible trajectories of the moral universe. As for 'our' terrorists, i.e. terrorists from the dominant non-Muslim culture, they are so far only 1% as effective and as with Muslim terrorists, an open society is going to have to take hits and MAY BE learn to keep its fucking nose out of other people's back yards (despite Bliar's insane denial, we paid for Iraq and because of Cameron we paid for Libya and Iraq again), fuelling the whole cycle. I'm reading Ian M. Banks final masterpiece The Hydrogen Sonata and wondering what the Culture would do. Not a scenario it ever encountered internally.

From the Iraqui point of view, or at least some people in Iraq, we are the terrorists. Granted, not Christian ones, particularly. I don't know how widespread this view is across the Middle East, or in fact, the world.

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no path

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Ayyyye. Cuh. Fuh. As it invariably is, this IS the best of all possible worlds, of all possible trajectories of the moral universe. As for 'our' terrorists, i.e. terrorists from the dominant non-Muslim culture, they are so far only 1% as effective and as with Muslim terrorists, an open society is going to have to take hits and MAY BE learn to keep its fucking nose out of other people's back yards (despite Bliar's insane denial, we paid for Iraq and because of Cameron we paid for Libya and Iraq again), fuelling the whole cycle. I'm reading Ian M. Banks final masterpiece The Hydrogen Sonata and wondering what the Culture would do. Not a scenario it ever encountered internally.

From the Iraqui point of view, or at least some people in Iraq, we are the terrorists. Granted, not Christian ones, particularly. I don't know how widespread this view is across the Middle East, or in fact, the world.
We are not terrorists by any meaningful definition of the word. We are invaders.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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Rushes off to buy 'On Western Terrorism' by Chomsky.

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no path

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