Re: MD On Faith

From: Scott Roberts (
Date: Thu Oct 14 2004 - 19:11:13 BST

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    [Wim:]> 1) You -quite uncritically- quote Scott: "What I find annoying are
    > of religion who have not studied it. No modern non-fundamentalist
    > is ignorant of the value of science, but how many critics of religion are
    > familiar with modern theology?"
    > As a Quaker I object to equating religion and theology. Theology guides my
    > life just as little as chemistry. If anyone wants to criticize my
    > please study its practice.

    I didn't equate theology with religion. But there is theology to study.
    That is not all there is to study, as there are also people who write books
    on their own practice and why it is valuable to them, plus books on
    comparative religion, etc. I emphasized theology because if one takes a
    random practitioner of, say, Catholicism or Buddhism, one often finds
    discrepancies between the beliefs of the practitioner and the "official"
    religion (though more and more, theologians are recognizing that concepts
    like "official" don't really apply, that there are no single correct
    answers). For example, I once heard in a documentary a Buddhist saying that
    dying was ok, since she would be reincarnated. She seemed to be unaware
    that Buddhism was about getting off the cycle of birth and death.
    Theologians often have insight into the broader scope of the ways in which
    their religion is practiced, how it relates to traditional practices, and
    so forth.

    [Wim:] 2) How can distinguishing types of 'beliefs' clarify 'faith'? For me
    means 'trust' (in divine guidance, when I open myself for it) and has
    nothing to do with any cognitive content.

    This is a theological statement. You are distinguishing between seeing
    'faith' as 'trust in divine guidance' from seeing faith as ascribing to a
    set of propositions. This is the kind of good information on religion one
    finds in theology that people who haven't studied it don't know about.

    - Scott

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