RE: MD On Faith

From: Scott Roberts (
Date: Mon Oct 25 2004 - 07:07:22 BST

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD On Faith"


    > Scott Roberts said:
    > Modern, thinking Christians are much closer to our side in the battle
    > between the social and intellectual levels than on theirs. ...The dispute
    > between those Christians who agree with you and those who do not. The
    > are saying just what you are saying, that these sorts of beliefs are a
    > residue of a mythological past, and should be jettisoned, or in some cases
    > only treated symbolically. ...I wouldn't try to discuss philosophy with a
    > fundamentalist Christian. But it is possible with, say, theologians like
    > Lonergan, Rahner, Tillich, Tracy, Cupitt, and so forth. They know all
    > the demands of evidence and logical consistency.
    > dmb says:
    > I'll ask you the same thing I ask everyone, can't you bring me some actual
    > quotes from these guys?

    [Scott:] Why should I do your homework for you? I don't have a bunch of
    quotes handy. These are complex topics, and it would take hours, if not
    days, to find quotes that make sense taken out of context. You have been
    attacking Christianity, and I've been saying that you are out of date. If
    you don't want to take the time to bring yourself up to date, then you
    shouldn't be making these attacks. It's like someone attacking the MOQ
    without having read Lila, and then when challenged, demanding that the MOQ
    and all its argumentative support be given in an email.

    [DMB:] Can you actually make a case that faith and theism
    > is consistent with philosophical mysticism and the demands of empirical
    > evidence?

    [Scott:] I wasn't trying to make that case. I only said that there is no
    conflict between modern, non-fundamentalist theistic faith and science, and
    I haven't heard anything that contradicts that, such as some actual point
    of conflict as there has been in the past.

    [DMB:] You'll forgive me if I'm skeptical, ok?

    [Scott:] Do you think I've been making all this up? Since I do not have
    faith in theism, what possible motivation would I have for doing so? A long
    time ago, my opinion of Christianity was much like yours is now. Since then
    I studied it, and changed my opinion.

    [DMB:] I think you have to be
    > using all those key words (faith, theism and mysticism) in ways that are
    > used inside the church and make no sense to those of us who speak english.

    [Scott:] How else am I to use them? "Inside the church" is their natural
    context. They will make sense if you study the topic, just like any other
    vocabulary. If you want to know how a Christian uses the words, read them.
    I recommend Kathleen Norris' "Amazing Grace". She is not a theologian, and
    in fact doesn't think much of theology, but she's an intelligent ex-atheist
    Christian, It won't convince you that faith is good, but it should at least
    make you aware that not all Christians are mindless believers, and that
    people like her are better considered friends than enemies.

    [DMB:]> Make a case. Tell me what's good about it. If the evolution of
    humanity were
    > like a freeway, religion is the guy driving slow in the fast lane,
    > everything up for everybody else. I mean, even if there are more thinkers
    > than I thought, aren't we really talking about a pathetic salvage project
    > rather than anything genuinely needed? Go ahead, I'm listening.

    [Scott:] I made the case in the last two posts. We agree that religion is
    slow. But you're not going to speed things up by ignoring what progress has
    been made.

    And if you read Robert Magliola's "Derrida on the Mend" you might find
    there are theists who are going faster than you are.

    - Scott

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