Re: MD Philosophy and Theology

From: Valence (
Date: Sun Apr 06 2003 - 19:26:39 BST

  • Next message: Valence: "Re: MD Philosophy and Theology"

    Hi again Sam,

     Don't you think it at all odd that you
    > 'don't see any real parallel between your views of Christianity and those
    > the average Christian' - when I have been given authority by a mainstream
    > church for *teaching* 'average' Christians? Whose views are representative
    > of the mainstream?

    That's a fair point I guess. But I think DMB's recent statistical post
    responds to this point well. Moreover, I may not have the 'credentials' to
    argue with you about what the mainstream thinks, but does Campbell....?

    It seems quite incongruous to use the name 'God' to signify THAT which we
    experience immediately, before thought has sundered it into a world of
    things. This may be what Hindus mean by 'Brahmin' and Buddhists by 'Tathata'
    (that-ness), but it is certainly not what the majority of thoughtful
    Christians have understood as God the Father....

    Using 'god' to signify that which we experience immediately sounds much like
    your alignment of god with DQ. Campbell seems to think that's the minority
    opinion among the majority of thoughtful Christians.

    Christian dogma combines a mythological story which is for the most part
    Hebrew, and a group of metaphysical 'concepts' which are Greek, and then
    proceeds to treat both as statements of fact - as information about
    objective realities inhabiting (a) the world of history, and (b) the
    'supernatural' world existing parallel to the historical, but on a higher

    Campbell seems to think (like I do) that Christian dogma treats mythological
    stories and ideas as statements of fact.

    > I see revelation as, philosophically speaking, no different to what
    > in 'paradigm shifts'...
    > So, the basic decision between competing worldviews is an emotional one,
    > an evaluation (strictly: an assessment of value)....
     ...The perception that Jesus incarnates
    > God is revelation, ie it is not something that can be achieved by the
    > unaided human reason. Philosophically, it has no different status to a
    > fifteenth century dispute between Ptolemists and Copernicans...

    I think I agree with your basic thought here about 'paradigm shifts'. It is
    like a fifteenth century dispute. But this is the 21st century, where the
    idea that Ptolemic model can adequately explain our observations of universe
    has been abandoned... it was a one-way paradigm shift. There are no
    Ptolemists anymore. Pragmatically speaking, their views just don't have any
    value in light of our newer observations. Moreover, nobody goes around
    claiming that the Ptolemic model is more 'fundamental' or 'far-reaching'
    than the Copernican model... which seems to me what you're trying to do with
    theology and philosophy.

    What is claimed by
    > Christians is that it is compatible with reason, that there are no
    > contradictions in the Christian faith.

    Well, surely you can't mean the Bible. I think it is very well established
    that both the old and new testaments are filled with contradictions (both
    'internally' with themselves and 'externally' with historical evidence).

    > The atheist perspective (eg Dawkins/Dennett) does not enjoy a superior
    > cognitive status - it is just as 'irrational' as a theistic or Christian
    > Buddhist or Islamic perspective. Of course, I think it is profoundly
    > in value - it is parochial, small-minded and ultimately incoherent - but I
    > don't think that my perspective can be *proven* by reason. Ultimately you
    > either 'see' that it lacks value or you don't.

    Ultimately, my view is that there is nothing in reality which requires 'god'
    as an explanation.

    However, I would say that
    > Dawkins' perspective is incompatible with the MoQ - would you agree with
    > that?

    Oh heck yeah. Right off the bat, any materialistic philosophy will be
    incompatible with the MoQ.

    take care

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