RE: MD quality religion (Christianity)

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Apr 25 2004 - 21:21:26 BST

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    David M asked:
    Enjoyed the recent post about science, religion and modernism. You also said
    that you found the below post from Sam had something evil about it. I don't
    get that comment at all and would like to hear you explain why.

    dmb replies:
    You make it difficult to reply, Mr. Morey. The comments you refer to were
    actually posted in the "True in what sense" thread and were not reproduced
    in your post. Further, it would help to know more specifically where the
    question lies. Anyway, to begin, let us look at the actual comments you ask

    Sam had said: "So, instead of saying 'Jesus died to save you from your sins'
    it would be a faithful reinterpretation to say 'Jesus shows you how to sort
    your life out'".

    I responded with,...
    "When I read Sam's reinterpretation of the salvation of Christ, I actually
    recoiled in horror. It felt very wrong. Not just logically flawed or
    otherwise incorrect, but dark and evil. It felt a little like one might feel
    upon seeing some beautiful little thing crushed by some drunken clod."

    dmb continues:
    The general thrust of the criticism was that Sam is confusing social level
    moral codes with the Dynamic. I found the idea of Jesus as a personal
    trainer to be deeply offensive. It trivializes profound spiritual truths by
    turning them into trite sentiments. That's what I meant by the destructive
    clod. The social level virtues seem like a big clumsy oaf compared to the
    subtle thing that is genuine spirituality. In Pirsigian terms, this is
    double trouble. It doesn't just mistake social for intellectual. Its worse
    than that. It mistakes the social for the dynamic too. Its degenerate to the
    second power. Does that help?

    DM said:
    It may be sadly untrue that the modern Church has done much for developing
    the third level structures that support forth level ones, but to say that
    this is what the true vocation of the church should be is something to be
    supported not condemned I would suggest.

    dmb replies:
    Huh? Dave, that sentence is a mess. I guess I have a vague idea what you're
    asking about, but the question is largely incoherent. I'd only repeat myself
    and say there is nothing wrong with social values or the instituions that
    foster them. The problem is mistaking that function for a spiritual funcion.
    Dave M asked:
    Is it a thing against social institutions you have like the church?

    dmb says:
    Well, yes. For the most part, the churches have failed to address genuinely
    spiritual concerns and instead serve a social function. They have joined
    hands with reactionay political movements and inspired a great deal of war
    and murder. I'd say its a bit of a problem. It not our only problem, but one
    that fills the headlines every day.

    Dave M said:
    I have been disappointed by the overall reaction to Sam's ideas, seems to me
    that we should be promoting the MOQ for all not driving out people who bring
    in heavy baggage like Christianity or prgamatism or whatever. Although I
    equally think people should not take offense at a bit of heated argument or
    even abuse, but we aren't all as non-sensitive as I am.

    dmb replies:
    Sam and Matt were driven out? I wouldn't characterize it that way. It will
    sound sickeningly boastful, but I think they ran away from specific
    criticism that cut too close to the bone. Both of their departutes were
    preceeded by a flurry of hard-hitting and unanwered posts. Not that I was
    without help, but the timing suggests that I played a part. Its nice not to
    have the alternative MOQs they were spinning, but I'm sorry they left
    because it left gobbs and gobbs of direct questions unanswered and
    challenges unmet. Felt like they not only dropped out in the middle of the
    game, but also took the ball and went home. T'is poor sportsmanship at best.

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