RE: Another thing people can throw rocks at

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Sun May 12 2002 - 12:32:16 EDT

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    Hi Blake, I will respond to the parts in which you are replying to me,
    rather than to Burgy.

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Dr. Blake Nelson []
    >Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 7:44 PM

    >You assume that Christianity is meant to be a
    >completely rational religion. Sadly, for our modern
    >ethos, it is not. Not that it is irrational, but it
    >is either suprarational or arational depending on
    >whether you follow the mystics or William James.

    Sigh, It is interesting how you seem to want to use extreme language,
    something Burgy chides me for doing also. Can you show me where I have
    ever, ever said that Christianity is "a completely rational religion"? When
    you find that statement, then we will discuss your ridiculous
    mischaracterization of my views.

    FYI at one time I regularly attended a charismatic church. I thoroughly
    enjoyed the worship. And one thing one can say about a charismatic form of
    worship--it ain't completely rational. So get your facts right, Blake. At
    least try to understand where I am coming from rather than constantly doing

    I had written:
    >> "I think you miss my point. The theology of
    >> salvation to which I refer does
    >> not consist of the set of Christian theologies.
    >> Don't limit the
    >> possibilities to merely those within Christianity. I
    >> refer to the set of all
    >> religious theologies. If Molech is truly God, then
    >> I may be in trouble
    >> because I didn't sacrifice my son, Daniel, to him
    >> when Dan was a baby. It is
    >> 29 years too late for me."

    Blake replied:
    >But what is it about Molech that would make one think
    >he may be true?

    What was it about Molech that made the Phoenicians think he was true? Their
    parents taught them that he was true. And they lived what they had learned.

    You have a bit of trouble with hypotheticals don't you?

    When you pray to God and seek to know
    >God, do you think, I should kill my son? Hopefully

    Abram got those thoughts praying. And he tried to carry it out.

      I do not know of a mystical tradition that
    >emphasizes sacrifice of humans to appease God.

    As I said to Burgy, one reason we talk past each other is that you seem to
    limit your responses to those coming from within the Christian tradition and
    seem to lack an ability to rise above and see the broader theological world
    which is out there. And if you can't think of a religious tradition which
    emphasizes the sacrifice of humans to please God, for that is what
    apeasement is, then look at the Palestinian suicide bombers. THey think they
    are doing God's work! So did Bin Laden. But all you can think of is what
    the Christian traditions limites your thinking to.

    >Your point, it seems to me, is largely one where an
    >authority tells you to believe one God has a certain
    >set of characteristics or another.

    I don't think you actually read what I write. Try again when you actually
    read a bit.

      I think all such
    >systems are flawed for reasons I have discussed
    >before. I do not believe that God is subject to our
    >propositional logic in such a way that we can
    >circumscribe God's attributes.

    As I said to Burgy, but you haven't read, is that it is not the apprehending
    of God that I am doing. It is the apprehending of the book which purports to
    be a message inspired by Him.

      Why should I not
    >believe the priests of Molech? Because, my experience
    >of God is loving and merciful.

    Warm feelings may not bring one to knowledge of the truth. Whirling
    dervishes of Turkish islamic tradition feel really good. So to the shamans
    of the Sonoran desert when in a trance. They all can't be true at the same
    time, or if they are, then the message is so plastic as to be meaningless.
    And don't interpret this from your parochial limited Christian perspective.

    >I also do not seek to appease or garner favor with
    >whatever God there may be. I think an attitude toward
    >God as a slot machine or giver of favors or something
    >to be appeased to avoid wrath to be fundamentally
    >flawed. Sacrifice to Molech falls into these
    >categories. It is this kind of wish fulfillment and
    >thirst for power or avoidance of pain that seems to me
    >the epitome of wish fulfillment, not the
    >self-sacrificing, other centered love of Jesus.

    What you miss is the entire possibility that maybe God IS a slot machine.
    Most of the ancient world religions view him this way. Indeed the story of
    Samuel's birth is precisely a story of such appeasement. Maybe we modern
    Christians are the apostates? If God really is a slot machine then your
    rejection of it won't change reality. It just shows that you are wanting a
    god of your making. That is fine I will let you make God in your image
    anytime you want. But then grant me the freedom to make a God for me in the
    image I prefer. And since both are making it all up, we can't tell the
    other that he wrong to do it.

    I wrote:
    >> " By universe I mean all that there is. If God came
    >> into being with the
    >> universe, then he is part of the Universe and not
    >> the creator of it."

    Burgy replied:

    >> But who here (or anywhere) is arguing that? Nobody
    >> that I know. Not even the
    >> Process Theologians.

    Blake replied:

    >Actually, the only person I knows who argues that is
    >Richard Dawkins.

    You really aren't very widely read then. I might point out that if God is
    the creation of our minds, then God is created along with us who were
    created by with the universe. Thus, one only has to include those who
    believe religion was evolved. So, how about Fred Hoyle, Stephen Weinberg who
    calls all supernatural beings 'faeries' , Stephen J. Gould, Carl Sagan, my
    friend William Provine, Isaac Asimov, Albert Einstein. and many many others
    I could name if I went to a bit of trouble.

      Indicating how epistemological
    >blinders dictate our metaphysics.
    >Your definition actually has to be tighter, if by the
    >universe is, God, whom naturally exists, means that
    >God is part of the Universe, even if he created ex
    >nihilio, because God exists, and therefore is part of
    >your definition of the universe.

    ONce again, your logic starts from the Judeo-Christian perspective. The
    issue I was raising with Burgy was questioning the idea that 'God naturally
    exists'. Can't you broaden out your thoughts a bit?


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