Hi Blake, I will respond to the parts in which you are replying to me,
rather than to Burgy.
>From: Dr. Blake Nelson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>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."
>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.
>> " 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."
>> But who here (or anywhere) is arguing that? Nobody
>> that I know. Not even the
>> Process Theologians.
>Actually, the only person I knows who argues that is
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?
for lots of creation/evolution information
personal stories of struggle
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