RE: [asa] Santayana on Accommodationalism

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Mon Mar 12 2007 - 22:19:58 EDT

This is for David O and George M.

>Does Santayana think the Iyiad and Odyessy and Oedipus and Beowulf and
Pilgrim's Progress and Hamlet and the
>Narnia Chronicles and etc., etc., ad infinitum, bear no relevance to our
personal convictions?
I don't know, he was dead before Narnia was published and I have not run
across a commentary on the Odyssey, Illiad, Beowulf, PP or Hamlet. Guess we
will never know. But I would suspect from what he says that if you do allow
the Illiad and Odyssey obligate your life, it would be ok because it is a
history--there was a trojan war. Beowulf, on the other hand, probably not.

>BTW, "accomdationalism" is not a real term. "Accommodation" is a
hermeneutical principle, not an "ism." And the
>principle of "accommodation" doesn't necessarily mean there is no
"essential history" in the early Biblical narratives. I'd
>venture to say that most people who use the hermeneutical principle of
accomodation -- certainly as Calvin viewed it --
>agree that there is essential history in those narratives.

Accommodationalism is a perfectly good word--I said it; you understood what
I meant.

If you believe that there is essential history, tell me what that essence is
besides the mere fact that God created--every religion says that.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Murphy []
> Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 2:19 PM
> To: Glenn Morton;
> Subject: Re: [asa] Santayana on Accommodationalism
> a) Whatever rhetorical flourishes he may have about Venus,
> Lucretius is popularizing the effective atheism of Epicurus
> et al. To call his poem "religious" is a little odd.

Invoking Gods is odd for a total atheist! Yes, I am aware of Epicurus and
his connection with Lucretius, but most atheists I know don't start by
praying to Jehovah.

> b) The Genesis creation texts use figurative language but
> they aren't "poems." Ps.104 is a creation poem.
> c) I don't know who you think is arguing that the texts are
> "poems" and therefore that they can't be be conveying truth
> about the natural world but I certainly never have.

George, why is it that you always think I am speaking about you? I am not.
But over the years I have heard this expressed by many on this very list.
Jan de Konig is a case in point. He wrote:

"God wrote a poem in Gen.1, followed by another story in
Gen.2 and following, to show who made everything, followed by a story who
made a mess out of it."

You obviously haven't paid attention to what some of your fellows here have
been saying, and then act terribly surprised when I think of their replies
along this line. Your reply is a bit like Groucho Marx who was kissing a
girl when his movie 'wife' walked in on them. He asked, "Who ya gonna
believe, me or your lying eyes?"

> More to the point is the fact that we have 2 creation
> accounts which don't agree as historical/scientific accounts.

They do if one refuses to think anything new or novel about the accounts.
They fit together quite nicely within my interpretation, but, of course,
theology wouldn't really want to think anything new, now would we?

> d) Genesis 1 & 2 are both talking about the real world which
> we inhabit, not a purely poetic world. That doesn't mean
> that those accounts have to be read as historical narrative
> or science. Your problem is that they don't say the sorts of
> things about the world that you want them to say so you (like
> most concordists) read what you want into them. You also (unlike most
> concordists) construct imaginary scenarios of mutant ape-like
> creatures & survivors of 5.5 Myr ago floods & then think
> you've got correlation with historical data.

And you believe accounts which you admit are not real science or history and
think they are deeply inspired and show the hand of God. One wonders who is
more idiotic.

As to imaginary, it is a fact that there was a geologic event which
actually matches the biblical description--it happened long ago. It is a
fact that the genes in us wee humans have ages as long ago as that event
before the genes coalesce (which is the date of the gene). It is a fact that
you believe that man descended from the apes, so in what way is my scenario
more imaginative than yours? At least I base mine on an interpretation of
what the scripture says, you on the other hand, simply add things willy
nilly when they are needed regardless of whether there is any biblical basis
for it at all. (just remember George, you started this with your crack
about imaginary scenarios of mutant ape-like creatures). Do you not believe
that mutations lead from apes to humans, or have you suddenly left belief in
evolution? Do you believe we should never deal in scenarios? What do you
think your beliefs are, if not imaginary scenarios???

They're Here: The Pathway Papers
Foundation, Fall, and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

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Received on Mon Mar 12 22:25:14 2007

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