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PaulS

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PaulS last won the day on September 7 2017

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About PaulS

  • Birthday 08/20/1968

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  1. It's almost as though people are recognizing the limitations on mindsets within a narrowly defined culture from 2000 years ago! Imagine that! I think 'some' truth exists - at least in how we define it. Most of us for instance accept the truth that the earth revolves around the sun. That's a pretty straightforward truth. Where 'truth' gets icky, in my opinion, is where it is more conceptual. For instance, the 'truth' that something is good or something is bad. That's what I was taking from Campbell - we may seem a certain truth as 'good' for us, but simultaneously that truth of good for us is considered 'bad' by another. So there would appear to be no 'single' truth, rather the truth is so much more broader and all encompassing. Maybe that's what you mean by 'accurate description'?
  2. I read once that Marcus Borg was attributed as saying that Spong was good at pulling things apart and breaking down/dismissing the old understandings, but not so good at putting them back together (or something to that affect). I think it sums Spong up nicely for me - I'm grateful for his education and insight about how Christianity in general has gotten so much wrong about Jesus and God, but what he tries to 'replace' it with doesn't necessarily work for me. I'm not sure there are 'truths' to always be distinguished. Like Campbell alludes to, nothing we do is 100% good. Our 'truth' is probably never going to align with 100% of other people, so it can't be a 'truth' other than for the individual (and maybe a certain number of others).
  3. Yep - with you there. Yep - agree also. No, I don't have a need either. Spong does - but I do wonder if that's because he just doesn't want to fully let go of the concept of God that he was so accustomed to throughout the bulk of his life. Could there actually be a ground of being though - maybe, and I'm agnostic on that. I think insight can be valuable from the point of view in helping us exist in a way that we find 'better' than perhaps other ways without such insight. But whether such insight is a 'truth' or not, can be much more difficult to distinguish. I kinda like "you do what's good for you, I'll do what's good for me, and if neither of us are hurting anybody else (physically or mentally), I'm not sure anybody else should care".
  4. I'm guessing that for Spong, as he considers 'it' the Ground of Being, to me he seems to indicate that he thinks it actually does (or has done) something. For me - who knows. I like that. But Spong might ask 'what' causes this affinity, 'where' does it come from, 'why' this affinity and not another? I'm sure there could be very scientific explanations which we are yet to fully grasp, but then again, I leave room for Spong's 'Ground of Being'. And, I have no issue with writing such fiction if it is what works for the individual. For me where it goes pear-shaped is when individuals start claiming authority or right-ness.
  5. I don't want to put words in Spong's mouth - we've all seen what that can lead to thousands of years down the track! - but the difference I think is that in Spong's mind any unfolding of the universe is a consciousness, in some way or another. Spong feels 'touched' by this unfolding in some way, as opposed to simply recognizing he is but a bit part in a non-conscious drama. And it's not so much anthropomorphizing that Spong does, it's more he questions why should a weed desire to grow? Where did 'this' come from that things want to or simply do try to, 'live'? I think that's beautiful, but we all get inspiration from different sources. Why we do and how we do is what makes life interesting I think, and this itself has us asking questions about why. Bit of both, but mainly the sea. We are shaped like a vessel (some 350m long and 8 stories above ocean level with 5 stories below water level) but are moored to the seabed. So we weathervane around the conditions, including Cat 5 cyclones, but get a little bit of rocking up from time to time. Helps you sleep!
  6. I liked the analysis Spong used once about things desiring to live. What makes a weed try to grow in a crack in a path for instance. No matter what, it tries as hard as it can to grow and live. Now, I think that is overlaying a bit of human emotion on the weed, but I thought it was a fair comment by Spong trying to explain there is something that exists that drives things to live. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. Absolutely. I think one can take some inspiration from some things, but it certainly has to be a personal view and not one that is in any way provable or historically established, much less promoted as the only way to understand things. Not quite, still bobbing about on the ocean for another week!
  7. My two bob's worth: It could in part be a need to hold on, but I think Spong had a heartfelt belief concerning the existence of a 'ground of being' that plays a part in our self consciousness and in which everything that exists, is rooted. So maybe/maybe not for me. Agreed. I'm not sure why he wants to stake the claim that a biologically born child can't be divine. It would seem that it the specvific claim that Christianity is making - humanly born but 'conceived' by God. I don't believe Mary was a virgin, but his claim does seem nonsensical. I guess traditions such as communion (remembering Jesus in the act and not actually having bread turn to flesh and wine turn to blood in one's mouth). Other traditions such as reaching out to the poor, the imprisoned, the widows etc could still be interpreted literally. I can only imagine that Spong meant Jesus lives on 'in' God, whatever that meant to Spong. Perhaps the disciples 'felt' that Jesus' crucifiction wasn't 'the end' of Jesus in some way. I wouldn't mind a pleasant suprise, but like you, I suspect not. I think that is a good point - Spong needs to define that God or at the very least lay out the elements where he sees people bearing God's image, and in what ways.
  8. He was an awesome progressive christian and an amazing and prolific writer that helped so many break the shackles of traditional Christianity. I sometimes wonder who is going to carry the mantle after the likes of Spong, Borg and others. I'm sure there will be others, but in the meantime, I hope many will read Spong's works to gain a better understanding of Jesus and Christianity.
  9. Packing a bag tonight in order to get a taxi at 4.30am tomorrow to the airport (1hr drive) to then take a plane north for 3.5hrs, before changing to a helicopter for a 2hr flight to deliver me to an offshore gas production facility approximately 250 miles out in the ocean, getting there about 3.30pm. Then a couple of hours work, dinner and bed.
  10. No, Australia dropped first past the post in 1917. We use a mix of Preferential Voting and Proportional Representation, so the party with the most votes wins power but individual 'seats' can be manipulated by preferences. Obviously the better thing to do if people are being misled, is to lead them correctly. But I'm thinking that is just more opinion and doesn't get us any closer as to whether one is actually representing the people that elected them. That said, I guess it hinges around what democracy is actually defined as, and I'm not sure it's described anywhere where one is or isn't following democratic principles if they decide to act contrary to how they said they were going to act when soliciting votes initially. Yes, tactics are also a part of the voting process, both for the elector and the candidate.
  11. I don't disagree with your take on doing what makes sense to you, but I don't see that model as truly fitting what we call 'representative democracy'. If I voted for you believing you would represent how I wanted government to govern, and then you up and chose not to govern that way, you have betrayed my vote and you are not representative of me. Now I know that gets tricky with lots of little bits and pieces (you can't please verybody 100% of the time), but essentially if you were elected by the majority on a platform of banning abortion, then to be true to democracy, I would expect you to ban abortion. When I go to a doctor, I pay for a service. I expert a level of expertise. When I vote for a politician, I vote for what they say they stand for and so before I vote, I determine whether they generally reflect my views or not. If they don't I don't vote for them.
  12. If 99% of your community wanted a certain law, but 1% didn't so you choose not to implement that law, are you really representing your community? Isn't that what democracy is meant to be?
  13. I don't think it's me ascribing those properties, just the commonly agreed definition. I recognize that human language has limitations but generally we try to agree on the meanings of words so that we can all come from the same place when discussing things. The definition I provided was a psychology definition. But I am happy to ascribe neither good nor evil to people's views as there is no final word. Maybe 'adiaphorous' is a more appropriate term.
  14. I am curious too - how do you see democracy as the 'worst form' of government when compared to most others. There must be at least one form of government you consider 'better' than democracy if you think democracy is the 'worst'. Can you share a better form of government, in your opinion?
  15. I'm not sure that is very practical or even possible in a society. I think somebody is always going to feel 'wronged' the the government of the day. So we do the best we can, and rule in accordnace with the majority, hopefully mindful that just because the majority wants it doesn't mean it is the best thing overall. But isn't 'roughshod' just an emotive way of saying we disagree? In a democracy, shouldn't a government have the right to enact the majority of it's societies desires. Surely that's what 'representative if the people' means? But really, I guess that's just one of the limitations of an imperfect form of government (not that any other forms of government are any more perfect). Yeah, I must admit, I do still struggle with the no free will concept. Not because I don't agree that we have no free will (we are all entirely a product of our genetics and our experiences) but rather it's application and meaning to life. But, I'll leave that to another thread.
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