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romansh

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romansh last won the day on July 5

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  1. Yeah ... It is almost as though Spong has shown [traditional] Christianity the exit door but he himself never quite stepped through it. People like Gretta Vosper I think might be straddling that door. i have not read them but I think they might be of interest to the PC community. With or Without God and Amen. I am not sure Campbell actually believes in good and evil. Truth exists ... I am sure of that. How accurate is my description of this truth is another matter though.
  2. Theist, I find is used in two senses. The first is simply a person who believes in any old deity (or deities). The second sense is somebody who believes in a personal God, usually an Abrahamic one. Confusion can arise here unless one clarifies the meaning.
  3. I think we are largely in agreement. I have only read one of Spong's books some twelve years ago, Jesus for the Non-Religious. I have to admit the book was not for me. Too pedagogic. And did not somehow connect non-religiosity with Jesus, at least for me. I wondered at the time who was the book written for? Having said that, I read it in the time between my father's death and his funeral. Yes insight can be useful for navigating the unfolding universe. It also depends on the 'accuracy' of the insight, does it not? Checking the application against outcomes is not a 'bad' idea as such. Doing what's good for you reminds me of a Joseph Campbell quote: You yourself are participating in evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil to someone. This is one of the ironies of creation. So distinguishing truth comes from actually trying to correlate an application of an insight with the outcome; it takes effort, especially to isolate all the confounding variables and perhaps an acceptance that there will always be some uncertainty. And suppose for me ... the phrase the ground of being requires, like God, requires a bloody good definition before I get too excited.
  4. Ultimately the answer becomes (at least for me) I don't know. What causes affinity? Our thermodynamic laws. What causes them? It seems the probabilistic arrangements atoms can take up. What causes this, here I think we are looking deeper than we can see? That's OK. But I don't have a need to calling it a ground of being. It does not seem to explain anything, just causes obfuscation, at least for me. There are a whole bunch of "affinities". Science is making valiant efforts to identify them. While Jesus and the testaments give us insights into the human condition, so does Harry Potter, but ultimately it us, as proximate causes, giving those insights. And we as proximate causes are a product of our environment, past, present and imagined future.
  5. This I think is fair enough, but weeds struggling to take hold of cracks in the cement? Consciousness (panpsychism) doe not do it it for me. Panpsychism might be true, but the question remains does consciousness actually do anything or is it an epiphenomenon? This is exactly anthropomorphizing, ascribing desires to weeds. The best word I could come up with was affinity ... certain combinations of chemicals have an affinity to form life ... or something like that. Yes people have been inspired by all sorts of things. Books come to mind, Mein Kampf, Das Capital, all sorts of religious texts. Why is one of those unfortunate question words. If by why we mean what are the underlying causes, we may make some headway, but we will eventually bump into a place where we can't see, at least for the present time. If we mean what is the purpose? We can start writing our fiction now.
  6. How is this different from the universe unfolding? And I think we need to be careful not to anthropomorphize other life forms, including weeds. It's bad enough when we anthropomorphize our brains. Everything being divine and nothing being divine (whatever we might mean by divine) boils down to the same thing. Things just are. And from your previous post. Yes we can take inspirations from a myth or allegedly true stories (to varying degrees). We can get inspiration from cathedrals or stories about saints. For me looking down a microscope or at the night skies through a telescope is far more inspiring. Getting a tiny glimpse of how the biochemistry of how life works, how environments are on the edge of competition and cooperation. How the universe might tick and where mankind and life fit into it, that's where inspiration lies for me. I hope it's the sea that bobs up and down and not the rig.
  7. It's a place to start. Perhaps Britannica is more to your liking.
  8. Two bob? ... That's inflation for you. A little know consideration, the two bob piece was the first decimal coin so to speak in the old money. I never got a good sense of the ground of being. It is translates for me into existence or the universe. Yeah ... agreed ... I understand where he's going and agree with the direction. But the word divine is part of the semantic whack-a-mole game we play. According to my dictionary (and therefor it is right) Divine, pertaining to god or godly. Divine needs some definition I think. The real Jesus is lost to Christ the Myth. Remembering what some scribe recalled what someone said of Jesus? There is so much more of existence around us now, that we don't have to interpret some two thousand year old remembrance. If you see what I mean. Gotta run ... some more thoughts later. Back from the far North?
  9. I have some quibbles with Spong's points, though nit picking in some sense. A critique of Spong's 12 points, though overall I am sympathetic to the direction he is taking: Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found. Fairly obviously I would have some sympathy for Spong's first two sentences. The third sentence: "must", really? Perhaps a need for some leaving a traditional viewpoint. This is completely in accord with my take on ignosticism or theological noncognitivism Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt. Amen! The Biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense. Again I agree whole heartedly. In fact the original sin taken on by Christians, could be seen as thinking in terms of sin and not sin. There is a certain amount of irony there. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible. I think I agree with the intent here, but the actual point does not make sense to me. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity. Again I agree, but I wonder which of (any) the theistic traditions could have been interpreted literally since the enlightenment? The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed. Yes, the Christian concept of salvation does not make sense if we believe in cause and effect. If we dismiss cause and effect then salvation does not make sense either. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history. I am not sure I understand this one. The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age. Yeah ,,, this one is fairly straight forward. There is no external, objective, revealed standard written in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time. This I will render unto Caesar. But as a free will skeptic, I am dubious about the whole concept of ethics and morality. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way. Again a little out of my bailiwick, but to me it seems fairly obvious. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior. I suppose technically I am agnostic about life after death. Personally, based on my experience, I am not expecting any, and based on my understanding of science I will be extremely surprised if there is any. All human beings bear God's image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one's being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination. This is Spong's point I most disagree with. He needs to reconcile this with his first point ... defining god before we can have any meaningful conversation about what this image thing is, and any consequences we might draw from this.
  10. Funnily enough I came to this forum because of Spong ... interestingly in my tenure here, Spong has not been a major feature on the fora here. 90? A good innings! His twelve points from Wiki A New Christianity for a New World: Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt. The Biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history. The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age. There is no external, objective, revealed standard written in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior. All human beings bear God's image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one's being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.
  11. A quick question ... do you live in a first past the post jurisdiction? If you do then you are likely aware the majority of people did not vote for a particular candidate. Let's say I promised to vote for a certain position and when I get elected I realize people are being misled. What do I do? I remember the first time I voted for anything but conservative, I voted for the liberal candidate because I did not believe him/his platform.
  12. Certainly not for me. It has to make sense to me. Otherwise we can do all laws by referendum. (Brexit) Take vaccine passports. If somebody does not want vaccinations, fair enough. But if places ie shops, stadiums, borders, etc want proof of vaccination ... good. It depends what you mean by representing. When you go to a doctor, do you want her to do/recommend what you what her to do?
  13. Here I disagree with you ... having run for local office (unsuccessfully) ... Who do I represent? The majority, the people who voted for me, what actually makes sense to me (I might change my mind with new info), the people who did not vote for me, the whole community, my fellow council members, the employees of the community? Would I implement policies to the benefit of the community but to the detriment of neighbouring communities?
  14. While I would agree this is true ... it does seem positively strange you would enter a dialogue and debate thread and say this. But as you wish.
  15. Here I might agree with you, but are you suggesting all our descriptions of reality like nihilism and Christianity are equally accurate? This does not make sense bearing in mind you had just earlier said So what forms of government is democracy worse than?
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