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Practical Rationality And Progressive Christianity


minsocal
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Most Progressive Christians that I know look to the Bible not as a source of factual (belief) knowledge, but as a "how to" or "how not to" quide (how knowledge). Although epistemology allows that "knowing how" is a valid concern, it is strangely silent on any details of what that means. The same can be said for non-propositional knowledge. The bulk of epistemology seems to concern itself with propositional knowledge. The reason, I suspect, is that philosophers are afraid to admit that their insular world of propositions can be threatened by any other source of knowledge. It's about job security.

 

Hypothesis 1.

 

There is a strong tendency in Progressive Christianity to avoid "black or white" reasoning. There is a practical advantage in this approach in that it allows access to the "half truths" often found in competing theories. In other words, many theories fail because of a single defect, when in fact the rest of the theory is saying something true beyond that defect. A greater truth is gained by preserving the truth of both sides, and allowing the defects to pass gracefully pass into oblivion.

 

Hypothesis 2.

 

Jesus is an example of belief-in-action. Progressive Christians place a strong emphasis on action. An overwhelming proportion of the Bible is devoted to principles-in-action. Principles are "how to" and "how not to" which are meaningless without action.

 

Hypothesis 3.

 

Practical rationality (practical reasoning), as traditionally defined in the Western (or Classical) Model of Rationalty is all about deliberating on and willing the means to any end. In other words, practical rationality has nothing to do with the ends, it is all about obtaining the means. As it stands, I reject this notion. Jesus asks us to consider the ends as well as the means.

 

Hypothesis 4.

 

In achieving ends, there are often unintended consequences. It is often taught, in psychology and Progressive churches, that positive intentions outweigh negative consequences. My question is ... is that a practical Progressive Christian perspective? My intuition says "no", but intuition is not rational.

 

Comments? How does practical rationality enter into Progressive Chrisianty?

 

My question, based on the model of practical rationality, is simply this: We have beliefs (knowledge) and we have desires (how we want things to be in the world). How do we form a coherent structure of beliefs and desires that are consistent with the teachings of Jesus?

 

Note: I do not intend this to be a debate with conservatives who have little or no knowledge of Progressive Christianity. Constructive comments are always welcome, the converse are not.

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Guest wayfarer2k
Hypothesis 1.

 

There is a strong tendency in Progressive Christianity to avoid "black or white" reasoning. There is a practical advantage in this approach in that it allows access to the "half truths" often found in competing theories. In other words, many theories fail because of a single defect, when in fact the rest of the theory is saying something true beyond that defect. A greater truth is gained by preserving the truth of both sides, and allowing the defects to pass gracefully pass into oblivion.

 

I'll chew on this a bit with you, Minsocal. I agree with you that truth is scalar. It is not black or white. Life (and searching for truth) is filled with a myraid shades of gray. For some, truth is a thing to be owned. For me, I know that I cannot own it. I pursue and, perhaps, understand some of it. But I agree that there is a wisdom to be found in letting "old truths" pass into obscurity.

 

Hypothesis 2.

 

Jesus is an example of belief-in-action. Progressive Christians place a strong emphasis on action. An overwhelming proportion of the Bible is devoted to principles-in-action. Principles are "how to" and "how not to" which are meaningless without action.

 

Yes. In fact, much of the time I would rather concentrate on Jesus' actions rather than some of his teachings. Prime example: he threatened people with hell BUT he never once put anyone there. Some of his actions though (as reported in the bible) are impossible for us. That makes me tend to let his "miracles" fade into obscurity while endeavoring to do what I can through normal human means to live out his actions.

 

Hypothesis 3.

 

Practical rationality (practical reasoning), as traditionally defined in the Western (or Classical) Model of Rationalty is all about deliberating on and willing the means to any end. In other words, practical rationality has nothing to do with the ends, it is all about obtaining the means. As it stands, I reject this notion. Jesus asks us to consider the ends as well as the means.

 

On this, I would disagree. For instance, practical reasoning where astronomy is concerned is about the ends -- about understanding our universe and our place in it, often times how we can make it better. For me, I find that the means to this is rational, objective study of what we do know in order to conjecture about what we don't. But I don't find that superstition (which the bible is full of) leads to good science. If I want to know how the universe works on a cosmic level, I read astronomy books, not astrology books. My bent is away from the mystical, away from the completely subjective. But that is just me. I know there are mystics here who would disagree with me on this.

 

Hypothesis 4.

 

In achieving ends, there are often unintended consequences. It is often taught, in psychology and Progressive churches, that positive intentions outweigh negative consequences. My question is ... is that a practical Progressive Christian perspective? My intuition says "no", but intuition is not rational.

 

To a certain extent, I agree. I cannot control the outcomes of my positive intentions. For instance, if I sincerely try to patch things up with someone with whom I've had a falling out, and they refuse to do so, I cannot control their response. My heart may be in the right. But consequences, whether positive or negative or ineffectual, depend upon a wide range of variables. So I do the best I can to ensure my intentions are positive and let the chips fall where they may.

 

Comments? How does practical rationality enter into Progressive Chrisianty?

 

My question, based on the model of practical rationality, is simply this: We have beliefs (knowledge) and we have desires (how we want things to be in the world). How do we form a coherent structure of beliefs and desires that are consistent with the teachings of Jesus?

 

I admit to finding this difficult. Some of Jesus' teachings (helping the poor, being kind, looking after "the least of these") I find very much in keeping with my own beliefs and desires for humanity. But other teachings (hell, killing slaves, locking people out of the kingdom) I find reprehensible with my own common sense and decency. Again, for me much of this comes down to letting go of the superstitious beliefs that Jesus himself held to (demons, angels, everlasting torment, blood is unclean, etc.). Practical rationality, for me, is about the intent to minimize harm to others. I can't control all things so all I can do is to act on my best intentions. For me, rationality (thinking about how I think) is the path forward, not the superstition of religion.

 

Great topic!

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I question the need to formulate a "coherent structure of beliefs consistent with Jesus' teachings." Jesus taught only principles, faith as a basic trust in God-- no doctrine. He discouraged any emphasis on outward observances & rituals; he was against rigid rules and regulations in general. What he demonstrated was a spirit of conduct determining how to act, situation ethics if you will.

 

There is no systematic theology in the bible at all. It’s an anthology, part history part myth—a human response to God, an evolving witness to our relationship with the divine ground of Being, written by the ancient Hebrews and the early Christian community. Seen as such, the bible can be interpreted in a way that fully supports open/liberal/ progressive Christianity, IMHO.

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I love this topic, and I agree that some of Jesus' teachings are hard to take at face value. Some of them seem to be hyperbole. However, I think there were those in Jesus' day who tried to pick apart things that seemed to be inconsistencies in his teachings. That is one reason I believe it is recorded that he broadened his stance to say that everything follows from "Love the Lord your God... and your neighbor as yourself."

 

The Methodist church teaches we should make decisions based up Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

 

For each serious situation in life, I think it is helpful to consider whether Jesus had anything specific to say about the subject, even if I do not like what he said. It is also helpful to consider what church and secular tradition, philosophers and theologians hav said in the past about it. AND then your personal beliefs and desires are your Experience. Meditating and praying earnestly about each and then searching your heart for an answer is what I would recommend.

 

One reason I am progressive is that I believe the ways you reconcile your beliefs and desires with Jesus' teachings may be vastly different than the way I do. I think it's an important quest that everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus should seriously undertake at some point in life.

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Guest wayfarer2k

To AITHOP: Alot of what you said in your post rings true with me, also. I currently attend a UMC church so I'm very familiar with the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and find alot of value in it, although I lean more on the "reason" side of things than on the "tradition."

 

Your post made me think of this: I spent my teen and 20's pretty much just believing what I was told. I spent my 30's questioning those authoritative beliefs (deeply troubled by many of them). I spent my early forties deconstructing alot of them. I'm not spending time being eclectic about my beliefs and my way of life.

 

I no longer look specifically to only one source for the answer to life, whether that source is secular, religious, Jesus, the bible, the church, or anything else. I am doing the hard work of finding my own way out of my own "Dark Night of the Soul." It isn't easy, but it is worth it.

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Guest wayfarer2k
Wayfarer,

Has God been any help in finding your way out of your dark night?

 

It all depends upon how one defines "God", AITNOP.

 

In my earlier view of God, he looked very much like Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel portrait of God -- an old (but powerful) man in the sky, surrounded by clouds to keep him hidden and by angels to do his bidding. Central to this view was the notion that man and God are separate from one another. And though their fingertips would soon touch, the ensuing fall would separate them once again. Even though Michaelangelo's portrait doesn't depict Jesus, according to historical Christianity, Jesus was just another form of God, hidden away in heaven, surrounded by clouds, having angels (messengers) to convey his will, but still separate from humanity. In my earlier view, because I couldn't stop sinning, Christ was still "out there", too holy to touch me, too much "in heaven" to be here -- someone to be believed in, but who could not be experienced. Only in the afterlife (once I had been made perfect) could I go to the clouds to be reunited with God.

 

I no longer hold to this earlier view.

 

My current experience of God (which is subject to revision at any given moment...ha ha) is that God is an influence towards love, wholeness, and life. I don't use the word "force" because it denotes an impersonal energy that cannot be resisted. Instead, I see God as an influence within me (and our world) that continually calls me to give/receive love, to seek wholeness, to experience life to the full. And I see Jesus as one way that a human life full of God could look. My sin, my bent towards selfishness, is not a barrier to this view of God or Christ. Rather, my sin is what shows me how "less than human" I am and that I am not mature yet.

 

I'm sure my musings about God would seem fuzzy to most Christians and probably blasphemous to many of them. But the earlier paradigm became a hindrance to my faith, it kept me from growing. It was fine for a child. But it doesn't work for me as an adult, as someone who thinks there is more to life than getting a "ticket to heaven."

 

As to my "dark night of the soul", I don't think it is over. But I do think I see the dawn. :)

 

How about you?

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Wayfarer2k, Thanks so much for your reply! I thought it was extremely helpful, and I didn't find a single thing blasphemous. In fact, I could have written that myself, but you are a better writer. I like the idea of God being an influence vs. a force. I am SO glad that when I was struggling with my old concepts of Christianity that I didn't give up on Jesus. I am not saying I have "arrived," but my faith in God, in the influence toward love, is stronger than ever before in my life. I, like you, have learned from secular and non-Christian sources, but it keeps coming down to loving one another as perfectly as we can. Sometimes I think there is strength in viewing God as a being larger than myself that I seek wisdom from, but I can just as easily see how allowing an influence toward love to work in me would be the same. Language is definitely limiting my ability to describe God here!

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Wayfarer2k, Thanks so much for your reply! I thought it was extremely helpful, and I didn't find a single thing blasphemous. In fact, I could have written that myself, but you are a better writer. I like the idea of God being an influence vs. a force. I am SO glad that when I was struggling with my old concepts of Christianity that I didn't give up on Jesus. I am not saying I have "arrived," but my faith in God, in the influence toward love, is stronger than ever before in my life. I, like you, have learned from secular and non-Christian sources, but it keeps coming down to loving one another as perfectly as we can. Sometimes I think there is strength in viewing God as a being larger than myself that I seek wisdom from, but I can just as easily see how allowing an influence toward love to work in me would be the same. Language is definitely limiting my ability to describe God here!

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Guest wayfarer2k
Language is definitely limiting my ability to describe God here!

 

I can sure relate to that. For me, it's like discovering something you have never seen before. If you try to describe it to someone else, you have to use words based upon what you HAVE seen and, hopefully, on what others would recognize. Does the communication work? Sometimes. But it seems to work almost exclusively in metaphors.

 

It would be like trying to describe an airplane flight to someone from the first century. They may understand the analogy of a bird to an airplane (wings, tail, etc.), but how to describe being pushed back in the seat from the inertia? How do describe popping one's ears to equalize the pressure? How to describe going through and above the clouds? How to describe hitting air pockets? How to describe how awful the food taste? :)

 

My earlier paradigm of God had him in a box. "Here's who he is, here's who he's not. Here's what he does, here's what he doesn't do. Here's what he expects. Here's what he'll do if you don't toe the line." But I'm getting outside the box, probably due to my dark night of the soul. The old box told me that Jesus was Yahweh taking on human flesh. My newer paradigm is telling me, "God is not in the box. Jesus is not Yahweh. Instead, rethink your whole notion of God. Jesus is not a superhuman limiting himself to become human, but a human expanding himself to become more human." For me, such considerations have astounding effects on not just my theology, but on how I practice and live out following Jesus. Following him isn't so much about me becoming deity (if I even like that term any more), but about me becoming the kind of human being that reflects the very best of what it means to be motivated by and living out compassion.

 

So the difference for me is shifting from trying to become "sinless" (as the earlier paradigm said) to becoming "compassionate" -- two quite different things. In one, the focus is on self and personal standing. In the other, the focus is on others and their welfare. I'm far from "there" yet, but at least I feel like I may have a map to go forward.

 

Thanks for your thoughts on this too, AITNOP. Seeing God as larger than we are is no problem for me. I don't mind the mystery. I just grew uncomfortable with a God who, supposedly, sometimes acted like the worst of us. :)

 

bill

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I'll chew on this a bit with you, Minsocal. I agree with you that truth is scalar. It is not black or white. Life (and searching for truth) is filled with a myraid shades of gray. For some, truth is a thing to be owned. For me, I know that I cannot own it. I pursue and, perhaps, understand some of it. But I agree that there is a wisdom to be found in letting "old truths" pass into obscurity.

Yes. In fact, much of the time I would rather concentrate on Jesus' actions rather than some of his teachings. Prime example: he threatened people with hell BUT he never once put anyone there. Some of his actions though (as reported in the bible) are impossible for us. That makes me tend to let his "miracles" fade into obscurity while endeavoring to do what I can through normal human means to live out his actions.

On this, I would disagree. For instance, practical reasoning where astronomy is concerned is about the ends -- about understanding our universe and our place in it, often times how we can make it better. For me, I find that the means to this is rational, objective study of what we do know in order to conjecture about what we don't. But I don't find that superstition (which the bible is full of) leads to good science. If I want to know how the universe works on a cosmic level, I read astronomy books, not astrology books. My bent is away from the mystical, away from the completely subjective. But that is just me. I know there are mystics here who would disagree with me on this.

To a certain extent, I agree. I cannot control the outcomes of my positive intentions. For instance, if I sincerely try to patch things up with someone with whom I've had a falling out, and they refuse to do so, I cannot control their response. My heart may be in the right. But consequences, whether positive or negative or ineffectual, depend upon a wide range of variables. So I do the best I can to ensure my intentions are positive and let the chips fall where they may.

I admit to finding this difficult. Some of Jesus' teachings (helping the poor, being kind, looking after "the least of these") I find very much in keeping with my own beliefs and desires for humanity. But other teachings (hell, killing slaves, locking people out of the kingdom) I find reprehensible with my own common sense and decency. Again, for me much of this comes down to letting go of the superstitious beliefs that Jesus himself held to (demons, angels, everlasting torment, blood is unclean, etc.). Practical rationality, for me, is about the intent to minimize harm to others. I can't control all things so all I can do is to act on my best intentions. For me, rationality (thinking about how I think) is the path forward, not the superstition of religion.

 

Great topic!

 

I apologize for the long delay. There is an odd aspect to the concept of progress. There is the advance of truth ... and then, there is the advance of value. Is this is what you (and I) seek to get at?

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One of the things I have been trying to get at in this dialogue is a counter to the position davidk makes that 'propositional content' is always factual. It is not. The 'propositional content' of what we read in the Bible is never only factual (subject to 'truth' or false' conditions). The imperitive "feed the poor" is more a value condition than a truth condition. Kant made an effort to make both the same thing. and we should not reject his efforts. Kant, working from his own perspective, sensed this. But some of us can, and do, reach the same conclusion from different perspectives. Are the 'means' to the 'conclusion' dominant .. or the 'conclusion' itself? In the end, the 'conclusion' is more of a value and less a fact.

 

The caveat here is this. If you are a Social Darwinist, feeding the poor is a waste of time. They are a drain on resources. If you accept Darwinism in the truest sense, feeding the poor just might preserve the life of a person named "Jesus".

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Reading these posts that go to such great effort to demonstrate progressive christianity has rational thinking certainly makes for some interesting reading.

 

That aside, I don't mind being used when the representation's accurate. I don't, however, believe that to be true in the current case. While I have insisted that

'facts' (truth and knowledge) must be in a propositional form (ie; a language) to be known so it can be communicated to your self and then to others; it is not true that I believe all propositional content to be factual (true), because propositions can be false. For example; "The moon is made of green cheese."

I'm sorry minsocal may have inadvertently led himself astray on this. I hope this clears it up, so he and everyone else can find another straw man.

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Reading these posts that go to such great effort to demonstrate progressive christianity has rational thinking certainly makes for some interesting reading.

 

That aside, I don't mind being used when the representation's accurate. I don't, however, believe that to be true in the current case. While I have insisted that

'facts' (truth and knowledge) must be in a propositional form (ie; a language) to be known so it can be communicated to your self and then to others; it is not true that I believe all propositional content to be factual (true), because propositions can be false. For example; "The moon is made of green cheese."

I'm sorry minsocal may have inadvertently led himself astray on this. I hope this clears it up, so he and everyone else can find another straw man.

 

I am simply pointing out that fact that "fact" and "value" are not the same thing. Propositions are mainly within the domain of cognition, values are mainly within the domain of conation. The two domains are mirror images of each other. Desires, such as to feed the poor, are not propositions subject to truth conditions. Desires are fulfilled, or they are not. Quite simply, desires are what Whitehead calls "mental appetitions". Purpose and aim. Final cause. As Searle points out, "know your conditions of satisfaction".

 

Conation brings fact and value into balance. Put another way, conation brings reason and emotion into balance. To believe "X" and have no desire to mitigate "X" renders the belief "X" useless. To argue that "we must feed the poor" without the desire to do so ... well, you get my point (perhaps?).

 

Conation, simply put, IS practical rationality. Since you throw a lot of philosophy around here, tell us what Hume had to say on the matter. Spinoza, too. And, let's not leave out Kant.

 

Ummm, something like "reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions"? (just to be clear, "passions" is the old word for "emotions").

Edited by minsocal
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I am simply pointing out that fact that "fact" and "value" are not the same thing. Propositions are mainly within the domain of cognition, values are mainly within the domain of conation. The two domains are mirror images of each other. Desires, such as to feed the poor, are not propositions subject to truth conditions. Desires are fulfilled, or they are not. Quite simply, desires are what Whitehead calls "mental appetitions". Purpose and aim. Final cause. As Searle points out, "know your conditions of satisfaction".

 

Conation brings fact and value into balance. Put another way, conation brings reason and emotion into balance. To believe "X" and have no desire to mitigate "X" renders the belief "X" useless. To argue that "we must feed the poor" without the desire to do so ... well, you get my point (perhaps?).

 

Conation, simply put, IS practical rationality. Since you throw a lot of philosophy around here, tell us what Hume had to say on the matter. Spinoza, too. And, let's not leave out Kant.

 

Ummm, something like "reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions"? (just to be clear, "passions" is the old word for "emotions").

So, you admit it is not true my position is "that 'propositional content' is always factual." I accept your apology.

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So, you admit it is not true my position is "that 'propositional content' is always factual." I accept your apology.

 

I had no such intention. I am saying that excessive reliance on "propositions" takes the Sprit out of religion. If you ponder some of the great messages found in the Bible in terms of propositions, their emotional meaning is quickly lost. Spirit, in the best sense of the word, will overrule a false proposition. This is what is truly meant by the term "satisfaction".

 

As I write this, scientists are beginning to recognize that what we call Sprit plays a crucial role in who we are. They are inverting the negative views of human nature and inverting the manner in which they pursue their research. They use different technical terms, but the thrust of their theories is similar. Take for example the work of Paul Valent. His specialty is trauma, which makes sense as he is a Holocaust survivor. In his research, he has uncovered eight basic survival strategies that he regards as innate "phylo-genetic templates." The key to understanding the theory is that these templates are cast in a positive manner in that they motivate prosocial behavior in their natural functioning. It is when the "propositional appraisal" becomes distorted and falsified that problems begin. The "propositions" that these innate templates generate, in their positive functioning, are perceived as "increasingly spiritual" as they reach the highest level of conscious awareness. He is saying, in effect, that human nature is far from corrupt. Without the intervening errors contained in false propositions we find the "order" of God's Creation. Note that the errors in forming false propositions is late in the process of forming judgements. As I have noted elsewhere, judgements are about propositions and have different conditions of satisfaction. The judgement is central in that allows for "suspension" while a person seeks more information about the network of beliefs and desires in which a propostion is necessarily embedded. This is nothing more than Jung's claim that "there are no isolated psychic processes".

 

You have claimed elsewhere that the Bible contains no false propositions. I read what you have just said as an admission that you are capable of generating false propositions based on your own appraisals of the Bible and it's content. In that sense, I thank you for your apology.

 

Now back to a basic principle. "Knowing how" is not a proposition. "Knowing how" can only be expressed as a series of propositions, but the "knowing" can (and often does) precede the generation of the proposition(s). This is also called "intrinsic intentionalty" where emotion and intuition play their crucial roles. They work both from "the bottom up" to preselect what we attend to, and then from "the top down" to test our judgements. This is where Kant failed. This is where reliance on propositions fails. Religion is not the world of sterile propositions abstracted (distanced from) emotion. This is the key to understanding the progressive viewpoint. It begins with the prophets and "a passion for justice". You seem to prefer a "legalistic" approach, devoid of this passion?

Edited by minsocal
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"...the position davidk makes that 'propositional content' is always factual."- minsocal

This is still false.

 

What I did say was that the Bible is God's propositional revelation to man. It appears difficult for some to reasonably think that God could or would actually communicate with man in a manner man can understand.

-

On the topic you chose:

"The 'propositional content' of what we read in the Bible is never only factual (subject to 'truth' or false' conditions). The imperitive "feed the poor" is more a value condition than a truth condition."-minsocal

I'm having a little trouble finding your reference of "feed the poor" in the Bible. Perhaps I'm being too literal with your quote, so if you wouldn't mind, could you provide me with a reference.

The reason I'm asking is that "feed the poor" assumes a value not yet in evidence, leaving it open to any subjective evaluaton. In which case, if I said "no", it would be of as much value as if I had said "yes". If we can somehow find a "why", we then would have to ask: is that any less subjective? All the while we need realize an objective "why" is what would give us a true base for our evaluation, a reason, and the true meaning to "feed the poor", or not.

So ask yourselves, where do we find the objective source?

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[color=#000080I'm having a little trouble finding your reference of "feed the poor" in the Bible.

 

:o

 

Your audacity astounds me. Remember, you quoted Leviticus to deny homosexuals even the right to have feelings for each other? I am assuming here that "feed the poor" means care for the poor. The following is but a small sample of what the Bible says. I found 168 direct references ... many more with different "propositional content".

 

Remember "feed" is both literal and an analogy for "care":

 

Le 19:10

 

"You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God."

 

Le 23:22

 

"When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the Lord your God."

 

De 24:15

 

"You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt."

 

Ex 22:25

 

"If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them."

 

Es 9:22

 

"as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor."

 

Job 5:16

 

"So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth."

 

Job 20:19

 

"For they have crushed and abandoned the poor, they have seized a house that they did not build."

 

Job 24:14

 

"The murderer rises at dusk to kill the poor and needy, and in the night is like a thief"

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[color=#000080I'm having a little trouble finding your reference of "feed the poor" in the Bible. Perhaps I'm being too literal with your quote, so if you wouldn't mind, could you provide me with a reference.

The reason I'm asking is that "feed the poor" assumes a value not yet in evidence, leaving it open to any subjective evaluaton. In which case, if I said "no", it would be of as much value as if I had said "yes". If we can somehow find a "why", we then would have to ask: is that any less subjective? All the while we need realize an objective "why" is what would give us a true base for our evaluation, a reason, and the true meaning to "feed the poor", or not.

So ask yourselves, where do we find the objective source?

 

I thought it important to continue on regarding the poor:

 

Job 20:10

 

"Their children will seek the favor of the poor, and their hands will give back their wealth"

 

Job 30:25

 

"Did I not weep for those whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor?"

 

Ps 9:18

 

"For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever."

 

Ps 10:9

"

they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert; they lurk that they may seize the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net."

 

Ps 12:5

 

"Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up," says the Lord; "I will place them in the safety for which they long."

 

Ps 37:14

 

"The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to kill those who walk uprightly;"

 

Ps 41:1

 

"Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble."

 

Ps 72:2

 

"May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice."

 

Ps 74:19

 

"Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals; do not forget the life of your poor forever"

 

Ps 112:9

 

"They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor."

 

Pr 10:15

 

The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their ruin

 

Pr 14:20

 

"The poor are disliked even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends"

 

Pr 16:19

 

"It is better to be of a lowly spirit among the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud."

 

Pr 19:17

 

"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and will be repaid in full."

 

Pr 21:13

 

"If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard"

 

Pr 22:9

 

"Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor"

 

Pr 22:22

 

"Do not rob the poor because they are poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate;"

 

Pr 22:16

 

"Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss."

 

Pr 28:11

 

"The rich is wise in self-esteem, but an intelligent poor person sees through the pose."

 

Pr 29:7

 

"The righteous know the rights of the poor; the wicked have no such understanding."

 

Pr 31:9

 

"Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy"

 

Ec 9:15

 

"Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man."

 

Isa 3:15

 

"What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts."

 

Isa 11:4

 

"but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked."

 

Isa 14:30

 

"The firstborn of the poor will graze, and the needy lie down in safety; but I will make your root die of famine, and your remnant I will kill."

 

Isa 58:7

 

"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?"

 

Jer 8:21

 

"For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me."

 

Jer 9:1

 

"O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!"

 

Jer 22:16

 

"He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the Lord."

 

Eze 16:49

 

"This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."

 

Am 2:7

 

"they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way; father and son go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned;

 

Zec 7:10

 

"do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another."

 

Mt 11:5

 

"the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them."

 

Mt 19:21

 

Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

 

Mt 26:9

 

"For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor."

 

Mt 26:11

 

"For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me."

 

Mr 10:21

 

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

 

Mr 12:43

 

Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury."

 

Lu 6:20

 

Then he looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

 

Lu 14:13

 

"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind."

 

Lu 14:21

 

So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, "Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.'"

 

Lu 16:22

 

"The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried."

 

Ro 15:26

 

"for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem."

 

2Co 8:9

 

"For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich."

 

2Co 9:9

 

As it is written, "He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."

 

Jas 2:5

 

"Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?"

 

Well, what do you think?

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"The 'propositional content' of what we read in the Bible is never only factual (subject to 'truth' or false' conditions). The imperitive "feed the poor" is more a value condition than a truth condition."-minsocal

I'm having a little trouble finding your reference of "feed the poor" in the Bible. Perhaps I'm being too literal with your quote, so if you wouldn't mind, could you provide me with a reference.

The reason I'm asking is that "feed the poor" assumes a value not yet in evidence, leaving it open to any subjective evaluaton. In which case, if I said "no", it would be of as much value as if I had said "yes". If we can somehow find a "why", we then would have to ask: is that any less subjective? All the while we need realize an objective "why" is what would give us a true base for our evaluation, a reason, and the true meaning to "feed the poor", or not.

So ask yourselves, where do we find the objective source?

 

Page three:

 

Ps 22:26

 

"The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever!"

 

Pr 13:7

 

"Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth"

 

Lu 4:18

 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,

 

Lu 19:8

 

Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much."

 

Jas 2:6

 

But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court?

 

Re 3:17

 

For you say, "I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.' You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

 

I think, that should be sufficient.

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Your mistake is in accepting subject-object dualism. The notion is absurd. Why? God is "one" and God is "many", and perhaps more than "one" and more than "many". One and many is "our" reality, not God's. God created us in Her image, and we need not return the favor. There is nothing profound in the fact that I am a person with my mind-body existing in a world of other mind-bodies. Each is real, oh so real. Huh? We share what we "know" with each other and sometimes agree. That is it. We do NOT claim to be God and "know" everything. BUT, some of us will put down others who we regard as "ignorant" of that which could not be certain.

Edited by minsocal
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You have claimed elsewhere that the Bible contains no false propositions.

Minsocal,

 

This proposition is true while your other proposition was not: ( "...the position davidk makes that 'propositional content' is always factual"). I have agreed with your propositional assessment of that position being false from the first time you said it was! It is just not me that posited it.

 

I read what you have just said as an admission that you are capable of generating false propositions based on your own appraisals of the Bible and it's content. In that sense, I thank you for your apology.

Your welcome (?)

 

Now back to a basic principle. "Knowing how" is not a proposition. "Knowing how" can only be expressed as a series of propositions, but the "knowing" can (and often does) precede the generation of the proposition(s). This is also called "intrinsic intentionalty" where emotion and intuition play their crucial roles. They work both from "the bottom up" to preselect what we attend to, and then from "the top down" to test our judgements. This is where Kant failed. This is where reliance on propositions fails. Religion is not the world of sterile propositions abstracted (distanced from) emotion. This is the key to understanding the progressive viewpoint. It begins with the prophets and "a passion for justice". You seem to prefer a "legalistic" approach, devoid of this passion?

For us to know anything, knowledge must have continuity. While we can have other things inside our heads besides language, it must always be linked to language. We communicate not just with ourseves but with others in some form of language. The way we think inside our own heads is in language. So, whether we are talking about inward thought or outward communication, man is a verbalizer.

---

Your audacity astounds me. Remember, you quoted Leviticus to deny homosexuals even the right to have feelings for each other?

In reference to that I had added, "Perhaps I'm being too literal with your quote, so if you wouldn't mind, could you provide me with a reference." I was simply trying to research this a little and since you put 'we must feed the poor' into quotation marks, I was just looking for some help.

 

You have also misconstrued something I have said to mean that people don't have any right to have feelings for each other.

---

Well, what do you think?

I hope all you had to do was cut 'n' paste!

I hope you didn't think I couldn't find 'poor' in a concordance.

The reason I even wanted to speak about this is because of what you had left us with; "Desires, such as to feed the poor, are not propositions subject to truth conditions." Which I find quite a remarkable statement to make.

 

I would simply agree that it is only by way of God's objective, propositional truths, presented to us in the Bible, that can give us the proper reasons to desire to feed the poor to begin with.

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Minsocal,

 

This proposition is true while your other proposition was not: ( "...the position davidk makes that 'propositional content' is always factual"). I have agreed with your propositional assessment of that position being false from the first time you said it was! It is just not me that posited it.

Your welcome (?)

For us to know anything, knowledge must have continuity. While we can have other things inside our heads besides language, it must always be linked to language. We communicate not just with ourseves but with others in some form of language. The way we think inside our own heads is in language. So, whether we are talking about inward thought or outward communication, man is a verbalizer.

---

 

In reference to that I had added, "Perhaps I'm being too literal with your quote, so if you wouldn't mind, could you provide me with a reference." I was simply trying to research this a little and since you put 'we must feed the poor' into quotation marks, I was just looking for some help.

 

You have also misconstrued something I have said to mean that people don't have any right to have feelings for each other.

---

 

I hope all you had to do was cut 'n' paste!

I hope you didn't think I couldn't find 'poor' in a concordance.

The reason I even wanted to speak about this is because of what you had left us with; "Desires, such as to feed the poor, are not propositions subject to truth conditions." Which I find quite a remarkable statement to make.

 

I would simply agree that it is only by way of God's objective, propositional truths, presented to us in the Bible, that can give us the proper reasons to desire to feed the poor to begin with.

 

A desire has no truth conditions. It is fulfilled or it is not. The poor are fed, or they are not. When the poor are fed, the desire is satisfied. You seem to have missed out on the one of the basic concepts of philosophy and the teachings of Jesus. Do some research on what "satisfaction" means. Then rejoin the dialogue.

Edited by minsocal
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