Monday, August 17, 2009

Discussion With A Christian

A Deist and a Christian (let's call him Boomer) have a conversation on Boomer's blog.

Boomer's blog post was referring to one of those terrifying stories in the Bible, and at the end of his post he quipped, "I truly don't understand how the Deist can believe that God doesn't intervene into history. Left to our own devises, would we not all be aligned with Satan himself?"

I suppose the Deist was motivated to provide a response. Boomer's goal in their discussion, of course, was to save a soul, whereas the Deist wanted to be just a bit more pragmatic and reasonable. Kudos to them both for being very cordial - an interesting read.

A Boomer in the Pew: Brutal Rape, Dismemberment, and a Tribal War.


oneblood said...

Religion provides what very few things, or activities can do for people. That is provide a framework, or filter by which to judge reality and reason. Since religion is more than proto-science (as the above implies) the words they literally use are metaphors about that filter/framework what have you and should be taken as such.

The nuances within these so-called black and white statements about the devil and the like should not be take at face value, which would be simple ignorance. The Deist wan't being pragmatic, as if pragmatism was his and thusly his to give.

Our reason should become a great deal more than tit-for-tat. It is an opportunity to contextualize modes of thinking (religion and culture namely).

oneblood said...

Apologies. Just read the post. I'm in a hurry and not that good at articulation to begin with. Hope the thesis is clear though.

oneblood said...

I concur for the most part, but need to clarify. I don't support religion in the usual way of looking at it. I see it as a filter (an example would be the way the Amish use their brand of religion to contemplate technology). So I don't mean 'filter' in the negative, idiomatic sense.

Religion is on the whole judged incompletely. To use a quite apt metaphor, nowadays it is the jester in the court of human understanding. But it's supernatural claims aren't just idiosyncratic. Those same claims are in effect shadows of the "Platonic form" of what it takes to be.

What Would Jesus Do? Isn't just a way of saying "I'm a cracker!" It isn't simply trying to get you to believe (even though that's part of sloganeering's purpose). It is a good example of an effective method of social survival that always includes personal reference (meaning the believer). Religion is completely focused on the adherent whether for good or ill. At first blush that might seem tautological, but remember I'm speaking about the believer from his/her perspective.

I would also like to stress that I'm not arguing for religion's validity on the whole, but it is of paramount importance that contextualization take place. It is a created thing, like art, or like technology, and I assert, just as important.

Religion is now surviving its critique period.

As with many if not all overarching explanations, religion fails, but so do communism and capitalism. Yet to see any of those three only in the light of their failures doesn't seem to be reasonable or scientific.

CCMA said...

Well, at least I'm glad that two people of different faiths can discuss the topic in a civil manner.