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smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 5:24 AM

THE IDEAL PERSON

Implicit or explicit in some philosophy, or perhaps in "worldviews" is the concept of the Ideal Person. What does the ideal person look like? Who should you try to become? You might liken this to the concept of the "role model". In Nietzsche it might be his "superman" or "overman", in Christianity it would be Jesus, maybe in rap music (hypothetically speaking) it would be someone who is "hypermasculine". (Here's a link to that last comment to put it into context http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index=537 ) I know what my ideal person looks like in general, what type of characteristics in my mind the "ideal person" has, my only task is to assimilate it to the real world and perhaps to various roles within that world. The details, sometimes, are a little harder to work out. This seems like a very relevant area within philosophy/theology (whatever). My questions are two-fold: 1) What does your ideal person look like, what qualities, characteristics, etc. and 2) Do you think that knowing what kind of person someone would like to be, or tries to emulate, can "tell you" something about that person, about "some" of their basic views on life? Quite frankly I've only heard this particular topic brought up in the realm of philosophy once, once or twice in the context of theology, so I hope in my ignorance I'm not making a complete ass of myself....It's just always been an interesting topic to me.

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.5 - Posts: 5316)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 1:55 PM

As a Christian, I am probably going to be out numbered on this forum. However, to answer your question of the ideal person, I have to use Christ as my role model, and those people I have known who portrayed Christlike qualities.

This means I must try at all times to see Christ in that other person and to accept that person as a part of Christ just as I am. It means that I need to embody kindness and caring towards others just as much as if it were Christ in front of me. As much as humanly possible, I must be nonjudgmental, knowing that true judgment comes in each person's life before God when he or she is held accountable for earthly actions.



oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 2:05 PM

Glad you joined us Pat, and your comments are always valid and welcome, that's the idea.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 2:15 PM

Ditto what Oogie said Pat! Welcome!!!

Though Christianity as a practicing religion is too anthropomorphic for me, the philosophy is beautiful.

Looking forward to learning from everyone!

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 2:34 PM

Yeah, no kidding Pat, welcome! I need someone who can clear up my muddled thinking on the topic of Christianity anyways.....I once heard the only difference between theology and philosophy anyways was that philosophy asks questions whereas theology provides answers to some of those same questions. I have spent some time thinking about Christianity, and I was wondering how you might have solved some of the problems in relation to that view. I have often wondered what it might mean on a "practical" level to take Jesus as a role model. For example, just to mention a few questions that your post raised in me, and I hope you don't take this as a personal attack on your views, I have no such intent, just a discussion about problems I've thought about. I can partially understand your view, that Jesus should be your role model or ideal person, but on a practical level I find it problematic. Alot of Jesus' life isn't even in scripture, while a lot of his sayings are. Alot of those sayings are cryptic and hard to understand, even for Christians sometimes who disagree to their meaning. On a "practical" level, and this is why when thinking about it I have found it problematic, wouldn't it make more sense to try and "emulate" someone like a human saint? Someone who we know what he thinks more clearly, how he lived, etc.? Maybe a St. Augustine, or a St. Thomas Aquinas, or don't know if he's been labeled a "saint" yet but maybe a Thomas Merton? How do you handle this problem?


oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 2:59 PM

Christianity, or basically any other religion, cannot be approached solely as an intellectual/logical understanding of it's tenets and principles. After reaching a certain point in the mind that brings comprehension, the next step would be a spiritual acceptance, literally a giving over of one's self to be led by the Spirit. In the Christian church, the Dispensation of the Holy Spirit after Christ's resurrection is believed to be an actual manifestation of the Spirit of God in each believer's life. This is not like saying a person has the "spirit of brotherhood", but rather an actual presence of Divine power in the converted. Just as no "proof" of afterlife can be presented, neither can a spiritual rebirth be validated except in the id of believers. The transformation of souls, though a universal aim of religion, is a private and personal journey within the convert. Acts of faith in the daily life of the believer, individually and as a body of believers, are the outward manifestation of that change. Christians emulate the life of Christ as they believe they are being led, not just by the words of scripture, but His Spirit within them.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 3:44 PM

Good post Danny, I guess that solves about "half" of it, but regarding the rest of my curiosity I guess I have to put it into context for you. After thinking about it, I'm really going off of a work written by a philosopher at USC that I read called "Hearing God". In it, he says, " With all of this clear in our minds, we turn to what surely is one of the greatest problems in the devout person's attempt to recieve God's word. Even if we are not in disobedience to God, even if our hearts are attuned to his will, there will be many times in which God does not send a particularized word. What then are we to do?.....There are reasons other than his displeasure why a specific word may not be forthcoming to us in a particular case. One of the major reasons is that in general, it is God's will that we ourselves should have a great part in determining our path through life.....He calls us to responsible citizenship in his kingdom by saying-in effect or in reality- as often as possible, "My will for you in this case is that you decide on your own"." When God is silent, wouldn't a role model or the intellect then be your only resource? I couldn't imagine that just because God gives you freedom to decide, it means you are going to ALWAYS be prepared and know exactly what to do, I would think that just like any other parent he would let his "children" make mistakes. And it's also my understanding that in the begining of the spiritual life, you aren't as adept at hearing Gods voice as at later stages. My question then is, well how do you start out, when the working of "God's ways" aren't yet as discernible to you. Wouldn't a role model kind of come in handy at that time as well? Perhaps this isn't how Christianity works....I wouldn't know.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 3:45 PM

BTW Pat, the book club is reading Gandhi this month if you want to join in, it's a little further down on the discussion board than the kind of post you would see right away......

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 6:24 PM

So then is not Christianity (and most other religions) the antithesis of self-will or determinism? We are predestined to behave in a certain way (or suffer the punishment)?...or did I misunderstand my childhood indoctrination?

Our only choice is to abide or be damned? That doesn't sound like self-will to me.

I ask in respect. My best friends and parents are good Christians.



oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 7:35 PM

Yes Jeremy, a new convert benefits from having a role model or mentor to guide and provide exemplary lifestyle,inasmuch as all who fellowship in one particular faith or another do. In the end though, one would be expected to work out how best the belief system functions in their own life, a personal walk, for the path to righteousness is not an event, but a journey. The journey is one undertaken by all who profess, but the manner in which it unfolds is still an individual choice. Too much of religion though, is characterized by the faithful depending on the church leadership, creeds,liturgy, etc. supplanting a real walk of faith and personal introspection as guide. My own feelings on this, are that Christianity's approach as a whole is too archaic. The prayer,scriptural readings and general nomenclature all reek of mysticism,incantation, rather than dialogue with a Supreme Being. If the intent is a progression of mankind spiritually, then why does it always come across that the believers are speaking out of the same lack of knowledge that existed two thousand years ago. Fundamentally the original message that Jesus brought was to people who know less about the universe than a fifth grader does today, so I guess we're not smarter than a fifth grader in matters of spirituality.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 7:44 PM

I think you are basically asking the same question I was asking in another post.... I'm not entirely positive I understand your comment (which is a problem in general in philosophy when key words haven't been defined and agreed upon....no biggie....philosophers are notorious for having private vocabularies, each using the same word but meaning slightly different things), but based off my understanding of your comment, this is how I would answer, clarify if I get you all wrong. As to your comment, "So then is not Christianity (and most other religions) the antithesis of self-will or determinism? We are predestined to behave in a certain way (or suffer the punishment)?" I would say, that as far as I can tell, we are pre-destined NOT to live the life God intended without a relationship with Him/Her. For example, consider this comment by the same Christian philosopher at USC, (his name is Dallas Willard by the way). "Recently, there has been an attempt by humanistic psychology, a distinctive group within the field of professional psychology, to integrate the 'spiritual' and the biological. Although I cannot agree with the entirety of humanist Abraham Maslow's views on the 'spiritual' life-especially not with his view that it is attainable by UNAIDED human effort.... " I think from that viewpoint you are "damned" so to speak to live your life in a way God did not intend without a relationship with Him/Her of some kind....is that even relevant?




smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 7:46 PM

Guess we posted at the same time, that last message was in response to Sun....

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 8:07 PM

Is it possible to be spiritual without a god?

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 8:18 PM

I think most people would say yes Sun, as an agnostic I would have to hope so!! To Danny: I think it depends on what perspective you are operating from within Christianity as to whether your insights would be rendered valid or not. I'm actually a big fan of mysticism at times, and I think the mystics would disagree with you on this one. There is a very popular book written by a modern christian mystic, and I think the views in this book would disagree AND agree with your perspective. The way this "popular" book quotes Chesterton's comment that, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried," will give you a better idea as to what I mean. The way I heard this quote "used" in a book, and it may have been just that, I think this quote actually backs up your perspective. The book by the way is a VERY popular. The perspective implied in this sentence (or at least in the book I was reading) is that Christianity has been found difficult and left untried by "the mass" of men throughout history. It "might", I would love to hear some input from the Christians on this one, back up your thoughts about the Churches generally being archaic and unneffective. But implicit in this view again is the notion that a minority of men have tried Christianity seriously despite it's difficulties, and THEY have been advancing Christianity, small though there numbers might be. Your view, from this "view" anyway, regarding the "spiritual advancement" of Christianity would be debatable. For example, I believe this author would take St. John of the Cross's insights about the "Dark Night of the Soul" as a genuine spiritual advancement, despite the fact that the "mass of men" seem to know nothing about it. Again, it would all depend on which perspective you are operating from.......

oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 8:25 PM

Talking with a friend of mine the other night in Oklahoma and he said the thing he liked best about studying philosophy is that there is no definitive answer. Philosophy usually raises more questions than it answers. I am of the opinion that there is a power greater than the universe at work in all existence, the world wasn't created in seven days, but who lit the fuse to the big bang? If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into, what was there before, how do you define nothing, can there be nothing? The one in charge would have to be greater than the cosmos and time itself would have no relevance to him/her In all that exists there is a uniformity of design? that just doesn't seem possible randomly, from the structure of the smallest of subatomic elements to the distribution of mass in the universe, the constant and unalterable nature of energy itself, both finite and immeasurable. These speak to me of an of architect of omniscient and omnipotent power.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 9:00 PM

I can and do agree with that...but does that power mess in the affairs of man and give us moral rules to live by?

oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Sun, 30th Nov '08 9:23 PM

I spent some years in the Methodist as a young adult, but was never indoctrinated as a child into the tradition and conventions of Christian worship. Most people I know,particularly Catholics, were a part of the church from early childhood. In my part of the country there is a large contingency of fundamentalist religion. They tend to view the bible as a holy icon, containing the infallible word of God,dictated as it were, rather than a compilation of "inspired" writings by many authors. To them, the earth is about 7,000 years old, there was an actual Noah's ark, Adam & Eve were real rather than allegorical figures, no such thing as dinosaurs,etc. I don't believe that searching out God implies leaving your brain out of the equation in this manner. Revelations of science and technology would likely seem miraculous to the contemporary man of Jesus' day. What bugs me about religion is the selective beliefs of it's followers, they'll believe in modern medicine, but not in the same science that can reveal some profound insight to the beginnings of life itself. In that manner religion diminishes Christianity I believe,leading to a Convenient Christianity which allows a measure of ignorance. and therefore less accountability in terms of applying the principles to daily living.

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.5 - Posts: 5316)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 2:54 AM

I just checked back on this site and it's almost 2 a.m. so I am too tired to tackle such heavy-duty thoughts at this hour.

However, I will add this:

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.

I will be back in a few hours to toss a few more thoughts in the fray.

larefamiliaris
Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 6:21 AM

I have to agree wth Oogie's 'selective beliefs' problem, but would like to extend it a little. My problem with received religion - other than it being received in the first instance - is a selective attitude to ineffability. If I mention carbon dating, super volcanoes or radioactive decay to a literal believer to prove that the world is not merely 6000 years old (to use Usher's 4004 BC creation date as a base), I (often) receive a knowing smile and a confused message about belief having some kind of primacy over science. Some will even quote Einstein, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" as though the mention of (Saint) Albert's name in a vagulely religious context will have me running for cover. I am told, in essence, that you cannot presume to know the mind of God because He is God: you most certainly are not. And actually, I don't really have a problem with that model of belief: if there is a God, I would hope and expect that the thoughts of that being would be beyond my ken - I'm not that presumptuous an individual.
But often the same people will quite happily interpret the Word of God to suit their own purposes - and I don't attack anyone here, just point out the inconsistency - from condemnation of homosexuality to not marrying your brother's wife.
So - either the two (random) examples above are not ineffable, and therefore not laid down by God (so why are they in the Bible, etc) or the person in question is presuming to not only know the Mind of God, but giving it a little fine tuning too, which seems - at the very least - a monstrous arrogance from an otherwise devout person.

'Believe what you believe' (as long as you) 'Do no harm' are my general credos (if you'll excuse the tautology), just to get them out there!

And I too quote Einstein to back up arguments:
"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
Naughty Albert!

larefamiliaris
Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 6:40 AM

As usual in sophistry, I forgot to answer the damn question!

My ideal person Jeremy is not an Ubermensch or Christ figure, it's the person I am working on becoming. I may never get there, but that won't stop the journey. I may look to Christian examples for inspiration (or Buddhist or Muslim but probably not Nietzsche - seductive as he can be, he goes too far for me. Perfection at the expense of a social fabric is not my ideal.), but not for instruction.

I suspect a great many people's answers may be similar to my own.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 9:05 AM

You suspect correctly Martin! I agree. My journey toward my ideal has not only been a crooked path, but marked with some serious backsliding. Fortunately there has been progression. I am a better person than I was at this moment and I hope to continue forward. The practicing religious mainstream people in my life do not agree wholeheartedly with that because I am not a believer by their interpretations.

Welcome to the group Martin! Its wonderful to have you join.

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.5 - Posts: 5316)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 10:34 AM

Oh where to begin!?

Let me begin, I guess, by asking that if you are writing a long post, would you please break it up in paragraphs. A huge block of copy is very hard for me to read. In newspaper work we usually have just a sentence or two or three in a paragraph to break up the gray space so guess it comes from that.

One of the questions raised was: Is it possible to be spiritual without a god? I suspect it might be but pretty difficult. My question, though: Is it possible to be spiritual without God? I don't think so. For me there has to be an acceptance that Christ dwells within me - and within each of you - so that when I interact with you, I am approaching you with the same respect that I would give Christ.

I just had a thought (scary, I know!!) If this thread is going to be on religion - or maybe I'm the one that is taking it that direction - perhaps it would be helpful to learn each person's religious background to this point.

I was raised in the Congregational Church (now United Church of Christ). I have participated in some Unity studies (metaphysical) and I now attend an American Baptist Church. Quite a mix, isn't it?

The UCC is a liberal church, always open to new thoughts, new ideas, with a great emphasis on good works. Some say the Congregationalists are trying to "work" their way into heaven. The church I now attend is a little more fundamental in its beliefs, but not a great deal more so than the UCC. (There is a great deal of differences in Baptist churches.) A sign above the door that you see as you leave the church reads "Go forth into the mission field," meaning that each of us is given the charge to become the hands and feet of Christ in carrying out the care of others, in His name, whether it be the transient, the unwed mother or the thief.

I believe there are the various religions because we each respond to Christianity in different ways. For instance, at least one church in my town, I've been told, has a time following services for people to come up front to pray, where a number of them begin praying "in tongues" and some fall down into a trance-like state. In what I have observed of the Catholic faith a great emphasis is given to rituals.

So my belief is that some people need that highly emotional religion because that is what answers their needs; others need the ritualistic service because it fits their need to know what's coming next, a comfort in what is familiar; whereas others find the individual reflective service meets their needs. Hopefully all of the paths lead to the same purpose, a belief in God and a role model in Christ.

One of the problems of organized religion is that many times the most religious do the most damage to religion. I quit my job in August because my "Christian" boss (who is also a part-time minister!) was making my life a living hell and had for 2 years. I have seen him lie, be verbally vicious to others besides me, and put in 32-35 hours a week at work when he is paid to be there 40 hours (that's stealing from the company in my book).

I suspect I have strayed off the subject, but some of you can put me back on the right track.

As a tip: you might want to mark and copy your post if it is long because you do time out. Luckily I thought of doing that before I hit post message and it turns out I had timed out. I would have cried if I had needed to rewrite this!!

larefamiliaris
Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 11:47 AM

Hi Pat! (waving emoticon!)

I think because of Jeremy's original question that the subject of religion was a dead cert to come up, so I don't think you're off topic at all!

I'm also happy to share my religious position - such as it is - with all and sundry. I have attended (in the past) Catholic, Baptist and Church of Scotland places of worship, without belief in a supreme being. I do not have faith, but respect it very much in others and do not feel lessened by its absence in me.
I just believe in one less God than a monotheist!

Equally, I don't believe in philosophy - other than in it's etymological sense - as a form of religious substitute. I can't recall if it was mentioned in this thread or another, but someone asked (or perhaps tried to define - I forget which. Sorry!) for the difference between philosophy and theology. I'm not sure there is one.

And thanks for the welcome Sunny! It's always a pleasure to be in your company!

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 12:09 PM

Welcome Martin!! Umm, I really want to answer your question about my experiences with Church, but if I went into detail I would be accused of TMI. Needless to say, due to the various "religious role models" in my life who happened to be religious, I rebelled early on, and pretty much never looked back. I do have some curiosity about the issue, but I rarely go to church. I label myself "agnostic".

Both my parents are fundamentalist protestants, who take the creation story literally despite my objections that lots of Christians in todays world believe in at least a kind of evolution. They never listen to me. I was shuffled through every church in the book by a couple of my christian role models, we never stayed long and I never put down roots anywhere.....baptists, quakers, methodists, catholic, I've been to them all. Kind of like an army brat I guess, only with Church.

The stark contrast between the "role models" of Christianity in my life, and their deviant behavior has led me to go searching for explanations about why that might be, I've been prompted to ask, "Why doesn't Christianity transform its members into more loving people?" So, I've read a few books "attempting to explain" this phenomenon, and have read some famous Christians, but I generally don't and won't go to church at this point in my life. I have something of a "mild" to moderate fascination with Christian Mysticism, thanks to a few modern Christian Mystics, but in general I don't have the time to pursue it.....

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 12:55 PM

I should qualify that Pat, a mild or moderate interest in Christian Mysticism doesn't mean I am a "mystic" or anything, I just like spending time learning more about it....but my knowledge in the area thus far is pretty weak, I'll admit that much. That about sums up my contact with Christianity I think.

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.5 - Posts: 5316)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 1:12 PM

I have attended church most of my llife but I, too, have questioned what I have been taught. And I happen to think that is not only OK but necessary, for how do we determine what we believe if we do not question what we are told?

As to evolution vs. creationism, my answer to either is: God could if he wanted to. I don't see that argument as a deal breaker. I don't need to know the answer to that equation because it's enough for me to believe that God could... and someday maybe I'll know the answer, but I'm not driven to figure it out.

Same with whether or not Adam and Eve were truly the first humans. Obviously they weren't the ONLY humans created because who would their children have married? If they were the first and only humans created, then humanity would have begun and ended with them and their children.

It seems to me that part of the basis for some of your non-beliefs is that you are over-thinking the issue. When your spouse or partner says to you, "I love you," you accept that statement with faith that he or she truly loves you.

It comes down to what I wrote in the wee hours of this morning: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed."


smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 1:58 PM

I guess we are getting off track a bit, I see the seedbed of several new threads in your comments, I'll start another thread discussing the perspectives you brought up in your last post....should be interesting time to learn new things.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 5:04 PM

Danny, referring to a post of yours a ways back.....I too prefer the questions to the answers. The only problem I've encountered to just asking questions, is that I can be an agnostic all I want and shrug my shoulders and say, "I don't know", but I still have to decide "how to live" in the meanwhile, which to me is one of the fundamental questions that philosophy tries to answer, whether I actually know the answers or not. Tough thing to do, at least it has been for me! Of course, I have come up with some answers for myself, all occasionally resulting dysfunctionality within my culture aside, since I can't always seem to agree with those views, lol. Not always anyways.

Oogie 54: I am of the opinion that there is a power greater than the universe at work in all existence, the world wasn't created in seven days, but who lit the fuse to the big bang? If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into, what was there before, how do you define nothing, can there be nothing? The one in charge would have to be greater than the cosmos and time itself would have no relevance to him/her In all that exists there is a uniformity of design? that just doesn't seem possible randomly, from the structure of the smallest of subatomic elements to the distribution of mass in the universe, the constant and unalterable nature of energy itself, both finite and immeasurable. These speak to me of an of architect of omniscient and omnipotent power.

I thought those were interesting comments, personally I'm kind of "top down" thinker, someone who starts up at the "big picture" and moves down to the "details" at a later date.......I really have no opinion on this issue at this time. Didn't Francis Crick write a book called, "Life itself" mirroring those sentiments to a degree, with aliens instead of an omniscient/omnipotent power? Interesting view that one.....of course I've never read it, and if it were too technical I might not get it anyways.....

oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 7:01 PM

Questions begging more questions. Is it the curiosity of the thinking man that sets him apart from others, the thing that has driven all man's advances from discovering fire to building a molecular accelerator. The biggest question for me has always been what is this life.a After reading Asimov,Hawking,Sagan and others, what exactly is the nature of existence. The origin of the universe can be traced back fairly accurately, the rate of expansion of the universe is theorized to be faster than the speed of light. Science can measure the tangible with a certain amount of accuracy and surety,but what came before? Is the dimension of time and space only relevant us because we exist in those planes? I believe man has always looked out at the vastness of space and wondered how it all came to be. Perhaps eternity is too much of a reach for the mortal mind, my hope for an afterlife would be to get let in on the secret, to see more. That is my motivation to want a creator.

oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 7:40 PM

Hey Pat, welcome your input and comments here. As far as religious background, in my early childhood my parents attended a Jehovah's Witness church...very briefly...at the age of about four I already knew there was no real santa claus, although I got presents at Christmas. My next experience with church was around twenty four, I attended a Methodist church for about ten years. It was a student circuit, so I met and befriended six or seven ministers during that time. I became the person they could be themselves around, apart from the congregations critical eye,had many great discussions with various pastors over a glass of wine or a couple of beers. What interested me was the fact that during seminary classes they all had to learn enough Latin to be able to read the original text of scripture, the translations over the past several hundred yrs. have missed the boat a few times.

oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 7:46 PM

To add to the last post, my education has been scant compared to everyone else here, I had one Poli-Sci class in higher education and that's it, never pursued a degree. So as to anything I say, it is 99.9% opinion and nothing more. Self-awareness at least let's you know you're full of shit, though you might try to convince your listeners otherwise.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 9:24 PM

Now you're being modest Danny.....self education still counts. One has to wonder sometimes if it isn't perhaps a bit better than the highly politicized education that I'm getting right now....

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Mon, 1st Dec '08 9:40 PM

Of course, it's obvious that Danny has a "scant" education. We see that. (puleeeze...)

"So as to anything I say, it is 99.9% opinion and nothing more. Self-awareness at least let's you know you're full of shit, though you might try to convince your listeners otherwise."

Sounds to me like one of the three really intelligent people I had as professors, but the quote is Danny's.

Having taught at the college level...let me say that hours of seat time in any "schoolroom" does not equal intelligence. Nor does being a MENSA.

If we had a REAL education system, maybe.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 7th Dec '08 5:23 PM

Sun, I would love to start a philosophy of education thread, or at least have a conversation with you about in some context, maybe in the context of a book we are reading perhaps. I would assume you know more than I do about it, but it would be fun.

Here's a relevant link in our ideal person discussion, if anyone cares to continue thinking about the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_economicus

I sometimes wonder though, if Christianity or Buddhism, or Hinduism or whatever is THE answer, what is it the answer for? IN particular, what issues does it solve?

This is actually one are of life where I can actually see how a religion might have some ability to solve some of life's enduring problems. I don't know on the economics discussion, but I can see how a "theological" discussion of the ideal man might solve conflicts, if we could ever agree or come up with "practical" examples on it. To be fair and open-minded to religion, I could see how having extremely differing views on the ideal person would create problems, and I can see how religion "could" help solve some of those problems. This is actually one of my favorite "religious" discussions, because it is one of the few that I feel I can actually see its relevance.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 7th Dec '08 5:30 PM

I especially thought that the "criticisms" portion of the article was interesting.....

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 7th Dec '08 7:29 PM

OMG Jeremy...you are talking about my life and love. Ask Danny...I have to warn people "don't get me started" because I can't shut up.

I know it...and lived it.

Fire away. Education is home to me. Wiggling in anticipation.

Sun

davidf
Davidf  (Level: 102.1 - Posts: 746)
Wed, 10th Dec '08 11:14 AM

A citation of John Stuart Mills work is always good. I have a copy of On Liberty which he wrote and I find is relevant today. A complete utilitarian, gave sound arguments as well.


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