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Ask a Theologian

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Honestly,i am afraid that you are misinterpreting others including myself based on your paraphrasing skills which i think is probably the reasons why you are too self-absorbed in your own narrative prison.

    I will try to look at your rebuttals and help clarify our dialogoue and answer them tomorrow since it requires a substantial concentration to pry the lock that you somehow en-caged yourself into.

    What?:crazyeye: Please tell me first what makes an 18th century intellectual?:p
     
  2. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    I think it is fair to say that cerrtain Christians have deified Mary - no matter what some may say, she is definitely worshipped in some places - but she is not a member of the Trinity. Actually, the Holy Spirit is often de-emphasized, and the Trinity is really 2 (the Father and the Son), along with Mary.

    But again, no 2 groups have the same view of the Godhead.
     
  3. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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  4. aneeshm

    aneeshm Chieftain

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    The pendulum will swing as far as is good. The good thing I see is that people are not running after liberation for the sake of liberation, but because they see some good in it. So I don't think it will go to atrocious lengths. However, taboos are disappearing.

    As I said, the elite of the country took the British rubbish seriously, so the counter-revolution was a long time in coming. Even now, it's not following the pattern of similar things in Western countries. It's a bit weird, but it works, so I'm content.
     
  5. aneeshm

    aneeshm Chieftain

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    That's not how it works, really. The songs and dances are a staple of Bollywood films. When there is any sexual activity, it's obvious, but not explicit shown.
     
  6. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    If he's misinterpreting you, you don't fancy that may be because your writing style is as clear as ink? Your posts here could be used to show students how not to write.
     
  7. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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  8. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    That's very peculiar. Mary is certainly not the Holy Spirit in any sense. I have never heard of any group ever believing that she is. The orthodox view is that Mary was a perfectly ordinary and non-divine human being upon whom the Holy Spirit descended (whatever that means), miraculously giving her the ability to conceive in non-fun fashion. Any Christian telling you that Mary is the Holy Spirit is either incredibly confused or fascinatingly heretical.

    Catholics believe a number of other things about Mary, specifically that she remained a virgin all her life; that she even retained "virginity in parturition", meaning that giving birth to Jesus caused her no physical damage; and that instead of dying she ascended bodily to heaven. They also believe that Mary's own birth was miraculous, involving no transmission of original sin (this is the "Immaculate Conception", often wrongly thought to refer to Jesus' conception), that she never sinned at all, and that she can be regarded as "co-redemptrix" with Jesus. However, they would never call her divine or identify her with the Holy Spirit. Mary remains sinless only because the merits of Christ are retroactively applied to her, not because of any divine ability on her part.

    I know that many Muslims believe that the Christian Trinity consists of the Father, the Son, and Mary, but this is wildly wrong. It's amazing that such profound ignorance of other religions can not only survive for centuries but remain vigorous throughout that time.


    The use of images of Mary and other saints doesn't mean she's deified; Christianity has always drawn a sharp distinction between worship and veneration. From a psychological point of view, of course, Catholic saints fulfil much the same role as different gods in a pantheon, but it doesn't follow from that that they are deified. Now many Protestants would regard this sort of thing as basically idolatry and polytheism, but I think that's fairly extreme.

    Right - but you can say exactly the same thing of Mary and saints.

    I know - it's just what I tell myself to try to make sense of it all!
     
  9. Maimonides

    Maimonides Chieftain

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    I've never understood the attraction of Bollywood films, either. The plots are basic & the characters are 2 dimensional. However, the costuming & large dance numbers are impressive.

    They weren't clergy or scholars, just laypeople.

    There are LOTS of religions and different denominations within them. That's allot to study. The study of a single religion can take a lifetime.

    Ah. I hadn't though of that. It's hard to notice the difference as an outsider.

    I've never seen a Christian build a shrine for an angel or pray to one.

    I appreciate this conversation. You've pointed out a couple of similarities that I hadn't thought of. I still think that the term, Judeo-Christian is nonsensical. The two religions are just too different, even ethically, for that term to make sense.
     
  10. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    That's true. Although knowing who the members of the Christian Trinity are doesn't take a whole lot of study, and given that it's one of the most important doctrines of the religion, you'd think that anyone with the slightest interest would know it. Besides, the supposed deification of Mary has been a focus of one of the traditional anti-Christian arguments used by Muslims, so the onus is really on them to check their facts.

    Ah, but have you never seen a church dedicated to St Michael, for example? Here is Pope Leo XIII's prayer to the archangel, as recommended by John Paul II.

    Glad to help. Certainly Judaism and Christianity are different - or are usually different - but still it makes sense to point out the respects in which they are the same. Moreover, the two have sometimes been so close as to be indistinguishable. For example, Ethiopian Christianity has traditionally been extremely Jewish in tone, with Sabbath observance and so on. And modern Messianic Jews aim to be essentially Christian and Jewish at the same time: they believe that Jesus is the Messiah, but otherwise they are Jews, observing the Law and maintaining Jewish culture. Much like Paul himself and most of the very first generation of Christians.
     
  11. Mott1

    Mott1 Chieftain

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    Hello Plotinus, excellent thread.

    Question:
    What is your position on the common belief that all religions share equal moral standards?
     
  12. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    That depends on what you mean by "equal". If you mean that all religions teach the same system of morality, then that is demonstrably false. If you mean that they teach different standards of morality but they are all equally X, then it depends on what X is. For example, if you mean that religions teach different standards of morality but they are equally true, then that might be true, on the assumption that they are all false.
     
  13. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Calvinism or Arminianism? Or neither?
     
  14. Mott1

    Mott1 Chieftain

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    I meant in terms of sameness as you have answered in the former and I agree. Why is this misconception a prevailing belief even among prominent theologians? It seems that religion is commonly preceived as an aggregated source of humanity that presents the same system of morality.
     
  15. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    What about them, precisely?

    Certainly it's the sort of thing that people often say, but that's partly because people don't bother to specify precisely what they mean (as you didn't in the original question). I don't think it's a prevailing belief among prominent theologians. In fact I can't think of a single one who would accept it, so I'm rather puzzled by your statement there. Even Hick wouldn't claim that every religion teaches the same moral system, and he's about as pluralist as they come.
     
  16. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    A couple questions, actually. Sorry, that wasn't clear at all.

    In a general way, what is the more historically accepted doctrine? That man must choose to accept God, and God doesn't decide who accepts Him, or that God predetermines who would accept Him, and only those who He has chosen choose Christ? Based on your knowledge of various theologians and the Bible, what do you think is the better argument?

    Also, before Calvin and Arminius came around to put forward their specific views, were there competing doctrines on how salvation worked? (Predeterminism versus free will) Or was this not as big of a deal until the time of John Calvin?
     
  17. Mott1

    Mott1 Chieftain

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    Hans Kung. This man is considered one of the leading theologians of the 21st century. He believes in the concept of global ethics, ethical standards derived specifically from the existing major religions and religious traditions.

    He goes as far as saying that the golden rule exists in all these religions as well.
    His idea that the golden rule exists in all the world's great religions is incredibley naive and I am astonished that a learned scholar like Hans would make such an erroneous claim.
    I may be wrong, but it seems that Hans is basically saying here that humanity dosen't need to heed or follow the ethical standards prescribed by the great philosophers and thelogians of the past or present, but rather humanity needs to go back to their respective 'grass-roots' religious traditions precribed by their respective religious doctrines which all share a common or universal moral standard. Nevertheless it is clear that Hans believes that all the worlds great religions present the same moral standrads.
     
  18. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    Looking at his concept of [wiki]global ethic[/wiki], I'd say that I would dispute it.

    3 and 4 in particular. Plenty of religions are absolutely not fundamentally tolerant, and as for equal rights - that's absolutely not how it had been percieved until the modern age. The last one is absolutely not fundamental in any religion - it's always been added on or modified through interpretation, so it's absurd to say that it's a fundamental standard of religion, unless the fundamental standards change over time.

    I can quite easily bring up Christian [wiki]Dominionism[/wiki] as an example which violates #3 and #4.

    Is it something that all religions should strive for in this modern day? Absolutely. Is it fundamental? Not really, and as a result it inevitably percieves some religious belief systems to be fundamentally incorrect, and thus defeats its purpose.
     
  19. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Why do you think this?
     
  20. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Well then,one of my favorite fans is disdainful on my writing style.Poor me,i might as well eliminate your membership.:rolleyes:
     
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