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

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  1. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    [CartesianFart] If you could restrict yourself to explaining and arguing for your points, rather than spraying random abuse about, I'd be very grateful.

    I'll take the second question first... in fact the problem of how to relate grace and free will is, historically, the biggest debate. It's a little misleading to present Arminianism as a dispute between Arminius and Calvin (given that Calvin was dead when Arminius came along), or indeed as one between "Arminians" and "Calvinists" because the Arminians were Calvinists, just Calvinists who didn't believe in predestination. Arminius' real target was actually Beza, Calvin's successor at Geneva, who formulated the doctrine of double predestination more clearly.

    In any case, there was nothing new at all in the whole thing. It had been debated virtually endlessly since at least the fifth century, when Augustine and Pelagius had a big argument about the nature of grace and the nature of free will. The "semi-Pelagian" debate raged on for many decades, especially in Gaul. In the ninth century it all flared up once more in the form of the dispute between Gottschalk and Hincmar of Rheims. Gottschalk was condemned for teaching double predestination. Then in the sixteenth century we have the Reformers versus the Council of Trent, and Michael Baius putting his oar in. In particular, there's Luther versus Erasmus. We also have, in Spain, Molina versus Bañez. So the only new thing about Arminianism was that it was a debate within Protestantism, rather than one within Catholicism or between Protestants and Catholics, as in the past. The same could be said for Amyraldeanism, which was the French equivalent of Arminianism. It also coincided with Jansenism, which was basically a Catholic version of Calvinism.

    As for which one is more in line with traditional Christianity, the answer is clearly Arminianism. The Catholic Church has always rejected double predestination and the denial of contra-causal free will. However, it has also always insisted that what happens is what God wants to happen. Whether that's a coherent position or not, I'm not sure, although I think it can be. But as far as I know, Arminianism needn't preclude faith in providence. The more extreme version would be Socinianism - they denied that God even knows what's going to happen in the future.

    In other words, traditional mainstream Christianity would reject the dichotomy you propose between either God choosing people or people choosing God. Those who have opted for the one (such as Gottschalk) or the other (such as Pelagius), without balancing it with the other, have been condemned.

    I haven't read Küng on ethics so I must go by the quotes you give, although it would be good to know the source. It doesn't seem to me that in these quotes Küng is saying that all religions have exactly the same ethical systems; rather, he is saying that the major religions share very similar ethical standards. But that is not the same thing at all, and it is at least much more plausible.

    But do you have a quote where Küng says that all religions have a version of the "Golden Rule"? He doesn't say that in the quote you provide. In fact he is right to attribute versions of the "Golden Rule" to the religions mentioned, and he could also have pointed out that Plato formulated it four centuries before either Jesus or Hillel.

    I must say that it doesn't look to me at all that he's saying that: it looks to me like he's saying that there's a roughly common core to the ethical systems of certain major religions, and we need to extract that common core and live by it rather than by any "system" at all. In which case, he's saying exactly the opposite of your interpretation - people shouldn't just follow their traditional systems at all, but aim to look beyond systems for the motivation that is common to them all. That would make Küng something of a situation ethicist, like Fletcher and Niebuhr.

    Again, you're being too vague: "the same moral standards" is not a clearly meaningful phrase. Küng is not at all saying that the ethical systems of all religions are identical, which is the view you initially attacked. At least, he's not saying that in the quotes you provide.
     
  2. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    No it isn't! My questions may not be confrontational (save for a couple which will be adressed further in a new thread some day, goddamnit :crazyeye: ) but they certainly require a fair amount of knowledge on the subject matter and do give me interesting insights into the way religion works.

    Sometimes asking a question and listening or just plain listening is the best way to learn.
     
  3. Maimonides

    Maimonides Chieftain

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    Truly words of wisdom.:goodjob:
     
  4. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    Well, I suppose that would be easier than actually trying to write readable posts.
     
  5. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    :lol: maybe if your narrative so-called questioning is in a kind where you cant say "why not" are a way of knowing theologicaly inclined ontologies then if you can, be my or perhaps all of philo-so-phy's socalled theo-guest, but dont expect your narative to be anything more than is a determinant form of such ways is browbeating :lol: :lol:
     
  6. Mott1

    Mott1 Chieftain

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    The quotes I presented were taken from a lecture given by Hans Kung on The World's Religions: Common Ethical Values at Santa Clara University. Here is the link:
    http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicin...s/laughlin-lectures/kung-world-religions.html

    I asked for your position on the common belief that all religions share the *same* moral standards where you replied that that belief "is demonstrably false." Upon which I agreed. Now you are indicating that the phrase "the same moral standards" is not clear and lacks meaning. For clarity let me offer a stipulative definition for the term moral standards: a set of principles, ideals, and values. Also for the sake of this discussion let us subsume only the six "great traditions" or relgions that Hans claims to share "the same ethical standards." i.e. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Chinesism (amalgamation of Confucianism and Taoism).
    Now that I have expounded upon the uncertain terms I will ask the question once again, if you will allow of course.

    Do you believe that the great religions share the same moral standards?

    It is my mistake for failing to provide the link to Hans Kung's lecture, but you are incorrect in assuming that:
    Your above statement would hold true presuming he actually said that they were similar, as we know sameness and similarity are mutually exclusive terms. However Hans clearly states that the great religions share the same ethical standards.
    I don't believe I have metioned anywhere about ethical systems niether have I challenge Hans on the premise that the great religions have identical ethical systems. I am not speaking of the existing philosophies on ethical systems, I am refering to the moral absolutes that Hans claims the great religions share. You state that Hans is refering to a "common core" that the great religions share, I agree provided we both have the same understanding of what "common core" means. In this case the "common core" equates to moral absolutes. That is what Hans is refering too.
    You state that their are different version of the golden rule and that they exists in the aforementioned religions. First, I am not sure what you mean by different versions of the golden rule, I am only aware of one. From my understanding the golden rule is absolute and it is self evident, in fact the golden rule is precisely the fundamental principle Hans is refering to that defines his idea of global ethics or the "same ethical standards." The golden rule is the yardstick Hans employs by measuring right from wrong, where killing and stealing is considered wrong on the scales of the golden rule.
    He is clearly employing the golden rule and it is the criterion on which his concept of global ethics functions.
    Secondly, I disagree that the golden rule exists in all the great religions. Islam does not recognise the golden rule and that is where Hans is wrong. As I have stated on many occasions my knowldge on the other religions is somewhat limited, so it would be disingenious on my part to generalize or present a premise with any certainty with regards to the other great religions. However from my findings the golden rule seems to be a common theme among them.
    Hans erroneously claims that the golden rule is acknowledged by Islam and is presented in Number 13 of Imam Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths:

    "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."

    The term brother is not extended to all of humanity, this hadith would be in dierct conflict with the Quran if the term brother refered to everyone. The Quran (9:23) states that the believers should not take for friends and protectors their fathers and brothers if they love Infidelity above Islam. There are many verses in the Quran that are consistant with the verse (9:23). The Quran is the ultimate authority in Islam and any hadith that is in conflict or in direct contradiction with the Quran is not valid. This is not to say that Number 13 of Imam Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths is in error, on the contrary it is very consistant with verse (48:29). Verse (48:29) states:

    "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other.”

    We see that the term brother refers only to the belivers (the ummah) and not a universal term that extends to everyone, "the core" in Islam is in breach of the golden rule. The Quran deeply violates the golden rule in its emphasis on tribal solidarity, gender inequality and ideological superiority. It establishes its own set of principles, ideals and values that are profoundly antithetic to Hans concept of global ethics.
     
  7. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Thanks - that's very helpful.

    Now the problem is that there's still some ambiguity here. In particular, it is very clear, from reading the whole of Küng's lecture, that when he says that these religions share the same moral standards, he does not mean by "moral standards" what you do in this paragraph. Because he points out that different religions disagree on certain ethical matters, and even different groups within a single religion cannot agree:

    It seems pretty clear that the "sameness" that Küng perceives between different religions lies not in their whole ethical teaching but in the basic principles that underlie that teaching. If that were not so he could not have said the paragraph I just quoted. His thought seems to be that the different religions have these same basic principles, but they disagree on how to interpret these principles, or perhaps on what their application is. This is why different groups have different ethical systems even though at heart they have the same motivations. Now you suggest that we think in terms of "a set of principles, ideals, and values"; it looks like Küng would say that the different religions do have the basic underlying principles, ideals, and values in common, but that they disagree over many secondary principles, ideals, and values. Obviously that is not the same thing as saying that they share all principles, ideals, and values, which is what I thought you meant initially. Clearly, in this speech, Küng uses the term "same ethical standards" slightly ambiguously and misleadingly; when he says that the "great" religions share the same standards, he doesn't mean literally all of them, as one might think.

    As I said, I think it is obviously wrong to claim that the great religions share all the same moral standards, and Küng would agree. I do think that Küng is right to say that there are some moral standards which the "great" religions, at the very least, share; for example, the standard that murder is usually wrong, or that if there is a God he should be worshipped. I don't think that that is really a very controversial claim, because it's quite a thin one. But I think that Küng probably is wrong in the scope of his claim - that is, I don't think that even the "great" religions share all of the moral principles that he thinks they do.

    Personally I don't think that the "Golden Rule" (whoever gave it that name, anyway?) is particularly self-evident; in fact I don't think that any ethical injunction is self-evident. It does express a basic belief of most people, that right and wrong do not change according to person. That is, if it is right for person P to perform action A in situation S, then you could substitute person Q into that situation - everything else remaining exactly the same - and action A would still be the right thing to do. The problem is that although most people believe this, they also deny it too. For example, many people would think Euthyphro was wrong to prosecute his father for manslaughter, even though it would have been right for someone else to prosecute Euthyphro's father for manslaughter - the justification being that you shouldn't prosecute your own father. And we can think of many other examples like this (there's the one about the father choosing to save the life of his lazy son in preference to that of the high-flying doctor, for example). But this is really neither here nor there.

    I'm sure you're right here, but I think you're being pretty harsh. So Islam has a version of the "Golden Rule" but does not apply it universally - is that really such a big difference? Surely Küng's point still stands, which is that they have the rule in the first place. He would probably say that the restriction of its application to believers alone is a secondary matter, like the inability of religious groups to agree on whether the prohibition of murder applies to unborn children or not. It's a question of scope and application rather than of principle. And Küng points out that people, including religious people, still have a long way to go in recognising the need to apply the "Golden Rule" and other fundamental principles truly universally:

    This is why Küng can call for a new ethical paradigm, one which extends these principles more globally - he recognises that the various religions have not yet done this:

    In other words, Küng thinks we need to extract the basic principles which he thinks are embedded in the ethical teachings of the "great" religions and universalise them, thereby overcoming the limiting influence of the tribalism or parochialism which have hindered the expression of these teachings in the past. I'm sure he'd agree with you that the intolerant elements of the Koran's teaching have had this effect, and are part of the "old paradigm" that he wants to overcome. Now as I said above, I think he's probably wrong to think that all the "core teachings" that he lists are really present in all the religions he mentions, although I don't really know enough about them all to judge. But I don't see anything particularly inconsistent or objectionable about his basic point.
     
  8. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Well some of my points was given but you have a tendency to overwrite them into different context that is totally different than my own;which is burdensome to me to come up with other different analogies and contents that correlates what i have previous have written.

    I will explain in further details in private message since my fans in here are sincere of their contempt toward how i present my cases.:lol:

    Of course you are not confrontational because of your lack of understanding what is a polemic and not having questions that are controversial.

    I ,on the otherhand,want to apply controversy by way of using decontructionism on how to investigate the methodology of reading and interpretation of texts on theology and other meta-narratives constructed by theologian such as the likes of Plotinus.

    Maybe so in some cases such as science(i am talking of the activity of science that are conducted in labratories which consist of jargons of scientists) but when it comes to fields such as philosophy,theology,history, and other classical literatures,it does not work that way-It become a matter of the people listening to the teacher as something of an occult one.

    Ok and fine by that.Tell me this-how do you read?

    Once you answer that question then i will write something for you to comprehend as something readable for you.:rolleyes:
     
  9. Maimonides

    Maimonides Chieftain

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    From reading his posts here and in other threads, I conclude that CartesianFart is clearly trolling. His method seems to be to use advanced vocabulary with barely readable grammar to induce responses. Busted.
     
  10. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Prove it.:scan:
     
  11. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Interesting hypothesis, however I've seen this sort of behavior before in people I believe to be non-trolls.

    Word wrangling isn't that hard really.
     
  12. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Interesting that someone first quoted that i was using somekind of elaborate pop-philosophy and then all of the sudden changed his post into something as a response to Maimonides.Hmm.I wonder who did this?:lol:
     
  13. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    It's because I wanted to address the troll hypothesis and see if we can get a greater amount of evidence.

    I still believe that you are not an intentional troll, rather an pop-philosophy reading psuedointellectual.
     
  14. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Cool.I like that term "pop-philosophy reading pseudo-intellectual" as a way to describe my style.:lol: Care to explain what does it take for a person like you to judge and infer that I am some kind of psuedo-intellectual who likes pop-philosophy?
     
  15. PrincepsAmerica

    PrincepsAmerica Nothingness made flesh

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    His frequent references to post-modernism in particular should probably have been a sufficient explanation of his apparently incoherent messages.
     
  16. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    1. The reaction of field experts
    2. Bogging down the conversation with trite and tired philosophical issues and things off the topic of discussion
    3. Incoherant sentances laced with buzzwords.
     
  17. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Such beautiful slander to call my references postmodernistic and myself being incoherent.:love:
     
  18. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Who are the field experts?:rolleyes:
    The only thing mentioned was only for Plotinus but of course it was bogged down by the likes of other people in the thread interrupting my dialogue with the person i specifically want to converse with.:rolleyes:

    Give me an example of a sentence that was made incoherent by me and what are the buzzwords?
     
  19. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Plotinus
    If you wanted it to be private to it via PM, otherwise I feel free to criticize.

    This one:

    "I ,on the otherhand,want to apply controversy by way of using decontructionism on how to investigate the methodology of reading and interpretation of texts on theology and other meta-narratives constructed by theologian such as the likes of Plotinus."
     
  20. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    You did write "experts" or am I mistaking this not a plural statement?

    Yeah and bogg me down with you as an accomplice of being off-topic.:rolleyes:

    All you did is repeat what i have said and not explain in detail on how i am being in the sense lacking in coherency and what is the labels (buzzwords)that convey as being postmodern?:lol: :lol: :lol:

    Maybe your sense of what does it constitute as being a postmodernist or the idea of postmodernism is indeed incomprehensible to you.
     
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