Not a question of being balanced for the sake of it - but sincerely
for being closer to truth. I'd expect Platt to label me as a
sitting-on-the-fence-liberal, but I know you know better, even though
you're as human as the rest of us :-)
Not sure why you adressed that response to me Sam, since you know I
already completely agree with you about misguided criticisms of
religion (and misguided things done in it's name, by some doubtful
characters with doubtful motives over several millenia). I criticise
the criticisers too - in public - frequently - Dawkins, the lot, etc,
as you know.
I'd suggested that since Marsha had expressed the "aggressive
assertion of the modernist worldview" (I really don't believe I've
expressed that view) perhaps you should explain (which you have).
Anyway - my only point was to suggest that you hung yourself on your
own petard - by bringing in the idea of understanding a thing by what
is done in the name of the thing. I know you work very hard beyond
your day job, but I felt you owe it to us all to help redress the
"meme" of dreadful things that have been done in the name of "love" as
distinct from what love really is. Let's work together on this.
(We agree on all counts, I think you'll find. The only
metaphor-too-far that I currently see is the personal intelligent
purposeful deity as any kind of first cause .... where we have things
to discuss .... another day.)
See ya ;-)
On 2/21/06, Sam Norton <elizaphanian@koha...> wrote:
> Hi Ian - this made me smile, beautifully balanced and all that. I'm all in
> favour of avoiding polarisation, but sometimes it *is* hard...
> Now then, you said: "we understand what [religion / love] means by seeing what
> is done [in its name]"
> The trouble with that is working out who is doing what in whose name - moderate
> Muslims, for example, will doubtless point out that 9/11 was not done in the
> name of their religion, whereas Osama Bin Laden would disagree. Same applies
> with something like the Spanish Inquisition (except I think Monty Python are the
> authority there ;-) Or with science - is the eugenic research conducted by the
> Nazis during WW2 done 'in the name of science' - undoubtedly the Mengeles of
> this world were _learning_ something, and they would have described it as
> science. The list goes on and on. Who gets to say whether something is done 'in
> the name' of the religion or not? It becomes political.
> More particularly, the assertion that "religion causes war" - as deployed
> recently by the Dawkins' of this world - has a very particular historical origin
> in the second half of the 17th Century, and is bound up with the aggressive
> assertion of a Modernist worldview. Given where we now are - and how much
> research on this has been done, and is widely available on how and why the
> Modernist project breaks down - I think we need to do a bit more than recycle
> the Enlightenment cliches (which is, frankly, all I seem to be getting from
> certain quarters). I'll stop there otherwise my hobby horses will get running
> again, and that's just as stale.
> The interesting point - on which I think we agree - is that it is the behaviour
> associated with the language that constitutes the meaning of the words used. So
> if you cut the bit from square brackets at the end, I'd be happy, ie: "we
> understand what [religion / love] means by seeing what is done".
> You said before: "In fact I think most of us who've had time to think about
> "quality" can see "faith" at the root of any metaphysics, and love in his
> quality interaction metaphors. I think choosing the word "quality" was his
> stroke of genius. A deliberately ineffable "quality" we could all already
> identify with - not too scientific, not too religious - and enough rope to hang
> ourselves with of course."
> I think this is right. More specifically, I think that as soon as you are
> talking about 'high quality interactions on the third and fourth levels' - which
> we might occasionally do in the course of this conversation - then you are
> talking about what the Christian tradition calls 'love' (and I guess what the
> Buddhist tradition calls 'compassion'?). Seems very much like the same sort of
> thing to me. Love is value - if you love someone or something there is a
> relationship of value there. Simple as that.
> http://elizaphanian.blogspot.com/ >
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