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View Diary: Narnia: Right Wing Fundamentalist Version, part 5 (34 comments)

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  •  You're not getting it. (0+ / 0-)

    Of course I know it's a metaphor.  It's about a magic land with talking animals for crying out loud.  But what is it a metaphor FOR?  It's a metaphor for Lewis's view of Christianity.  And your idea of what Lewis thinks Christianity is about is completely wrong.  He does not think that God is merely a metaphor for good and right.  He thinks of God as actually existing as a thinking divine entity, and Aslan as a metaphor for that existing god.

    What you call literalism I call a hatred of dishonesty.  To claim the existence of a thinking divine entity of a god and then to dial it back to pretending it's only a metaphor for goodness and light and that's all (not necessarily actually a god then) when it comes time to defend the belief it exists is simply dodgy moving the goalposts.  If that was all god was, then there'd be no reason to argue that god exists.  The reason the term is used is because it's far more than a mere metaphor.  For an example of a mere metaphor, take the fable of the tortoise and the hare.  Nobody actually thinks that rabbit and that turtle really existed and really had that race.  Nobody above the age of 5.  That's because as a pure metaphorical tale, it doesn't actaully have to exist and be real to get the point across, and it is presented as a fiction.  No parent telling the story of the toroise and the hare to a child is actually trying to make the child believe it really happened, that's not the point of a metaphorical tale.  If Christianity was mere metaphor like that, no preacher would bother insisting upon virgin births, 3-day ressurrections, jesus being god's son, and so on.   Christianity is not taught as if it was merely a fairy tale.  It's not taught as if it was merely a metaphor.

    There is no difference between saying "it's all just a metaphor" and saying "it's a work of fiction", yet so many people want to have their bible both ways - for it to be simultaneously a non-fiction story AND for it to be merely a metaphor.

    The vast majority of the 10 commandments, for example, require one to believe God actually exists and is a real being and not just a metaphor in order to follow them.  The bit about the sabbath is irrelevant if there's no god to worship.  The bit about sacrifices to god are irrelevant if there's no god there.  The bit about "have no gods but me" is irrelevant if there's no god there.  The bit about no graven images is irrelevant if there's no god there.  Need I go on?  The few bits and pieces of morality you can glean from the bible that require no belief in the existence of a divine thinking being are bits it cribbed from earlier sources that were already normal human culture before that time.

    Being against that sort of bait-and-switch dodge is NOT identical to being a fundamentalist.  

    Imagine a graph with two axes perpendicular to each other:  The X-axis ranges from "religion A is meant literally" to "religion A is meant just metaphorically".  The Y-axis ranges from "religion A is telling the truth" to "religion A is telling a falsehood".  A fundamentalist is on the "literal" end of the X axis and on the "true" end of the Y axis.  From your post I gather that you are on the "metaphor" end of the X axis (in disagreement with the fundamentalist) and on the "true" end of the Y axis (in agreement with the fundamentalist).  I am on the "literal" end  of  the X axis (in agreement with the fundamentalist) but on the "false" end of the Y axis (in disagreement with the fundamentalist).

    We are BOTH equally in agreement with, and disagreement with the fundamentalist, but along different axes.  By accusing me of agreeing with a fundamentailst while ignoring the fact that you're just as much in agreement as I am but along a different axis, you're being kind of an ass.  I don't accuse you of being as literal as a fundamentalist, so don't accuse me of agreeing with the fundamentalist that the religion is telling the truth.

    BOTH you and I think a literal interpretation of the relgion is not in accordance with the real world.  We just don't take the same approach of how to respond to this information.  You respond to it by claiming the literal interpretation conflicts with reality because such a literal interpretation was never the intent.  I respond to it by claiming that the literal interpretation conflicts with reality because telling the truth was not the intent. (i.e.  it had dishonest authors falsifying history to push an agenda).

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