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View Diary: The three fatal flaws of Christian doctrine (89 comments)

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  •  Exactly on 'religion' and 'mysticism' (2+ / 0-)
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    Dragon5616, Liberal Thinking

    not being the same thing. That organized religion has its origin in mysticism is a key fact of history which many people don't seem to know. Nor a distinction of which they are aware.

    So people with such ignorance think St. Francis and Pat Robertson are thinking about the same thing when they talk about God.

    Mysticism is a practical matter, perhaps without equal even in modern science insofar as its rigor, and the depth of time over which its methods and instruments have been developed. But the topic of study is our experience, and how things play out in time.

    What is amusing, and annoying, is that scientists have taken themselves too often to be a kind of priest-craft. So we get "nothing blew up one day, and that's how we have the universe we see" pushed as if it were something other than, not only faith, but the superior faith. A 'science' that starts with a miracle followed by a lot of mathematics.


    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:55:51 AM PDT

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    •  For my money (3+ / 0-)
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      Dragon5616, Jim P, Liberal Thinking

      science is the most efficient and effective truth seeking system we have, by a long shot. But ideally it understands and respects the limitations of its field of discourse. And, as with any such endeavor, when dogma and doctrine start creeping in then you get something resembling religion. This is true also of mysticism and we find that most mainstream religion has divorced itself from true mysticism. Pat Robertson (to the extent that his ramblings are a reflection of his sincere beliefs and are not the hokum of a charlatan) has retained only the dogma and possesses none of the insight of the mystical origins of his belief system.

      For what it's worth, I think it is an oversimplification of what science tells us about to origins to characterize it as saying, "nothing blew up one day". I think it is as much an oversimplification as analysis of the concept of the trinity in the original diary.

      I did enjoy your rebuttal and found it eloquent, but I also have to allow that my experience with Christianity is that it is practiced in such a way that is not nurturing of the appreciation of the mystical aspect of reality and rests on a scriptural foundation that encourages reliance on doctrine rather than the kind of insights your post illuminated.

      The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

      by Pirogue on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:58:01 PM PDT

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      •  I agree with what you say. (2+ / 0-)
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        Jim P, Liberal Thinking

        I do not entirely rule out the mystical. I like to think that there is a point at which reason, if viewed in the right way, becomes the mystical. Maybe it is sentience itself we should revere. It certainly allows us to create, and it can, if one accepts determinism, explain why we create.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

        by Dragon5616 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:36:05 PM PDT

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      •  Thank you for your comments. (1+ / 0-)
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        Liberal Thinking

        I enjoyed reading them. And although it pokes fun, it really does amount to "suddenly nothing blew up" although the expression of that might be dressed in more sophisticated language.

        The scientific method is very very old; it's current self-limiting to material objects, plus the 'doubt everything' assumption are the innovations.

        I know from first-hand experience over decades that sufic, christian, buddhist, and taoist mysticism all begin with a years-long observation of internal processes. Observation without comment.

        The framework might differ (again, local conditions) but they all have you look at how body, emotions, intellect, and imagination interplay. And practice in how to separate the sense of 'self' from any particular manifestation. This kind of thing is always the first step in serious mystical methods.

        Without this kind of work most people can't tell the difference between, for example, what they feel, what they sense, and what is an emotion. Which leads to all sorts of confusion.

        It's much more rigorous than any version of modern psychology, and most of the material sciences once you get outside of inert, and local, matter.

        There's a saying in one tradition that one of the imaginings of people, especially modern people, is that they hear about a thing and then assume by that alone they know everything about it. As if one heard 'bookkeeping' described and then thought they were as competent and skilled in the matter as a CPA.

        It's sad how many people mistake religionism for religion and then write it all off. They are missing many of the features of a big universe.


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 03:27:13 PM PDT

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    •  Good Point (1+ / 0-)
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      Jim P

      I don't think Pat Robertson and I are thinking about the same things when we talk about God, either.

      As for modern cosmology as "a 'science' that starts with a miracle followed by a lot of mathematics," I suspect most cosmologists don't think of it that way. They think of the big bang as something that happened outside the equations that apply to space-time, and that you'd need a different scientific theory to explain it.

      But I defy you to think of inflation as anything other than mysticism, unless you've discovered some new natural force.

      •  I assume you mean 'cosmic inflation' (1+ / 0-)
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        Liberal Thinking

        the problem that requires the invention of dark matter and dark energy to resolve the inadequacies of gravity to explain the observations.

        A priestcraft with arcane formulas to banish what doesn't fit the theology. Much of modern science, at least in cosmology, is indistinct in essence from any of its scripture-based predecessors.


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 04:41:27 PM PDT

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