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smitty_one_each's Journal: A Short Confession 41

Journal by smitty_one_each
This really requires its own post:

In spite of your desire for an American Monoculture (TM), diversity of thought is actually on the rise here. Recent surveys show that practicing Christians are approaching a minority status in this country. You may see this as a sign of the end of times, but I disagree. I don't care whether people have faith in an unprovable deity or not, but I do appreciate seeing more diversity in thought.

In defense of d_r's viewpoint, there may be some (or even a huge chunk of people) who adhere to some notion of a "Christian Ummah". After the Second Coming of Christ (soon, please) we may arrive near there, I suppose. However, short of such an unambiguous, global, history-making-a-sharp-turn event, the whole notion's a wash.
In me, you have a specimen of what Marxist Hacker 42 might call sola scriptura fundamentalism, though I really don't consider myself "Protestant" in that sense. It's possibly to cheer the Pope when he's Biblically on point, and fade when he drifts (in my opinion) into arbitrary tradition.
Ultimately, there is the individual, and there is the Almighty. God will remain "unprovable" at an intellectual level while we're here under the sun, before the Second Coming. Why, you ask? Not claiming to speak for God, but it sure seems, that all individual specimens of mankind must be on the hook for what they do or leave undone with the information given them about What Life Means.
Thus, "diversity in thought", itself, is a kind of a bugaboo. But who can deny that it's a shiny one for the fallen mind? Are you really after more noise in the signal? Do you really want more illness with your health? Hangovers with sobriety? Truly, everybody has to explore truth and falsehood on their own, but it seems that the basic objects of male, female, family, right & wrong don't have much deviation across the human experience. One seeks "diversity of thought" to roughly the extent one mixes buggy functions into the final code release.
But let's go after a kind of diversity. A Venn diagram of various faiths indicates substantial overlap. It's more fun to rejoice in the commonality of faiths than it is to spend time thumb-wrestling on whether zippers are sinful and buttons are the only proper closure for clothing. To me, "diversity" means that we don't run around thrashing each other on fine points of Calvinism vs. Arminianism, and we certainly don't waste time trying to regulate morality via legislation (Roman Epistle). On Tuesday, I had lunch with a Muslim fellow at my company, and shared with him the plot for a "boy meets girl in Afghanistan" novel I'm working on. It's important to capture the Islamic faith of the girl in a way that's accurate and educational for the reader, and doesn't bring a fatwah down on my head. Osama is actually a cool chap, and I'm blessed that the Almighty arranged for him to be my church deacon's next door neighbor, and work at my company.
Back on topic: that which is proper, pleasing, useful, and consistent over time is far from "new". Only technology has varied, not human nature. If you think "diversity" == "velcro genitals" and the Sexual Geometry of the Week Club, I only ask that I be excused, and the right to protect my children from such confusion in their formative years. Once they have a foundation in good vs. evil, I can only pray that my teaching guides them toward the former.
To summarize: your criticism has substantial basis, but is by no means the whole of the conversation.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Short Confession

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  • I suppose hermaphrodites don't exist then and shouldn't be allowed to marry and have sex. And are you really trying to define "family" in your image? Does "basic" mean American style suburban nuclear family?

    It's more fun to rejoice in the commonality of faiths than it is to spend time thumb-wrestling on whether zippers are sinful and buttons are the only proper closure for clothing. To me, "diversity" means that we don't run around thrashing each other on fine points of Calvinism vs. Arminianism, and we cer

    • I suppose hermaphrodites don't exist then and shouldn't be allowed to marry and have sex.

      I haven't said that. I'm neither denying edge cases, nor saying that we should allow the overwhelming majority case to be hijacked by the edge case. Great bugaboo, though.

      Then why do you want to deny the civil rights of those who that don't conform to your faith?

      This is a Confessional post, not a discussion of civil rights, which I've never personally denied anyone.

      brain and mind are not the separate things you think they are

      Sure, just as all code and data are ultimately binary, and thus separation of concerns [wikipedia.org] an illusion, right?

      I did get a chuckle out of your conspiracy theory of "arranged" meetings.

      It kind of happened. Why does the notion of Destiny offend you? Why are we bothering to read each other here?

      • This is a Confessional post, not a discussion of civil rights, which I've never personally denied anyone.

        Guilt by association! Just like Obama and that Bill Ayers guy. See how that works? "You are a roofer on the death star". Your religion wants to deny civil rights, and if you are part of that religion, then you do too.

        Civil rights is very relevant here. Truly spiritual people aren't out to use the state to deny people equal status, but your religious groups are, much more successfully overseas. Don't try

        • Wait: you're either against guilt by association, for guilt by association, or taking a contextual look at each case. Which will it be?
          • I'm going by your rules. The opposition is always guilty. I remember hearing all of you saying that moderate Muslims must condemn the radicals, or suffer the same accusations. But I never hear anyone say that "good" cops should turn in the bad ones. So, you tell me, what's it gonna be?

  • there may be some (or even a huge chunk of people) who adhere to some notion of a "Christian Ummah".

    Well, being as you are trying to force your preferred interpretation of the most popular crowd-sourced book of all time, it is hard to see how you could describe yourself as not pursuing such an aim.

    God will remain "unprovable" at an intellectual level while we're here under the sun, before the Second Coming.

    It is only through your faith that you can await a Second Coming, or for that matter believe that there was a First Coming.

    all individual specimens of mankind must be on the hook for what they do or leave undone with the information given them about What Life Means.

    There is no concrete information on that matter, there is only conjecture. If you want to turn to mythology to hand you an answer, you are free to do so. The fact that you feel your myt

    • ...Christianity is quickly becoming a minority belief structure, both in this country and (even more quickly) worldwide.

      Um, I wouldn't exactly say it's declining worldwide [bbc.com]. And in Africa superstition isn't really on the wane either [nationaljournal.com]. These are still places where subservience is paramount, and due to lack of education, is easily acquired.

    • Christianity is quickly becoming a minority belief structure

      You just really have to define what you're about here. I've both agreed with you that, from my (reactionary New Testament Christian vantage), no-kidding pursuit of Christ as the Meaning of Life has always been the minority belief structure. OTOH, a maximally broad definition of "Christianity" (including a colostomy bag of weirdness to which I would not personally subscribe) is still over a billion strong. Whether Jesus is going to reward the fulness of "Christianity" or not is the stuff of speculation, an

      • no-kidding pursuit of Christ as the Meaning of Life has always been the minority belief structure.

        Most Christians who I have known in my years - including every Catholic I've ever met - have insisted in the "messenger, not message" perspective on Christ. You seem to be claiming the opposite for your own philosophy.

        Christianity [...] is still over a billion strong

        Which will soon be eclipsed by Hinduism on a global scale. However for better or for worse, Wikipedia places the number of Christians at 2.2 billion [wikipedia.org] (same reference places Islam at 1.6, Hinduism at 1.1, and Buddhism at .48). However those four combine to just over 5 billion of the world's

        • you are looking at all the other views of morality in the world, ignoring the bias in your own, and trying to tell everyone else that they are wrong.

          Aren't you attempting to browbeat me here, and tell me I am wrong? You quite demonstrably revel in this noise.

          You use the president's middle initial for what reason?

          Wait, you earn a special JE for this.

  • The very notion of a

    Second Coming

    Is of course something that one can only come to through faith. Remember that the First Coming was - and still is - rejected by more people than not. You can only conclude that the First Coming occurred because you choose to believe that it did. There is no way to prove it factually.

    Beyond that there are as many faith-related arguments against it as for it. If your deity is truly all-powerful over all people then why did he not bother to bring all people to the First Coming? The

    • Is of course something that one can only come to through faith. Remember that the First Coming was - and still is - rejected by more people than not. You can only conclude that the First Coming occurred because you choose to believe that it did. There is no way to prove it factually.

      I fully agree. You're dancing around the question of free will here.
      At no point in Scripture is faith an unambiguous call. You always retain your right of rejection. Of course, you end up sub-optimizing life under the sun, and you may have still worse results after your heart beats its last.
      "There is no way to prove it factually" is problematic. That Jesus existed is an historical fact to which you accede every time you write the year. The whole "common era" thing is a fig leaf covering over the historica

  • Ah, so this is why you want war with Russia. Bring on the end times!

    • (a) I'm not your warmonger
      (b) Only an idiot wants that sort of carnage, for all a halt to human lies would be welcome.
      • I'm not your warmonger

        You past votes belie that statement.

        ...Only an idiot wants that sort of carnage...

        No, only a psychopath wants that sort of carnage. These people are not idiots. And if you keep on electing them, you will get what they (and you, by the nature of your support) want.

        • You past votes belie that statement.

          How so? Precisely 0 people for whom I have ever voted have asked for or received a Declaration of War from Congress.

          And if you keep on electing them, you will get what they (and you, by the nature of your support) want.

          You have yet to offer an actionable alternative. Are you Ron Paul?

          • Precisely 0 people for whom I have ever voted have asked for or received a Declaration of War from Congress.

            Yeah, we noticed. Your boys just went in and attacked. Who needs congress when you got lawyers? They are war mongers, and you voted for them.

            You have yet to offer an actionable alternative...

            I shall refer you to JC's reply to you in another thread. I have always taken the same position. Sorry, observation is all you'll get out of me. The alternative is for you to seek out. The choices are limitless.

            • So you're like George Will & Charles Krauthammer: sagacious 20/20 hindsight, and shag-all actual proactive leadership. Thanks for naught.
              • ...proactive leadership...

                Is that you term for unilateralism now? Dictators exhibit "proactive leadership". I guess those are the kind of people you want. In that case, Obama should be ideal. There is no hindsight on my part. I was against the invasions long before they happened. I knew they were lying, and said so back then, but did any of you listen? Hell no... And you're not listening still. The hindsight must be yours. As I remember you were for both wars when they were instigated. And I am certain that

                • It really doesn't matter whether one attacks the system or the person. As with some 'bot, the canned response from you seems to be that one is merely playing along with the system, rather than doing anything effectual.
                  You recall the running dream, after a fashion.
                  • ...he canned response from you seems to be that one is merely playing along with the system, rather than doing anything effectual.

                    That's because you are. What am I supposed to tell you?

                    • You're blowing away the notion of free will, and justifying fascism. I guess that's OK?
                    • "Free will"? When are you going to start showing some?

                      "Justifying fascism"? I'm not the one voting for politicians who represent their corporate sponsors, and I sure as hell wouldn't put my life on the line for them. Regardless the sincerity of your beliefs, they are misguided, and the ultimate result is fascism. You'll have to direct that accusation towards the mirror, sir.

                    • "Free will"? When are you going to start showing some?

                      How have you proven my lack of free will in any meaningful way, then?

                    • By your reaction to your environment. It is positively Pavlovian. (related to other post I just made).

                    • Yeah, I'm going through your series of faux-Socratic posts, and thinking you could use a new gig.
  • Ultimately, there is the individual, and there is the Almighty.

    Is there the Devil, also? Is he a supernatural actor like God? Or just a metaphor for something? What's the definition of Satanism? What's a broader definition of it?

    p.s. BTW, Lefties saying they're for diversity of thought is like them saying they're for tolerance. And against bullying. And in favor of choice.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin

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