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Old 02-17-2006, 05:20 PM   #46
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
I would be interested to see what you would create.
I sometimes think that if I were to do it correctly, I'd have to be as thorough as J.R.R. Tolkien's vision of Middle Earth.

On the other hand, I have years of thinking on my side. I just need to know how to write the first word...


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Old 02-17-2006, 06:03 PM   #47
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i think i'd need to be stoned to take this much furhter
Well I have heard rumors that Tolkien, Huxley et al. dabbled in various substances occasionally, and I will admit to having tried some strange concoctions in India myself to interesting results. (Don't believe anyone who claims the recipe for soma is lost! ) In some ways, it's just another form of submitting to the unprovable basically, "opening your mind" to what can't be cognized normally in order to find a starting point. Some constantly meditating ascetics I've met were utterly crazy by our standards--makes you wonder whether "the examined life" might not be better despite the contradictions.
there seems to be a lack of self-awareness and humility on the part of *many* persons of faith both on this board as well as out in the world, and the saying that, "well i am humble because i am a sinner" is so laughable in it's attempt at humbleness because it is anything but humble, it is a statement made from a perceived standpoint of privilege -- that i know something that you don't, and lo and behold, this knowledge humbles me and who am i but nothing in the face of God, and it's like that's still a statement of such arrogance masqueraded around as if it's faith. it's like saying that you're humble means that you're not humble.
That's a great point, and I do share your distaste for excusing condemnation by an appeal to humility. One can condemn some things, religiously motivated or otherwise, and still be humble, it's not that I doubt that--but if you're going to condemn, condemn with authority and out of conviction for the stance you're coming from, I think. Don't mix the two together. I hope I don't do that much--I'm not much of a condemning type anyway.
and my point about the Mormans still stands.
Yeah, I'd agree with you that they do tend to be used as a punching bag--some Jews engage in Mormon-bashing too, and the sadistic glee they take in it makes me wince, maybe in part because I do understand the defensiveness and sense of aggrieved insult that fuels that unworthy emotion. Still it doesn't mean we can't critically examine their more rationalist claims. I don't question whether Joseph Smith had a revelation or not but I do question some of the conclusions he drew from it. My view of revelation is not such that humans can't and don't receive what they do from a limited and prior-presumptions-influenced standpoint.

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Old 02-17-2006, 06:20 PM   #48
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Originally posted by Irvine511
you've been pretty upfront with attacks on Scientology -- but, that aside, my defense of Mormonism isn't an attack on another "side" but trying to 1) acknowledge Mormons as people, and 2) acknowledge Mormonism as another religion and thus subject to the rules that govern all religions, and to present one religion as better and truer than another ignores what Melon pointed out -- that religions are systems and can be understood (and perhaps even feeling can be engineered) in an academic context.
I guess if a non-believer stands back far enough (really far) and lump all religions together, you can't separate Scientology and any mainstream religion.

Having studies the belief system, its origin, methodologies, etc. - I see it as a dangerous cult. I am not alone in this assessment.

A separate issue is how one views other religions, especially those that are inherently inconsistent with one's one beliefs and how one interacts with people of that particular faith. I'm quite capable of having close Mormon friends and seeing the religion as incompatible with Christianity.

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