Organs can modify the way we perceive > Agnostics' line

The thinking man's Jesus

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MusingMuso:
As this is a new category, I thought it best to quote the words of a very remarkable writer, poet and politician. Although actually talking about the business of politics in a fair, open and free democracy, the late President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Harvel, seems to have used words which could so equally apply to agnosticism. Below are a few comments lifted from a speech he gave in Budapest, on June 24th, 1999.



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....how can we recognize the moment when a set of living ideas degenerates into an ideology?


How can we recognize when principles, opinions and hopes begin to petrify into a rigid mass of dogma, precepts and conceptual stereotypes?Where should we look for guidance? How can we discern the dividing lines?

There are no exact directions. There are probably no directions at all. The only things that I am able to recommend at this moment are: a sense of humour; an ability to see the ridiculous and the absurd dimensions of things; an ability to laugh about others as well as about ourselves; a sense of irony; and, of everything that invites parody in this world. In other words: rising above things, or looking at them from a distance; sensibility to the hidden presence of all the more dangerous types of conceit in others, as well as in ourselves; good cheer; an unostentatious certainty of the meaning of things; gratitude for the gift of life and courage to assume responsibility for it; and, a vigilant mind.

Those who have not lost the ability to recognize that which is laughable in themselves, or their own nothingness, are not arrogant, nor are they enemies of an Open Society.

Its enemy is a person with a fiercely serious countenance and burning eyes.

Vaclav Havel

======================


What marvellous and acute perception the late president posessed.

I wonder if agnosticism, rather than being neither one thing nor the other, isn't a creative process, which embraces belief, faith, science and progressive thinking?

It is a way of thinking which enables the Christian ethic to be inclusive rather than exclusive, but at the same time, very aware of the things the late President of the Czech Republic warned us of.

I think I like the idea of a thinking man's Jesus.

David Pinnegar:

--- Quote from: MusingMuso on March 11, 2012, 10:19:33 PM ---I wonder if agnosticism, rather than being neither one thing nor the other, isn't a creative process, which embraces belief, faith, science and progressive thinking?

It is a way of thinking which enables the Christian ethic to be inclusive rather than exclusive, . . .

--- End quote ---

Upon only a quick perusal of your post one realises great depth to that to which you are drawing our attention . . . and perhaps rather deeper than be absorbed on a quick read.

However, although one might view agnosticism as a way of thinking and one which is beneficial in being inclusively Christian, perhaps it might be wide of the mark in missing the beauty of Christianity not merely as a way of thinking but as a way of life. If Christ's two commandments to love thy "all that is" and to "love thy neighbour as thyself" are taken as Christianity with nothing more and nothing less, then such a way of life is so much more than merely a way of thinking.

A way of thinking can lead perhaps merely to passivism whilst a way of life requires one to go out of one's way, and to cross that road to the aid of the ailing traveller, there being a beauty in being in the active rather than merely the passive as the bystander, the spectator, merely watching as real life passes you by.

Best wishes

David P

MusingMuso:

--- Quote from: David Pinnegar on March 13, 2012, 02:48:17 PM ---
--- Quote from: MusingMuso on March 11, 2012, 10:19:33 PM ---I wonder if agnosticism, rather than being neither one thing nor the other, isn't a creative process, which embraces belief, faith, science and progressive thinking?

It is a way of thinking which enables the Christian ethic to be inclusive rather than exclusive, . . .

--- End quote ---

Upon only a quick perusal of your post one realises great depth to that to which you are drawing our attention . . . and perhaps rather deeper than be absorbed on a quick read.

However, although one might view agnosticism as a way of thinking and one which is beneficial in being inclusively Christian, perhaps it might be wide of the mark in missing the beauty of Christianity not merely as a way of thinking but as a way of life. If Christ's two commandments to love thy "all that is" and to "love thy neighbour as thyself" are taken as Christianity with nothing more and nothing less, then such a way of life is so much more than merely a way of thinking.
A way of thinking can lead perhaps merely to passivism whilst a way of life requires one to go out of one's way, and to cross that road to the aid of the ailing traveller, there being a beauty in being in the active rather than merely the passive as the bystander, the spectator, merely watching as real life passes you by.
Best wishes

David P

--- End quote ---


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What a refreshing answer David!

You are absolutely right, and if you and I were to meet, you would soon realise that one of my great heroes is Dietrich Beonhoffer.  He didn't write his theological work, "The cost of discpleship" for nothing, and his faith  ultimately led to his execution by the Nazis.

I think I used the words of Vaclac Havel to describe the difference between that which is sterile and dogmatic, and that which is vibrant and inspirational; at the same time accepting scientific progress as part of the wider kingdom, the growth of understanding and, most importantly, the faith to recognise  the perpetual ascendency of God from one generation to another.....truly a living, loving and dynamic church rather than merely a dogmatic, traditional, historic or ritualistic one.


MM

David Pinnegar:
Dear MM

Elsewhere you commented that a secret of christianity was also humility. This too is such an important factor in being the person encharged by Christ's laws to cross that road to help the ailing traveller and in following those laws as an active decision and motivation rather than mere passive observation in the nature of a Levite (from recollection), such humility is a hard emotion to grasp in that determination to the laws.

Elsewhere on many threads in the Atheists' and Believers' Corners I have hinted at Christ's laws being a consequence of, indeed as transfusion into the animate or human realm, the natural laws of nature.

One of my sons is currently going through a painful process of pre-U(niversity) physics revision. I have been trying to explain to him the importance of fault-tolerant or indeed fail-safe thinking processes so on a car journey recently started to explore ways of understanding the left hand and right hand rules in electromagnetism and their relationship, one expressing movement of charge and the other movement resulting from moving charge. It's a long time since having grappled with the details of all this area so I asked him which hand rule applied to gyroscopic behaviour . . .  and suggested that as we don't really know what magnetism is, the two were likely to be linked by some fundamental aspect of process.

Investigating this this evening, obviously I was not the first to think of it and stumbled upon http://www.spacetimehelix.com/ which I recommend people to copy and save on their computer. From first sight and analysis it makes a lot of sense. It appeals to me on account of a simplicity and a process of logic as insightful as Plato's table of opposites, fundamental to thought as the difference between left and right. It is the stuff of this simplicity that insights into how our universe happens/is made provide revelation.

It means also that some of the devices hinted at in http://free-energy-info.co.uk/PJKBook.html should very well work.

Elsewhere I think you have commented upon the line of starting with belief and ending up with wonder in the construction of nature, and the reverse process are both equivalent.

The National Ignition Facility referred to by Clopton has been completed late and the experiments leading to the final energy they hope to reach are scheduled for October 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Ignition_Facility

It appears that we may only have seven months to stop being agnostics in our physics and understand Christianity, let alone the second law, but most importantly in the first, loving the "all that is" and stop trying to rip it apart in our thirst for greed of energy by force.

Why put a bomb next to the wall of the bank to raid the money when all you have to do is to walk in and ask the kindly bank manager for a loan?

Best wishes,

David P

AnOrganCornucopia:

--- Quote from: David Pinnegar on March 15, 2012, 02:45:28 AM ---Why put a bomb next to the wall of the bank to raid the money when all you have to do is to walk in and ask the kindly bank manager for a loan?

--- End quote ---

Because (a) you're highly unlikely to get one and (b) if you do you'll be charged a colossal amount in interest...

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