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Post No. 102

January 16, 2013

Two issues have been buzzing in my head as of late. They may or may not be related.

The first is Christmas – the season to be jolly and all that. For Christians it’s also about the Incarnation. We all know that God became man with the aim of redeeming us from our sins. Because He loves us.

Let’s forget love for a minute.

The God we believe in is inescapable – even logically. Everything points back to Him. Creator of all that is seen and unseen. The unmoving mover, unchanging changer etc etc. 

That this person should choose to become one of us is … humbling. Poor choice of words, I know, but there you go. 

It’s a bit like watching the Queen deliver her Christmas speech in rollers and a dressing gown. 

Then there’s the second matter.

I follow this blog which really gives you a good theoretical grounding for the things we believe. From day one it had struck me as too clinical, but it answered quite a few questions I had, so I didn’t really mind. I did notice, however, that the blogger has been getting more philosophical lately. S/He has been flirting with strange ideas – all in the name of intellectual adventure. It gets a bit “pompous” at times.

My point is that you can’t just talk about Catholicism. In very much the same way as you can’t just talk about exercise. You’ve got to do it every so often. If anything just to know what you’re talking about.

And talk about exercise from an active sportsman is always more convincing than talk about exercise from a retired sportsman.

Bottom line: although there is an intellectual dimension to our belief, at the end of the day there’s a bridge we must cross. All the theological theories in the universe do not count for much if we do not at least try to love. They say that the devil is the greatest theologian, after all.

Don’t know where that leaves me, really :?. Striking the balance is the hard bit, I guess.


From → The Elephant

  1. >> My point is that you can’t just talk about Catholicism. In very much the same way as you can’t just talk about exercise. You’ve got to do it every so often.

    One thing that always bothers me during many discussions with friends is when someone dismisses me (or someone else) by saying something like “what do you know about X? I was there when X happened”, or “what do you know about being a Y? I am a Y and I know what it feels like.”

    I think it’s unfair to assume an intellectually higher ground regarding X, just because you happen to have experienced X firsthand. (X being Catholicism, in this case.)

    I do agree that I, for instance, would never completely understand what it feels like to be a Catholic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to an opinion. And IMO, that also doesn’t mean that you should dismiss all my opinions as hodgepodge. In fact, I personally like to hear what an outsider have to say about the group that I belong to. Sometimes, being an insider blocks your mind, while an outsider, with a different vantage point, can see things completely differently and provide a unique perspective. If I discarded every theist by saying that ‘hey, in order to have a meaningful discourse with me regarding God and religion, step into my atheist shoes first and then talk to me.’ – it would make my life much easier, and leave my world-view un-challenged – but then I may as well block myself from everyone and live in a cave.

    PS: I am jumping in here without a context, so my interpretation (of your comment) may be off the mark.

    • Let’s put it this way. You seem to be a “maths fan” I don’t know whether or not you’ve been formally trained in the science.

      When you’re talking about maths you wouldn’t really expect a “non mathematician” to chip in with valid arguments just because he’s from the outside looking in.

      Same with religious/theological arguments. Although theology and philosophy are not “subject” to scientific method, you still just can’t wade in and assume that your opinion is valid as the next philosopher’s/theologian’s. I mean, you probably wouldn’t do that in an arts environment.

      But I can see where you’re coming from 😉

  2. I think we both are on the same page, but emphasizing different aspects of the same argument. 🙂 I think your emphasis is on “you can’t assume that a non-expert’s opinion is valid”. I agree… but with a caveat – “you can’t just dismiss an opinion merely because it came from a non-expert.” Dismissing someone based on their lack of expertise if a good rhetorical device, but bad reasoning, IMO.

  3. These anti-male forces are so insidious you may not even realize you have been kidnapped. You may think you are on a business trip at a motel with really lame exercise equipment, or just visiting in-laws.

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