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is god perfect?

 
 
candidone1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Nov, 2007 03:35 pm
real life wrote:
A little insight into the word which is translated 'perfect' in the passage you cited, Matt 5:48

http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5046&Version=kjv

We can see how the same word is used in other contexts in the NT. Perhaps that will be helpful in showing what meaning(s) the word has.

As in English, so in Greek, one word can have multiple meanings, or shades of meaning.

So, Bible interpretation is not always the '1+1=2' type of process that some would like it to be (present company excepted).


From the link provided by RL:
Perfect, as used in Matthew, by interpretation and through translation can mean the following:

1) brought to its end, finished
2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness
3) perfect
4) that which is perfect
a) consummate human integrity and virtue
b) of men
i) full grown, adult, of full age, mature

With such a broad selection of choices for the reader to interpret the term "perfect", it's no wonder the bible can be used to explain just about anything, justify just about anything, and appear dynamic yet inflexible.
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Nov, 2007 03:50 pm
My point simply is that many words don't just have one inflexible definition.

ANY written or spoken communication has the same challenges of definition and interpretation.

Granted, the effect when studying the Bible is certainly compounded because you are also crossing barriers of language, culture, time and so forth.

To pretend however that this challenge is unique to studying the Bible is somewhat disingenuous.

If you want to know what someone from a different culture writing 2000 years ago in a different language meant, you're going to have to get off it and expend some effort.
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fungotheclown
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2007 04:45 pm
Regardless of my opinion on the issue of the existence of a god, I don't think the Bible should be used to justify a claim for or against such a beings perfection. That kind of assumes that Christianity is correct.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2007 06:16 pm
I believe that Greek and Roman gods were seen as imperfect, but in Christianity "imperfect God" is an oxymoron.
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hanno
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2007 07:51 pm
In terms of meme-theory-damn close, a highly contagious virus that invades the brain, uses it in an aberrant and self-serving manner and leaves nothing of the host behind.

In the sense of the mythological being? Hell no-a narcissistic, short-sighted, agoraphobic, hypocritical lead-from-behind type.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2007 10:15 pm
Question
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fungotheclown
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2007 10:26 pm
Meme theory is an attempt to apply evolutionary theory to cultural phenomenon. Basically, it states that there are memes; basic units of culture, knowledge or thought that are roughly analogous to genes. Like genes, they under go a selective process as they compete with each other, or in the case of memes they are reproduced by being used in culture and passed on the next generation. For example, the afterlife is a meme that had done fairly well since people generally find it comforting and it has no serious negative after effects. It is important to note that validity does not necessarily play a part in this selection; it certainly helps, but pleasant or useful memes are just as likely to be carried on, as are ones that encourage their own reproduction (evangelism, for example).
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Nov, 2007 11:36 am
Sounds like the abortive reductionist physicalism of Marvin Harris. You could have said all of that (about competition between cultural forces) without the word, meme. Is that new? I havn't read any ethnological thinking for years.
I think that while the meme, afterlife, may be an important palliative against fear of death, the emphasis among Abrahamic religions on the afterlife tends to have the negative effect of denying the importance of THIS, our only, life.
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fungotheclown
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Nov, 2007 12:06 pm
This is true, but this negative effect has no influence on survival of the meme; if anything, it would contribute to the survival of the meme because it allows those that adhere to it to avoid an uncomftable, if more realistic, outlook. In general, people seem to pick pleasant over real.
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tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Nov, 2007 02:54 pm
Quote:
I think that while the meme, afterlife, may be an important palliative against fear of death, the emphasis among Abrahamic religions on the afterlife tends to have the negative effect of denying the importance of THIS, our only, life.


i find that fascinating, because in judaism there isn't much attention to the afterlife. certainly, when fundamentalists want to use god to drag people along, they focus on the problems of this world and the solutions that follow death. how convenient. but to say this is an "abrahamic" idea is ironic, because they come from something that already "has this the right way" around.

generally speaking, the afterlife matters. but "right now" is something that matters just as much. it's a pity if people can't see that, because all they're learning to do is waste their time.

even with an eternity at their fingertips, putting everything off is a bad habit that won't serve them at all in any world to come. let's suppose for a moment that eternal life means eternal progression. no one is promoting a puritan slave ethic, but what's the merit in dragging yourself along through eternity when you could be walking?

progress is meant to start here. even christianity would suggest that if you don't see to your own development of humanity now, that even the greatest eternal blessings would be a burden. what do you think hell is, fire and sulfer? or awareness of what you could have been, or could be, if you could go back and do it all over?
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hanno
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Nov, 2007 08:14 pm
The proto-Judeo-Christians just didn't need to sell the afterlife-a meme with day-to-day functionality was good enough. Like-Able raises sheep, he's got a better life than the farmer, eats higher on the trough, food takes care of itself, as long as he has self control everything's copacetic. It was one big communal suit-for-separate-peace from egoism, like screw individuality and logical veracity, we just take a better life and keep it. So you hear that gentiles have a more brutish life, they wish to take the fruits of our diligence, like the last group other than the Royal Family still into birthrights-whereas I say I do because I can and I can because I do.
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