I haven't painted a picture, I've criticized your caricature because you present your caricature as a portrait.
I imagine 'obsurity' is a typo, of obscurity? If so, I ask where my words have obscured anything. I readily admit to rampant problems within Christianity. My only point has been that your criticisms of Christianity suffer from the fallacy of composition.
The rampant problems within Christianity both between differing sects and each individual believeing something different, constitutes both obscurity and a major violation of any sense of order-----thus the monsrosity
In other words it is not your words that are obscure, I had no intent of inferring that you were not dealing honestly and straight forward.
What's dogmatic there?
If a personal experience is widely divergent from what our collective experience validates as possible, then the rational reaction is NOT to draw this conclusion.
The rational response would be to conclude that your experience is true and is somehow consistent with the universe we've grown to experience and understand.
And if you go into a situation always willing to reinvent fundamental truths about the universe based on brief (however meaningful) experiences, then you have chaos -- you lose any kind of backbone for understanding reality, and your understanding of reality can sway and buckle under every experience you have. You need to have confidence in something fundamental (even if it's just the reliability of your senses) in order to put your life's experiences in the context of one another.
The belief I am talking about is one that says that "material" (in our scientific understanding) is all that can exist, and that this is the truth regardless of what I experience.
No, that is not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that it's rationally ludicrious for you to immediately reject your prior understanding of the world based on one experience that contradicts logic, let alone demonstrability. This has nothing to do with science, nor has it anything to do with materialism (whatever it is you mean by that). You're willing to very selectively give up any consistency in your experience of the world, reject any teaching or inherited knowledge (scientific or not), to accomodate a single unusual experience, rather than try and make sense of it in the context of your previous understanding. If you applied that principle to everything in your life, you'd be nonfunctional. So how do you decide?
That is all well and good, but if you have a problem, is it politically correct then not to identify its source. Who or what is it that is trying to usurp the public school system wishing to force their mythology to be taught instead of science, or any other remarkably stupid, ignorant and aggressive things done in the name of christianity. Is even their blantent claims then to be ignored, worse still to pretend you do not know what they are up to? NeitherExtreme, that handle can spell tolerance, it can also spell sitting on the fence, accountablity is not something christianity has indulged in, in past, hopefully in the future people will rise the pole.
Understood... Yes, it's a balance. Oversimplification can lead to intolerance, and obscurity can lead to un-accountability. In this case it sounds like you have a problem with "Creation Science", and/or "conservitive christian polotics in America". I realize it's cumbersome to specify, but it might help other Christians relate with your sentiments rather than polarizing them.
As I've been following the thread I've been wondering; does the Christian resistance to Satanism serve as an example of Christians holding other Christians accountable? I assume Satanism is a form Christianity as it is the Christian concept of Satan and the Bible that would serve as the source. Dan.
Didymos, I don't think it is too much to ask that each Christian have at least some amount of a personal responsibility or mission to combat the certain few radical elements that you acknowledge as misinterpreted, abuse or exploitation of the gospel, I think this would bestow a sense of 'order' to start. For example if I liken this to my social conscious, which doesn't just deal with the selection of people I agree with religiously... these 'radical elements' you aforementioned would be crooks and thieves who I would act to prevent (with precaution and community)and support to imprison (with direct and indirect actions.)
To simply reiterate what a Christian is "A Christian is simply someone who identifies with the teachings of Jesus..." does not change the disorder caused by suppression of knowledge, exploitation, misinterpretation etc. In other words, if I was a victim of identity theft I would not simply allow the fiend responsible to use my credit cards and name based on the premise that we are both human.
I'm suggesting that the Christian 'accountability' Boagie describes is poo-poo'd by disassociating further, for example labeling problems as "radical elements" rather than addressing them
Surely other christians are aware of what is being done in their name, it is up to christians to hold other christians accountable, when that begins to occur, there will be far less heard from outside the rank and file.
As I've been following the thread I've been wondering; does the Christian resistance to Satanism serve as an example of Christians holding other Christians accountable? I assume Satanism is a form Christianity as it is the Christian concept of Satan and the Bible that would serve as the source.
But, since we are being phliosphical, what if there were consistency, context, and weight to the experiences, including credible experiences of others, that surpasses my skepticism, even if those experiences can not be repeated or controlled.
If your answer is that a person should always just increase their skepticism (or whatever), then that is not allowing room for new information.
Are there no Christians in the ACLU?
Go ask a minister or two what they think about this story. You might be surprised.
I had a Social Studies teacher in 10th grade that taught the class that there is no such thing as absolute truth.