Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Annie, May 7, 2006.
Rubbish. Cardinal Arinze said nothing of the sort. This is not just drawing a long bow, this is setting up a bloody archery tournament.
One person's blasphemy is another's belly-laugh. But more to the point, who determines if one's actions constitute "blasphemy" and by what criteria is such a determination reached? Who decides just what God's wishes are? Who wields this power of interpretation of divine will on earth?
Those who wield this power are operating from an absolutist premise, which permits no room for opposinfg viewpoints. Any who merely deviate from the approved dogma, or worse, have the actual temerity to question it, can be branded as heretical or blasphemous. Once deemed heretical or blasphemous, and thus a sin in God's eyes, no further justification is needed to suppress these deviants or blasphemers. But how, one might ask, is it determined exactly what pleases and displeases this supernatural entity known as God?
This question has never been fully answered to my satisfaction. One might rely upon scriptural authortity, but despite claims of divine inspiration, these scriptures are entirely the product of human perception and conception and are thus subject to their limitations. One could also claim "divine revelation", but this is a wholly subjective phenomenon and is not objectively verifiable.
Stripped of absolutist metaphysics, most of the world's religions embrace similar ideals and standards of behavior. There is no need to attribute this to divine guidance as, over the centuries, observations of the human condition has allowed for general priciples of acceptable human behavior to be derived from specific events. However, when absolutist metaphysics is added to the mix, these similarites and common beliefs become irrelevant..."Mine is the one and only true path to salvation, enlightenment, liberation, etc..." Hogwash.
Is this the only right interpretation of this issue?
After "In other words" everything in that post was a non sequitur. But on a more pertinant note, nobody can ever exploit my ability to forgive, as it's my choice. I don't believe an organized boycott is necessary, if you don't want the book, don't buy it.
Boycotts it seems to me are inherently negative events, sometimes necessary, but in this case not justifiably so. I have nothing against the man who wrote that book, and he has in no way offended my beliefs as only I can give him that ability.
IMHO people choose to be offended, and can only blame themselves for the results. There are certain things, however, that are near universally offensive, and I have no problem taking the blame for being offended if that is the case.
There is also the simple fact I don't believe the author intended his work to be offensive. It's an admitted work of fiction, and frankly I haven't read it because I already knew of the Knights Templar and that whole mythology a long time ago.
I've also heard it isn't that well written, and I'm genuinley dissinterested. Best of luck to him at the box-office.
No, just the general interpretation of blasphemy and how readily it is used. It's one thing to use the power of the state to protect adherents of one religion from violence by the adherents another religion. It's another thing entirely to use the power of the state to enforce "respect" for one religion by adherents of another. That's political correctness run amok.
The only person talking about the power of the state and blasphemy was the over-excited blogger who - as has been pointed out - went right off the point.
Historically blasphemy could land you in strife, real strife, like torture strife. That was when the state and religion went hand in hand. There's the real reason for separation of church and state. No-one chucks you in the slammer and tortures you for blasphemy nowadays (please, let's leave Saudi Arabia and other despotic theocracies out of this). No-one seizes your estate and chucks your wife and kids out on the street when you commit suicide. Religion is a private matter, not a state matter and not an issue for the criminal justice system nowadays. There's a reason English judges wear the robes they do. The reason is that the judges used to be clerics. You could be tried and imprisoned for committing offences against religion. But then came the Enlightenment and the split between state and church began.
I think we can all settle down. The blogger verballed the Cardinal, it's just hype from him.
Unfortunately, there are those on the lunatic fringe of the Republican party, the Dominionists, who would like to change that. And that lunatic fringe is quietly merging into the mainstream via the snake-oil salesmen we know as televangelists.
Point taken. But - here I go speaking from ignorance and making assumptions - I would think the GOP, the party of Lincoln, is tougher than that, that is has at its core some pretty solid values that won't be driven over by opportunistic radicals. I am not a conservative in political terms, but neither am I a leftist radical and I appreciate the true conservative, even if I don't agree with their position. The true conservative is a much more reasonable political person than the radical reactionary.
America's founding fathers had no time (crossing my fingers and hoping here) for esoteric argument about the separation of church and state. They knew what it meant in practice. I've read the reports of the trial of William Penn and the corrupt antics of the judge. That is the sort of separation of church and state that caused your founders to reject the notion of the intertwining of church and state. Sometimes it pays to go back to first principles to work out why things are as they are today. In the US the state will not lock someone up to protect any religion. That is enlightened in this day and age. In the 18th Century it was positively radical.
Separate names with a comma.