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Religious survey...

Liora (565268) writes | about 10 years ago

User Journal 19

Richard's Simple Theo-Survey

Who were/are the top 3 Christian thinkers (apart from Jesus or the apostles)?
Lewis, Luther, Wesley

Do you think that the objects of theology are fundamentally rational?
Yeah

What is the proper relationship between theology and philosophy?
God created thought, so perhaps Theology creates Philosophy?

Richard's Simple Theo-Survey

Who were/are the top 3 Christian thinkers (apart from Jesus or the apostles)?
Lewis, Luther, Wesley

Do you think that the objects of theology are fundamentally rational?
Yeah

What is the proper relationship between theology and philosophy?
God created thought, so perhaps Theology creates Philosophy?

What is the proper relationship between theology and science?
Science describes the world that God made. Science does not validate theology (nor should theologians expect it to).

What is the proper relationship between philosophy and science?
Philosophy describes the thoughts of science.

God: One Substance and Three Persons or Three Hypostatic beings?
The former

Who sends the Holy Spirit? Does it matter?
Jesus SENT the HS. (OK, and God sent Him a few times too.) But He's here, and He's God. That's all that matters.

Does the host's meaning come from Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, Symbolism, or something else?
Is it possible to belive the elements are symbolic and still believe there is power in communion? If not, I've gotta go with consubstantiation.

Natural theology: Nay or Yay?
Umm...

Do you hold to any certain eschatological stance?
Dispensationist turned inaugurated enacted eschatologist with amillennialist leanings.

Human Will: Are you a libertarian, molinist, hard determinist, compatiblist, or something else?
Something else - can I call myself a conservative evangelical appealing to the fundamental belief in the inerrancy and sufficiency of scripture?

Apologetics: Do you prefer classical, evidential, presuppositional, existential or something else?
No.

Mysticism: Does it (need to) play a role in a person's spiritual life?
Depends on your definition of mysticism.

Governance: Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, Libertarian or other?
Apostolic

Should there be a sharp distinction between clergy and laity?
No.

Do you agree with common law marriage?
No, but I'd certainly never tell someone that they are not married in the eyes of God or something if they had a common law marriage that was recognized by the state.

Should Christians fight during a war?
Yes, but only some wars

Same Sex Marriage or Civil unions: right, wrong or "who cares"?
Not my decision, thank goodness.

What role do the Christian scriptures have in contemporary ethics?
Are contemporary ethics really ethics?

What is a proper Christian attitude towards a person who commits suicide?
Sad and sympathetic.

Who are the top 3 Christian artists of our time?
Bono, Switchfoot, can Willard count?

What is the most pressing issue that confronts Christianity at this time?
Us.

Should there be such a thing as Christian Pop Culture?
No, provided there is still a place to purchase Veggie Tales after CPC's demise.

Can a Christian vote Liberal/Left Wing/Democrat or Conservative/Right Wing/Republican?
A better question is "Can a Christian NOT vote, or vote for someone they wouldn't actually want to win?"

Should Christian's work to 'Christianise' the morality of their nation via censorship laws?
No. We live in a nation of notional Christians. Legislating moraltiy does more harm than good, makes more enemies than friends.

Can a Christian support the death penalty?
No.

Where do you see the Western (North America/Europe) Christian church in fifty years? Small.
Loss of nominal Christians will be good b/c more solidarity, bad b/c of fewer believers.

Where do you see the southern (South America/Africa/Asia) Christian church in fifty years?
Huge. Leading the Western church.

Augustine, Aquinas, Pseudo Dionysus, Calvin, Luther, or Barth: Who would win in a bar fight?
Luther. Hands-down. One hand tied behind his back. On one leg. Blindfolded.

Take this survey at http://www.kwiz.biz/simplesurveys/do-survey.php. Or just copy the plaintext version from my blog.

cancel ×

19 comments

My Survey Answers (1)

On Lawn (1073) | about 10 years ago | (#9805161)

I have a great set of answers, but unfortunately the slash-filters say it has too few characters per line.

Re:My Survey Answers (1)

Liora (565268) | about 10 years ago | (#9810933)

Are you kidding, or are you really unable to post your answers? (Either I'm gullible, or you need to convert it to plaintext like I did.)

Re:My Survey Answers (1)

On Lawn (1073) | about 10 years ago | (#9815446)


Who were/are the top 3 Christian thinkers (apart from Jesus or the apostles)?

Not as interesting as who were the three top revelators. I like to discuss with thinkers, but I learn from revelators. In which case the top three are probably SuperYooser, HBI, and Talinom.

Do you think that the objects of theology are fundamentally rational?

I hesitate to say. "Rational" is such a subjective term and requires specifying the subject. No it is not rational if the judging is done by the man on the street. Yes if done by people who are capable of understanding it.

What is the proper relationship between theology and philosophy?

There is revealed truth and then there is guesswork. Philosophy is guesswork.

What is the proper relationship between theology and science?

Science documents useful truth, religion documents universal truth.

What is the proper relationship between philosophy and science?

Psycology.

God: One Substance and Three Persons or Three Hypostatic beings?

Depends on what the "one substance is". I believe in unity, I believe in being united with Christ. When united our common purpose provides the substance of unity. Another substantive commonality is His order. So I say that I cannot derive enough difference between the two to chose.

But if the substance is "matter" then no.

Who sends the Holy Spirit? Does it matter?

God and yes it matters.

Does the host's meaning come from Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, Symbolism, or something else?

Covenant and heavenly law.

Re:My Survey Answers (1)

On Lawn (1073) | about 10 years ago | (#9815474)

Natural theology: Nay or Yay?

Natural as in only what we can repeatably observe and have others observe? Nay. Natural as in the way God made it? Okay.

Do you hold to any certain eschatological stance?

There will be an end to the world but thats not an end to us.

Human Will: Are you a libertarian, molinist, hard determinist, compatiblist, or something else?

Accountable Moral Agency -ist

Apologetics: Do you prefer classical, evidential, presuppositional, existential or something else?

I'm sure my detractors would classify me as all of the above ;) I claim none.

Mysticism: Does it (need to) play a role in a person's spiritual life?

Superstition is contrary to really getting to know God.

Governance: Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, Libertarian or other?

Authoritarian

Should there be a sharp distinction between clergy and laity?

Yes, he that is greatest should be servant of all. (And that there is authority).

Do you agree with common law marriage?

Yes I agree with its premise and need. I do not think though that it is something I would choose for myself nor would I encourage anyone to take that route.

Should Christians fight during a war?

Church authority supercedes government authority is the exception not the rule.

Re:My Survey Answers (1)

Liora (565268) | about 10 years ago | (#9816004)

Question about your accountable moral agency-ist answer. Do you know about Molinism and Neo-Molinism and Libertarianism? If so, how would you say that you differ from each? I lean toward the Neo-Molinist side. I'm not even sure how Molinism and Libertarianism are different (and likewise, not entirely sure how compatiblism and neo-molinism are different, but I identify with what I've read about neo-molinism).

Also, by Authoritarian on church governance, do you mean Apostolic, where you believe that your pastor, while perhaps advised by an advisory board, is specially guided by the God to make decisions for and to lead the church? That is, that God is the supreme authority, and that the pastor is given the authority to lead by God? Just wondering.

Re:My Survey Answers (1)

On Lawn (1073) | about 10 years ago | (#9815492)

Can a Christian vote Liberal/Left Wing/Democrat or Conservative/Right Wing/Republican?

Yes (see "war" question above)

Should Christian's work to 'Christianise' the morality of their nation via censorship laws?

Like with pop culture, if you have to sell it as "christian" then better to not sell it at all. (See Contemporary ethics and pressing issue above).

Can a Christian support the death penalty?

Yes, see voting above.

Where do you see the Western (North America/Europe) Christian church in fifty years?

Oh I get it, where do you see the church in the westernized civilisation. Heavily persecuted.

Where do you see the southern (South America/Africa/Asia) Christian church in fifty years?

Better off.

Augustine, Aquinas, Pseudo Dionysus, Calvin, Luther, or Barth: Who would win in a bar fight?

The bar-stool.

Hmm... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | about 10 years ago | (#9807237)

Who were/are the top 3 Christian thinkers (apart from Jesus or the apostles)?

God the Father
Mary Magdeline
Lucifer

Do you think that the objects of theology are fundamentally rational?

No. The objects of theology--that is, God--created man in His image, and man is not fundamentally rational.

Nominally rational? Yes. Mostly rational? Yes. Rationally structured? You betcha.

What is the proper relationship between theology and philosophy?

Theology should be a subset of philosophy. I do think that Our Creator wanted us to stand around and talk about him ALL the time.

What is the proper relationship between theology and science?

Nonexistant, with only extremely minor correlations. All science is properly agnostic, and by the time theolgoy can be scientifically proven it won't be theology anymore.

What is the proper relationship between philosophy and science?

Ooh, good question.

Also nonexistant. Philosiphy, as a supserset of various other untested methods of thought, should not have a direct bearing on Science--and a rational philosiphy should not belittle itself so as to alter itself if science supposed to prove it wrong.

God: One Substance and Three Persons or Three Hypostatic beings?

Three incarnations of the same soul--or, rather, the Creator, a soul made from His Essence, and a Creation-permeating essence allowing the Savior to work as the Creator worked.

Who sends the Holy Spirit? Does it matter?

God the Father sent the Holy Spirit, but it is maintained and commaned by God the Son, and it responds to all those that He permits access.

No, it doesn't matter. Or, rather, once you're in a position where it does matter, you're no longer in a corporeal form.

Does the host's meaning come from Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, Symbolism, or something else?

It is a ritual kin to the symbolism of the original temple--an act done to allow man to contact with God. Whether this is due to man's nature or the nature of creation or simply God's own humor is a point of theological debate.

If you do not believe in "magick", attribute it to psychology. (And please explain Exodus 22:18--I'm curious.)

Natural theology [wikipedia.org] : Nay or Yay?

Sure, why not? It is our purpose to be, in variety and creativity and difference. Why discourage an individual's search for meaning simply because it doesn't follow the revealed path?

God is infinite, and is perfectly capable of watching out for those who walk a different road.

Do you hold to any certain eschatological stance?

I.E., do I have an opinion on the end times?

I have suspicions that the book of Revelations was given to us not because of any turth contained within but rather because of our reaction to it.

Human Will: Are you a libertarian, molinist, hard determinist, compatiblist, or something else?

"I'll take "words that no great theologian ever knew" for $300, Alex."

I beleve that God created us BECAUSE of human will. He wanted to see what we would give rise to--what could be done by someone who was not-Him. To suppose that all our destiny and all our inventions are His direct hand is missing the whole point of existance.

It is, of course, a very understandable mistake, given that God is not bound by the same flow of time that we do, and that He sees every consequence of our actions as we would see the course of a river, and He takes actions accordingly.

Apologetics: Do you prefer classical, evidential, presuppositional, existential or something else?

I prefer unorganized religion, because it has nothing to apologize for.

Mysticism: Does it (need to) play a role in a person's spiritual life?

Does it? Yes. If you have any mysticism, it must by its very nature be tied into and in sync with your spiritual life, or you are insluting yourself, your teachers, and your Savior.
Depends on your definition of mysticism.

Does it have to? Heck no. OTOH, the line between "spiritual" and "mystic" is a very indistinct one.

Governance: Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, Libertarian or other?

As in, of-the-church? Doesn't really matter, but what we've got now doesn't work.

Should there be a sharp distinction between clergy and laity?

Heck no. Or, rather, there CAN be one, but the distinction is far less important than that the laity and the clergy are both members of a real community.

Show me a church whose members don't all go to their own little houses to watch the same football game, and I'll consider attending.

Do you agree with common law marriage?

Doesn't matter if I do or not--but, for the record, I think it should be EAISER to fall into a common-law marriage, not harder. (See below.)

Should Christians fight during a war?

Yes. Why ever would you question this? Christians have fought EVERY war since Constantine.

I can think of no theological reason to not fight in a war. The admonition is not to not-fight, it is to never not be a Christian.

Same Sex Marriage or Civil unions: right, wrong or "who cares"?

Right, in a secular form. If we as a society allow a sexual union to happen, it is wrong of us to not give that union legal enforcement. This also, of course, leads to polyarmory--but disallowing the "poly nets" legal protection will not make them go away.

What role do the Christian scriptures have in contemporary ethics?

Sorry, don't understand the question.

What is a proper Christian attitude towards a person who commits suicide?

What is the proper Christian attitude towards any dead person?

"I'm sorry, he raped me. He's in hell." "I'm sorry, he wasn't a CATHOLIC. He's in hell."

What happens to us after we die is God's call, not ours, not some judge interpreting God's law for Him.

Who are the top 3 Christian artists of our time?

Who are the top 3 artists of our time?

What is the most pressing issue that confronts Christianity at this time?

Recoupling the faith into one community again.

Should there be such a thing as Christian Pop Culture?

No. Either it is "Pop Culture" or it isn't--and most "Pop Culture" is Christian.

Can a Christian vote Liberal/Left Wing/Democrat or Conservative/Right Wing/Republican?

Why, yes. Christians have rights, too. You can even have Communist Christians.

Should Christian[s] work to 'Christianise' the morality of their nation via censorship laws?

(note: an apostrophie is NEVER used save for posessiveness.)

No. And the word the author is looking for is "puritanize" or "gnosticize", not "Christianize."

Can a Christian support the death penalty?

Yes. The scripture gives lawful governments--the kind that a Christian can recognize at all--the right to take lives. Not to mention containing within them a far more harsh version of the Death Penalty than America ever practiced.

Christains who oppose the death penalty should not try and co-opt their religion into supporting their cause.

Where do you see the Western (North America/Europe) Christian church in fifty years?

Recombined and apolitical.

Where do you see the southern (South America/Africa/Asia) Christian church in fifty years?

In a decline--but a decline from a rather impressive boom.

Augustine, Aquinas, Pseudo Dionysus, Calvin, Luther, or Barth: Who would win in a bar fight?

Don't know. When I pass by the pearly gates, I'll ask St. Peter what the current score is.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Liora (565268) | about 10 years ago | (#9811097)

Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Although I COULD make lots of comments on your answers, I only really feel inclined to comment on one of them. That is regarding your answer to the death penalty. You are right in noting that the scripture does give lawful governance, but there are two reasons why a Christian should not support the death penalty.

The first is that Jesus didn't. We have a specific instance in the scripture where He did not throw a stone at the woman caught in adultery. By his standards (the only one there without sin), he was the only one who could have thrown a stone at the woman. But he didn't. So, we as Christians who vote on such issues, should remember what Jesus did and do likewise. Our government does have the right to execute prisoners. But we don't have the right to support it.

The second reason that Christians shouldn't support the death penalty is because if we don't, we can save all kinds of innocent lives. Over a hundred people have been wrongly executed in this country in this century alone, and that is really a tragedy. If our government's judicial system were perfect, and if no one was ever wrongly executed, I think that falling on lawful governance as our right to vote for capital punishment legislation might be ok (despite Jesus' actions mentioned above). But it isn't perfect, and we as Christians have to be Jesus to people "setting the captives free." When I hear that line, I think of the wrongly incarcerated. Given the average lifespan, there is a good chance that many of those wrongly executed could have been set free had they been given a life term.

Our job as Christians is to act (and vote) in a manner that emulates Christ. Supporting the death penalty doesn't appear to do that.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | about 10 years ago | (#9812540)

Awesome. Thanks for sharing

You're welcome. I might copy this into my jounral, for posterity's & comment's sake.

As for the death penalty: I agree, it's horribly overzealous, and we should emulate Christ in our dealings with it. But, IMO, that means that it should be part of the law as the ultimate penalty, and we should show mercy to those who commit those sins and ask for mercy.

My reply is in my journal (1)

yuri benjamin (222127) | about 10 years ago | (#9808589)

My reply can be found here [slashdot.org] .

My answers... (1)

Tet (2721) | about 10 years ago | (#9812085)

Who were/are the top 3 Christian thinkers
Don't know of any, sorry.

Do you think that the objects of theology are fundamentally rational?
No, I think that precisely the opposite -- that they are fundametnally irrational, by definition.

What is the proper relationship between theology and philosophy?
The former is a subset of the latter.

What is the proper relationship between theology and science?
The have no relationship, as they address two different problems. Science attempts to explain how. Theology attempts to explain why (and unlike science, largely fails IMHO).

What is the proper relationship between philosophy and science?
Again, no relationship.

God: One Substance and Three Persons or Three Hypostatic beings?
God: Collective figment of many people's imaginations :-)

Who sends the Holy Spirit? Does it matter?
No Holy Spirit, either, other than that which we conjure up in our own minds.

Does the host's meaning come from Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, Symbolism, or something else?
Errrmmmm.... what?

Natural theology: Nay or Yay?
What (again)?

Do you hold to any certain eschatological stance?
You're getting a lot of blank looks here...

Human Will: Are you a libertarian, molinist, hard determinist, compatiblist, or something else?
Oooh, ooh, I know this. I have a friend that teaches philosophy, and we were discussing this recently, so I know what the terminology means! Logically, I can't see any way of disproving hard determinism. Yet at the same time, the set of coincidences needed to have hard determinism result in what I think and believe, and the way the world exists around me is so huge that I have trouble believing it. I can't rule it out altogether, but I struggle to accept it. So essentially I'm undecided.

Apologetics: Do you prefer classical, evidential, presuppositional, existential or something else?
Another "huh?" question, I'm afraid.

Mysticism: Does it (need to) play a role in a person's spiritual life?
Depends on definitions, but I'd say probably yes.

Governance: Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, Libertarian or other?
Errrmmmm. Huh? :-)

Should there be a sharp distinction between clergy and laity?
No, but there are circumstances where it can serve a useful purpose.

Do you agree with common law marriage?
No, but only because I don't agree with marriage at all. I see common law marriages as having more validity than church marriages, FWIW...

Should Christians fight during a war?
Yes, as much as anyone should (which is to say, only if the need is overwhelming and there are no rational alternatives)

Same Sex Marriage or Civil unions: right, wrong or "who cares"?
Wrong in as much as marriage is wrong. Right in as much as a same sex partnership is just as valid as a mixed sex one.

What role do the Christian scriptures have in contemporary ethics?
They're the basis for many of them. Some are a little archaic, and no longer relevant, but as a set of guidelines to live by, you could do a lot worse (it's a shame more Christians don't live by them).

What is a proper Christian attitude towards a person who commits suicide?
Same as anyone else's attitude.

Who are the top 3 Christian artists of our time?
I don't know of many. Stryper and Narnia. But I wouldn't call either great, and they're eclipsed by their secular counterparts.

What is the most pressing issue that confronts Christianity at this time?
How to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of what the bible says. Very few take the whole thing literally. The trick is getting the balance between the literal and the illustrative right. That in turn is instrumental in deciding whether a Christian will be a sane and useful member of society or a raving bigoted lunatic.

Should there be such a thing as Christian Pop Culture?
I don't see why not. With the caveat that I believe focusing on religion in areas where it has no bearing to be divisive.

Can a Christian vote Liberal/Left Wing/Democrat or Conservative/Right Wing/Republican?
Yes. Religion != Politics.

Should Christian's work to 'Christianise' the morality of their nation via censorship laws?
Unsurprisingly, I believe this to be among the worst crimes a Christian (or member of any other religion) can commit. Whatever happened to tolerance?

Can a Christian support the death penalty?
Yes, they can, but if they're trying to live their life by the bible, they shouldn't. Euthanasia is a more difficult ethical dilemma, though...

Where do you see the Western (North America/Europe) Christian church in fifty years?
Waning in mass popularity, but gaining a larger number of extremists.

Where do you see the southern (South America/Africa/Asia) Christian church in fifty years?
Huge, and less pragmatic than their European and North American counterparts. Heading towards cultism (assuming, for a second, that Christianity isn't already a cult).

Augustine, Aquinas, Pseudo Dionysus, Calvin, Luther, or Barth: Who would win in a bar fight?
Don't know enough about any of them to make an informed decision.

What a schmuck (1)

Nyarly (104096) | about 10 years ago | (#9815606)

About which one does not know, one must remain silent.

Liora, you know that in the most superficial way, I share an atheistic belief with Tet, but I'd like to emphasize that that's about as far as the coincidence goes.

The fact that obligated me to post a reply here was that many atheists are not as narrow minded as the Christian fundamentalists they imagine at every turn - it's just that we're also more moderate in our outbursts. Candidly, Christian theology and philosophy holds a unique fascination, and Christian morality is integral to Western culture.

Certainly, Christians have done and said a number or ridiculous and abominable things in history, but that by no means makes them unique amongst human culture; nor does it invalidate Christian teachings.

It might even be valid to suggest that atheism reflects a failure of the individual, a weakness of faith. (I'd politely disagree.) It's certainly no more valid to suggest that Christianity reflects a weakness of mind. And it's plainly misguided to suggest that Science is infallible, or more worthy of deification than Christ.

--A message from your friendly neighborhood Secular Humanist.

Re:What a schmuck (1)

Liora (565268) | about 10 years ago | (#9815837)

Thanks Nyarly. I think that Tet was just trying to share his answers to those questions with me. And my thoughts for Tet are as follows "Hmm... you are a hard determinist b/c you can't prove otherwise. Can you prove otherwise about the existance of God? If not, perhaps you might consider leaving atheism and stepping over with the rest of us Christians here on the agnostic side of the line." Actually, I had a good laugh over many of his responses, and I can certainly see where he's coming from.

And to you, if you are so sensible about the deification of anything (which you are, sensible, that is, science, Christ, anything really), it disappoints me that you are still an atheist as well. It doesn't surprise me though. :) Didn't we first talk about theology over two years ago, when I was still trying to flesh out my beliefs (well... actually that sounds pretty familiar - I try to flesh out my beliefs every day, but you know what I mean)? Your post today seems like you're more objective than you were then (not that you were rude or anything then, you were just fine, it just seems like you've thought more about said topics) so that leads me to wonder, have you been reading up on the subject? Just curiously.

You know, I'm a Christian fundamentalist. But that has to be preceeded with agnostic most days. Those days when I don't quite know if I believe in God are sometimes kind of hard, but I think you're right, strength of faith is really an exercise - in the mental, emotional, spiritual and sometimes even physical sense. I wish I had more faith.

Re:What a schmuck (1)

Nyarly (104096) | about 10 years ago | (#9831832)

nd to you, if you are so sensible about the deification of anything (which you are, sensible, that is, science, Christ, anything really), it disappoints me that you are still an atheist as well. It doesn't surprise me though.

It certainly shouldn't: my atheism is applied as universally as possible. A pan-atheism, you could say. It saddens me that you'd be disappointed, though. My beliefs on god haven't changed much in the last few years; it may be that my beliefs regarding religion and it's place in life, the world and people's needs has. Even so, I don't think those beliefs have changed much, merely matured.

Tell me if I'm wrong: I don't think that two years ago I would have said that I'm disappointed that your Christian, or believe in God, or have faith. And while I'll laugh along with "I have an imaginary friend, too" jokes, I wouldn't tell them except in response to "yer gawn ta Hell!" or tiresome prothelytization (although I usually tell forceful (in person) prothelytizers of all stripes "No, thanks. I'm a baby eating Jew," which I mention lest I sound too sensitive and tolerant.)

Recently, I think I've come to understand better how religion and faith bolsters people, gives them an idea of what there place is in the world and in their culture, reassures, consoles and guides them. It's taken me 0x1C years to work that out, because I've found all of those things elsewhere or never needed them. I was exposed to a semi-Kantian categorical imperitive as a kid, and it stuck (I think everyone was: "What if everyone did that bad thing?"), and I don't really need a place to be outside my own skin - I need people to be with, and that I've found. While I respect your faith, and I'm just coming to understand it's value to people, I've never been really capable of a faith outside myself or trust in my friends, family and loved ones - on the other hand, I've never really been in need of it either.

Most of the change in tenor I think you see comes from the fact that your on my side of the point I'm making (or I'm on yours). You'll notice I made a lot of comparative statements, which I'd stick to fairly strictly. Yes, lack of faith is no more a weakness than weakness than mind. But none of us is perfect. Science isn't more worthy of deification than Christ, but my point of view is that neither ought to be. That sort of thing.

Re:What a schmuck (1)

Tet (2721) | about 10 years ago | (#9815966)

About which one does not know, one must remain silent.

Which is why, you may note, that most of my answers contained no content.

And it's plainly misguided to suggest that Science is infallible, or more worthy of deification than Christ.

I hope you didn't read that into my answers, as it's certainly not my belief. Science is very definitely fallible, as has been proved many times throughout recorded history. But hey, I got called a schmuck! That's gotta be a win in my book :-)

Re:What a schmuck (1)

Nyarly (104096) | about 10 years ago | (#9831556)

I'm glad that you took my comments in good humor. I spent the rest of the day feeling a little worried that you'd feel more viciously attacking intent in my ascerbic comments than was really there.

Truthfully, I think you also bore the brunt of a certain amount of annoyance more properly directed at an old Objectivist schoolmate of mine, who would tactlessly inform people that their theistic beliefs were stupid. Given that this was a selective and competitive university, far from home, for many people their religion was more important to them than it ever had been, so this really was toughtlessly cruel, and I've never quite gotten the taste out of my mouth.

Re:What a schmuck (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | about 10 years ago | (#9824534)

He is kind of a schmuck, yeah, given that he's trying to pick a fight with Liora in his journal. He also doesn't have anything interesting to say, or know what Liora is talking about. Getting off when people call you a schmuck makes you a schmuck. However, Nyarly, you didn't take the survey!

I'm atheist shading into agnostic, and I'll actually honestly answer the questions while I wait for my program to execute.

Who were/are the top 3 Christian thinkers (apart from Jesus or the apostles)?
The top three thinkers who happen to be christian?

I don't find thoughts about christianity to be particularly interesting, as a rule. Gauguin (the artist, highly under-rated as a thinker), Teilhard (the Jesuit Priest) and Hobbes all had ideas, which clearly arose from their christian beliefs, which are of great interest to me. The same could be said of Newton, Giordano Bruno and Martin Luther King Jr. I list 3 (okay, 6) of my favorites - I don't know any meaningful criterion by which I could pick only 3 people to be the greatest, however.

Do you think that the objects of theology are fundamentally rational?
The property of rationality does not reside in the object, but in the subject (the person who does the thinking.) Can rational people have theology? I identify people whom I independently gauge to be rational. Do they have or discuss theology? Yes. Therefore, a rational person can have theology.

What is the proper relationship between theology and philosophy?
What is the proper relationship between theology and science?
What is the proper relationship between philosophy and science?

Theology is a particular sub-discipline of philosophy (in agreement with Tet). Novel ideas are always to the good - therefore, no relationship between sets of ideas can be "improper", therefore all possible relationships are proper.
In the arena of public policy, I would say very broadly that ethical (another subset of philosophical) ideas trump scientific ideas and that a deliberate effort should be made to discount religious ideas, not because religious ideas are bad (although I happen to disagree with most of them), but because they are incompatible with a religiously pluralistic society.
Science is a method that informs us about the merits of ideas, though our knowledge is very limited. It is proper to apply this method to any idea - although the results may not be useful. It should be noted that I regard ideas as part of the physical world (since they arise from a physical nervous system) and as such a legitimate avenue of scientific inquiry, albeit an inquiry that is still in it's earliest stages.

God: One Substance and Three Persons or Three Hypostatic beings?
I see no particular reason to believe either. If God exists, I would say that it is inherent in everything (pantheism.)

Who sends the Holy Spirit? Does it matter?
If the holy spirit is sent, it does not matter.

Does the host's meaning come from Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, Symbolism, or something else?
Meaning is imposed on our environment by us; it is not inherent. In the absence of symbolism, this meaning would not be imposed, therefore symbolism.

Natural theology: Nay or Yay?
Yay. In so far as I have religious inclinations, I'm a Deist, which is natural theology taken to its most extreme.

Do you hold to any certain eschatological stance?
No.

Human Will: Are you a libertarian, molinist, hard determinist, compatiblist, or something else?
Liberterian, and oddly enough this is still a meaningful question even if you don't believe in God.

Apologetics: Do you prefer classical, evidential, presuppositional, existential or something else?
We are in agreement: No.

Mysticism: Does it (need to) play a role in a person's spiritual life?
I think that it is possible to be what I regard as spiritual without holding any mystical beliefs whatsoever.

Governance: Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, Libertarian or other?
Libertarian in this sense also, although even so I wouldn't want to join a church.

Should there be a sharp distinction between clergy and laity?
Anyone who wishes to sharply define themselves as clergy should be free to do so. They should not, however, be able to reserve religious discourse (including preaching) to themselves.

Do you agree with common law marriage?
Should it be allowed? Yes. Naming it "marriage" instead of cohabitation or whatever is irrelevant, as long as legal and economic protections are the same.

Should Christians fight during a war?
The same ethical concerns should apply as to anyone else. One should not fight a war BECAUSE one is christian. Conscientious objections arising from christian beliefs are entirely legitimate.

Same Sex Marriage or Civil unions: right, wrong or "who cares"?
Right, but not something I care a great deal about, so also "who cares".

What role do the Christian scriptures have in contemporary ethics?
None, which is proper.

What is a proper Christian attitude towards a person who commits suicide?
Same as anyone else.

Who are the top 3 Christian artists of our time?
I don't keep track of who is christian.

What is the most pressing issue that confronts Christianity at this time?
I see no reason to regard christianity as singular or unified. Different movements within christianity confront disperate issues. I place little importance on issues which are actually religious, and feel that issues of economics are the most pressing, but that arises from my point of view.

Should there be such a thing as Christian Pop Culture?
Creed sucks. I'm not sure what is meant here - Mozart was pop culture at the time. Gospel music, christian art generally, is at a low point at this time in history, but that is my subjective opinion. Culture is inherently good and religious connotations are not a problem.

Can a Christian vote Liberal/Left Wing/Democrat or Conservative/Right Wing/Republican?
I don't see any incompatbility between modern schools of christian belief and participation in democratic society (a christian who believed in the divine right of kings obviously couldn't). Most schools of christianity are tolerant enough of "human failings" that I regard it as internally consistent even for christians to vote for candidates who advance some policies distasteful to christianity in general.

Should Christian's work to 'Christianise' the morality of their nation via censorship laws?
No, see relationship between theology and philosophy, above.

Can a Christian support the death penalty?
It strikes me as very odd, to say the least. It would seem to me that the gospels prohibit such a thing in very explicit terms.

Where do you see the Western (North America/Europe) Christian church in fifty years?
Small, in agreement with journal author.
However, this depends on human action, which is subject to free will, so I have little confidence in this prediction.

Where do you see the southern (South America/Africa/Asia) Christian church in fifty years?
I really could not say. I think this depends largely on economic factors - if christianity provides an impetus for economic independence, I expect it would become very powerful as a result. Nothing can be known with anything like certainty, however.

Augustine, Aquinas, Pseudo Dionysus, Calvin, Luther, or Barth: Who would win in a bar fight?
Based on paintings? Luther looks bad-ass.

Re:What a schmuck (1)

Liora (565268) | about 10 years ago | (#9824841)

I read your post and was at first confused, but then got over it. You meant to say that it looked like Tet was trying to pick a fight with Liora in HER journal. But at first I thought that you meant this was Tet's journal, and I was all confused. Silly asexual internet handle like Liora... just what was I thinking?

Anyway... thanks for contributing. I especially like the line that about how one should not fight [in a war] simply because they are a Christian. It conjured up images of Klingons preparing for a battle that they don't care about at all, but who feel they have to fight anyway, simply because they are Klingons. Just curiously... you believe that we have free will. Who do you believe gave us free will?

I'm also glad that you recognize Luther as bad-ass - because he was. Luther could kick any ond of those other theologians' asses. Like I said... with one hand tied behind his back.... Luther was one of those gets his hands dirty kinds of theologians, the kind that drinks beer and smokes cigars... well, maybe not cigars, but if the'd have had cigars then, I bet he woulda smoked them....

Re:What a schmuck (1)

Nyarly (104096) | about 10 years ago | (#9832132)

Just curiously... you believe that we have free will. Who do you believe gave us free will?

Why is it necessary that we were given free will? Agency has always struck me as something that would have to be constrained. Which, incidentally, a perfect prescience (or worse yet, omniscience) does necessarily. In other words, in the absence of outside forces, we must necessarily have free will. The Cartesian argument (is it Descarte, or some one else?) that the human will is infinite and so necessarily a gift from God seems a little forced to me. Especially following arguments that all other human qualities are finite, including imagination, etc.

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