Re: Theos-World "slanders quashed and settled"
Feb 07, 2002 08:50 AM
by Bill Meredith
Yes I agree with your assessment below. I am interested methods for
reclaiming one's freedom from the rigidity of thought that seems to lurk
under every rock.
I went to an Uncle's funeral yesterday, and as expected the preacher spent
more time trying to save souls for Jesus than he did in a dignified marking
of my Uncle' passage. As I listened to this self-proclaimed God-fearing
preacher I was struck repeatedly by the tangled web of contradictions that
he had come to accept as truth.
I will give but one example: He made the following remarks within two
minutes of each other:
"God is almighty and all knowing."
"God does not intend for any man to burn in hell."
"Men who die without first accepting the Lord will burn in hell forever."
"God loves each of us."
How can one not notice the contradictions? Now I am aware of non-literal
interpretations of these quotes that render them less contradictory and
maybe even esoterically supportive. The preacher was not preaching
esoterically. I know that if I start sending in commentary to this list
that contains evident contrary conditions, I want someone to point them out
to me. Not because I like being proven wrong, but because I want to keep
tabs on where my thinking is taking me.
Keep up these kinds of posts. They help me to see the process I use to
select words and phrases.
----- Original Message -----
From: "kpauljohnson" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 9:44 AM
Subject: Theos-World "slanders quashed and settled"
> --- In theos-talk@y..., <dalval14@e...> wrote:
> > So far. as I read those posts, they have on the main, repeated
> > slanders that were quashed and settled years ago.
> This phrase is telling, and provides an opportunity to discuss
> principles without reference to personalities. What Dallas
> calls "slanders that were quashed and settled years ago" I and many
> others would call "questions that remain unresolved despite a hundred
> years of Theosophical and anti-Theosophical polemics, and which are
> now receiving long overdue historical examination." Is this a matter
> of fact, or of opinion? Are there not objective criteria that would
> determine whether an issue has really been settled years ago or not?
> Dallas may wish that these "slanders" had been "quashed" but even a
> cursory glance at recent writings on HPB shows that the issues in
> question remain quite alive.
> The temptation to *pretend* that a controversy had been settled years
> ago, even when it is abundantly clear that it had not, is
> understandable. It allows believers to file the most hot-button
> issues away in a drawer marked "not even worth thinking about."
> For example, some Mormons would claim that anyone who says that the
> Book of Mormon is not an ancient document but rather a 19th century
> production is slandering Joseph Smith. Christian Scientists would
> say that anyone who says that Mrs. Eddy got a great deal of her
> system from P.P. Quimby is slandering her. And so on down the line.
> Some Mormons have written works that purport to prove the historicity
> of the Book of Mormon. Some Christian Scientists have written
> biographies that attempt to dismiss the influence of Quimby on Eddy.
> And some members of these groups would say that any non-Mormon or non-
> CS who raises these issues from the POV of historical scholarship is
> merely repeating slanders that were quashed and settled years ago. I
> think that word "quashed" speaks volumes about the mindset of such
> believers. Dallas goes on to say:
> On the basis
> > of fairness and accuracy in reporting, I have always understood
> > that true scholarship was impersonal. Hence in the service of
> > accuracy, such true scholarship reveals every side of a question
> > as a matter of course.
> Which means that religious believers who declare the topics explored
> by historical researchers "slanders quashed and settled years ago"
> (despite abundant evidence to the contrary) lack the impersonality
> required for true scholarship.
> If this is not done, then the research is
> > either fragmentary and unfinished, or it is opinionated, and as
> > such, it does not yet deserve the designation of "history."
> All historical research is fragmentary and unfinished. All
> historical works include opinion. There is not a finite number
> of "sides" past which we can say there aren't any more left; people
> will keep looking at new sides as long as the subject in question
> attracts new historical research.
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