Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Bible as a personal narrative

An integral perspective on the Bible (and other sacred texts)

The Bible is an allegory of stages of development - magic, mythical and so on up to transcendental. Perhaps it's not a very good one, or rather messy and a bit of a rag bag, perhaps if we understood it better we would find out it's a better one. Just as the Greek myths model actual human behaviours, concerns, even psychoses

The construction of the Bible. Not the Word of God, but equally not the deliberate creation of a human author - created through history, by Jews, then Christians, then translated - Greek, Latin, English, German assembling and ordering texts according to what at each stage considered important / true. The process considered as a whole (and all the interpretations offered along the way as well) almost unconscious, and therefore possibly speaking about a greater, deeper truth than any one deliberate author could achieve. Quite different in scope and intent from say the Dhammapada, although not perhaps from the whole body of Buddhist literature.

Monday, 11 January 2010

evil and god - under construction

God, Philosophy, Universities: a history of the Catholic philosophical tradition
Alasdair MacIntyre - reviewed in the Tablet 9.Jan.2010

"Alasdair MacIntyre lists three problems that are inescapable for theism. The first is how to reconcile the goodness of God with the evil in the universe. The second is this: if God is the cause of every happening, it seems that finite agents have no real powers. The third is that it seems doubtful whether one can speak meaningfully in human language of a God who exceeds the grasp of human understanding. MacIntyre sets out the problems bluntly and fairly, but he does not set out to solve them. Instead, he urges that the history of theism shows that a thinker can maintain faith in God while treating his existence and nature as philosophically problematic. "

Friday, 8 January 2010

modern technology

Talking to P last night about what's wrong with modern technology (mobiles, internet, social networking etc. etc.) - today there are many fewer random interactions.

Before the mid 19th Century (in this country anyway) most people had no interactions with anyone outside their family and immediate community. Then the railways, the bicycle, the telegraph, mass circulation daily newspapers, wireless, telephones began to create a global industrial society, and people began to have many more random interactions - chance encounters with strangers on trains and in big cities, crossed lines on telephones (when was the last time that happened to you?) - random books on returned library shelves. People talked about synchronicity, or just co-incidence, about the 6 degrees of separation - a completely random set of links that would join you to anyone else on the planet in 6 jumps or less.