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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 10:36AM #21
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 1, 2012 -- 10:31AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


The historical influence of a specific book on millions of people can be more objectively measured than personal revelation on any number of people, whatever be the causes of such demonstrable influence.




The historical effect of a book does not prove the validity of its teachings, only the degree to which its teachings are believed.

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 10:38AM #22
vra
Posts: 6,403

I would suggest that it is reason that should prevail, and we find that approach being used in our commentary system and beyond that, including the use of scientific and historical evidence (or the lack thereof). 

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 10:46AM #23
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

May 1, 2012 -- 10:36AM, nieciedo wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 10:31AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


The historical influence of a specific book on millions of people can be more objectively measured than personal revelation on any number of people, whatever be the causes of such demonstrable influence.




The historical effect of a book does not prove the validity of its teachings, only the degree to which its teachings are believed.




Depends on the length and breadth of the historical effect. And even then it does not make the entire book valid. I readily admit subscribing to spiritual darwinism. What works, works for all ages. What doesn't, fades away.

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 11:43AM #24
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 1, 2012 -- 10:46AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Depends on the length and breadth of the historical effect. And even then it does not make the entire book valid. I readily admit subscribing to spiritual darwinism. What works, works for all ages. What doesn't, fades away.




That's effectively Baha'i in a nutshell, isn't it?

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 12:03PM #25
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

May 1, 2012 -- 11:43AM, nieciedo wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 10:46AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Depends on the length and breadth of the historical effect. And even then it does not make the entire book valid. I readily admit subscribing to spiritual darwinism. What works, works for all ages. What doesn't, fades away.




That's effectively Baha'i in a nutshell, isn't it?




Not really, because spiritual darwinism doesn't account for new and innovative teachings. Only the survival of the fittest (natural selection) from among the old ones.

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 12:07PM #26
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 1, 2012 -- 12:03PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 11:43AM, nieciedo wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 10:46AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Depends on the length and breadth of the historical effect. And even then it does not make the entire book valid. I readily admit subscribing to spiritual darwinism. What works, works for all ages. What doesn't, fades away.




That's effectively Baha'i in a nutshell, isn't it?




Not really, because spiritual darwinism doesn't account for new and innovative teachings. Only the survival of the fittest (natural selection) from among the old ones.




Yet natural darwinism only works when there is continuous innovation (or mutuation), so presumably spiritual darwinism would work the same way.

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 12:10PM #27
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

May 1, 2012 -- 12:07PM, nieciedo wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 12:03PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 11:43AM, nieciedo wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 10:46AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Depends on the length and breadth of the historical effect. And even then it does not make the entire book valid. I readily admit subscribing to spiritual darwinism. What works, works for all ages. What doesn't, fades away.




That's effectively Baha'i in a nutshell, isn't it?




Not really, because spiritual darwinism doesn't account for new and innovative teachings. Only the survival of the fittest (natural selection) from among the old ones.




Yet natural darwinism only works when there is continuous innovation (or mutuation), so presumably spiritual darwinism would work the same way.




Natural (classical) Darwinism doesn't talk about innovation but adaptation. Natural selection alone doesn't account for biological complexification. Hence random mutation and Mendelian genetics are introduced in various brands of neo-Darwinism.

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 1:59PM #28
vra
Posts: 6,403

Darwin's main theory included natural selection, random genetic drift, and mutation, although his terminology with the last two was different (mostly using the term "variation") since so little was known about genetics during his time. 

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 2:08PM #29
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

May 1, 2012 -- 1:32AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


It's possible to regard the Book as the sole authority. Unquestionably. But the Book shouldn't even be accepted in the first place if you find it counter to reason (reason) and if it doesn't speak to your heart (intuition). The Book itself should encourage the maximum use of human reason and insist that religious truth, in its purest form, never runs counter to reason. If it does contradict reason, it is not of God.



That's equating human reason with God's reason. If you look in history, you will see that the definition of human reason swerves and meanders in different cultures and epochs, and even within a culture and epoch, depending upon who you talk to. In short, human reason is not a reliable arbiter of truth. 


Now, that doesn't mean it has no place. To the contrary, it does. But if a Book says X and your reason says Y perhaps it's not the Book that needs revision. 


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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 2:28PM #30
vra
Posts: 6,403

May 1, 2012 -- 2:08PM, JAstor wrote:


That's equating human reason with God's reason. If you look in history, you will see that the definition of human reason swerves and meanders in different cultures and epochs, and even within a culture and epoch, depending upon who you talk to. In short, human reason is not a reliable arbiter of truth. 


Now, that doesn't mean it has no place. To the contrary, it does. But if a Book says X and your reason says Y perhaps it's not the Book that needs revision. 






If I can be so rude as to butt in and comment on this.


The use of reason really tends to trump all, or at least it should, imo, no matter which position we may take.  A rule of thumb we've had when dealing with scripture is that if a particular interpretation defies reason, then look for alternative interpretations, and our commentary system was largely built on this approach.


But the use of reason goes even beyond that-- at least hopefully.  If someone is orthodox, isn't it their reasoning that leads them in that direction?  Isn't that also true for atheists and agnostics?  IOW, what I'm saying is that we will use reason to take positions on various matters, including even what our basic approach may be. 


Therefore, if one person believes Torah is inerrant and/or divinely inspired, I think we can assume they used reason to arrive at that.  If, otoh, another person believes it not to be either inerrant or divinely inspired, they probably reasoned that out as well, but with a different conclusion.  Or, if another person says "I don't know", that's also likely to be a use of their reasoning. 


Is human reasoning possibly fallible?  Of course.  But that applies to basically almost any decision we may reach in this arena, including even if one believes in "God's reason".      

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