2. The king said, 'Venerable sir, since you have not counted it far to come here, a distance of a thousand lî, may I presume that you are provided with counsels to profit my kingdom?'
3. Mencius replied, 'Why must your Majesty use that word "profit?" What I am provided with, are counsels to benevolence and righteousness, and these are my only topics.
4. 'If your Majesty say, "What is to be done to profit my kingdom?" the great officers will say, "What is to be done to profit our families?" and the inferior officers and the common people will say, "What is to be done to profit our persons?" Superiors and inferiors will try to snatch this profit the one from the other, and the kingdom will be endangered. In the kingdom of ten thousand chariots, the murderer of his sovereign shall be the chief of a family of a thousand chariots. In the kingdom of a thousand chariots, the murderer of his prince shall be the chief of a family of a hundred chariots. To have a thousand in ten thousand, and a hundred in a thousand, cannot be said not to be a large allotment, but if righteousness be put last, and profit be put first, they will not be satisfied without snatching all.
5. 'There never has been a benevolent man who neglected his parents. There never has been a righteous man who made his sovereign an after consideration.
6. 'Let your Majesty also say, "Benevolence and righteousness, and let these be your only themes." Why must you use that word -- "profit?".
This is the first chapter of Book 1 of the works of Mencius. It describes a conversation between Mencius and king Hûi of Liang.
Suppose that king Hûi of Liang never existed and thus the conversation never really took place.
Does that make a difference? Is the lesson contained in the tale any less valuable if the incident never actually took place?
This would probably be best in the Faith & Belief area.
quote:Does that make a difference? Is the lesson contained in the tale any less valuable if the incident never actually took place?
And the simple question is NO. Does it matter that the Hare and the Tortoise never raced? No. What is important is the "moral" that the parable is conveying. Jesus never said that his parables were based in reality, but the lessons were just as important.
Also, proof that those historic figures lived in no way supports the actions attributed to them. In the same way, the presence of Rome in the Middle Ages does not support the story of Romeo and Juliet.
Can you expand on that a little? For example, in the section of Mencius quoted, we may not know if the King existed in reality, or that Mencius actually really paid him a visit.Aslan is not a Tame Lion
Still struggling to understand, so please bear with me.
You mention that it makes no difference since nothing really happened. That confuses me somewhat.
Consider this scrap.
'The Tî caused his own children, nine sons and two daughters, the various officers, oxen and sheep, storehouses and granaries, all to be prepared, to serve Shun amid the channelled fields. Of the scholars of the kingdom there were multitudes who flocked to him. The sovereign designed that Shun should superintend the kingdom along with him, and then to transfer it to him entirely. But because his parents were not in accord with him, he felt like a poor man who has nowhere to turn to.
Here, something is alleged to have happened. Does it matter if it is a true account or not?
I'm not aware that a parable is supposed to be an argument. I was under the impression it was simply a story told to convey a particular message.
But as an argument, if a parable were a true story, it would surely be no more than anecdotal evidence even if the message was contained in a purely literal literal reading of the story. And where the message is in an allegorical reading the accuracy of the analogy would be more important than literal truth, so long as the story is something that could happen. So it seems to me that truth is only important to the extent that the message is in the purely literal reading and in so far as the parable is used as an argument rather than simply as a mode of communication.
If the message conveyed by the parable is true, it does not matter who said the parable (unless the truth of the parable depends on who really said it)If you say there are no absolutes, I ask you, are you absolutely sure about that?
Many Christians would argue that the message in the Bible carries more weight because Jesus said it...but I see your point. One of your memorable quotes was this:
Even if all the stories about Jesus are only tales told round the campfire the message is still of value.
A myth can't help me, however. I have to do all of the work myself.
I believe that prayer can help me, even if it were only a placebo effect.
Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain " ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)