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Author Topic:   Does it matter if a parable is based on reality?
jar
Member
Posts: 29603
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 1 of 15 (134678)
08-17-2004 12:10 PM


Chapter I

1. Mencius went to see king Hi of Liang.

2. The king said, 'Venerable sir, since you have not counted it far to come here, a distance of a thousand l, 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 Hi of Liang.

Suppose that king Hi 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.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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AdminNosy
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From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Message 2 of 15 (134685)
08-17-2004 12:36 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 15 (134762)
08-17-2004 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
08-17-2004 12:10 PM


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.


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Itachi Uchiha
Member (Idle past 3202 days)
Posts: 272
From: mayaguez, Puerto RIco
Joined: 06-21-2003


Message 4 of 15 (134842)
08-18-2004 1:31 AM


I agree with loudmouth


Ponlo todo en las manos de Dios y que se joda el mundo. El principio de la sabiduria es el temor a Jehova
    
Itachi Uchiha
Member (Idle past 3202 days)
Posts: 272
From: mayaguez, Puerto RIco
Joined: 06-21-2003


Message 5 of 15 (134843)
08-18-2004 1:31 AM


I agree with loudmouth


Ponlo todo en las manos de Dios y que se joda el mundo. El principio de la sabiduria es el temor a Jehova
    
Dr Jack
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Posts: 3506
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 6 of 15 (134865)
08-18-2004 5:38 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Loudmouth
08-17-2004 6:04 PM


In matters in so much as if it is based on reality then the implied moral is shown to have a grain of truth, wheras one can make up a story for any moral one wishes to impart.
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jar
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Posts: 29603
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 7 of 15 (134889)
08-18-2004 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dr Jack
08-18-2004 5:38 AM


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
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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3506
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 8 of 15 (134908)
08-18-2004 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by jar
08-18-2004 9:49 AM


If the example you gave it makes utterly no difference since nothing actually happens, whether it is a recounting of a true conversation or not it's still just words.
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jar
Member
Posts: 29603
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 9 of 15 (134912)
08-18-2004 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Dr Jack
08-18-2004 10:39 AM


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 T 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?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3506
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 10 of 15 (134923)
08-18-2004 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
08-18-2004 10:48 AM


In the cutting above, all that happens is that a character expresses an opinion; since it is only an opinion it makes no difference who's the opinion is.

In your second example, it is either an opinion (that of the author of the scrap) or a peice of anecdotal evidence (derived from the factual event).

Now, neither an opinion nor an anecdote feature highly in the big tree of proof - but an anecdote is surely above an opinion.


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PaulK
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Joined: 01-10-2003
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Message 11 of 15 (134955)
08-18-2004 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Dr Jack
08-18-2004 11:03 AM


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.


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General Nazort
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 15 (134984)
08-18-2004 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
08-17-2004 12:10 PM


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?
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Phat
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Posts: 10026
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 13 of 15 (823260)
11-08-2017 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
08-18-2004 10:48 AM


Tales Told Round A Campfire
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:
jar writes:

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 :)

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ringo
Member
Posts: 13864
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 14 of 15 (823279)
11-08-2017 2:43 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Phat
11-08-2017 11:36 AM


Re: Tales Told Round A Campfire
Phat writes:

I have to do all of the work myself.


Noah had to build his own ark.

The myth can only help you if you listen to the message.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Phat, posted 11-08-2017 11:36 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29603
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 15 of 15 (823281)
11-08-2017 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Phat
11-08-2017 11:36 AM


Re: Tales Told Round A Campfire
Phat writes:

A myth can't help me, however. I have to do all of the work myself.

Naaman needed help. He had leprosy. He needed a cure and was willing to do all kinds of difficult and embarrassing tasks if that was what was needed.

Naaman was told to go bathe in the crick nearby.

"Too simple", he said, "I'm outta here." But he was convinced to give it a try since he was there and the crick was cool and he came out refreshed without leprosy.

BUT Naaman had to go bathe in the crick. No one was gonna wash him or go get the water and bring it to him or give him a bath.

When you pray, the best you can hope for is advice on what YOU need to do.

Noe, build a boat.

Naaman, go bathe in the crick.

Edited by jar, : eeeeeeeee


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios My Website: My Website

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