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Author Topic:   Money Isn't a False God
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 26 of 150 (614603)
05-05-2011 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by purpledawn
05-05-2011 7:45 AM


Re: Trust and Reliance
One's god of choice does not want his followers to put their trust and reliance in another god for support. That is what they are talking about in Jeremiah.

Obviously it was intended as a non-compete clause for religions at the time.

But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days? There's not a lot of competition for Christianity anymore, at least not among polytheistic religions. That's the reason that the passage in Jeremiah is interpreted, in modern theology, to refer to not letting shallow material concerns, like wealth, power, prestige, or influence, supersede more important spiritual concerns.

In that sense money - personified in Christian mythology as "Mammon" - very much is a false god. I just don't see how that can be denied except for very narrow interpretations of "god". And you wouldn't be trying to define or limit God from your narrow human perspective, now would you?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by purpledawn, posted 05-05-2011 7:45 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by purpledawn, posted 05-05-2011 2:04 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 28 of 150 (614648)
05-05-2011 3:21 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by purpledawn
05-05-2011 2:04 PM


Re: Mammon
Having wealth doesn't mean one worships the god, Mammon. Having wealth doesn't mean it gets in the way of spiritual concerns.

Right, but the phrase "worshipping Mammon" means "letting the pursuit of wealth get in the way of spiritual concerns." Nobody actually worships Mammon - there's no Mammon cult, there are no temples to Mammon*, there's no traditional Mammon scriptures - the "god" Mammon has only ever existed as a negative example, as a metaphor.

"Worshipping Mammon" as a term doesn't refer to anything but letting the pursuit of wealth get in the way of spiritual concerns. "Mammon" is precisely how money can be a "false god."

Artemis is the goddess or false god, not the things she represents.

No, that's exactly wrong. Artemis is the hunt. She is the young virgin. She is the wild woman. That's what it means to be the personification of those things - the deity of those things. It's not like she's some divine bureaucrat whose job it is to manage hunts, and virginal girls, and the fertility of women. Artemis is those things - what divinity is in hunting, or virginity, or a woman's power of lifegiving is Artemis's divinity, specifically. She is in and of those things, and they are in and of her.

*Yeah, I know, wags - Wall Street, Donald Trump's biography - but that's my point - those are only metaphorically temples and scriptures.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by purpledawn, posted 05-05-2011 2:04 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by purpledawn, posted 05-05-2011 4:36 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 30 of 150 (614655)
05-05-2011 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by purpledawn
05-05-2011 4:36 PM


Re: Mammon
As you said, no one is worshiping anything, therefore money can't be a false god.

You've already agreed, though, that that's not what "worshiping a false god" means. You've agreed that it doesn't mean temples and prostrate worship; you've agreed that it means "putting material concerns ahead of spiritual ones."

Therefore by your own agreement putting money ahead of spiritual matters is "worshiping a false god", and the "false god" being worshiped in this instance is money.

So, you've already agreed that money can be a false god. Would you like to walk back your previous agreement about the modern understanding of "worshiping false gods"? It certainly wouldn't be the first time you've changed your mind rather than face the consequences of what you've already accepted.

Those are the things that are personified in the goddess called Artemis.

Right, because those are her domains. The young virgin is Artemis. The expecting mother is Artemis. The ebb and flow of seasons is Artemis. The hunt is Artemis. The wild place is Artemis. All of those things are Artemis and Artemis is all of those things. That's what it means to be the "god" of something. Artemis is the hunt, so she is manifest in the hunt.

The child and the hunt are not the gods/false gods.

Worshiping the hunt would certainly be worshiping a false god, both in the modern sense you've already agreed to, and the ancient sense of competition with the Hebrew God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by purpledawn, posted 05-05-2011 4:36 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by purpledawn, posted 05-05-2011 7:38 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 39 of 150 (614920)
05-08-2011 11:03 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by purpledawn
05-05-2011 7:38 PM


Re: Mammon
I have not agreed that worshiping a false god has no actual worship involved.

I'm sorry? Did you not write Message 27? If someone else is posting under your name maybe you could let Percy know. But Message 27 as written has this exchange:

crash writes:

There's not a lot of competition for Christianity anymore, at least not among polytheistic religions. That's the reason that the passage in Jeremiah is interpreted, in modern theology, to refer to not letting shallow material concerns, like wealth, power, prestige, or influence, supersede more important spiritual concerns.

dawn writes:

I think it is an appropriate way to construe it.

So, I said that clearly "worshiping a false god" didn't have to mean prostrate worship, it had a more modern definition of simply "not letting material concerns... supersede more important spiritual concerns." You replied that it was appropriate to construe the admonition in that sense.

So, yes, you did agree that "worshiping a false god" doesn't mean the actual practice of worship, it just means a misallocation of priorities. Since you'll ask (just to be difficult, as usual), Message 27 is where you did that.

Putting money ahead of spiritual matters is not worshiping a false god.

You've already agreed that it is. As I said I'm prepared to allow you to walk back what you've already agreed, but I'm not prepared to allow you to simply deny saying what you clearly did say.

If you don't agree anymore, that's fine! You're allowed to change your mind. But we're not going to have a debate on the basis of fictions about what was and was not said.

They aren't worshiping the hunt, they are worshiping the goddess.

Because Artemis is the hunt, worshiping the hunt is worshiping the goddess. That's what it means to be the "god" of something.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by purpledawn, posted 05-05-2011 7:38 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by purpledawn, posted 05-09-2011 7:25 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 42 by Bailey, posted 05-09-2011 6:30 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 41 of 150 (615019)
05-09-2011 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by purpledawn
05-09-2011 7:25 AM


Re: Mammon
I've given you notice that you have misconstrued my response.

I've given you notice that I clearly have not, and that I won't play this game where you say one thing, deny it, and then chalk the whole thing up to "my misunderstanding". You had your chance, months ago, to prove that that was something I was prone to and you were not able to.

Did you write message 27 or didn't you?

Yours is missing the question you asked and I was responding to.

No, it is not. The material you quoted and the material I quoted are identical except for a small amount of introductory material. What you stated was that "not letting shallow material concerns, like wealth, power, prestige, or influence, supersede more important spiritual concerns" was an "appropriate way to construe" the passage.

Your words. We can do this all day but the discussion is at a standstill as long as you attempt to be deceitful about what you did and did not say. Nothing has been "misconstrued" simply because you don't like the consequences of what you've already agreed to. You're free to change your mind at any time! You need merely state that you are doing so.

I don't understand why you have such a major issue, apparently, with the notion of changing one's mind. I'm not going to think less of you for doing it. I am going to think much less of you if you continue to play these deceitful games.

My answer to your question was that it is an appropriate way to construe it.

Oh, come on. You must think I'm truly a moron if you expect me to believe that you thought I was asking you if you agreed with your own position.

Don't you think I'd assume that you did? Why on Earth would I ask you if you agreed with yourself?

It beggars belief to for you to suggest that you innocently thought I was asking you if you agreed with yourself, and that the referent of "it" in "I think it is an appropriate way to construe it" is your own position, not the modern construction that I presented immediately before your assenting statement.

Obviously that's what you were referring to when you said "it" - what I was saying. If there was a genuine misunderstanding or miscommunication, you would have corrected it in Message 29 when it was obvious I was understanding you to say that you agreed with the modern construction of "false god." But you did not; it was only when I "sprung the trap" in Message 30 and Message 39, showing you how premises you had already agreed to contradicted your position, that this fabricated story about what you "originally meant to say" emerged.

It's a deceit, and it's blocking discussion. We can continue to discuss from a new position where you change your mind about what's an appropriate way to construe "worshiping false gods", but the discussion absolutely will not proceed from a basis in a fiction where every time you're caught on the horns of a contradiction, everybody else has simply failed to fully understand your genius. It's deeply insulting, deceitful, and contrary to forum guidelines that prohibit "any form of misrepresentation."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by purpledawn, posted 05-09-2011 7:25 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 43 of 150 (615034)
05-09-2011 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Bailey
05-09-2011 6:30 PM


Re: Mammon
Purpledawn's original reply (Message 27) appears to state that she felt her interpretation was appropriate, rather than being what you referred to as 'a pretty narrow way to construe it these days' (Message 26).

Without reference to message 40, could you explain why you believe that to be the case?

Why would she tell me that she felt her own interpretation was accurate? I didn't ask her about whether she thought she agreed with herself, I asked her what she thought about the modern interpretation of "worshiping false gods" to mean "letting material concerns supersede spiritual ones." Do you agree that she answered with "I think it is an appropriate way to construe it"? And by pronoun rules isn't it most reasonable to interpret the antecedent of "it" to be the most recent plausible antecedent that fits the sentence?

And if I misunderstood her, then why did she agree with me again in message 29?

You asked 'But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?'.

That question was clearly rhetorical and not what I was asking, obviously. If purpledawn had been replying to a rhetorical question she would have said so in a subsequent message since it was immediately obvious what I was understanding her to say.

Her answer was basically 'no'.

But her answer was not "no", it was "yes." "I think it is an appropriate way to construe it" is a statement of assent, not denial.

That's what I'm seeing.

Are you seeing that because that's what purpledawn said she meant, now that she's been caught up in a contradiction? Can you agree with me, at least, that there's another possible motive in her part than correcting a misunderstanding nearly a week after it was apparently made?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Bailey, posted 05-09-2011 6:30 PM Bailey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Bailey, posted 05-09-2011 10:45 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 45 of 150 (615070)
05-09-2011 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Bailey
05-09-2011 10:45 PM


Re: Mammon
I did explain w/o reference to message Message 40.

What I'm hoping to get from you is an explanation of why it seems reasonable for you to come to the conclusion that purpledawn was "misunderstood" that doesn't rely to any degree on purpledawn claiming that she was misunderstood. It's my contention that she's simply attempting to walk back on a position she didn't like the consequences of, without appearing to do so, under this cover of "oh, well, you just didn't understand what I meant."

So, no, you didn't really explain anything at all.

She seems to have been under the impression you were presenting a contrasting view to hers and she defended her own.

But she didn't defend her own. Under your interpretation, she just re-affirmed that she thought her own position was reasonable.

Which isn't what I asked her to do. So how is it a reasonable interpretation to assume that purpledawn's statements to me are a series of complete non-sequiturs?

This appears to be where the miscommunication resides - where did you ask her this?

In the material that has been consistently quoted:

quote:
But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days? There's not a lot of competition for Christianity anymore, at least not among polytheistic religions. That's the reason that the passage in Jeremiah is interpreted, in modern theology, to refer to not letting shallow material concerns, like wealth, power, prestige, or influence, supersede more important spiritual concerns.

This is what she quoted and responded to. If it was her intent to respond to only the first sentence, why quote the subsequent material? It's understood that quotes should be used for the material you're responding to. If she had intended to respond only to the rhetorical point that the interpretation was narrow, that's the part she would have quoted. Quoting the rest proves that she was affirming the modern interpretation I refer to subsequently in the paragraph, not to the clearly rhetorical question at the start of it. Obviously.

but rather that you were asking her personal thoughts on whether her view was 'pretty narrow' when compared to the doctrinal extrapolations.

But I wasn't asking whether she thought something was "narrow" or not. That was a rhetorical question because the obvious and sole answer is "yes". At no point did I actually - actually - ask her if she genuinely thought that such an interpretation was "narrow".

And regardless, if that's the impression that she got then why isn't that the question she actually answered? Why didn't she say "no, I don't think it's narrow"? If she was answering a question about narrowness, why does the word "narrow" not appear in her response? If she's talking about the ancient Yirmiyahu interpretation and not the more modern one, why didn't she say so at any point in the previous several days?

Indeed, that is how I came to my conclusion.

No, it's not. Starting with her "it" and working backwards, the most reasonable antecedent is the modern interpretation. That's what she was referring to when she said "it" was "an appropriate way to construe it."

I think it safe to say that she did not find the question rhetorical simply by identifying the fact she provided an answer.

Circular reasoning, since you're working from the assumption that she answered a rhetorical question. If you start from the assumption that she was, in fact, responding to the material she specifically chose to quote then it's obvious that "it" was meant to be the modern interpretation, to which she assented as an "appropriate" interpretation of the scripture.

How exactly would the latter assertion she provided lend any support to your contention?

How does it lend any to yours? It's a logical fallacy - denying the antecedent. I ignored it because it makes no sense as a reply.

Yet, I am making a concerted effort to understand the exchange between you both and maintain impartiality.

Then again, how do you explain that we seemed to be in perfect accord in messages 26-30, and it's only when she's suddenly caught up on the horns of a contradiction that these claims of "miscommunication" appear?

Isn't that pattern more consistent with a false claim of "miscommunication" meant to conceal a retreat, rather than a genuine miscommunication between two people that somehow went completely undetected for days?

purpledawn: I think a plain text rendering of Yirmiyahu is an appropriate way to construe it.

Except that she never at any time referred to a "plain text rendering of Yirmiyahu." The only conceivable referent, and the exact referent she chose to quote at the time she wrote the message is "not letting shallow material concerns, like wealth, power, prestige, or influence, supersede more important spiritual concerns."

My words, quoted directly by her immediately preceeding a statement she wrote saying "I think it is an appropriate way to construe it." That proves that my interpretation of her words is correct. She could not have been referring to the "ancient interpretation"; if she had been that's the only part of my statement she would have quoted.

This is a dodge. I think if you look carefully, and ignore what she's saying now about "misinterpretations" - a claim she's made previously, based on nothing but a personal animus - you'll see that I'm correct. I mean for God's sake, I was an English major for years, and a biochemistry major now. Every day I'm sussing the meaning out of highly technical scientific documents. I think I know something about reading plain statements in conversational English.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Bailey, posted 05-09-2011 10:45 PM Bailey has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 54 of 150 (615265)
05-11-2011 8:21 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by purpledawn
05-10-2011 3:06 AM


Re: Misunderstanding
You understood me correctly.

Disproven by the fact that you quoted more than just

quote:
But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?

Why would you answer a rhetorical question? Moreover, why would you ever think that it would be reasonable for someone to think you were answering a rhetorical question, instead of responding to the material immediately adjacent to your remarks?

I understood you correctly, as I've proved. It continues to be obvious that you're engaged in a form of misrepresentation that violates the forum guidelines.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by purpledawn, posted 05-10-2011 3:06 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 55 of 150 (615267)
05-11-2011 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by purpledawn
05-11-2011 6:22 PM


Re: Worship or Worship
By this standard, chocolate could be a false god if one seeks comfort from chocolate instead of seeking comfort from god.

Chocolate would certainly be a false god for people who seek comfort from it, instead of from the Christian God.

I don't know why you think this example is a refutation. I have absolutely no problem with the notion of chocolate as a false god. Why do you?

Do you think there's not a cult of chocolate? Are you aware that there's a god of chocolate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by purpledawn, posted 05-11-2011 6:22 PM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 357 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 75 of 150 (615509)
05-13-2011 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Admin
05-12-2011 2:41 PM


Re: Clarification Requested
I understood Crash to be arguing that the worship of money made money into a divine entity like any other god, such as Jehovah, Allah, Thor or Zeus.

And I understood PD to be arguing that the worship of money was metaphorical and not an indication that anyone actually assigned any divinity to money.

No, this is exactly opposite. I argue that people don't actually mean the worship of Mammon when they say "worship Mammon", they mean "putting material concerns and money ahead of spiritual ones", that the prohibition against "false gods" is not properly interpreted only as referring to competing religions, but to anything that competes with spiritual growth. The invention of the "deity" Mammon is a metaphor for the behavior prohibited by the scripture referred to as it specifically pertains to money, and that the result of all this is that an obsession with money is "worshiping a false god" - Mammon, in this case - precisely as described by the passage in question.

Nobody assigns divinity to money, but they do place it ahead of more enduring spiritual concerns. This is "worshiping a false god" under the terms of the scriptures in question. Mammon is a false god, invented specifically to be false - nobody has ever been under the impression that a god called "Mammon" actually existed, or was the subject of any actual worship. Since everybody knows there's no such thing as "Mammon", the phrase "worship Mammon" exists so that placing money ahead of spiritual concerns can be prohibited under the terms of the scriptural clause against worshiping false gods. If "worshiping Mammon" means putting money ahead of spiritual concerns, it perforce must be prohibited, because Mammon is false, and therefore worshiping Mammon means worshiping a false God.

Everybody knows this, so I don't see what the deal is. PD agreed with pretty much all of this right up to the point where it was going to contradict her whole thread and then this "misrepresentation" story started. At least, that's how I see it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Admin, posted 05-12-2011 2:41 PM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by Admin, posted 05-14-2011 6:17 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
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