quote:Secularism is a code of duty pertaining to this life, founded on considerations purely human, and intended mainly for those who find theology indefinite or inadequate, unreliable or unbelievable. Its essential principles are three: (1) The improvement of this life by material means. (2) That science is the available Providence of man. (3) That it is good to do good. Whether there be other good or not, the good of the present life is good, and it is good to seek that good
While secularism has evolved a great deal since 1986 lol, many secular folks who I speak to still retain these views for the most part. The first two of Holyoake's points notwithstanding, I find the third to be pretty optimistic and a bit dishonest. My questions for Holyoake would be
I have to confess that I don’t see Holyoake’s point as expressing any optimism, and it certainly doesn’t seem dishonest.
The response on the other hand seems to depart considerably from the quoted text.
quote:- Do humans naturally only yearn for material-based improvement? What objective source told you this?
That’s not what he said at all.
quote:- Since nobody is actually objective, how do we determine what is good to pursue or even what "good" means?
I get the first hint of nihilism here. That’s a problem for any moral view - or at least one that takes morality seriously. But given the strong level of intersubjectivity it’s certainly not impossible for something to be worked out, at least as an acceptable approximation.
quote:- From which only naturalistic principles do we discern that it is good to do good?
Morality is a part of human life, that can’t be ignored. And yet this question and the following one both seem to.
quote:- Aren't you simply borrowing from a theistic moral framework and detaching theism from it?
I don’t see any valid reason to think that at all. I think it’s fairer to say that at best theism borrows from a humanistic framework and tacks theism onto it. Very loosely at that. Theism has no special claim to own morality.
quote:- Are things in the world unjust? How do you know?
Obviously so, and anyone with an understanding of the concept of justice can see so. This really shouldn’t be a question.
quote:- If so, why ought we pursue justice when naturalism suggests it is beneficial (at the least, normal for the species to weed out weak members?
And there’s the naturalistic fallacy. And a mistaken one at that. No it’s not entirely normal to weed out the “weak” (and justice is far more than simply opposition to that). And if it were beneficial in some sense would that be sufficient reason to support it? Aren’t there a LOT more questions than that?
quote:He had some unique perspectives on scripture that I had rarely heard elsewhere. One example is the idea that "the God" lied and the snake(serpent) told the truth. No apologist nor teacher had ever taught me that before, and to this day I am uncomfortable with it.
As the story is written the snake told the truth. That cannot be honestly disputed (it can be dishonestly disputed - as you’ve demonstrated). Whether or not God lied (rather than - for instance - changed his mind) relies more on interpretation and ideas about the nature, history and purpose of the story.
But I think it’s telling that you are far more comfortable with misrepresenting the Bible to make it fit with your beliefs than you are with accepting that it says something you don’t like.
quote:Ringo takes it a step further. He basically believes that the message is more important than the messenger, even if the messenger was (and is) Jesus Christ.
That can be read as saying that Jesus Christ is incapable of carrying a message worth hearing - and that does seem to sum up your actual position. The roots of the disagreement are your insistence that the message is not important. It looks to me like an excuse for idolatry - it’s important to believe that God wrote the Bible because the men you worship say so - it’s not important to believe that Bible because that’s only what God says (far less important).
quote:He uses only what is written to speak on behalf of Jesus, however
Which would be the way that you get Jesus’ message. You’re not going to find what Jesus said anywhere else. (Personally I doubt that you can get a reliable idea of what Jesus actually said even then - but Christians disagree, and it’s not as if you have any better sources).
quote:In my belief, the Bible is best represented at conveying what GOD (The One above all others...Jesus Father...the Creator of all seen and unseen) means for us to know rather than us taking the book as a human creation and simply breaking down what humans of a particular period believed.
That would mean accepting the importance of the message. Which you refuse to do. Even worse you can’t hope to understand the Bible by ripping the various books out of their historical context. If they were messages from God they were messages to the people of the time they were written.
But worse for you, the Bible presents itself as a collection of human creations. And surely the cosmology of Genesis 1 reflects what the people of the time believed, not the actual cosmos. The sky is not a solid dome, there is no water above it, the stars are distant suns - many larger and grander than ours.
quote:If GOD does not speak through this book, it is as mundane and transitory as any philosophical book from any religion at any time in history. It no longer speaks as authoritative.
And in your view it isn’t authoritative. You don’t accept that the serpent told the truth even though the story clearly says so.
quote:Not at al. My point is that Jesus (Being eternally alive) speaks to us today....we don't simply follow the words of humans who lived two thousand years ago. We may as well write our own book if that were the case. The key belief supporting this position is Rhema Word. If Logos...The written word from 2000 years ago...is the only record of what Jesus said, and if Jesus is believed to be just another human who lived and died...the 2000-year-old words are little more than philosophy and good human advice.
There are two quite distinct issues here and one - the nature of Jesus - is not really part of this discussion. So, let us assume for the sake of argument that Jesus was God and that the Bible accurately reports his words. In that case using your Rhema theology to set aside his words as recorded in the Gospels is a questionable proposition. If the words you attribute to Jesus are in conflict with his message in the Bible and convenient to you (as is the case) there is a clear possibility that they come from you and not from Jesus at all.