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Poll
Is it?
Yes. 37%
No. 25%
I hate God. 0%
If Jebus finds me, I'm going to kick him in the nuts!!! 37%

Votes: 8

 is Christianity theistically monistic?

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Mar 30, 2002
 Comments:
This certainly seems to be a controversial subject. On the one hand, the Catholic Encyclopedia says so. On the other hand, a new Adequacy reader seems to think that it is not.
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Having no more arguments, I invite Adequacy readers to further my education.

       
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monastic (none / 0) (#1)
by SpaceGhoti on Sat Mar 30th, 2002 at 09:01:48 PM PST
The Bible says a lot about how Man and Woman are supposed to relate to each other, but very little on how the clergy is supposed to handle the matter. Perhaps the best passage is in 1 Corinthians 7, verses 8 and 9. It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn. This suggests that marriage is not forbidden, but it's recommended that the clergy refrain from marital relations if they can help it.


A troll's true colors.

Well, duh! (none / 0) (#2)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Sat Mar 30th, 2002 at 10:11:45 PM PST
Anyone who's had the slightest contact with the religious, philosophical and psychological works of the last millenium would have realized that sexual intercourse of any kind is a perversion. Even if we disregard the instruction we receive from the bible and from secular philosophers, we still see from the social behaviour of all humans and all cultures that sex is regarded as inherently unnatural and intrinsically immoral. Why do you think all societies insist that it take place in secret, and find revelation of their sexual behaviour incredibly embarrassing? We all know, whether we choose to admit it or not, that sex is wrong.

The current trend towards regarding sex as a normal, natural behaviour stems from the desire of liberalists to rebel against their fathers. In doing so, they subconsciously choose to reject and oppose even the most fundamental moral truths.

What Corinthians was saying is true not only for priests, but for all people. Sex is at best a necessary evil. At worst it is a sickness upon the soul. People who desire sex for its own sake inevitably become corrupt in all facets of their existence, as a result of their defiance of nature.


That's remarkable (none / 0) (#3)
by SpaceGhoti on Sat Mar 30th, 2002 at 10:56:47 PM PST
In other words, the religious, philosophical and psychological works of the last millenium disagree with all modern medical and psychological wisdom that says sex is a healthy thing. Sex abuse is unhealthy, but sex itself is healthy and even essential for healthy living.

But don't take my word for it. Please, feel free to refrain from sexual conduct yourself. We certainly wouldn't want you to breed.


A troll's true colors.

Are you a doctor? (none / 0) (#4)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Sat Mar 30th, 2002 at 11:06:37 PM PST
No, I don't think so. I don't think you have the necessary qualifications to lecture me on what the great works of theology, philosophy and psychology have to say about sex. Perhaps you should keep your amateur opinions to yourself.

As for sex being necessary for healthy living, you must be joking. Jesus Christ survived his entire life without it. Surely you don't think the Messiah was unhealthy.


What the heck, I'll bite. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
by jvance on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 02:00:30 AM PST
I take it then that you are a philosopher, theologian, and psychologist? I'm sure you'd be willing to provide us with your credentials.

I myself am an Anthropologist (credentials available upon receipt of $1000 processing fee.) It should suffice for you that I state from my position of authority that your opinions, sir, on the nature of sex are amateurish, ill-informed, and best kept to yourself.

Regards,

J. Vance
--
Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

 
Is this a joke? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
by tkatchev on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 02:03:55 AM PST
Sir, you used the words "modern" and "wisdom" in one phrase. Is this a troll?


--
Peace and much love...




 
Errorneous claim. (none / 0) (#6)
by The Mad Scientist on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 12:33:36 AM PST
Even if we disregard the instruction we receive from the bible and from secular philosophers, we still see from the social behaviour of all humans and all cultures that sex is regarded as inherently unnatural and intrinsically immoral.

By far not all; just open your eyes, and look a bit beyond the modern European cultural boundaries. You will see ie. Celts, or Polynesian tribes, and many many more ones which I can't find links for because I am sleepy and have to be up in the afternoon. :(

Why do you think all societies insist that it take place in secret, and find revelation of their sexual behaviour incredibly embarrassing?

Not all. They often have other things to feel embarrassed of though, sometimes even sillier than sex (ie, some indigenous tribes consider it Bad Thing to be seen eating, so they eat strictly in privacy). Many such examples are described in Frazer: Golden Bough, and other sources.


So, (none / 0) (#8)
by tkatchev on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 02:01:28 AM PST
Are you an expert in ancient pagan beliefs? Do you have an anthropology degree?

I suspect somebody is blowing hot air here; in spite of your careless and intellectually bankrupt commentary, the fact is that all cultures place significant taboos and stigmas on sex. Pagan cultures even more so; the amount of sexual tension in ancient pagan texts rivals even that of Freud.

P.S. Sir, you get a big, big minus from me for quoting Frazer.


--
Peace and much love...




Re: (none / 0) (#21)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon Apr 1st, 2002 at 03:56:17 PM PST
Are you an expert in ancient pagan beliefs? Do you have an anthropology degree?

No, no. However, I have certain suspicion T. Reginald Gibson to whom I responded isn't expert as well. You are?

I suspect somebody is blowing hot air here; in spite of your careless and intellectually bankrupt commentary, the fact is that all cultures place significant taboos and stigmas on sex. Pagan cultures even more so; the amount of sexual tension in ancient pagan texts rivals even that of Freud.

At this moment I don't have enough resources to refute your statement. However, I have strong conviction that there is at least one culture that doesn't. I am not really sure; prove me wrong.

P.S. Sir, you get a big, big minus from me for quoting Frazer.

Sorry, it was the only thing I was able to pull from memory at the moment.


 
Oh please (none / 0) (#14)
by DG on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 09:06:55 AM PST
To say sex is a perversion is the most idiotic thing in the world, sex for sex sake is not the way to go about it, but if you are married then it is perfectly normal, who the hell did you ask or read to get the idea that sex is evil? It's a function of the human body, ie procration.. i can understand sex out of wedlock is not good but come on.. the bible says sex is a way to bring a married couple closer togather.. to be as one. this must be a troll, pretty sad.. doesn't adequacy have a polacy against trolling?
2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Get this: sex != procreation. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by tkatchev on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 10:07:02 AM PST
Just like sex isn't marital relations.

There is a very specific and narrow concept tied to the word "sex" -- sex is not simply procreation or marital relations.

In our society, "sex" means the type of relations where intimate physical contact is used for personal gratification. (Whether for purely physical pleasure, psychological compensation or simply as a power trip.)

If you're doing it just to have children, it isn't sex.

(That is why, by the way, liberalists always make it such a point to point out that sex shouldn't be for procreation. They understand the difference very clearly, even if only subcosciously.)


--
Peace and much love...




 
maybe you answered the wrong article. (none / 0) (#5)
by nathan on Sat Mar 30th, 2002 at 11:38:25 PM PST
Mine is about monism, not monasticism, and certainly not about whether you think celibacy is a good idea, SpaceGhoti.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Linux, Lunix, whatever [nt] (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 02:02:30 AM PST



I think you mean "Lenix". (-) (5.00 / 2) (#12)
by tkatchev on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 04:14:08 AM PST
The secret KGB operating system.


--
Peace and much love...




 
Oh, heh. (none / 0) (#11)
by SpaceGhoti on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 03:35:35 AM PST
*Ahem* Nevermind, then. ;-)

Yes, I misunderstood. I was wrong, and I admit it.


A troll's true colors.

 
Of course Nathan is Right (none / 0) (#13)
by gzt on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 06:55:50 AM PST
It's just that a certain Adequacy reader has no bloody clue what he's talking about. Instead of actually reading about what, in the specific religious context we're talking about, monism means and reading something about the old old debate in Christianity about that Manichean junk, he looks at a dictionary and misapplies irrelevant definitions.

Nathan, however, is an upstanding young man who actually looked at a source which is relevant (The Catholic Encyclopedia).

This little controversy underscores the need to define terms in the beginning of a debate and to actually know something about what you're debating so you can actually have a relevant definition.

I like olives.

Cheers,
Geoff


The Catholic Encyclopedia and Monism (none / 0) (#16)
by S R on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 03:59:23 PM PST
"Nathan, however, is an upstanding young man who actually looked at a source which is relevant (The Catholic Encyclopedia). "

Just to clear some things up here. I use the Catholic Encyclopedia as a source for my work quite frequently. I did read the article during my discussion with Nathan.

If we look in the Catholic Encyclopedia under Monism (particularly under the subheading of Theology), we find the following statements.

"If the term Monism is employed in place of Monotheism, it may, of course, mean Theism, which is a monotheistic doctrine, or it may mean Pantheism, which is opposed to theism. In this sense of the term, as a synonym for Pantheism, Monism maintains that there is no real distinction between God and the universe. Either God is indwelling in the universe as a part of it, not distinct from it (pantheistic Immanentism), or the universe does not exist at all as a reality (Acosmism), but only as a manifestation or phenomenon of God. "

We immediately find it compared to monotheism (which I pointed out that Christianity is) and pantheism (which I do not feel Christianity is). The following examples of pantheistic Immanentism and Acosmism do not properly describe the theology and philosophy of Christianity. But we will continue.

"These views are vigorously combated by Theism, not only on considerations of logic and philosophy, but also on considerations of human life and conduct. For the ethical implications of pantheism are as detrimental to it as its shortcomings from the point of view of consistency and reasonableness. Theism does not deny that God is indwelling in the universe; but it does deny that He is comprised in the universe. Theism does not deny that the universe is a manifestation of God; but it does deny that the universe has no reality of its own. "

Here we find the Catholic Encyclopedia stating that Theism and Monism are in opposition. But we will continue, because it gets really good.

"Theism is, therefore, dualistic: it holds that God is a reality distinct from the universe and independent of it, and that the universe is a reality distinct from God, though not independent of Him. From another point of view, theism is monistic; it maintains that there is but One Supreme Reality and that all other reality is derived from Him. Monism is not then an adequate equivalent of the term Theism. "

The first comment is "Theism is, therefore, dualistic". Interesting that this has been my stance all along and that it is the first determination. But then it goes on to say "theism is monistic" by adhering to the basis that the only Reality is God. Now, I would agree with this on my own, but the Bible does not support this stance by stating that those who are not saved go to Hell which is defined as "without God". Therefore, we have direct opposition to that statement from the Bible. And finally "Monism is not an adequate equivalent of the term Theism".



So you did read the article (none / 0) (#17)
by gzt on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 04:26:11 PM PST
Naw, Nathan's still right, just because.

I think what trips most people is that, in some circles, people always think of the way it is used in "Section VI: In Ethics" (that whole Manichean thing).

And, in the context of the original debate (if I recall correctly), this was the way it was being used. Sure, he made a slight slip in titling this thread, but that's forgivable because of the Resurrection of Christ.

So while your citations are almost correct, in the context of the debate, the correct definition was discussed in Section VI of the article, despite the title of the thread.

This seems right, I think. I'm still recovering from jetlag, so I can't quite tell. Why does Paris have to be so far away?

Cheers,
GZ


Ethics? (none / 0) (#19)
by S R on Mon Apr 1st, 2002 at 03:26:42 PM PST
The subject of this thread is: "is Christianity theistically monistic?"

Where is ethics in the subject?

I might have accepted that he was arguing sections IV, V, or VII, but not VI: Ethics. Ethics was never brought up anywhere in his posts.

If he is still correct, then why does his source disagree with him?


 
Liar (none / 0) (#18)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 07:54:12 PM PST
Interesting that this has been my stance all along and that it is the first determination.

No, it hasn't.

Did you think we'd forget what you said before? Or that your comments had vanished? The definition of dualism you're ranting about now has nothing to do with the ranting you were doing earlier. See, before you were claiming that Christianity was dualistic because the devil opposes God, and here you're claiming this is somehow supported by the Christian view of a seperate, hidden reality in which God is found. Would you care to explain how, since everyone else is having trouble making the link between these two mutually irrelevant ideas.

Looks to me like you got noticed at some point in time for your ability to argue and debate and now you think you have some type of skill in it. Either that or someone made the comment of how knowledgeable you seemed because of your generalizations, and now you use generalizations to continue to support your ego.

Ha Ha Ha.


Are you failing to keep up? (none / 0) (#20)
by S R on Mon Apr 1st, 2002 at 03:45:57 PM PST
Christianity as dualistic was my stance since he mentioned it being monistic. Your attempt to argue my choice of examples does not signify any failure to understand the concept on my part. I chose those as my examples, because they are the easiest to recognize and relate to. NOT because I had nothing else to go on.

Oh and by the way, given my examples of Heaven and Hell, flesh and spirit, Salvation and Damnation (sin), it would be easy to say that I have given enough support for my argument in a significant variation -- as opposed to relying on one source that does not support my claim.

Oh, and to clarify what you failed to grasp. Because the Devil and God are in opposition, there must be, by deduction, two forces. In other words dualism. Monism states that there is only one force and that all things can be reduced to this force (principle, concept, whatever). So, if we were to go with Monism then the Devil is in fact NOT in opposition with the Lord, but is in fact the Lord acting upon His own Will. Also, there would be no difference between Sin and Salvation, Heaven and Hell, flesh and spirit, and so on. Because, according to Monism, they are all reduced to the same principle (ie Sin is Salvation, Spirit is Flesh, and vice versa and so on). Now, I doubt very seriously that most Christians would agree with these statements. Although, if you want to get down to the nuts and bolts they can be justified. It might be noted that humans were given Free Will by the Lord, and as such are given the chance to make choices (whether correct or incorrect). This also denotes the neccessity of two things. You cannot make a choice if there is but one, you can only accept what already is.

They are not irrelevant, because they all serve to illustrate the concepts that drive Christianity. Christianity is a religion based upon the whole of its ideology, dogma, and philosophy. It is not a religion capable of being defined by being broken down into simplistic models. This is an error Pagans and Wiccans make when discussing Christianity. It is also an error Christians make when discussing Pagans and Wiccans. These religions are living traditions and the removal of any aspect of the tradition serves only to defeat the tradition and, in my opinion, somehow lessen it.


I have no qualms (none / 0) (#22)
by nathan on Mon Apr 1st, 2002 at 04:20:04 PM PST
About using a block quote to finish this. All emphasis mine, of course.
[T]he term dualism is employed in opposition to monism, to signify the ordinary view that the existing universe contains two radically distinct kinds of being or substance -- matter and spirit, body and mind. This is the most frequent use of the name in modern philosophy, where it is commonly contrasted with monism. But it should not be forgotten that dualism in this sense is quite reconcilable with a monistic origin of all things. The theistic doctrine of creation gives a monistic account of the universe in this sense.
Let's have another one.
Christian philosophy, expounded with minor differences by theologians and philosophers from St. Augustine downwards, holds generally that physical evil is the result of the necessary limitations of finite created beings, and that moral evil, which alone is evil in the true sense, is a consequence of the creation of beings possessed of free wills and is tolerated by God. Both physical and moral evil are to be conceived as some form of privation or defect of being, not as positive entity. Their existence is thus not irreconcilable with the [Christian] doctrine of theistic monism.
You probably shouldn't bother criticizing these definitions unless you are a Catholic theologian. After all, it's not possible to have a true understanding of Christian doctrine unless you are immersed in it.

I eagerly await your refutation.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Well Done (none / 0) (#23)
by gzt on Mon Apr 1st, 2002 at 04:32:03 PM PST
Well done, I wish I were as cool as you. You were able to find a block quote that stated exactly what I had always wished I knew. Hail the conquering hero and all that jazz.


I agree (none / 0) (#25)
by S R on Mon Apr 1st, 2002 at 05:14:25 PM PST
I too wish you were as cool as Nathan. On the other hand, I must commend him for his ingenuity. He has done an excellent job in this debate.


 
Not Bad... (none / 0) (#24)
by S R on Mon Apr 1st, 2002 at 05:08:50 PM PST
I said I might have agreed that you were arguing Cosmology. I looked up dualism in the Catholic Encyclopedia as well. I was hoping you would use it sooner or later. I find it interesting that you have resorted to Cosmology now instead of strictly Theology. I would agree that the Cosmology of Christianity is Monistic.

"Their existence is thus not irreconcilable with the [Christian] doctrine of theistic monism." -- according to Michael Maher.

"Theism is, therefore, dualistic" and "Monism is not then an adequate equivalent of the term Theism" -- according to William Turner.

Now I wonder what their credentials are in order to find one more credible than the other. If anyone knows of them, please feel free to let us know.

"You probably shouldn't bother criticizing these definitions unless you are a Catholic theologian. After all, it's not possible to have a true understanding of Christian doctrine unless you are immersed in it."

I like that, sounds very familiar. Now, do either of these authors have the qualifications to be considered sound sources?

A worthy debator knows both sides of the argument before entering into it. I will finish with this quote from the same article you used:

"Christianity rejected all forms of a dual origin of the world which erected matter, or evil, or any other principle into a second eternal being coexistent with God, and it taught the monistic origin of the universe from one, infinite, self-existing spiritual Being who freely created all things. The unfamiliar conception of free creation, however, met with considerable opposition in the schools of philosophy and was abandoned by several of the earlier heresies. "

Now we see this argument of dualism vs. monism has gone on for some time. I bet further research would show the end of the argument in Lucifer and the Fall.

I might go on to say that according to Christianity: the cosmology is monistic and the theology is dualistic.



 

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