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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Philosophy Discussions at I.C.C. and Some Observations of Sin


Scripture: Old Testament - Malachi 3:6-4:6

New Testament - Matthew 4:12-25

Psalms: Morning - 116

Evening - 26; 130


Festival: Sts. Cosmos and Damian - martyrs


Today is philosophy day for me. I have Comparative Religions from 11am to 1pm, at 2:30-4pm I have a philosophy discussion group I get extra-credit for attending, and from 6-9pm I'm at Introduction to Philosophy.

Not to talk bad about my comparative religions professor...but there are some things about Christianity he needs to brush up on. Aside from being the butt of innumerable jokes he constantly compares it to the more "inclusive" eastern religions, lauding their ultimate ability to adapt to any new religion that comes in. He even quoted a Hindu philosopher who said that we are all climbing the mountains, and if you run around the base telling others not to climb that path, you aren't climbing your path. This rancor towards Christian ethics shined through when he explained the concept that women are treated as property, and the reason virginity is so prized (which he pointed out conservatives laud) is that it made the girl more valuable for selling. He then went on to say something like, "if you want to build your sexual mores on that, be my guest." Keep this openness about sex and eastern religions in mind, because it comes full circle later on.

For starters, here are some problems with his thesis. Women are seen as even worse in Hinduism (the religion we talked about today). In fact, if you're a woman, you'll be reincarnated again...you did something bad in your previous life that was not in line with your Dharma. Looking at the Bible, we see Jacob getting irate at Laban for giving him Leah. This occurred not because Jacob looked at Rachel as property but he wanted her for his wife because he LOVED her. Women have been treated like second class citizens the world over, and to pin the blame on one religion when a contrary scenario is played out in that religions scripture is dishonest. Even Christianity, which he will paint as patriarchal I'm sure, honors the Theotokos above the rest of mankind. She is the only being to bear God in the flesh and she is the mother of Christians. Yeah, we hate women in Christianity. Even comparing salvation in Christianity shows we are more favorable to women, as women in Christianity can be saved while in Hinduism they must be reborn.

His other problems with Christianity are that it is arrogant to him that we will live forever in Heaven as individuals with our memories, kicking back as the universe experiences heat death. Well that's just ignorance of basic Christian teachings. Christ's return is not just a "good idea," it is fundamental to the resurrection of the dead! We will be not only with Christ, but with all the saints in perfect communion with the Triune God! Of course, we haven't gotten to Christianity yet, but I can already see this as an opportunity to see how well secular scholars really understand Christianity.

Moving from Comparative Religions, I attended a philosophical club debate which had the same guy. The topic of debate was, "is healthcare a right?" Now, very few people said, "yes." What's interesting is that many of the people who actually worked as blue collar workers argued philosophically against having it. The same professor said that the Declaration of Independence was a contract with the nation and the people that they are given those rights. I corrected him in that the Declaration of Independence hinges upon there being a Creator, and that it is He and not the state that gives rights. Now, has anyone here ever heard of the "genetic fallacy" or some such where the origin of a document does not necessarily carry through to its interpretation? That's just ludicrous! That means I can interpret anything I want to any way I want to. Now "Night" by Elie Wiesel is about Elie's latent homosexual tendencies in dealing with his fear of clowns. You see, the Nazi soldiers were the clowns, and his fear of them foreshadowed his latent homosexual tendencies. Of course it's just stupid to think that, but of course, the professor has a different worldview than I do. Can I judge that worldview? He would say, "no," most likely because that would make one of us right and hence one of us is being exclusive, not to an idea, but to a worldview, which postmodernism says is off-limits.

Enter Introduction to Philosophy. First of all, while Irwin is an almost strict Roman Catholic in the vein of St. Thomas Aquinnas, he at least has a good head on his shoulders when it comes to common sense. We both also happen to share the "premodern" view that all western religions have. He showed a video about prostitution in Thailand. The prostitution made such big money that people in poverty stricken villages sold their children into sexual slavery in order to eat. As a result, not only are children forced into horrible and monstrous situations, HIV is rampant and people die everyday from the disease. The point of the video is that your worldview colors your morality. In eastern relgions, especially Dharmatic regligions like Buddhism (an offshoot developmentally from Hinduism), what happens to you in this life is a result of your failure to follow Dharma in your past life. So they have bad Karma and that's why they're suffering. Wow, I'm glad those inclusivist religions have all the answers that prudish Christianity with its high sexual values and equality of women in God's eyes doesn't!

In Irwin's class, he brought up that in the western premodern philosophical mind, what couldn't be put into practical use as philosophy was discarded as worthless. As Christians, we fit this mindset to a degree. Sadly, sin not only causes such problems in Thailand (as in Africa and other places), but the fact that here in America people buy into the notion that we cannot judge other cultures simply because that is their right to behave that way. I don't recall the twelve year old girls getting the option or right to behave in that way. May God open the eyes of the blind and save their souls.

"Almighty God, You have called Your Church to witness that in Christ You have reconciled us to Yourself. Grant that by your Holy Spirit we may proclaim the good news of Your salvation so that all who hear it may receive the gift of salvation; throgh Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."-Intercession for the Mission of the Church, LSB pg. 305

5 Comments:

Blogger Cheryl said...

Consider yourself tagged!

4:52 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Tagged? In what way am I tagged?

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Yak and Yeti said...

You might enjoy this "reinterpretation" of Lord of the Rings if you haven't read it already, Chris.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2003/04/22fellowship.html

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Yak and Yeti said...

Hmm... how about this?

10:01 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Heh, I haven't seen that. Is this the same guy that did a play of "Martin Luther" from an extremely liberal slant?

9:16 PM  

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