Total Posts:16|Showing Posts:1-16
Jump to topic:

Apologetics Anyone?

RonPrice
Posts: 32
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2013 5:13:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Since there are so many questions raised and issues discussed concerning people"s basic assumptions about life, about their philosophy, about their religious beliefs, indeed, about their very approach to reality and the way their society goes about organizing things, it seemed like a useful exercise, useful at least to me and hopefully to some others at this site, to say a few things about: My Position and Beliefs: My Religion. I do this at this site and dozens of other sites on the internet and I use this post as an opening note. I hope to solicit responses from others and engage in a useful dialogue. Some readers will find this post too long. For such readers I advise they simply not bother reading this post. The following paragraphs set some of the context for that dialogue which I hope follows from this opening post.

Religion, in the sense that I am using it here, is the set of values, beliefs and attitudes each of us has as we go about our daily life at a particular moment in time, in this case, at the time of my writing of this post on the internet and in the case of the person reading this post, at the time of the response of that reader to what he has just read in my writing. Religion is also the set of assumptions one brings to their life. One of the essential features of assumptions is that they cannot be proved. They are just givens at the centre of one"s meaning system. My apologetics, then, is strengthened by the common witness and testimony of my fellow human beings about the role of values, beliefs and attitudes in our lives and in relation to the world in which we live.

The religion I belong to---the set of values, beliefs and attitudes that represent my life as a member of the Bahai Faith---is an outgoing and dynamic organization. It is not distracted by internal controversy as many if not most other religions are in their spiritual life. It is a Faith highly focussed on the new Revelation of Bahullah, the Bahai Faith"s Prophet-Founder and this Faith is responsive to the world"s need for united action. I hope this opening note of over 2500 words provides a general, a useful, a helpful context for any continuing discussion you and I may have. If the note I strike is too long, as I say, I advise readers to just click me off or stop reading when you feel your mind is glazing over. This is a simple enough exercise of the hand and the mind. I do this all the time in our print-glut world. Readers do not know much about the Baha'i Faith can google the official international Baha'i site at: bahai.org. -Ron Price in Tasmania, Australia, last updated 1 October 2010.
_______________________
Apologetics is a branch of systematic theology, although some experience its thrust in religious studies or philosophy of religion courses. Some encounter it on the internet for the first time in a more populist and usually much less academic form. As I see it, apologetics is primarily concerned with the protection of a position, the refutation of the issues raised by that position's assailants and, in the larger sense, the exploration of that position in the context of prevailing philosophies and standards in a secular society, a religious society, indeed, any society past or present. All of us defend our positions whatever these positions are: atheistic, theistic, agnostic, humanistic, sceptic, cynic, realist, pragmatist and any one of a multitude of religions, denominations, sects, cults, isms and wasms.

Apologetics, to put it slightly differently, is concerned with answering both general and critical inquiries from others. In the main, though, apologetics deals with criticism of a position and dealing with that criticism in as rational a manner as possible. Apologetics can help explore the teachings of a religion or of a philosophy in the context of the prevailing religions and philosophies of the day as well as in the context of the common laws and standards of a secular society. Although the capacity to engage in critical self-reflection on the fundamentals of some position is a prerequisite of the task of engaging in apologetics, apologetics derives much of its impetus from a commitment to a position.

Given the role of apologetics in religious and philosophical history and in the development of the texts and ideas that are part and parcel of that history, it is surprising that contemporary communities generally undervalue its importance and often are not even aware of the existence of this sub-discipline of philosophy. Authors, writers, editors of journals and leaders known for defending points in arguments, for engaging in conflicts or for taking up certain positions that receive great popular scrutiny and/or are minority views engage in what today are essentially forms of secular apologetics.
------------------------
Anyone concerned with the history of apologetics is also involved with the history of hermeneutics and they all confront the question of interpretation. Questions of interpretation concern biblical interpreters. They concern lawyers who debate the meaning of the Constitution. They concern psychiatrists as they reflect upon their interpretation of case histories, and anthropologists and historians who ponder the data of their disciplines.

Naturally in life, we all take positions on all sorts of topics, subjects, religions and philosophies. Often that position is inarticulate and poorly thought out if given any thought at all. With that said, though, the apologetics I engage in here is a never-ending exercise with time out for the necessary and inevitable quotidian tasks of life: eating, sleeping, drinking and a wide range of leisure activities. The apologetics that concerns me is not so much Christian or Islamic apologetics or one of a variety of those secular apologetics I referred to above, but Baha'i apologetics.

A positive and articulate apologetics keeps dialogue from becoming pallid, platitudinous, and degutted, as one writer put it.1 Further, it should be born in mind that apologetics cannot be reduced merely to justification and defence of the propositions of some position. Apologetics is implicit in all western worldviews and socio-political systems either secular or theistic. The pragmatics of theological thinking, indeed all Western thinking, remain determined by what may be called the apologetic method. But religious apologetics is also an attempt to make faith meaningful to a secular world.

Bahai apologetics, as I see it anyway, is a responsible apologetics. That is, it is: non-autocratic, rational, and a responsible and faithful transmission of the beliefs of the covenantal community by its scholars to succeeding generations. Bahai apologetics, moreover, while it may be committed apologetics, seeks to respect the spirit of the non-normative, non-confessional science of religion in the light of confessional faith.

As a Bahai whatever proof I offer about my beliefs as I try to help others to make sense of them, this proof I offer is relative. It depends on the total context of the statements which I make. It depends on the explicit and implicit conventions concerning their meaning as well as the experiential component of my statements and much else. My findings, rooted as they are in subjectivity, relativism and pragmatism, can be verified only by individuals capable of assuming and willing to assume my point of view. To put this another way, the verification of my ideas requires of those with whom I engage in dialogue that they know something about my position, my beliefs. This is true in all scientific endeavour: in the physical and biological sciences, in the social sciences and in the various studies in the humanities of which religion is but one of these many fields.
Married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16, and a Baha'i for 56(in 2015)
Dogknox
Posts: 5,051
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2013 5:28:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
RonPrice There can only be ONE TRUTH!
2+2=4
You are Bahai because for you this is truth!!
You should prove it is so... Your very salvation depends on it!

Dogknox
Composer
Posts: 5,858
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2013 5:42:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 5:28:26 PM, Dogknox wrote:
RonPrice There can only be ONE TRUTH!
2+2=4
You are Bahai because for you this is truth!!
You should prove it is so... Your very salvation depends on it!

Dogknox

NO religions nor Cults like catholicism have the Truth!

Conversely I have the Truth always Fatal to ALL religions & Cults like Pagan, Johnny Come Lately, rotten-fruit producing, Idol worshipping catholicism!
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2013 6:18:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 5:42:07 PM, Composer wrote:
At 1/14/2013 5:28:26 PM, Dogknox wrote:
RonPrice There can only be ONE TRUTH!
2+2=4
You are Bahai because for you this is truth!!
You should prove it is so... Your very salvation depends on it!

Dogknox

NO religions nor Cults like catholicism have the Truth!

Conversely I have the Truth always Fatal to ALL religions & Cults like Pagan, Johnny Come Lately, rotten-fruit producing, Idol worshipping catholicism!

http://www.tudou.com...
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2013 6:59:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Bahai Gardens in Haifa are pretty sick. I've been there.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Dogknox
Posts: 5,051
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2013 10:27:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
RonPrice I see you are fairly new here.
Because you are new: I will give you every opportunity to speak... With all respect; Make your points, lets see if we can agree on something!

Dogknox
Composer
Posts: 5,858
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2013 2:05:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 10:27:57 PM, Dogknox wrote:
RonPrice I see you are fairly new here.
Because you are new: I will give you every opportunity to speak... With all respect; Make your points, lets see if we can agree on something!

Dogknox

Get ready Ron to experience e.g. catholics Dogknox & AlwaysMoreThanYou, squirm around everything BUT never the Truth; in preference for their catholic ' rotten fruit producing paedophiles, homosexual catholic profession, & Or Nun raping priests in their malignant sinning Pagan Idol worshipping catholic Cult ideology! '.

Dogknox will Copy & Paste page after page of his catholic Story book propaganda but ask him to produce the legitimate evidence a single word of it came from ANY literal Supernatural god(s) and he will as always ' run for cover ' back to his catholic cess-pit!
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2013 5:38:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/15/2013 2:05:49 AM, Composer wrote:
Get ready Ron to experience e.g. catholics Dogknox & AlwaysMoreThanYou,

You... *sniff* you mentioned me by name...

(':

I love you too.
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
Clash
Posts: 220
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2013 10:07:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There are a lot of Christian apologetics on this site. Those pagan idol worshiping fouls! They believe that Jebus walked on water, but on TV a few weeks ago I saw the magician "DYNAMO" walking on water as well, so he must be their Jebus returned in the flesh again?

Me Clash, your vindicated mentor, 100 year successful Cult busting personal successful literal Saviour, moi!
RonPrice
Posts: 32
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/23/2013 5:34:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I can see that much heat is produced due to the vehemence of some writers. I prefer a more moderate tone and style.-Ron
------------------------------------------------------------
Married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16, and a Baha'i for 56(in 2015)
RonPrice
Posts: 32
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/23/2013 5:36:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:34:26 AM, RonPrice wrote:
I can see that much heat is produced due to the vehemence of some writers. I prefer a more moderate tone and style. As I say in my first post in this thread:

As a Bahai whatever proof I offer about my beliefs, as I try to help others to make sense of them, this proof I offer is relative. It depends on the total context of the statements which I make. It depends on the explicit and implicit conventions concerning their meaning as well as the experiential component of my statements and much else. My findings, rooted as they are in subjectivity, relativism and pragmatism, can be verified only by individuals capable of assuming and willing to assume my point of view. To put this another way, the verification of my ideas requires of those with whom I engage in dialogue that they know something about my position, my beliefs. This is true in all scientific endeavour: in the physical and biological sciences, in the social sciences and in the various studies in the humanities of which religion is but one of these many fields.-Ron
Married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16, and a Baha'i for 56(in 2015)
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/24/2013 1:09:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:34:26 AM, RonPrice wrote:
I can see that much heat is produced due to the vehemence of some writers. I prefer a more moderate tone and style.-Ron
------------------------------------------------------------

Understand that the site is full of youngsters seeking attention. They teach us patience.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/24/2013 1:23:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 1:09:36 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 9/23/2013 5:34:26 AM, RonPrice wrote:
I can see that much heat is produced due to the vehemence of some writers. I prefer a more moderate tone and style.-Ron
------------------------------------------------------------

Understand that the site is full of youngsters seeking attention. They teach us patience.

Yeah - it's just me, you and Roy, Ron. They'll get it, though.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/24/2013 1:36:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 5:13:50 PM, RonPrice wrote:
Religion, in the sense that I am using it here, is the set of values, beliefs and attitudes each of us has as we go about our daily life at a particular moment in time, ...

The standard definition of religion is that it deals with questions of "ultimate power."

I think everyone has to have a set of principles which they accept as operating assumptions. When we wake in the morning we do not spend time pondering whether or gravity will be working the same today as it was yesterday. We just go with a working assumption. In the case of gravity, there are very good reasons supporting the belief.

The problem comes when we encounter choices that we do not have enough information about which to make a careful analysis. That's when guiding principles, I like to call it "ideology," steps in. We don't know the specific answer, but we have a principle that we think applies. Religion deals with certain questions, but not all, so it is one subset of ideology.

If we want to answer the question, "Should part of the school budget be used to build a power-generating windmill?" (An actual question posed.) Religion is unlikely to be helpful. Very few people know the economics of power generation or the pros and cons of windmills. Most people will use a principle like, "Windmills are good for the environment, so I will support it." or "This environmental stuff is probably nonsense, so I'll oppose it."

In the modern United States, the principles of what I'll call "political correctness" are far more important than any religion. A proposal to build a chapel with school funds would be shot dead on sight, but a windmill built in worship of political correctness is good bet.

The guiding principles provided by an ideology or a religion are not entirely a matter of faith. I think religions are social institutions that adapt to ratify what works and reject what doesn't work. Obviously the mechanism is slow and imperfect, but it operates. Modern political ideologies tend to have a high component of untested faith.

Finally, note that humans are very reluctant to leave questions unanswered. I think that it is a survival advantage to always have some theory, even if many of them are wrong. A preposterous "explanation" will always be accepted by more people than "I don't know.:
Dogknox
Posts: 5,051
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/24/2013 1:38:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:36:47 AM, RonPrice wrote:
At 9/23/2013 5:34:26 AM, RonPrice wrote:
I can see that much heat is produced due to the vehemence of some writers. I prefer a more moderate tone and style. As I say in my first post in this thread:

As a Bahai whatever proof I offer about my beliefs, as I try to help others to make sense of them, this proof I offer is relative. It depends on the total context of the statements which I make. It depends on the explicit and implicit conventions concerning their meaning as well as the experiential component of my statements and much else. My findings, rooted as they are in subjectivity, relativism and pragmatism, can be verified only by individuals capable of assuming and willing to assume my point of view. To put this another way, the verification of my ideas requires of those with whom I engage in dialogue that they know something about my position, my beliefs. This is true in all scientific endeavour: in the physical and biological sciences, in the social sciences and in the various studies in the humanities of which religion is but one of these many fields.-Ron

RonPrice I am glad you came back.. Eight months ago was the last you spoke!??
Right off the top.... You are of the Bahai Faith, I am Christian!

I follow the scriptures, I believe the scriptures; God' Words!
You have your Guru, I have my Church and Scriptures as my guide to truth!
Your religion is a corrupted man made religion having shallow roots, no base!
You have placed the salvation of your soul in the teachings of men, a foolish thing to do don't you think!?!

RonPrice FACT: All religions are not the same!

Dogknox