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Thursday, December 6, 2012

John Ford, John Wayne, Aquinas and Theosis (Christian Divinization)

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Dear Fred,

There is truth in what you say.

But it is proportionately more significant that "the fundies" spurn science -- whether "hard" or "soft" -- whenever it contradicts their religious beliefs. 

Alternatively, I agree with Aquinas that frank contradiction between terrestrial truth and God's Truth cannot exist.

"Arguing against those who said that natural philosophy was contrary to the Christian faith, (Aquinas) writes in his treatise "Faith, Reason and Theology that "even though the natural light of the human mind is inadequate to make known what is revealed by faith, nevertheless what is divinely taught to us by faith cannot be contrary to what we are endowed with by nature. One or the other would have to be false, and since we have both of them from God, he would be the cause of our error, which is impossible." "Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World" by John Freely http://www.amazon.com/Aladdins-Lamp-Science-Through-Islamic/dp/0307277836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327882581&sr=8-1

Although there is plenty of nonsensical psychological pseudo-science, it is a signal achievement of the 20th century that modern psychology limned the existence of "the personal shadow," "the group shadow" and "projection psychology." 

These are realities. 

And "fundamentalists" deny them, in large part, because they are committed to the Old Testament's Thunder Sky God (who, as you know, is not the only God in the Old Testament). 

The fundies deny them because they are determined NOT to undergo the spiritual turmoil and metanoia that would deprive them of their self-arrogated status as American "exceptionalists" and right-hand "smiters of God" who have carte blanche to whoop any darkie's ass whenever the f___ they feel like it.


To everyone's astonishment, Pope Benedict dedicated a recent "homily" to him. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin.html 

I don't think de Chardin is "absolutely" right. (I don't believe we can often determine what is absolutely right, and then mostly in small things.)

I do believe that de Chardin's religious metaphors are better-suited to life as now lived, which is not to say that the essence of the human condition has changed.

It is to say that we are very different people than we were as recently as John Wayne, not to mention the superstition-saturated, pre-scientific, patriarchal, largely-illiterate people of agricultural (and nomadic) bible times. 

Over the last couple of nights, I watched "The Searchers" - perhaps The Duke's best-known film - and was astonished by how many of the suppositions that Americans held about "cowboys," "Indians," and "manliness" have changed since the film was made in 1956. (That "The Searchers" was directed by John Ford was even more flabbergasting.)

I encourage you to watch this film and see if you don't feel more sympathy for the Indians than for the white guys - even though Ford's intent was antipodal. 

I recently had similar reaction to Disney's "Johnny Tremain." Watch the prolonged scene in which "buckskin-camouflaged" Minute Men, hidden in hedge-rows, pick off marching "red coats" one by one. 

I watched it with my Danny and all I could see were terrorists detonating roadside explosives.

When "the fundies" acknowledge the reality of anthropogenic global warming and "shadow/projection psychology," then we'll discuss "the details."

Pax on both houses

Alan 

PS Other interesting bits from Aquinas: 

"The good is to be done and pursued and evil is to be avoided" is not very helpful for making actual choices. Therefore, Aquinas believes that one needs one's reason to be perfected by the virtues, especially prudence, in order to discover precepts of the Natural Law that are more proximate to the choices that one has to make on a day to day basis. http://www.aquinasonline.com/Topics/natlaw.html

"The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods." (This process has been given the name "theosis." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosis)  

Aquinas thought is also found on page 460 of The Catholic Catechism: "The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."" http://www.askacatholic.com/_webpostings/answers/2008_07JULY/2008JulyHowCanMenBecomeGod.cfm

On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM, Fred Owens <froghospital911@gmail.com> wrote:

I generally have at least 2 or 3 insights before breakfast, and another dozen during the afternoon.

Today, I'm realizing that the Baptist/fundie/literaist contempt for science might actually be a necessary rebuke of the social sciences which are faux from top to bottom. The puke of modern psychology and sociology, the utter masquerade of certainty and spurious statistics causes a worldwide stench and our Baptist/fundi/literalists cousins cry in horror  -- unfortunately they are a bit misdirected when they crash into real science

But think on how much you and I and and they might agree on a critique of social science.

--
Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My blog is Fred Owens

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001


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