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tuesdayschild
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« Reply #90 on: February 21, 2011, 08:38:08 PM »

Can anyone point me to something similar to this elsewhere in the world?

Yes, I know it's pure Protestantism, but those of us outside the US simply don't understand what's going on here.

It's called niche marketing. Here's an example from the other side of the world:

Quote
The Aussie Bible

Jesus is born (Luke 2:1-7)

In those days Caesar Augustus ordered a head count of the whole Roman world. (This was the first big tally, when Quirinius ran the Syrian branch of the empire.) And everyone had to go back to the bit of country they were born in to fill in the forms.

So Joe hiked up from Nazareth (in Galilee shire) to Bethlehem (in Judea shire) because this spot in the mulga was where King David came from, and Joe's family tree had King David up in the top branches. He went there to fill in the forms and sign the register with his fiance, Mary, who was pretty near nine months by this time. While they were there, she gave birth to a baby boy. She wrapped him in a bunny rug, and tucked him up in a feed trough in a back shed, because the pub was full to bursting.

http://www.catholicaustralia.com.au/page.php?pg=scripture-aussiebible1
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« Reply #91 on: February 21, 2011, 10:15:23 PM »

Can anyone point me to something similar to this elsewhere in the world?

Yes, I know it's pure Protestantism, but those of us outside the US simply don't understand what's going on here.

It's called niche marketing. Here's an example from the other side of the world:

Quote
The Aussie Bible

Jesus is born (Luke 2:1-7)

In those days Caesar Augustus ordered a head count of the whole Roman world. (This was the first big tally, when Quirinius ran the Syrian branch of the empire.) And everyone had to go back to the bit of country they were born in to fill in the forms.

So Joe hiked up from Nazareth (in Galilee shire) to Bethlehem (in Judea shire) because this spot in the mulga was where King David came from, and Joe's family tree had King David up in the top branches. He went there to fill in the forms and sign the register with his fiance, Mary, who was pretty near nine months by this time. While they were there, she gave birth to a baby boy. She wrapped him in a bunny rug, and tucked him up in a feed trough in a back shed, because the pub was full to bursting.

http://www.catholicaustralia.com.au/page.php?pg=scripture-aussiebible1
A most interesting find! I rather like the "pub". An "inn" in NT times was most certainly not a renovated Victorian mansion in a genteel part of town. "Brothel" would work, too. There is a delightful earthiness in this paraphrase that would make entertaining reading. Of course, not at all suitable for liturgical use or serious study.

However, I'm not thinking about a dialectal translation/paraphrase (that is quite a separate issue  Wink), but was noticing in the product description of the Bible I linked to:
Quote
The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation's history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the New King James Version Bible text.
It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).
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« Reply #92 on: February 21, 2011, 10:18:14 PM »

"My country, right or wrong," is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober."  -G.K. Chesterton

I like Chesterton's view of patriotism. We love our mothers whether they are drunk or sober. Though, we prefer them to be sober and would work to help maintain their state of sobriety. In a similar way, we love our homeland whether it is right or wrong, but we prefer it be right. Therefore, when it is wrong, we do everything in our power to correct it's course. That is the true patriot.

As an Existentialst, I'm fascinated with the concept that homeland is determined by the accident of birth. Of course, it that were consistent, then there would be no America, which might suit many Amerindians quite fine.

Whom has influenced your position on being an Existentialist?
I wonder what he means by existentialism. Does he mean that we learn the truth by experiencing and living it, or, does he mean what sartre taught, that we have no termined "natures" or "essences" are we simply are whatever we decide to be?

You would fail an undergraduate exam with an answer like that.

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tuesdayschild
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« Reply #93 on: February 22, 2011, 12:30:27 AM »

It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?
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« Reply #94 on: February 22, 2011, 12:45:37 AM »

It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?

How is this relevant?
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« Reply #95 on: February 22, 2011, 10:34:29 AM »

"My country, right or wrong," is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober."  -G.K. Chesterton

I like Chesterton's view of patriotism. We love our mothers whether they are drunk or sober. Though, we prefer them to be sober and would work to help maintain their state of sobriety. In a similar way, we love our homeland whether it is right or wrong, but we prefer it be right. Therefore, when it is wrong, we do everything in our power to correct it's course. That is the true patriot.

As an Existentialst, I'm fascinated with the concept that homeland is determined by the accident of birth. Of course, it that were consistent, then there would be no America, which might suit many Amerindians quite fine.

Whom has influenced your position on being an Existentialist?
I wonder what he means by existentialism. Does he mean that we learn the truth by experiencing and living it, or, does he mean what sartre taught, that we have no termined "natures" or "essences" are we simply are whatever we decide to be?

You would fail an undergraduate exam with an answer like that.


It wasn't an answer. It was a question silly. I was trying to figure out if Izzy called himself an existentialist according to the actual definition, or if he meant what many philosophical laymen mean by the term. Why not come down off your high horse and drop your smug sense of superiority?
Oh, and if you would like to know, I just earn an A on my fisrt philosophy paper for the semester in my masters degree program. The professor the described it as excellent... Thanks be to God!
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« Reply #96 on: February 22, 2011, 10:43:38 AM »

I am not a Platonist. I am an Aristotlean.
Given the choice between the two, so am I, so I guess no distinction there.

Yesterday this came up in our priest's talk on the Infant Jesus and Divine Omniscience.  He was saying that the Infant Jesus, due to the Incarnation, didn't know anything.  He admitted that that presupposed an Aristotelean idea of the acquisition of knowledge, rather than Platonism, in which knowledge is already ingrained. This, on the heels of a conversation I had with parisioners who teach philosophy and patristics, where I brought up that it seems philosophical schools bear more resemblance to religions than to, say, the branchs of mathmatics. It seems the philosophical schools do more than supply methodologies: they supply (or impose) some of the answers as well.

Take what we propose for human beings we found true of human beings, and assumes only human beings. It does not assume an abstract "humanity"
Your entire conversation assumes an abstract "humanity", otherwise what you are saying would be meaningless.
Not at all.  I can talk of languages, although no language in the abstract exists.

: Christ died for individual human beings, not for "humanity."
But, in order to do so he assumity what is common to all of us:"he was like us in all things except sin."
That begs the question if we possess an abstract humanity.

Care to tell us what you are quoting?

Humanity/human nature, for instance, would need a race of hermaphrodites, as both men and women are human beings, and yet not reduceable to a common core.
Not at all. The one human nature can have more than one mode of existence.
Only if you believe in modalism.

It is not essential to human nature to be male. It is not essential to human nature to be female. It essential to human nature to have a gender, either male or female. Do you understand the difference?
LOL. Yes, yet again, I understand the difference. And yet I point out that it is an incorrect understanding of humans.

And no, it is not an essentialist definition, as angels also can and do determine their destinies, as does God. But humans are neither angels nor God. Nominalism is vindicated.
First, the fact that we can choose our ends only demonstrates that we all having something in common: Free will, which demonstrates a common nature.

God, the angels, and human beings do not have a common nature.

Again, you are an essentialist.
Again, you have failed to demonstrate that.

Second, the fact that we can choose against our intended end (doesn't God have a particular end for us?)
(only if you are a Calvinist).

does not demonstrate that we shouldn't choose the proper end.

No one said we shouldn't.

Thus you have done nothing to bolster the position of nominalism. Of course, it's impossible to logically defend a self refuting philosophies but you sure are trying.
Ah, the power of fiat. LOL.

BTW, as long as you admit that we have a common nature, even if it's found in particular persons, you are not really a nominalist, but a realist.
As a realist, you would claim that, wouldn't you?
Making alot of what you think are clever statements is not an argument Isa. You can do better than that.

Given what I have to work with/what I'm responding to.  Don't want to argue both pro and con by myself.

As for what I was quoting, : The epistle to the Hebrews.
Care to cite the chapter and verse?
On the first point,  I will say that you are going to have to drop your intellectual infantilism . I suggest you try a bit harder. On the second, point I made an error and quoted what I thought the bible verse said. It actually said that he was tempted like us in all things. My mistake and I happily admit that, though I doubt that you would ever demonstrate such magnanimity. That being said, I offer you this:
Is it not an EO teaching that "that which is not assumed is not saved"? If it is the case that this is true, then you can't be an existentialist. For, we know that Christ did not assume individual humans (as neither I nor you were assumed) when he was incarnate and we are not nestorians who believe that Jesus was a distinct person from the Logos, who was assumed by the Logos. The only other possibility is that he assumed that which is common to us, and by def intion, that which is common to us is our humanity, i.e. our human nature. Therefore, to be an existentialist, in the classical understanding of the term, is to be a heretic who denies the incarnation. Congratulations.
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« Reply #97 on: February 22, 2011, 10:47:51 AM »

It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?

How is this relevant?

Weaving nationalism into Biblical exposition is hardly an exclusively "Protestant" or "distinctively American phenomenon." One could replace "Protestant" with "Orthodox" and "US"/"American" with "Greek" or "Russian" in the above observations and still have true statements. If he has been Orthodox only a short time, his failure to recognize this is understandable.
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« Reply #98 on: February 22, 2011, 11:20:22 AM »

It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?

How is this relevant?

Weaving nationalism into Biblical exposition is hardly an exclusively "Protestant" or "distinctively American phenomenon." One could replace "Protestant" with "Orthodox" and "US"/"American" with "Greek" or "Russian" in the above observations and still have true statements. If he has been Orthodox only a short time, his failure to recognize this is understandable.

Or he is part of a parish that isn't nationalistic.  They do exist.
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tuesdayschild
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« Reply #99 on: February 22, 2011, 11:30:04 AM »

It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?

How is this relevant?

Weaving nationalism into Biblical exposition is hardly an exclusively "Protestant" or "distinctively American phenomenon." One could replace "Protestant" with "Orthodox" and "US"/"American" with "Greek" or "Russian" in the above observations and still have true statements. If he has been Orthodox only a short time, his failure to recognize this is understandable.

Or he is part of a parish that isn't nationalistic.  They do exist.

Riiiiiiight.  Wink
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« Reply #100 on: February 22, 2011, 11:32:25 AM »

It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?

How is this relevant?

Weaving nationalism into Biblical exposition is hardly an exclusively "Protestant" or "distinctively American phenomenon." One could replace "Protestant" with "Orthodox" and "US"/"American" with "Greek" or "Russian" in the above observations and still have true statements. If he has been Orthodox only a short time, his failure to recognize this is understandable.

Or he is part of a parish that isn't nationalistic.  They do exist.

Riiiiiiight.  Wink

I didn't say they were common...   Grin
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« Reply #101 on: February 22, 2011, 11:52:44 AM »

Quote
No, the Person of Christ preceeded the existence of the man Christ. In fact, the Incarnation cannot work in any other way. Christ could not "advance in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men" (Lk. 2:52. Btw, I just noticed that a comparison of this and Lk. 2:40 nullifies the attempt to use Lk. 1:28 as prooftext for the IC) if His essence preceeded His existence.

We can't look to God to see if essence precedes existence because with God they are one in the same, but He is the only Being who could possibly have that happen for Him.

So we look to the dual natures of Christ and therein lies the problem. If there is no human nature, then the Church Fathers and the Church herself has been wrong for nearly 2,000 years referring to the dual natures of Christ. How can we say that Christ had a divine nature and a human nature when, in fact, there is no human nature? So while the person of the Word precedes the existence of the Incarnate Jesus, the Incarnate Jesus does not precede human nature.

Quote
You're going to have to thresh that out a bit before I can answer it.

The Church Fathers taught that there was a distinct human nature that was given to us at creation. That because God thought of us both as individuals and as a whole prior to creating us, this is what we were given. Likewise, they state quite emphatically and literally that Christ took on human nature in order to redeem it; but if human nature doesn't exist, what is there to redeem?

Anyway, I digress. Creation was done, especially with man, for everything according to its nature. The reason Sartre stated that our being precedes our essence is because as an atheist he believed there was no point to life. But creation by God indicates that there is a purpose in life, which requires there to be a nature. After all, what is there for us to live up to if there is nothing that unifies us humans? In fact, how can you even use the word "human" if there is no nature and therefore no unifying factor for those who give the appearance of 'rational animals'?

Quote
Can you give specifics?

Well I've already shown how your view is sadly detrimental to both the Incarnation and the purpose of the Incarnation. I would say the fact that the Church Fathers consistently spoke of a unifying human nature, something we were supposed to live up to, something that was redeemed by Christ, should be sufficient enough.

I hate to be so bleak, but you must accept Sartre on this point or the Church, but you can't have both.
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« Reply #102 on: February 22, 2011, 12:02:45 PM »

I don't think a parish community can exist without a dominant national identity, and thus some degree of nationalism.  The problem becomes whether a community is willing to accept and one who comes to the church.

Having a dominant national identity is very helpful.  It allows the community to have a common understanding of one another and a single means of communicating the Gospel.  There is a set way of dealing with internal conflict.  I have a parish where no one culture is preeminent, and it is very difficult to manage even basics like stewardship.  Some group is always offended.

Nationalism gets a bad wrap.  I think it is bad when it is used as an excuse for hating someone else.  Beyond that, I think it can be a positive attribute.  It has become very vogue in some intellectual circles to poo-poo Nationalism, but this quickly degenerates into an 'internationalist elitism' that looks down its nose at all those 'commoners' who still wave their flags, not realizing they have picked up on the worst temptation of Nationalism (namely, elitism).

We are now seeing how this is playing out in the Middle East.  For years, Arabic-speakers have been taught to hate Israel and America, while their dictators have fleeced them.  The leaders used the nationalistic call to distract the people from their real problems (i.e. corruption, depotism, etc.), in addition to using Mohammedanism as an excuse to justify their virulent hatred.  Now, they are discovering that their leaders are far worse than America.  The real enemy is at home.

Yet, the internationalist elites in the US and Europe, who despise Nationalism in Europe and America, never questioned the Nationalism of the Middle East and Africa.  Instead, this was permitted under the guise of 'multi-culturalism,' which works very well so long as you don't examine it too closely.  Once you start examining these other cultures, you find how really awful some of them are.  This is why cultures change, and we hope that Mr. Darwin is right and they are evolving for the better.

Then I look at rappers, and begin to wonder...   Embarrassed

Nationalism is, by definition, the extolling of one's culture.  It is good to have a culture you are comfortable with.  If you don't have one, they you will always be uncomfortable and, to some degree, isolated.  I don't tbhink you can make an argument that isolation is a good thing.


It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?

How is this relevant?

Weaving nationalism into Biblical exposition is hardly an exclusively "Protestant" or "distinctively American phenomenon." One could replace "Protestant" with "Orthodox" and "US"/"American" with "Greek" or "Russian" in the above observations and still have true statements. If he has been Orthodox only a short time, his failure to recognize this is understandable.

Or he is part of a parish that isn't nationalistic.  They do exist.

Riiiiiiight.  Wink

I didn't say they were common...   Grin
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« Reply #103 on: February 22, 2011, 12:19:59 PM »

FatherGiryus,
Nationalism and having a culture are two quite different realities.
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« Reply #104 on: February 22, 2011, 12:27:18 PM »

It's the apparent equating of US history with the teachings of the Bible that I find to be a distinctively American phenomenon.

It would be easy to take this off onto a tangent showing how Protestants are quite willing to weave national cultural tradition into their understanding of the Bible for enlightenment, and they even include appropriate icons (images).

How long have you been Orthodox?

How is this relevant?

Weaving nationalism into Biblical exposition is hardly an exclusively "Protestant" or "distinctively American phenomenon." One could replace "Protestant" with "Orthodox" and "US"/"American" with "Greek" or "Russian" in the above observations and still have true statements. If he has been Orthodox only a short time, his failure to recognize this is understandable.

Or he is part of a parish that isn't nationalistic.  They do exist.

Riiiiiiight.  Wink

I didn't say they were common...   Grin
Hey, you guys are going on about me without me!

If you refer back to the original point of this thread, my comment should make sense. We Canadians see the "US patriotism = Evangelical Protestantism" equation as something quite different from our concept of nationhood. It's simply a statement that reflects my own experience.

I am quite aware of "Holy Mother Russia", and how Greece is the font of all the good things in western civilization (humourously stereotyped in a certain "Wedding" movie  Smiley)

That being said, I'm sure that there are parallels with Scriptural themes and history to be found in the annals of any country.

As to my own parish: we are very small; thirty on a Sunday morning would be a crowd. We're probably as "non-ethnic" as an Orthodox parish is likely to be. One family who immigrated from Lebanon long enough ago that their adult children were born here, one man who came from Syria as a child over fifty years ago, an 80+ woman born here of Lebanese immigrants. We really are run-of-the-mill ordinary Canadians.

But we're proud to be Canadian, and we're just getting started on planning a "Canadian Royal Orthodox weekend" to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. So yes, we're playing the nationalism card here, but a "Canadian Patriot's Bible" just doesn't sit well. Canadians and USAers really are different.
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« Reply #105 on: February 22, 2011, 12:35:18 PM »

No, they are part of the same phenomenon.
FatherGiryus,
Nationalism and having a culture are two quite different realities.
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« Reply #106 on: February 22, 2011, 12:37:17 PM »

We really are run-of-the-mill ordinary Canadians.

Canadians are ordinary?!?!?!?!?!


(My mother is Canadian....)
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« Reply #107 on: February 22, 2011, 12:41:05 PM »

No, they are part of the same phenomenon.
FatherGiryus,
Nationalism and having a culture are two quite different realities.

I believe we are working with slightly different definitions...  but I think I get what you are saying.


Anyways, back to Americans.  Are they crazy, or what?
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« Reply #108 on: February 22, 2011, 01:13:21 PM »

a "Canadian Patriot's Bible" just doesn't sit well.



What a Canadian Patriot's Bible may look like.
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« Reply #109 on: February 22, 2011, 01:18:50 PM »

No, they are part of the same phenomenon.
FatherGiryus,
Nationalism and having a culture are two quite different realities.

I believe we are working with slightly different definitions...  but I think I get what you are saying.


Anyways, back to Americans.  Are they crazy, or what?
I just think that it's the "hip" and "in" thing to despise americans. A sort of monkey see monkey do.
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« Reply #110 on: February 24, 2011, 03:02:30 PM »

Isa, back to you being an existentialist for a moment. Isn't Existentialism just a less direct nihilism posing as logic? It is pure aphorism. It is a self refuting school of philosophy in exactly the same way nihilism, post modernism and realism are. Their propositions are examples of the things they say are questionable/impossible...right?
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« Reply #111 on: April 18, 2011, 01:40:02 AM »

Michal - Regarding your perplexity about humor, I would say that humor is almost always culture-specific. Here are two stories that illustrate my point:

A few years back, I worked at a company where I was supposed to take pictures of the processes used by people assembling machinery on an assembly line. Most of the people who worked on the assembly line were Russian, and so was their boss. The boss said, "If you slow down my people, I will kill you! Hah hah hah." Evidently he thought that was a very funny joke. Um, at least I hoped it was a joke?

Then there was a time that I was at a church function with a friend of mine, an older Russian man (in his late 50s I would guess) who grew up during the Communist era in Russia. My son, a toddler, was acting up and not behaving. He turned to me and said, "Do you know what we Orthodox do in Russia when a child misbehaves like that? We beat them! Hah hah hah!" He thought this was hysterical. I failed to see the humor in his comment - I still wonder if it was really meant to be funny?

Again, my point is not to paint any culture with a broad brush (that's always a mistake) but to say that humor - and what humor is acceptable and what is not - differs from culture to culture. In the US, acceptable humor varies from region to region, class to class, culture to culture, race to race, generation to generation, etc.
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« Reply #112 on: May 02, 2011, 06:46:27 PM »

Those don't sound very odd to me.
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« Reply #113 on: May 02, 2011, 06:50:33 PM »

Isa, back to you being an existentialist for a moment. Isn't Existentialism just a less direct nihilism posing as logic? It is pure aphorism. It is a self refuting school of philosophy in exactly the same way nihilism, post modernism and realism are. Their propositions are examples of the things they say are questionable/impossible...right?
I'm not Izzy, but yes, its a sort of nihilism and it is self refuting. Smiley
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« Reply #114 on: May 02, 2011, 08:13:18 PM »

a "Canadian Patriot's Bible" just doesn't sit well.



What a Canadian Patriot's Bible may look like.

Truth.
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« Reply #115 on: May 03, 2011, 12:36:39 AM »

If I may speak up as an American who has travelled and lived outside the US for considerable periods of time, I'd like to offer some insights.  I am the decendent of:

1) a convict expelled from his homeland and 'sentenced' to America.
2) several war refugees.
3) numerous people seeking fortunes in the New World.
4) a bunch of others I can't account for.

The American mythos within my lineage, as a result of the circumstances listed above, goes something like this:

1) my homeland was lousy.
2) my countrymen were backwards and/or mean.
3) God has been merciful in bringing me here.
4) hey, it beats prison back home.

Americans are at once attracted to other cultures as they are revulsed by them, the latter in large part because we are the descendents of the discontent from your country (fill in the nation).

The gun issue is, in large part, due to systemic distrust of government.  After all, many of us here are the descendents of those who were persecuted by their home governments.  Guns make it awful difficult for the state to do 'what they did last time.'  Americans, traditionally speaking, don't like government or being governed, but they rebel mostly by voting wildly.

The matter of Obama, I agree, ought to be discussed in the political forum.  However, I will say it is an American tradition to vote for someone and then make his/her life as difficult as possible.  Politicians and clergy are expected to 'stand and take it.'  The ones that don't either are really, really good at manipulating or they have short careers.



I think this is a well thought out explanation. One needs to remember the "American" is not a homogeneous one-celled creature, but of made of many diverse parts. Please, be kind, and do not use a broad stroke when you express your curiosity about "Americans."

Lord, have mercy!
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« Reply #116 on: May 03, 2011, 12:42:19 AM »

There is an assumption in this thread that America has a unified culture that marks us as distinctly American. I would contend against this idea and say that even within America, we only have sub cultures without a meta-culture (though the sub-cultures are different from other world cultures, thus Americans as a whole appear different).

For instance, spend time in Dallas, TX, Abilene, TX, a small town in Missouri, a small town in Washington, Los Angeles, CA, and New York, New York and you will experience multiple cultures that are greatly distinct from each other.

For instance, name an American language, cuisine, music style, etc. Fact is, every dialect of English found in America, every type of food, every type of music, are parts of American sub-culture...but there is no unifying factor in American culture. I love cajun food because of the spices, but most people in the Northeastern United States will hate it because it's too spicy (and apparently the only spice they're aware of in New England is ketchup). A meal in the midwest will gross out someone from the West Coast. The accents of someone from southwest Louisiana or northern Alabama are almost unrecognizable to someone from Boston or Maine.

It used to be said that there was an underlying ethos that united Americans, one of the first cultures built upon a unifying idea rather than language or any other cultural traits; but we don't even have that anymore.

If anything, there is no such thing as an American culture; just multiple cultures unified by a government. Thus, what many "foreigners" (such a subjective term!) fail to realize when they meet an American is they are not meeting someone who represents American culture, but only represents one of the cultures in the nation of the United States. Thus, the US appears confusing and contradictory to the rest of the world because we are a contradiction.

Again, well stated.
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« Reply #117 on: May 03, 2011, 06:26:20 AM »

Your jokes, your references to the popculture, some of your problems, your slang...

Michał, I believe you should try watching "The Simpsons" in English (only not the current season which is the worst one ever!). There's a lot to learn about the US from this TV series. Useful links: www.wtso.net & www.iwatchsimpsonsonline.com.
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« Reply #118 on: May 03, 2011, 06:30:12 PM »

Taking into account that the US citizens make 80%+ users of the forum I am interested in the opinions of the rest about them. There are loads of things they discuss about that I can't understand at all and I wonder wether you (people outside the USA) experience a similar thing.
I am Canadian and I don't understand the extremism sometimes as if issues are black & white.  I don't understand the whole Obama thing.  When he was elected it looked like they were all proud to have their first black president and it was a turning point in their history like Kennedy and then suddenly after he was in office the most horrible things began to be said about him on the internet.  I don't undertand why disagreements have to get so personal: I mean you can disagree with a person without making a demon out of him.  Let's be civil.  Some times I see that here too when disagreements turn so vicious.


Also what I see as a tendency for Americans to be so American-centred.  There is a whole world out there and America is not the centre of the universe.  Just my view, but it seems to me that Americans don't study enough world history when they are young and are not aware of world politics/ history.  Or world literature too.  And I don't understand the whole gun thing.  It just seems so violent.

On the other hand I think Americans are in my opinion the most generous people as a nation.  They really donate a lot of money whenever there is a disaster any where in the world.  And they are very friendly truly interested in people when you meet them.  Non-Americans find this a problem, but I think Americans are kind without another motive  at all.

Better be glad we have those guns.  We will even use them to defend Canadians, too Wink
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« Reply #119 on: March 03, 2012, 02:03:14 AM »

On the first point,  I will say that you are going to have to drop your intellectual infantilism . I suggest you try a bit harder.
Don't know what you are considering the first point, but given your failure to answer it, I guess it doesn't matter.

On the second, point I made an error and quoted what I thought the bible verse said. It actually said that he was tempted like us in all things. My mistake and I happily admit that, though I doubt that you would ever demonstrate such magnanimity.

That being said, I offer you this:
Is it not an EO teaching that "that which is not assumed is not saved"?
That is what Spirit has taught through the Fathers.
If it is the case that this is true, then you can't be an existentialist.
I smell False Dilemma lurking about.
For, we know that Christ did not assume individual humans (as neither I nor you were assumed) when he was incarnate and we are not nestorians who believe that Jesus was a distinct person from the Logos, who was assumed by the Logos.
The Word did not assume Flesh as you assUme He did. 

Christ has a human nature and a divine nature, but if He were as you say, then what He has in common with the Father and the Spirit would be what would assume Flesh.  Divinity did not assume Flesh:the Person of the Son did.  Further, if He assumed what we have in common, then there would be no need for the Holy Mysteries:just by His Incarnation we would all put on Christ and would have no need to personally put Him on in being born again in baptism.  Humanity would be reborn as a whole with His birth.

Because we Existentialists do not accept the deterministic caricature of human nature of the scholastics does not prevent us from believing in the Incarnation.  If it were, then the divine architect of the deists would suffice as a god, as we would only need to pursue those ends which would be our natures.

The only other possibility is that he assumed that which is common to us, and by def intion, that which is common to us is our humanity, i.e. our human nature.
Not taking Aristotle as a prophet, we are not bound by his understanding.  It seems your master Aquinas didn't think so either, as in here he abandoned Aristotle for Plato (or rather, he received Aristotle mixed with Plato).

Facticity and authenticity define the parameters of human nature, not the reduction of man to his faculty of reason, much less the proffering of man as an automaton as the image and likeness of God.

Therefore, to be an existentialist, in the classical understanding of the term, is to be a heretic who denies the incarnation
Take the classical question of Existentialism, posed by Kierkegard himself:giving the reason for the identity of the beloved.  Existentialists know that one cannot give a rational explanation why one is in love with one person over another.  That doesn't obviate it as a fact.  For the "imprint theory of nature," it is irrelevant, as one human being of the opposite sex is as good as any other.  Perfectly rational argument, and totally false.  Human beings are not interchangeable, a fact sine qua non of human nature.  To entertain otherwise would be to flirt with the heresy of Origenism, which held individuality as a transient phase.

Congratulations.
I don't question your credentials to speak for heresy.
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« Reply #120 on: March 03, 2012, 02:03:14 AM »

Isa, back to you being an existentialist for a moment. Isn't Existentialism just a less direct nihilism posing as logic? It is pure aphorism. It is a self refuting school of philosophy in exactly the same way nihilism, post modernism and realism are. Their propositions are examples of the things they say are questionable/impossible...right?
I'm not Izzy, but yes, its a sort of nihilism and it is self refuting. Smiley
Thomists would hope so, of course, as Existentialism refutes their whole shtick, in particular their natural law nonsense.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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