S'dad. If the Elder Barsunousphious of Optina warned to have no truck with football as devil inspired and not to attend it,
DanM. The bizarre behavior of soccer fans seems to justify his stricture.
S'dad. I simply ask for an Orthodox Christian specific view of HP, not a debate based on a secular expectations, evidential arguments and like. In asking from such a viewpoint, which should not on an Orthodox Christian be that unreasonable, surely?
DanM. 'Tis very unreasonable.
1. The purpose of argument is to increase the probability that we make the best decision possible under conditions of uncertainty. From another perspective, we might say that argumentation is truth-seeking. Fallacies are eschewed because they are not truth-seeking. That HP is to be shunned is an uncertain proposition, if only because you say it might oughtter be and I say it ought notter be. The only way we can both make progress is to use truth-seeking devices--arguments--by which to increase the probability that we will make the best decision possible. So, if you and I in fact disagree about HP, the very best thing that we can do is argue. However, we want to argue in a way that is truth-seeking. If I call you a knuckle-draggng Philistine--i.e., if I employ ad hominem abusive--I have not used a truth-seeking device. If both of us follow truth-seeking norms--clear definitions and propositions, appeals to evidence etc.--both of us benefit.
2. Take cloning. I find it very revolting. Sadly, I cannot find any specific prohibitions in the Bible or the Fathers--just an intuition that it is very, very wrong. If I meet someone who disagrees with me, what I am going to do? I have to persuade him in terms that will be meaningful to him. If we both agree on truth-seeking devices, that makes my job a lot easier.
S'Dad. The polarisation looking back appears to me to stem from entrenched viewpoints and a combative approach rather than a specifically Christian approach. The Holy Apostle Paul's words on Love come to mind.
DanM. IMHO, polarisation often stems from the conviction that one's intuition is self-evidently true: like a good axiom, one has only to apprehend it mentally to grasp its verity. I do not wish to downplay intuition, but I do want to remember that intuition is not the only belief-generating mechanism; we also have perception, feelings and reason. The job of reason is in this view to some extent that of corroborating or disconfirming an intuition. Argumentation allows reason to do this. If everyone (and here I am thinking much more widely than this forum) used truth-seeking devices to make decisions, polarisation would be eliminated.