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Monday, 24 December 2012


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"within two or three generations ... huge numbers of people had adopted it as their preferred religion": really; huge?

How do you lay off for the propensity of the later church to tell lots of lies about its history? If we confine ourselves to the Church of Rome, there's the Donation of Constantine, and all the fantasy about Peter going to Rome, becoming Bishop and being martyred.

So Lord knows (!) what else the scoundrels invented.

Don't you think the spread of Islam - at the point of a sword natch - beats the speed of Christianity's expansion hands down.

BTW please refer to Schopenhauer whose explanation of the moral sense - or certainly why we should be kind to animals - is that we're all made of the same stuff. No not blood and guts but the existence - in the thing-in-itself - of a commonality at an unconcious level which inspires morality.

That'll do for Christmas Eve: a happy Chrismas to you and yours DD and a prosperous and healthy 2013.

Yes, DM, "huge" given the competition. And the 'hand of man', as opposed to the 'Hand of God', can be discerned virtually from the beginning, as I hinted above. None of that precludes me from thinking that, by and large, all in all, taken in the round, as it were, the fundamental tenets of Christianity are not bad ones to live by.

'Bongers', alas, I don't have the learning to be able to compare but actually you make an excellent point - Christianity spread by its word alone, no need of a sword - then! I might try Schopenhauer one of these days - despite the name putting me off! And thank you for your good wishes which are returned.

We get our moral sense from the golden rule. Since "do unto others as you would be done by" is a neat bit of mutual self-preservation, it makes perfect sense to enshrine this rule into some sort of code.

The problem is that as we define the code we add the silver rule, "Don't mess with the code writers", the bronze rule, "Don't mess with the code enforcers" the iron rule, the stone rule...

Eventually the golden rule gets forgotten until we finally dig ourselves out from under the tyrannous bureaucractic nightmare we have created and re-institute the golden rule. And start the whole process again.

"But here I sit, or slump, more like, sharing Nietzsche's disbelief in a supreme God, but still clinging to my moral code without very much in the way of justification for it."

Well, if it's justification you're in need of David - be a good lad and give us the coordinates of your neighborhood - we (your cousins after all) are seeking a house in order to relocate a feller.

Is, by any chance, the house next door to you vacant?

"Christianity spread by its word alone, no need of a sword": initially, indeed. But once they got the upper hand they proved rather effective at persecuting pagans.

As for the later treatment of heretics, God save us all.

Kevin and DM, you are simply repeating the already known, that man is human and therefore frail. None of it detracts, or adds when the behaviour is exemplary, to the fundamental message. These days the church in all its variations is crumbling fast so you can ignore their variations on a theme. However, you are both shrewd enough to know that some sort of moral code is necessary and if today it is necessary to make up your own then so be it. The last six commandments plus my two add-ons will do nicely, I think, and there is no need to give it a name!

JK, I'm beginning to worry about you! You seem obsessed with plump, English, ex-public schoolboys and it will do you no good. Stick to Dolly Parton, that's my advice!

Was I, as a Catholic, responsible, in part for the Spanish Inquisition?

I totally love you, David.

Watching The Wire.


1: I forgive you, my child!
2: You are obviously a lady of impeccable taste and discernment!
3: Ain't it great?!

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