Clearer and Crisper

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“When we move from word to referent, we think we are leaping from crag to crag, across and abyss below. If we slip, we have had it. But this description is itself dependent upon a metaphor, as though meaning has to get increasingly smudgy every time we make a xerox copy of it. But suppose it is not like that. What if God has created the world in such a way that meaning gets clearer and crisper each time we move it properly?” (Writers to Read, p. 52).

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bethyada
5 years ago

Talking of writers to read, I found this somewhat interesting. The kind of item you may be interested in commenting on Doug. Embracing Identity Politics: Why I Am Now a Liberal Christian Nationalist http://www.patheos.com/blogs/justandsinner/embracing-identity-politics-why-i-am-now-a-liberal-christian-nationalist/ Though the best piece of writing was the quote from Vishal Mangalwadi A postmodernist would be absolutely right in insisting that the Declaration of Independence was wrong. These ‘truths’ are not ‘self-evident’. Human equality is not self-evident anywhere in the world– not even in America. Equality was never self-evident to the Hindu sages. For them, inequality was self-evident. Their question was, why are human beings born… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Yep, the initial Americans said our rights were self evident and endowed to us, by our self evident Creator.
The truest Americans still hold those truths to be self evident, and are proud to hold them so!????????????

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Are self-evident and divinely revealed mutually exclusive?

What if the creation of humanity and the rest reveals the Creator and His perspective?
Let’s say that all creation reveals the unmistakable truth that, despite surface inequalities of construction and social status, all men are dust yet carry His image.

This doesn’t necessarily make the much later written revelation in the Scriptures dispensable.
But might it challenge the notion that common sense is much dependent on Bible learning?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I would say that “self evident” would relate to natural revelation. Does natural revelation suggest all men are equal? I am not so sure.

I suspect the “self evident” of the framers related to the cultural milieu of Christendom they were surrounded by rather than natural revelation available to all men.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

What if God created the world in such a way that, looked at reasonably and soberly, with no special feats of insight, all can observe not only that all men are equal, but also that 1) they are all equally cursed without a savior, and 2) a savior is manifestly intended in this world, and 3) a savior would suffer and overcome the curse we experience? You are not so sure what God makes evident to you in & through His creation. May I suggest our understanding has been thus clouded by Enlightenment perspective? Yet the Scriptures correctly do not… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I can’t see, with the use of natural reason, that all men are equal in their endowments or their virtue. I can, however, use natural reason to derive the ethical principle that as I hope to be treated justly, I must not be unjust to others. This principle can lead to the conclusion that people must be treated as if they were equal. But many Christian states throughout history have not believed in human equality while still aiming at justice.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

The DOI seems to me to go far beyond Locke in its assumption of a self-evident equality or a right to the pursuit of happiness. Wasn’t Locke’s focus the liberty of the subject and the importance of property rights as a foundation for every other right? I always interpreted “self evident” to mean the conclusions we reach from the application of natural reason. Natural reason tells me that the strong will always prey upon the weak, and that human gifts have not been equally distributed.