June 27, 2009

"Um. Oh, well. I guess journalists can be devoutly religious..."



AND: Elsewhere, I said:



Full context of that clip to be provided soon enough. For now, here's the Alexander Pope poem echoed in what I said:
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state...
This isthmus of a middle state? Why, he must mean Madison, Wisconsin, which, having scanned the internet too long, I should now properly study....

25 comments:

grackle said...

On the “born again” religious experience, which is by all accounts a huge consciousness changing event: I believe it is what Maslow describes as a “peak experience,” a natural, perhaps even essential(to the healthy psyche) thing which is interpreted by some who experience it as an encounter with God.

rhhardin said...

The attributes of God are not given in the indicative, but in the imperative...To know God is to know what must be done.

link look inside and search for "optic", take p.17.

Levinas, "A Religion for Adults" in _Difficult Freedom_.

jag said...

those of us interested in God agree on very little, except maybe this: that which is 'in front of us' ignites a fever to find its source.

also, why does it amuse thoughtful irreligious people when they discover that there are thoughtful religous people?

traditionalguy said...

God put his world and our fellow people right in front of us with all the Eden delights we can take. He wants us to enjoy it all. And like a good parent he likes us to acknowledge him and let him into our fun at times. And he has wrath when we give all the credit for what he has done to another, even to ourselves (see, #1}.

rhhardin said...

Alternatively, God is a figure of speech that's good enough to literalize.

wordsprite said...

@Jag-
"also, why does it amuse thoughtful irreligious people when they discover that there are thoughtful religous people?"

awesome quote.

Randy said...

also, why does it amuse thoughtful irreligious people when they discover that there are thoughtful religous people?

Probably for the same reason that it amuses thoughtful members of the cultural elite when they discover that there are thoughtful Republicans: no prior personal experience / never met one before.

grackle said...

And he has wrath when we give all the credit for what he has done to another, even to ourselves (see, #1}.

So far, no bolt of lightning ... but I'm waiting, although not exactly cringing in fear. Sometimes I believe in God. Now is not one of those times. I guess it has to do with the wrath part. I don’t think I like that God of Wrath – too much like the Mullahs, maybe. Looking forward to burning in Hell along with Maslow …

wordsprite said...

@Randy-
"Probably for the same reason that it amuses thoughtful members of the cultural elite when they discover that there are thoughtful Republicans: no prior personal experience / never met one before." And that excuses racism as well, I suppose.
Funny how the people who consider themselves so thoughtful and open-minded are oft the most closed-minded and cemented of opinion! That, to me, is irony. And not the funny kind.

bearbee said...

also, why does it amuse thoughtful irreligious people when they discover that there are thoughtful religous people?

What subtle altitudinal changes will occur towards her? Do they view her writings through an altered lens?

kynefski said...

Of course we're interested in God, because we're interested in history, and understanding gods is important for understanding human action.

By the way, I just finished Robert Wright's book. I recommend buying it, because Wright is someone I think should remain prominent; I just love listening to him and, in the past, I've loved reading him. But reading The Evolution of God? Not so much.

William said...

David Carradine once observed that although it is possible to live a pleasant, meaningful life without God, it is impossible to die a meaningful death without His presence.

Rob said...

"The attributes of God are not given in the indicative, but in the imperative...To know God is to know what must be done."

Thanks for the link rhhardin.

This jumped right out at me,
“The God of heaven is accessible, without losing any of His transcendence but without denying freedom to the believer.”

traditionalguy said...

We just returned from a wedding at a Korean Baptist Church followed by a catered Korean feast.The simple faith of an intelligent, hard working, small in size, people who love to honor their Daddy God is an amazingly encouraging experience. These Koreans know the power of praying to a God who has enough power to protect them. Across the DMZ the unbelievers rule in North korea. But nearby in China there are an estimated 25,000 new Christian believers converted, at risk of their lives, every week. As Peter the fisherman used to say to God, "Misereatur novis omnipotens Deus." It seems that Peter was not stuck in an atmosphere exalting unbelief like we are stuck in today in our post-christian America.

Big Mike said...

Well, Professor, now you know how I came to be an atheist.

But I wish to quibble about Madison as "an isthmus of a middle state." Wisconsin is a northern state, not a middle state.

kynefski said...

It seems that Peter was not stuck in an atmosphere exalting unbelief like we are stuck in today in our post-christian America.

Please don't despair. There are pockets in the United States of America where Christians can still worship freely. I know this because I live in one. I won't tell you where; the atheist hordes haven't yet found us, and I won't give them a map.

But this much is true, difficult as it is to believe: Christians campaigning for public office here will actually profess their faith in public, without retribution.

Know hope.

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Not a really big fan of the nebulous video posts that raise more questions than they answer. But my point, for now, is this. If you don't care about God, could you at least pretend that you do? That means a big church wedding, with formal liturgy, bridesmaids with puffy sleeves, a harpsichordist and someone releasing a bunch of white doves. And lots and lots of God. I don't care if it is not your taste. And I don't care if it is not your religion.

This damn wedding is not about you, Ann. It's about pissing off Andrew Sullivan and the chicks at feministing.

grackle said...

Our hostess asks some questions:

Why should she be interested in God? Because if there is such a thing as a god it would be so significant of a knowledge that it would be impossible for any thoughtful person NOT to be interested. The idea of the existence of God(or gods) is worth a bit of intellectual effort since the intellectual reward would be great.

If there is a god or gods then he/it/they could put us aside if they so desired but it would be impossible for mere humans to put them aside. Such a thing would be entirely at the discretion of the god(s).

I don’t think any human could know what a god would want of us, no more than a termite could know what a chimpanzee would want.

The Crack Emcee said...

She spoke of spirits clanking around her house - no doubt there. She once was married to a beta male who now does Tai Chi. She denies a monotheistic god. And she pretends she's too smart and sophisticated to be a NewAger - they're so "flakey".

Can anybody say "NewAger"?

(Sorry, Ann, but I know all the signs,...)

TMink said...

My standard response to people who are interested in God is to encourage them to ask Him to reveal Himself to them.

My God is alive, and I cannot imagine worshiping or being interested in a god who is not or does not deign to interact with us.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

If there is a God, why would he want to be worshipped? Why would he want us to spend time thinking about him when he has given us a world to live in and people to care about? Why would he have us pondering and talking to what can only be either an imagined version of him or an inaccessible abstraction as opposed to doing valuable things in the concrete world we are in? I believe in a God that doesn't want to be believed in.

elizabeth said...

Ann,

I have found when I do NOT think on God ~ worship him - I fall into a funk of self, and come to loath this messed up world. This world is only temporary. I would be SO depressed (and have been) when thinking this is it. Because as glorious as it is - there is abetter and grander place (Jesus promised He has gone to prepare it.) I can't put my hope in man, as he dies and that is it...God does not force us to worship, but as a great Saint has said - our hearts never are at rest until they rest in him. (St. Augustine) He does not NEED us...imagine that, but he does love us. Sure, we can go through life on *ignore*.
(Have you ever read Chesterton?)

:D

traditionalguy said...

The Professor points out that living and enjoying a real life is better than spending our days on earth performing religious acts. The father of Faith (Abraham) was a prosperous cattle farmer who spent very little time in religious activities. What Abraham did do was believe God and act on what God said. The spiritual laws we men face require that whatever we worship always come to have power over us. The lively and intelligent Spirit of Truth (read Reality) who wrote the scriptures for us is bored by religion. He is a creative artist who loves men and women passionately. We need to worship the great and loving God and his son Jesus who saves and frees us, or we will become the slaves under the power of other gods who want to humiliate us and kill us. Peace.

kynefski said...

Have you ever read Chesterton?

All of us, in various contexts, find it difficult to resist the temptation of claiming to possess insight into the thoughts of others. ("Neocons think that we can impose democracy on any culture.")

Reading Chesterton reminds us of how foolish we seem when we do this.

jag said...

@ althouse-

if there is a God, might the motive be love? according to the genesis myth, God came looking for man in the garden, came looking for abel, came looking for ten righteous, etc.. a restless God jealous of our company i suppose.