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Monday, 31 March 2008


Blogger Frederick Buechner's Lovechild said...

In a recent interview with Joni Mitchell (showing my age again) she said that she preferred painting to poetry and quoted someone who said that all poetry involved was "muddying the waters to give them the appearance of depth"

1) Source the quote for me
2) Discuss!
3) Buy and listen to 'Blue' if you haven't already done so (listen with Gav and share the experience) and tell me that Joni Mitchell isn't a poet!
  1. She made it up. I've been unable, after much frantic googling, to find anything even similar to that quotation anywhere on the internets.
  2. Sometimes it's true, and poetry is intended to make our trivial, everyday feelings seem more important. Sometimes, however, they're a way of bringing our 'muddier' thoughts and feelings to light; clearing waters that are already muddy; making the deep things accessible. That's the thing about poetry, it can be anything that is felt or thought or experienced.
  3. Joni Mitchell isn't a poet. ;) I'm kidding; that's clearly a very indepth piece of writing, I'll look for more of her music!
Ben said...

Are humans naturally competitive or cooperative?

I'm so witty. Honestly though, I think we can be both, as our nature isn't fixed. You may help someone out to your own expense, or you may take advantage of them, depending on your character and your choices. Reducing it to 'human nature' inevitably involves explaining away everybody who acts in the other direction.

Homer said...

This is honestly not designed to offend you, but in search of that one Jeremy Paxman star:

A) If you'd been born to a poor family in an Indian village and raised Hindu, what religion do you think you would be now?

B) What are the implications of your answer for your faith?

I'm not offended in the slightest, they're good questions :)
a) I think I'd be a Hindu with a lot of questions. As I am now a Christian with a lot of questions. There are things about my faith that I don't fully understand, but I do fully and completely accept my need to be forgiven. Christ offers that. While the Hindu faith commends forgiveness, the absence of a monotheistic God confuses the issue of who exactly I'm being forgiven by. If I'd been raised as a Hindu, I may well have answers to things that I don't have now, but that question is a very big and important one.

b) The implications, I believe, are that there are things we could learn from other faiths. Christianity does not have the monopoly on truth, and our 'doctrine' is not infallible. That's quite a controversial statement, so I'll clarify it. The church has accepted for hundreds of years things that are not necessarily Biblically based. I can't provide any evidence to say that they are incorrect, but I accept that they may be.

Luko said...

1- Don't you think that faith as an idea pigeonholes people into not to experience things that are forbidden in certain scriptures.
2- Does it worry you that whilst some people do use religion in a nice way a lot of people just use it as an excuse to be extremely crappy to each other (from the KKK to muslim extremists to the crusades)
3- Don't you think that by having an eternal afterlifethere is a strong message that this life doesn't matter. And in retrospect people deciding to be good is like a fetus worryong about being good or bad before going onto a 'new life'
4- The scriptual ideas of good or bad were written in a mysoginistic and gynophobic society several centuries ago don't you think that they should be re-examined?
  1. My faith doesn't stop me from experiencing anything. I could still murder, steal, insult etc (and sometimes I do, I'm not perfect (but not murdering though)), but I don't because it's not for the good. It's not to my advantage or anyone elses. Morality by its nature does affect what we choose to experience, but that's natural and good. Belief that doesn't affect our actions is worthless.
  2. Yes, absolutely! People who use God as an excuse to do terrible things do an awful lot of damage to God's reputation and to mine. Jesus was all about the love. If you're not acting in love, you're not acting in Christ.
  3. Quite the reverse. If life ended when we died, then ultimately all our efforts come to nothing and this life is a worthless attempt to stall the inevitable. If, however, there are eternal consequences to our actions, then what we do and say in this life has value. otherwise, you know, do what you want before the void claims you. Some people live that way and I don't know how they do it. No, I don't know why they do it.
  4. Hahaha... I think gynophobic is taking it a bit far, but I accept your point. Should they be re-examined? Yes, absolutely! There's no value whatsoever in preserving laws cryogenically. They should be constantly re-evaluated. Some, such as the ten commandments, will be true for all eternity - others, such as a lot of the cleanliness laws, aren't as relevant in a world with antiseptic wipes.
These are, of course, my opinions. They are not the views of all Christians, and I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow if I should see fit.

Anyway! I hope these answers have been of some interest to you. Thanks!

Interesting thing of the day: online photoshoppish thing


  1. I make no claim to having all the answers or having got things right, but I think I'd have disagreed with your answers to Homer's question, Anna. So I thought I'd put in my own thoughts, but I don't mean to preach or annoy.

    It's likely you would have been raised a Hindu, yes, but according to Christian teaching our God is the only true God. So you'd still have been raised in a religion but you'd be lacking the one true God. You then get difficult questions to do with pre-determination. (Would God seek you out as a chosen child, would you eventually find Him even if it was on your deathbed or would you never find Him at all?)

    The second question is easier somewhat. The implications must be nearly nothing because it's a simple what-if question. The question "what if God didn't like me" won't impact my faith because it's not true. You weren't born in the environment in which you live by chance, and so I don't think there's much to be gained by worrying about what would happen if you'd been brought up in a different religion.

    My main disagreement is with you saying Christianity doesn't have a monopoly on truth. Surely if Jesus was right in everything He said then the only way to secure a decent afterlife is through Him? Surely we know the meaning of life: to worship, serve and live with our God? It's true of course that the church doesn't get everything right. We're all sinners and hypocrites, but since we know the meaning of life we're trying to make it work.

    Hope you don't take my thoughts offensively, I don't mean to undermine you. I've probably got bits wrong, so feel free to disagree back. :)

  2. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through him. I didn't disagree with that in any way. By saying that Christians don't have a monopoly on truth, I meant that many Christians are too quick to ignore the teachings of other faiths.

    For example, according to Buddhist teachings, the Buddha once said "No one can escape death and unhappiness. If people expect only happiness in life, they will be disappointed."

    There's wisdom in that. There's truth in that. To dismiss it because it isn't Christian is to close yourself off to truth.

  3. I agree with that. It's just the way you phrased it was a comparison of human intelligence and it somewhat ignored the advantage of being in contact with the real, living God: the one person who actually knows what's going on.


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