Sai Emrys wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 12:03 AM, R A Brown
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Surely a system of identifying Christianity should at
>> least have reference to Christ! There ought, surely, to
>> be a reference to a _triune_ God.
> Agreed on the former, but the trinity is not universal.
> Some sects don't believe in Christ as an "aspect" of
> Yahweh, but rather as an independent entity. ;-)

But that's just why I said 'reference to'. Yes, the Arianism 
is always referred to as a heresy by those holding a 
trinitarian belief, not as a different religion.  While some 
modern groups hold views similar to Arianism, it does remain 
true that belief in a triune God is central to Orthodox and 
Catholic belief as well as to churches of the Protestant 
Reformation. A description of Christianity should IMO take 
this on board.

>> The trouble is that often today 'gender' is used to
>> mean 'biological sex' - which is so often misleading.
> As it is for humans as well. ;-) [Insert standard queer
> theory rant here.]

Absolutely! Gender has the extra ambiguity in that it may 
refer to sexual orientation. Nor is biological sex as 
straightforward as some people make out either. I recall 
seeing a program about a young girl who outwardly had all 
the physical characteristics of a female, but instead of 
ovaries had male testes.

> It might actually be interesting to intersect them. I
> think that Louie's proposal is too naïve to work as such,
> but certainly having better names for personal
> religious/spiritual beliefs would be a good thing.
> Perhaps we could make it easier to have less poorly
> labeled beliefs by not having to rely on extremely broad
> ones like "Christian", "Buddhist", or "atheist" - and
> thus have more interesting/useful discussions about them?

I think if we were having a serious discussion (and I don't 
think this list is the place for that), then particular 
beliefs would be more carefully defined. For example, one 
would defined more closely the particular variety of 
Christianity or of Buddhism - and possibly with regard to 
individuals - define more closely positions within that 
particular variety (e.g. liberal or conservative). Likewise, 
with 'atheism' which, as this thread has shown (and similar 
ones in the past have shown) does not have a single, 
universally agreed precise meaning.

> Of course, that would imply that people actually have to
> know what they believe first, which IME is not generally
> true.


>> Buddhism isn't a simple label, but covers a wide range
>> of religious beliefs, practices, experiences etc.
> Seriously! The proper Eastern sort seems to have quite a
> lot more intertwined dogma, cosmology, etc. - just like
> any religion. Whereas the Western concept often means
> something as simple as "practice of meditation,
> generically".

The Buddhism I saw in China was rather more than practice of 
meditation! In any case, meditation has always figured 
seriously in many varieties of Christianity and, indeed, 
AFAIK is found to a lesser or greater degreed in (nearly?) 
all religions.

> Which is unfortunate, since it conflates a set of
> techniques (meditation) and associated experiences
> (oneness, ego loss, etc) with particular metaphysical
> truth-claims, two things that I think could stand a lot
> more separation if we're to have the ability to
> rationally discuss such topics without undue offense.

Too true.

>> Thus, I repeat again, that in my view simplistic
>> categorizing of religious and other beliefs systems is
>> at best misleading, and too easily causes offense.
> Amen! [ha]
> Plus, simplistic categorization leads to seriously
> flawed, equivocating/strawmanning arguments. :-P


Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.