Apologetics Anyone?

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Apologetics Anyone?

Postby RonPrice » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:54 pm

Preamble:

Since there are so many questions raised and issues discussed concerning people’s basic assumptions about life, about their philosophy, about their religious beliefs, indeed, about their very approach to reality and the way their society goes about organizing things, it seemed like a useful exercise, useful at least to me and hopefully to some others at this site, to say a few things about: My Position and Beliefs: My Religion. I do this at this site and dozens of other sites on the internet and I use this post as an opening note. I get a wide range of reactions.

Religion, in the sense that I am using it here, is the set of values, beliefs and attitudes each of us has as we go about our daily life at a particular moment in time, in this case, at the time of my writing of this post on the internet and in the case of the person reading this post, at the time of the response of that reader. I hope this opening note of some 1900 words provides a general, a useful, a helpful context for any continuing discussion you and I may have. If the note I strike is too long, I advise readers to just click me off, a simple enough exercise of the hand and the mind.-Ron Price in Australia.
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Part 1:

Apologetics is a branch of systematic theology, although some experience its thrust in religious studies or philosophy of religion courses. Some encounter it on the internet for the first time in a more populist and usually much less academic form. As I see it, apologetics is primarily concerned with the protection of a position, the refutation of the issues raised by that position's assailants and, in the larger sense, the exploration of that position in the context of prevailing philosophies and standards in a secular society, a religious society, indeed, any society past or present. All of us defend our positions whatever these positions are: atheistic, theistic, agnostic, humanistic, skeptic, cynic, realist, pragmatist and any one of a multitude of religions, denominations, sects, cults, isms and wasms.

Apologetics, to put it slightly differently, is concerned with answering both general and critical inquiries from others. In the main, though, apologetics deals with criticism of a position and dealing with that criticism in as rational a manner as possible. Apologetics can help explore the teachings of a religion or of a philosophy in the context of the prevailing religions and philosophies of the day as well as in the context of the common laws and standards of a secular society. Although the capacity to engage in critical self-reflection on the fundamentals of some position is a prerequisite of the task of engaging in apologetics, apologetics derives much of its impetus from a commitment to a position.

Part 2:

Given the role of apologetics in religious and philosophical history and in the development of the texts and ideas that are part and parcel of that history, it is surprising that contemporary communities generally undervalue its importance and often are not even aware of the existence of this sub-discipline of philosophy. Authors, writers, editors of journals and leaders known for defending points in arguments, for engaging in conflicts or for taking up certain positions that receive great popular scrutiny and/or are minority views engage in what today are essentially forms of secular apologetics.

Anyone concerned with the history of apologetics is also involved with the history of hermeneutics and they all confront the question of interpretation. Questions of interpretation concern biblical interpreters. They concern lawyers who debate the meaning of the Constitution. They concern psychiatrists as they reflect upon their interpretation of case histories, and anthropologists and historians who ponder the data of their disciplines.

Naturally in life, we all take positions on all sorts of topics, subjects, religions and philosophies. Often that position is inarticulate and poorly thought out if given any thought at all. With that said, though, the apologetics I engage in here is a never-ending exercise with time out for the necessary and inevitable quotidian tasks of life: eating, sleeping, drinking and a wide range of leisure activities. The apologetics that concerns me is not so much Christian or Islamic apologetics or one of a variety of those secular apologetics I referred to above, but Baha'i apologetics.

Part 3:

As a Bahá'í whatever proof I offer about my beliefs as I try to help others to make sense of them, this proof I offer is relative. It depends on the total context of the statements which I make. It depends on the explicit and implicit conventions concerning their meaning as well as the experiential component of my statements and much else. My findings, rooted as they are in subjectivity, relativism and pragmatism, can be verified only by individuals capable of assuming and willing to assume my point of view. This is true in all scientific endeavour: in the physical and biological sciences, in the social sciences and in the various studies in the humanities of which religion is but one of these many fields.

One can be convinced of the truth of something, have a sense of certitude and know little to nothing at all about the object. Often, faithful self-abandonment is more valuable than cerebral consent. Society and the millions of individuals in it are caught in cross-fires between noncommitment, sketpicism, cynicism and defensiveness on the one hand and the upholding of categorical imperatives, the justifying of arbitrary absolutes, the insistence on finality and agreement, irrational commitment and aggressiveness on the other.

This is the general climate in which apologetics takes place with an interdependence of diverse points of view, with passionate expressions and proofs all lying along linking lines and lines that cannot be linked. The world has become very complex for the votaries its multitudinous faith positions.

Part 4:

There are many points of comparison and contrast between any form of apologetics which I won't go into here. Readers here might like to check out Wikipedia for a birds-eye-view of the subject. Christians and Muslims will have the opportunity to defend their respective religions by the use of apologetics; secular humanists can also argue their cases if they so desire here. I in turn will defend the Baha'i Faith by the use of apologetics. In the process each of us will, hopefully, learn something about our respective Faiths, our religions, our various and our multitudinous positions, some of which we hold to our hearts dearly and some of which are of little interest.

At the outset, then, in this my first posting, my intention is simply to make this start, to state what you might call "my apologetics position." This brief statement indicates, in broad outline, where I am coming from in the weeks and months ahead. -Ron Price with thanks to Udo Schaefer, "Baha'i Apologetics?" Baha'i Studies Review, Vol. 10, 2001/02.
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Part 5:

I want in this 5th part of my posting to finish outlining, as best I can, my basic orientation to Baha’i apologetics. To save me reinventing the wheel so to speak, may I suggest readers here google the official Bahá'í site at bahai.org so that they have some idea what the Bahá'í faith is, what are its teachings and its history. Then these same readers can post a reply to this post with specific questions and critiques. Critical scholarly contributions or criticism raised in public or private discussions, an obvious part of apologetics, should not necessarily be equated with hostility. Questions are perfectly legitimate, indeed, necessary aspects of a person's search for an answer to an intellectual conundrum. Paul Tillich, that great Protestant theologian of the 20th century, once expressed the view that apologetics was an "answering theology."-Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, U. of Chicago, 1967, Vol.1, p6.
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Part 5.1:

I have always been attracted to the founder of the Baha'i Faith's exhortations in discussion to "speak with words as mild as milk," with "the utmost lenience & forbearance." This form of dialogue, its obvious etiquette of expression and the acute exercise of judgement involved, is difficult for most people when their position is under attack from people who are more articulate, better read and better at arguing both their own position and the position of those engaged in the written criticism than they are. I am also aware that, in cases of rude or hostile attack, rebuttal with a harsher tone, the punitive rebuttal, may well be justified, although I prefer humour, irony and even gentle sarcasm rather than hostile written attack in any form. Still, it does not help an apologist to belong to those "watchmen" whom the prophet Isaiah calls "dumb dogs that cannot bark."(Isaiah, 56:10)
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In its essence apologetics is a kind of confrontation, an act of revealing one's true colours, of hoisting the flag, of demonstrating the essential characteristics of one's faith, of one's thought, of one's emotional and intellectual stance in life. “Dialogue does not mean self-denial,” wrote Hans Kung, arguably the greatest of Catholic apologists. The standard of public discussion of controversial topics should be sensitive to what is said and how; it should be sensitive to manner, mode, style, tone and volume. Tact is also essential. Not everything that we know should always be disclosed; not everything that can be disclosed it timely or suited to the ears of the hearer. To put this another way, we don't want all our dirty laundry out on our front lawn for all to see or our secrets blasted over the radio and TV. Perhaps a moderate confessionalism is best here, if confession is required at all—and in today’s print and electronic media it seems unavoidable.

I want to thank Udo Schaefer, "Baha'i Apologetics," Baha'i Studies Review, Vol.10--2001/2, for some of what I write here. Schaefer, a prominent Baha’i writer, scholar, lawyer and man of many intellectual seasons, emphasizes that one's views, one's faith, should not be opportunistically streamlined, adapting to current trends, thus concealing the real features of these views, features that could provoke rejection in order to be acceptable for dialogue. To do this, to be opportunistic and saying what others want to hear often puts one in the danger of losing one's identity, if not one’s honesty and integrity.

Part 6:

It is almost impossible, though, to carry the torch of truth, partial truth, of one’s convictions, indeed, of any set of words in any colour, through a crowd without getting someone's beard singed. If one has no beard one’s emotions can be equally fried and hung out to dry in the process of verbal or written exchange. In the weeks and months that follow, my postings quite possibly may wind up singing the beards of some readers and, perhaps, my own. Emotions, if not fried when exposed, are often behind barricades of self-defence and that is natural because what is being considered is at the centre of a person’s life. Such are the perils of dialogue, of apologetics.

Much of Baha'i apologetics derives from the experience Baha'is have of a fundamental discrepancy between much secular thought and the Baha'i teachings on the other. In some ways, the gulf is unbridgeable but so, too, is this the case between the secular and much thought in the Christian or Islamic religion or, for that matter, between variants of Christianity or even within what are often the muddy and pluralistic waters of secular thought itself.

Anyway, that's all for now. It's back to the spring winds of Tasmania, about 3 kms from the Bass Straight on the Tamar River. The geography of place is so much simpler than that of the philosophical and religious geography that the readers at this site are concerned with, although even physical geography has its complexities as those who take a serious interest in the topic of climate change are fast finding out. Whom the gods would destroy they first make simple and simpler and simpler. I look forward to a dialogue with someone, anyone who is inclined to respond to what I’m sure for some is this overly long post. Here in far-off Tasmania--the last stop before Antarctica, if one wants to get there by some other route than off the end of South America--your response will be gratefully received.-Ron Price, Tasmania, Australia(1900 words).
Last edited by RonPrice on Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby prologicam » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:33 pm

Whoever you are,

Religious, ha!!?? You know what, I should feel sorry for you and the likes of you however, I am not going to. Virus have to be dealt with by uprooting, that is what I do with holly religious. Its a most worse crapy idea feeding children with shit pile of religious stuff calling it moral values, to the furness with those practises, poor innocent children in the hands of those religious bastard killing off the HUMAN VALUES.

Religion is a worse disease I can think of. it creeps/t up upon the each and everyone's soul like Typhoon and eat away the souls of human societies to replace it with shear garbage and imaginary fantasies about angles, heaven and hells and Demon along with sacrifices. Religion does not contain a culture hence other culture must be destroyed by religions, its a human tragedy to have feeling called jealousy. All religious people have ever done is only to talk, a primitive form of politicians, never touched a tool to repair inbstead calling themselves "moral guides" at its best and "zombi virus" at its worse. Who needs a moral guide and who doesn't need the zombi virus?? A lazy person who doesn't want to move a cell to make it happen needs a moral guide, like children, the ones who are not aware of their surroundings, irresponsible, keep falling over. But, the ones who don't need such deadly virus are the one who have work to do and it happens they like their job, just like a shoe makers and alike do, passing down from generation to generation, we call it culture. Religion is not a culture, hence it can only to be one by pushing away other cultures on its way. What do you choose? The culture or religion, I know millions of people have chosen the religion to be their main culture to practice days and nights which makes the genuine culture to become smaller and smaller.

This is why despite all you education which was obtained all for a wrong reason does not have a soul and you know that ALREADY, because at the beginning you have confirmed it by asking the readers to "CLICK-OFF" if they find it boring, is was written on the wall, you have learnt to write, you are not a writer. You would do far more satisfactory had you been allowed to do what you appreciate it best, but no, those mom and dad of yours brained washed you from the beginning. I know so, 100% certain, its written on the wall but you can't see yourself because your eyes can only see what is in front of them, you need another set of eyes to see backwards.

Its the HUMAN VALUES, not moral values, that come from COLLECTIVE PEOPLE into PEOPLE'S LAW (Parliament) into DEMOCRACY, not from selected dictatorial persons who like mad people go round and claiming god has spoken to them which today its called forgery and is a criminal offence, whether quoted or invented. You should pack your mess and start from the beginning again while there is a time, however short it may be, better to realise late than never, at least you die proud with head up, arms short, neck straight, unlike beggars.

Afters years of studying religious, you have come up upon the worse disaster of our time, the fragging of cultures. These fragmentations arrived by Trojan Virus from the way behind in the past, unlike thousands of other brave and strong ones which tries to travel along the time from past to present and SADDLY died due to the reform as needed, pasc the speedy human needed the speedy communication, there you now will see the words like "hope" still exist by the religious people trying to sell their scientific ideas to the public not aware of such Trojan virus. So, regardless how many titles you and other hold, not worth a carrot however shafting you can use them for.

Go on begging for support since ever you remember until the day you will forget, you will receive many support but me, I have been truthful to you for what i have experienced, religion makes you old, sad, fat, lonely, incompidance, inexperience, indecisive, uninterested, a fake and superficial human being. Let me hear what you have to say, now what they told you to say and make in tangible, like throwing iron bits at me, please.

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That was a mouthful, prologicam

Postby RonPrice » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:19 pm

That was a mouthful, prologicam/Moonballer. You certainly got a few things off your chest there. Take care of yourself, whoever you are.-Ron Price, Australia :-:
married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16 with several books published on the internet--and a Baha'i for 56 years(in 2015)
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Can you say something original?

Postby prologicam » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:15 am

RonPrice wrote:That was a mouthful, prologicam/Moonballer. You certainly got a few things off your chest there. Take care of yourself, whoever you are.-Ron Price, Australia :-:


Mouthful, that was just looking through a telescope, wait until it hits you.

As usual, double talking sarcasm, on the one hand take care myself, on the other hand your name and address.

Is there anything hygiene about your words? However, since you like to flatter yourself by calling it "Getting rid of your chest", for your information, I wasn't, I was having a-go at you to why you were preaching your religions with your readers, IE me. I happened to found out it was an act of perjury to speak deception with intentions to spreading corruptions.

Like I said, you have nothing to say from your own, all religious people hare the same attitude, can only quote from others. All the content from your reply was to "Getting off your chest", there are more of the sentence in the air than there are sands in deserts, all repeat and boring. If you wanted to say something short, the least you could do to be innovative, I guess you don't know the meaning of that either.

Let this be a warning to you, wherever and whenever I hear or see the religious people preach a word to others, I will come down on them like all I could. Religious is a private practise, to spread that to public, will be swat by me, like flies, whoever it may preach it. DO NOT PREACH WHERE WHERE I CAN SEE!

You, like other superstars standing behind their lecterns and lecturing the world with tons of titles all shining and glittering in the front page of their faces, come out and challenge me-a-nobody on 1o1 basis, just to see what have you got worth listening to, as tangible as iron-bits. not that stupid, nonsense, worthless, meaningless and stolon sentence propellered crap "Get off your chest". Not-to-reply would have meant more.

All in all, I make it easy for you. I am not interested in your intellectuality. You are in Australia, I am in opposite direction as far as it goes. Your intellectuality comes handy for your environment, mine in mine, if I have any. The only substance is left to recon with is our intelligence that can distinguish us from carrots however they have the ability to grow under ground and we don't. You want to trying to say that you are more intelligent which is written all over your front page walls, I am trying to say you are not intelligence at all, you are just another mimicker like billions more. If you want to proof me mistaken, then tell me what is the meaning of intelligence in one word to describe the nearest meaning to an act of intelligence, in compare to all the other single words. If you made so many decisions to succeed to the present status of successful life, which are all cause by using and practising your intelligence, then it should be easier for you to find the answerer in compare to a stupid person who sells his life by doing opposite to you by not making decisions. This challenge goes for everybody in the world who claim to have intelligence, an honor to the forum resulting from X-Factors.

Remember, literatures is nothing, intelligence is everything. Can you get out of that one? Show me!!!

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Civility

Postby RonPrice » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:28 am

Apologetics must be conducted with civility or it is best not to conduct it at all--and so I will bow out of this harangue.-Ron Price, Australia
married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16 with several books published on the internet--and a Baha'i for 56 years(in 2015)
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Re: Civility

Postby prologicam » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:46 am

RonPrice wrote:Apologetics must be conducted with civility or it is best not to conduct it at all--and so I will bow out of this harangue.-Ron Price, Australia


OK, double talker, let us to begin by counting how many flows there are in one short simple childish sentence of yours.

1. Double talking by trying to educate me that "apologetic" must be conducted with civility. Do you know the meaning of civility? Where its come from and where it has ended to? Let me tell you what you mean by "civility":

To complete your sentence in the shortest way while is is still understandable, you mean to say the following: "Apologetics must be conducted with civility or ELSE". The else is a threat, period.

To mark your threat, you said: Apologetics MUST.....

How did you on earth manage to blend the "must" with "civility" so well, attached together like two peas in a pot? What are you a trickster?

Improvisation: If you claim to have had so much education with your speeches as you know the codes for/account of each words you chew out, then you should be accounted for, not like me an idiot who did not claim a sausage in his live, I am allowed to make as many mistake as I want to however I do not take liberty, but you.....!

So far, you used and blended the implicating forceful term "must", backed up with threatening term "else" immediately, quietly but clear, that as we say in Iran; A blind man can see that. But in Iran, they are not blind, only pretending, soon will open their lovey eyelashes when fire closes in to them.

So, the complete forceful threatening sentence in so call civility although meaningless would be "Apologetics has to be conducted with civility otherwise....."

You are educated for your own good, if you see what I mean. Try it otherwise, if you can. Using force and giving ultimatum are against civilities, hence both are dictating terms used in military.

Is that how you have been teaching those people? No wonder, after building millions of nurseries, schools, colleges and universities, each producing billions of graduates in their own terms in every subject with infinitive roots mixed with latest scientific equipments and hypertechnics, the world has become so subordinated. Sometimes so much, sometimes so little, the productions have created mayhem.

You are correct, not to conduct with those people has its advantage.

From your point of view, you are right and I am wrong, the law of the skies (spirit), but from my point of view, you are mistaken and I am correct, the law of the land (material).

Since you couldn't come up with an answer with a single word to describe your intelligence at its closest. I now have to raise stakes by asking you my second question: What is the meaning of the famous saying "NOT TO TAKE THE LIBERTY", otherwise the milder version is to ask; Why the statue of a woman holding a torch in New York gateway is called "THE STATUE OF LIBERTY". The question is for everyone in the world, educated or not.

Please remember, the more you know your stuff, the more difficult I become to understand. My advise to all people is not to act cleaver. Thank you.

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Civility

Postby RonPrice » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:22 pm

As I said 18 months ago, prologicam, "apologetics must be conducted with civility or it is best not to conduct it at all--and so I will bow out of this harangue." And I will continue to bow out.-Ron Price, Australia
married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16 with several books published on the internet--and a Baha'i for 56 years(in 2015)
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Re: Civility

Postby prologicam » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:56 pm

RonPrice wrote:As I said 18 months ago, prologicam, "apologetics must be conducted with civility or it is best not to conduct it at all--and so I will bow out of this harangue." And I will continue to bow out.-Ron Price, Australia


Dear RonPrice

The question is, you don't make a difference, you ain't, as simple as that.

What is your bowing gonna do for me, ha? Married for so many year with so many kids, so many books and so much religion, not worth a dime, still can't articulate a blasted sausage, can you.

Religion is a poison injected to people to bring them up as a thief, liar, cheat, deceiving, hooligans and hatred war mongers with greed and lusts for material naming money by the first given opportunity, cause they are all brainwashed or sheep (with respect to sheep). Its sooooo strange for a holy person to talk about god yet to have a life of below waist. You have no idea how far you have your head into the god's arse.

Why don't you go and pray for your god and ask him why has he (as all religious are mail chauvinists) had to create the stardoms, the earth, countries, towns, houses, then a nanological creature as you to see the life through a wormeye created for any comebacks?

You have something to say worth hearing, lets have it, but you know you don't, all you know is repeat or stollen from other sauces, that is what religious do, stealing.

I know you don't know why they are thieves, that is because: 1. Religion does not contain a cutter, because it is an ideology, therefore an ideology is not a culture. 2. Religious destroys culture because culture stops the religions. 3. Culture is educational, through language and art-forms, even learning how to weave a carpet or making a leather bag is educational and religion does not allow it. If it does, its for the religious achievements, not for the learner. 4. Through their naivety to be educated in any form, they become fanatics or thoughtless. human is born to with a brain to learn about everything in sight. If it was to be carried out that way, there would be no illness, no poverty, no wars, no pollution, no greed, no problem whatsoever, but religions did not want that, they started to seed death, poverty, war and decease, that is the culture of religions.

I am warning you, once more trying to muck me, I have the will to through you into chaos of unknowns, do not mess with me if you know what is good for you, my pen is digital and the ink is my ideas, meaning new.

You see now, you too are going round a vicious circle, I managed to break free mine, this makes us two different beings, you eat sardines, I eat sharks, in the same way, with bones and teethes.

Please do not repeat any words from identical, I am for diversity.

Be different
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Postby RonPrice » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:26 pm

As I said more than 2 months ago, prologicam, "apologetics must be conducted with civility or it is best not to conduct it at all--and so I will bow out, yet again, of your emotionally loaded comments." And I will continue to bow out or, perhaps, just leave this thread to die a natural death.-Ron Price, Australia
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