Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Laywoman Philosopher alert

The title of my blog used to be, "Musings and Excogitations of a Laywoman Philosopher," but I changed it because I thought it was rather pompous sounding (although that was the original intent, in jest). Also, if on the odd chance I decided to use this blog to post other things, say, pictures of the cat, it wouldn't fit. (Violin stuff goes in another blog that I'm working on.) However, once in a while I bring back the laywoman philosopher, just for fun; I have no authority to call myself a philosopher, maybe I should just stick with the laywoman part.

My philosophical topic today is: philosophy. (Am I sounding intelligent yet?) This quarter's Sabbath school lesson is on the Sanctuary, so I spent some time looking at different views of the Atonement. The conclusion I reached is: wow, there are a lot of ideas out there. My philosophy is that there are about as many different philosophies as there are philosophers (or, insert theology instead). Is it possible to write a textbook on philosophies or theologies? As in, "the X model teaches A, B, and C" and so on. Within the group of adherents to the X model, there are hundreds of philosophers who teach A, but not B and C, or A and B but not C, etc.

1. Are you an A-ist?

Here's one question that arose in my mind, as I type away at my stream of consciousness essay: Let's say the textbook, Wikipedia or whatever it is (ok, not Wikipedia, the authors have a tough time being unbiased since they usually write the articles on whatever they agree with) states, "Philosophy A, otherwise known as a twelve-syllable unpronounceable -ism, teaches the following five tenets." (maybe we should shorten it to A-ism, because it has to have an -ism.) Now, if you believe in and agree with the first two but think that the other three are heresy, are you considered an A-ist? Does it depend how vociferously you preach those first two beliefs, or how important you think they are, even if you deny the other three?

Also, if the person accused of being an A-ist because he preaches the first two tenets denies frankly that he is an A-ist ("I am not an A-ist, because I don't preach the last three of the five tenets"), does he have authority to deny his affiliation with A-ism, or can we label him what we want? What would the textbook say? What would you tell your friends about him?

2. Who is my philosopher?

Here's a blatant accusation of society, but it's mine, and my blog: Seems to me that there are approximately 10-15 theologians for every approximately 250,000 church members. The Theologians spend their day thinking up philosophies, or, if you read textbooks, at least quoting other Theologians. The 250,000 other church members drink coffee after Sunday school and talk about the game, and leave the theology for the Theologians. OK, maybe that was a little rude, there are plenty a good number some of the flock who study and think for themselves, so if you are reading this you can feel free to put yourself in the category of the Theologians. (Actually, if you got this far in this blog entry, you probably are.) But you have to admit that it's true that many religious followers are just that, followers, and if they are asked what they believe, they will say, "Well, Pastor C said that--" (or Rabbi M, or Elder H, or whatever. Certainly not limited to Christians, notice how I haven't mentioned Christianity yet, it's just a human thing. "Church members" could also be any religious follower, adherent or whatever.) So: let's hope Pastor C is right, that's all I have to say.

3. But, what's right?

What Is Truth? Maybe that's for another blog essay. This one is getting to heavy as it is. :)

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