April 26-B, 2023

November 04 11/04/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Doughton Park, North Carolina
In my opinion,
all theology consists of
collections of opinion about opinions (Hearsay).

Roman Catholic opinion is different
from Protestant opinion.
Reformed opinion is a form of Protestant opinion
that can be sub-divided into a myriad
of somewhat related opinions.
The same goes for Methodist and Baptist opinion,
Pentecostal and Etc. opinion.

Philosophy also consists of
collections of opinion about opinions (Hearsay).

Both Theology and Philosophy come to grief
with four questions:

How do we know?
Who says so?
How do we know they know 
what they are talking about?
Why would anyone take anything on faith?
(Which would be answered with,
"We are at the point of having to do something
and we don't know what will happen no matter what we do,
so we have to make our best guess about what to do
and trust our luck,
and see what happens,
and we will know more after making the experiment."

Science is grounded on making experiments on someone's
opinions in order to verify what can be known
and separate that from what will have to--
for the time being--
remain unknown/unknowable.)
The statement:
"The stove is hot,"
can be verified independently
by everyone.

Statements of Theology and Philosophy
have to be "Taken on faith"
by those subscribing
to the Theology/Philosophy in question.

Why would anybody ever take anything "On faith"?
Because they are too lazy or disinterested
to think things through for themselves,
in an "Okay, if you say so," kind of way.

Immanuel Kant has some interesting things to say
about the "Transcendent" and the "Transcendental."
He says, basically, 
that we can think/talk about the "Transcendental,"
but, because the "Transcendent" is Transcendent,
we cannot think, and therefore cannot talk,
about the "Transcendent."

And, in my opinion, that is where it ends--
in knowing what we can talk about,
and what we cannot talk about.
And not talking about what we cannot talk about,
beyond asking the four questions,

"How do we know?"

"Who says so?"

"How do we know they know
what they are talking about?"

"Why would anyone take anything on faith?" 


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

3 thoughts on “April 26-B, 2023

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