Haught on Science and Faith

Along the same line, here we have Georgetown theologian John Haught discoursing on matters theological. I see that P. Z. Myers has already given Haught a proper reaming, but perhaps there is a bit more to say.

Haught is a pro-evolution theologian. He did a very good deed in testifying on behalf of evolution at the big Dover trial. He’s written a number of books about science and religion, two of which, God After Darwin and Is Nature Enough?, I have read. I can say with perfect sincerity, though it gives me no joy to do so, that it is people like Haught far more than the fundamentalists who have convinced me that evolution and Christianity are utterly irreconcilable.

The whole interview is rather long, so I will focus on just a few choice exchanges.

Isn’t there a simple response to the materialist argument? You can say “purpose” is simply not a scientific idea. Instead, it’s an idea for theologians and philosophers to debate. Do you accept that distinction?

I sure do. But that distinction is usually violated in scientific literature and in much discussion of evolution. From the beginning of the modern world, science decided quite rightly that it wasn’t going to tackle such questions as purpose, value, meaning, importance, God, or even talk about intelligence or subjectivity. It was going to look for purely natural, causal, mechanical explanations of things. And science has every right to be that way. But that principle of scientific Puritanism is often violated by scientists who think that by dint of their scientific expertise, they are able to comment on such things as purpose. I consider that to be a great violation.

The implication here is that while scientists have no particular expertise to discuss questions of purpose, philosophers and theologians do. The fact is that meaning and purpose are not the sorts of things you become expert on by studying some academic discipline. I’ll agree that scientists should not be deferred to as authorities on the subject of purpose; their arguments need to be assessed on a case by case basis. But neither should philosophers or theologians be deferred to.

Curiously, Haught sends a different message later on:

Earlier, you said cosmic purpose is a question that lies outside of science. But it sounds like you’re bringing it into science. If you want to look for purpose — whether it’s in evolution or the larger universe — you’ll find it in this inexorable drive toward greater complexity.

We have to distinguish between science as a method and what science produces in the way of discovery. As a method, science does not ask questions of purpose. But it’s something different to look at the cumulative results of scientific thought and technology. From a theological point of view, that’s a part of the world that we have to integrate into our religious visions. That set of discoveries is not at all suggestive of a purposeless universe. Just the opposite. And what is the purpose? The purpose seems to be, from the very beginning, the intensification of consciousness. If you understand purpose as actualizing something that’s unquestionably good, then consciousness certainly fits. It’s cynical of scientists to say, off-handedly, there’s obviously no purpose in the universe. If purpose means realizing a value, consciousness is a value that none of us can deny.

That first part is all scientists like Dawkins are doing. They are taking the facts of nature as revealed by science and asking themselves what sort of world they suggest. Their conclusion, and mine, is different from that of Haught. I see only evidence of purposelessness and divine absence. Be that as it may, I fail to see why theologians are entitled to talk this way while it is a great violation when scientists do so.

Are you’re saying scientists are themselves practicing a kind of religion?

The new atheists have made science the only road to truth. They have a belief, which I call “scientific naturalism,” that there’s nothing beyond nature — no transcendent dimension — that every cause has to be a natural cause, that there’s no purpose in the universe, and that scientific explanations, especially in their Darwinian forms, can account for everything living. But the idea that science alone can lead us to truth is questionable. There’s no scientific proof for that. Those are commitments that I would place in the category of faith. So the proposal by the new atheists that we should eliminate faith in all its forms would also apply to scientific naturalism. But they don’t want to go that far. So there’s a self-contradiction there.

Pure nonsense. First, no one is arguing for “eliminating” faith in all its forms. The objection is to the specific sorts of faith promoted by the world’s major religions, especially its monotheistic versions. And I would like some specifics about what alternative form of truth seeking Haught has in mind.

This claim, that there are roads to truth other than science, is one that’s casually tossed about in virtually every discussion of this topic. But you never get any specifics about what those alternative routes are. What I believe about science is that it has proven itself over and over again as a reliable route to knowledge. No theologian can offer anything close.

But why can’t you have hope if you don’t believe in God?

You can have hope. But the question is, can you justify the hope? I don’t have any objection to the idea that atheists can be good and morally upright people. But we need a worldview that is capable of justifying the confidence that we place in our minds, in truth, in goodness, in beauty. I argue that an atheistic worldview is not capable of justifying that confidence. Some sort of theological framework can justify our trust in meaning, in goodness, in reason.

Once again, I don’t know what it means to have confidence in goodness or beauty. I’m not sure what it is I am supposed to be hoping for. But if the issue is why I have confidence in the dictates of my mind and my senses, it is because my daily experience tells me that it is safe to have that confidence. I wouldn’t know how to behave otherwise.

If that is not adequate, if something more is needed to justify this vague hope, then I fail to see how belief in God improves matters. If you are wallowing in existential distress, I fail to see how hypothesizing God into existence wll extricate you. If you have no confidence in your mind, why would you have conifdence in your belief in God?

One more:

So if a camera was at the Resurrection, it would have recorded nothing?

If you had a camera in the upper room when the disciples came together after the death and Resurrection of Jesus, we would not see it. I’m not the only one to say this. Even conservative Catholic theologians say that. Faith means taking the risk of being vulnerable and opening your heart to that which is most important. We trivialize the whole meaning of the Resurrection when we start asking, Is it scientifically verifiable? Science is simply not equipped to deal with the dimensions of purposefulness, love, compassion, forgiveness — all the feelings and experiences that accompanied the early community’s belief that Jesus is still alive. Science is simply not equipped to deal with that. We have to learn to read the universe at different levels. That means we have to overcome literalism not just in the Christian or Jewish or Islamic interpretations of scripture but also in the scientific exploration of the universe. There are levels of depth in the cosmos that science simply cannot reach by itself.

But this is not what the Bible says. The Bible says that three days after his death Jesus was bodily resurrected, that he was seen by hundreds of people, and that his tomb was empty. Those are simple assertions of historical fact, and they are either true or they are not. Haught is simply ducking the central question in talking about levels of understanding and all the rest of it.

And this is why I say that it is people like he, and not Richard Dawkins, who is promoting a caricature of religious faith. The average Christian, I suspect, has little patience for Haught’s high-minded evasions. In my experience they say that the Resurrection was a historical event just like any other and should be understood in those terms. Haught can talk all he wants about the subtlety and mystery of it all, but that is not the sort of faith in which most people place their hopes.

Okay, enough. Virtually everything Haught says deserves a response, but I will refer you to P.Z.’s entry for more of the greusome details. I will simply close with the observation that far from assuring me there is a sensible and rational side to religion, people like Haught only leave me more bewildered than ever.

Comments

  1. #1 quarkable
    December 19, 2007

    I find it so annoying how he keeps demanding “scientific proof” for relying on science. Ugh! Wanting to “eliminate faith” requires “faith” (in the scientific method)??? He simply twists definitions to try to extract a convincing conclusion from absolutely nothing. Nothing is substantiated or at all logical… it is disappointing to think that some people would be swayed by this.

  2. #2 Ex-drone
    December 19, 2007

    Santa Claus provides a conceptual framework for the christmas season, so we must believe in Santa Claus or else the season will lose all hopefulness. Rationalists must understand the impact of relying on evidence and denying Santa’s existence. The effect justifies the belief.

  3. #3 writerdd
    December 19, 2007

    “The average Christian, I suspect, has little patience for Haught’s high-minded evasions.”

    That’s exactly right. The average Christian in American knows less about theology than Dawkins, doesn’t think theology is relevant to salvation, and some even think that theology is heretical. The average Christian in America (and I was one for 20 years so I think I have some authority to say this), follows a pop theology that is terribly unsophisticated and tends to follow Biblical teachings closely, if not actually literally.

    Theology is a hobby for intellectuals. It has nothing to do with the religious masses.

  4. #4 IanR
    December 19, 2007

    The Bible says that three days after his death Jesus was bodily resurrected, that he was seen by hundreds of people, and that his tomb was empty.

    No. Some of the gospels say that. “The Bible” doesn’t say that. Paul, the oldest stuff, doesn’t say that. Mark , the oldest of the gospels said nothing about resurrection, just that the tomb was empty. (The oldest versions of Mark end at 16:8).

    Those are simple assertions of historical fact, and they are either true or they are not.

    Fundamentalism is a late 19th century phenomenon. You may reject anything but a fundamentalist/literalist reading of the bible, but that isn’t consistent with the history of how it was written, or how it was read. The gospels are written in the language and imagery of Isaiah, Zechariah and the Psalms. No one can reasonably claim that something that’s so obviously metaphorical was ever meant to be “assertions of historical fact”. Acts isn’t terribly reliable even when it comes to reporting on Paul’s life – it contradicts his own writing about his conversion experience. You can’t expect someone to take the writings of the author of Luke/Acts as “historical fact”…he wasn’t writing history, he was writing mythology. You can look at the various accounts and try to figure out the history that lies beneath it. But no one except a fundamentalist would look at the contradictory accounts and say that should be taken as historical accounts.

  5. #5 SLC
    December 19, 2007

    Re Haught

    “So if a camera was at the Resurrection, it would have recorded nothing?”

    This was also Prof. Haughts’ testimony in the Dover trial. What I think Haught is getting at is that, in his opinion, Joshua of Nazareth did not physically appear before the viewers but appeared in a vision. The vision would not have been recorded by any photographic technique as it was in the minds of the observers. The important point is that all the observers supposedly had the same vision. In my opinion, Prof. Haught is grasping at straws in trying to reconcile his religious faith with his scientific outlook in this regard.

  6. #6 James McGrath
    December 19, 2007

    The main post and some of the comments are treating the Bible exactly the way fundamentalist do, as though every time someone wrote a story about a ‘resurrection appearance of Jesus’ or anything else, they were telling a factual story (IanR’s comments are a delightful exception). Sure, there are New Testament authors like Paul who believed that Jesus had appeared to 500 people at once, but that is hearsay. The evidence of the rest of the New Testament would suggest that such stories of physical contact with Jesus are a later addition to the traditions, in response to an alternative viewpoint called Docetism that I won’t go into detail about here.

    I have a whole web site, connected with a class I teach, on how historians and theologians who take historical criticism seriously view the life of Jesus. Why not take a look? Otherwise, what ends up happening is that those who are critical of fundamentalist religion criticize liberal theologians because they’ve lumped all people with any sort of religious outlook together. I suspect that if you read what many theologians and scholars working on the Bible have to say who are nowhere near the fundamentalist camp, you’d find that they are allies in opposing irrationality.

  7. #7 Blake Stacey
    December 19, 2007

    Every time somebody like Haught opens his mouth to pontificate on how sophisticated religion is supposed to be, he robs credibility from the practice of labeling children by their parents’ religion.

  8. #8 Ben
    December 19, 2007

    IanR,

    How would you explain what the apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19?

    “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ�whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” [NRSV]

  9. #9 jlmII
    December 19, 2007

    @IanR:
    You can’t expect someone to take the writings of the author of Luke/Acts as “historical fact”…

    To quote “The Bible”:

    Luke 1:

    3Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

  10. #10 ctw
    December 19, 2007

    “… the idea that some sort of providential presence is accompanying this process … I like to think of God in these terms.”

    Which is why I never understand what point theologians are trying to make when they denigrate atheism generically. “Atheism” only has real meaning with respect to a specific definition of “theism”, ie, a specific concept of “God”. Most reflective theologians seem to have a relatively nebulous concept of “God” similar – or at least analogous – to Haught’s. But at some level of abstraction, a concept of “God” ceases to be a proper subject of disbelief if for no other reason than that it is incomprehensible (transcendent?). Dawkins’s cute “one god more” quip notwithstanding, I suspect that most thoughtful atheists don’t so much reject such gods as simply consider them not warranting much, if any, serious attention at all.

    Consistent with this suspicion, the “New Atheist” books (IIRC) mostly refute populist theisms that are pretty literal and therefore comprehensible to a degree sufficient for rejection. The NAs may or may not be ignorant of the more “sophisticated” versions, but in either event those versions are irrelevant to the problem the books address. If all theisms were of the Haught variety, what need would we have for NAs? It’s Huckabees that are the imminent threat, not Haughts. (The “God proofs” Dawkins addresses in TGD are admittedly refutations of abstract concepts of “God”. But since they are probably unknown even to the religious, some readers have opined that their refutations should have been in a later chapter, in an Appendix, or omitted entirely. I’m inclined to agree.)

    I believe Prof. Haught needs to reread the last (eponymous?) chapter of “The Myth of Sisyphus”. The increased consciousness that he wants to turn into divine purpose – and thus a source of hope – is both Sisyphus’s downfall and his salvation. Sisyphus’s consciousness of the absence of hope frees him from the tragedy of unfulfilled hope, thereby allowing him to live fully – perhaps even happily – “in the world we have, not the world we want”. Prof. Haught says we can’t live within the space of hopeless nihilism. Being philosophically unschooled, I may well misunderstand “nihilism”; but if my sense of it is even close, several people I know (myself included) live perfectly normal and – to all appearances – adequately fulfilled lives in that space. Obviously many – including, apparently, Prof. Haught – can’t, but that’s an entirely different statement.

    “The new atheists have made science the only road to truth.”

    When (as infrequently as possible) reading theology, I look for – and always find – this kind of “tell” of absolutism – which IMO is the source of the gulf between their way of thinking and mine (I, of course, won’t presume to speak for the NA’s). I don’t see science (or more generally, any pursuit of knowledge) as being a “road to truth”, only to new, contingent understanding, a purely human objective, not a divine purpose. No “faith” required, just Sisyphean plodding. The joy is in the journey, not the destination – quite possibly never to be reached, and certainly not by any of us in our lifetimes.

    - Charles

  11. #11 Pseudonym
    December 19, 2007

    Ex-drone:

    Santa Claus provides a conceptual framework for the christmas season, so we must believe in Santa Claus or else the season will lose all hopefulness. Rationalists must understand the impact of relying on evidence and denying Santa’s existence.

    Exactly! All this talk of “Santa Claus” as some kind of vague piece of iconography describing the spirit of the holiday season is a cop-out. The average child has no time for this sort of evasion. Either you believe in a fat red-suited guy at the North Pole, or you don’t believe in Christmas.

  12. #12 itchy
    December 19, 2007

    There are levels of depth in the cosmos that science simply cannot reach by itself.

    Or not.

    This is what pisses me off about theologians like Haught. They speak SO confidently about what is beyond science.

    Listen, Haught: You’re pulling all of this out of your ass. You have no more of a clue about what is beyond science than anyone. We’re all equals when it comes to the unknown.

    It’s not that I’m saying there’s not anything beyond science, it’s that you ARE. I’m saying, who knows, but I’m going to continue to base my actions on our knowledge of natural laws about which I can get real, constant feedback. You are basing your actions on a concept in your imagination — a concept, by the way, that is merely one of an infinite number of possible “things” beyond science — if indeed there are such “levels of depth.”

    This is why you can answer any theologian/philosophers’ metaphysical claims with two words: “Or not.”

    But that principle of scientific Puritanism is often violated by scientists who think that by dint of their scientific expertise, they are able to comment on such things as purpose. I consider that to be a great violation.

    About as much a violation as someone with *no* scientific expertise commenting on such things as purpose.

    And Jason says:

    This claim, that there are roads to truth other than science, is one that’s casually tossed about in virtually every discussion of this topic. But you never get any specifics about what those alternative routes are. What I believe about science is that it has proven itself over and over again as a reliable route to knowledge. No theologian can offer anything close.

    By definition, you can’t get any specifics. Any specifics worth anything (i.e., able to be objectively scrutinized) would be — science.

  13. #13 Dave Briggs
    December 21, 2007

    I can say with perfect sincerity, though it gives me no joy to do so, that it is people like Haught far more than the fundamentalists who have convinced me that evolution and Christianity are utterly irreconcilable.

    Hey Jason,
    I like your blog a lot and am thankful to be able to participate even though I am a Christian. I think you do an excellent job of pursuing the essence of the subtitle of your blog. Just as someone sitting in a different place I wanted you to know that I don’t think Christianity and Evolution are utterly irreconcilable, and I really admire you for tenacity and the open mindedness you have in your pursuit of the truth! Thank you! Happy Weekend!
    Dave Briggs :~)

  14. #14 JimC
    December 21, 2007

    Yo, Dave Briggs.

    I for one would like to hear how you reconcile them.

    Elaborate?

  15. #15 Pseudonym
    December 21, 2007

    JimC: Obviously I’m not Dave Briggs, but I will note that it’s only Biblical literalists like Jason who seem to see a problem for Christianity caused by evolution.

    (Yes, you read that right. Jason honestly thinks that the “obvious” of Genesis 1 is the literal one. I don’t propose to rehash these arguments again, but I will note once again that Genesis has an obvious poetic structure that is extremely hard to miss.)

    But really, you might as well ask how you’d reconcile Christianity with the fact that the Moon isn’t a “light”. Evolution is no more of a problem than that.

  16. #16 Tyler DiPietro
    December 22, 2007

    “But really, you might as well ask how you’d reconcile Christianity with the fact that the Moon isn’t a “light”. Evolution is no more of a problem than that.”

    Or rather, no less.

  17. #17 Pseudonym
    December 22, 2007

    Tyler: Nobody has yet used that as a serious argument against theism. That, presumably, includes you.

  18. #18 Tyler DiPietro
    December 22, 2007

    Theism? No, unless your definition of theism is narrowly limited to Christianity. My position here is that, regardless of the lyrical structure of the content or what have you, there is no reason to admit the notion that Genesis does not accurately describe what its author(s) and subsequent adherents believed about creation.

    Even in the case that it can be taken as “metaphor” or “allegory”, that doesn’t help the case for Christianity much. In this case it is an allegory laced with misogyny, male-supremacism, authoritarianism and anti-intellectualism. It’s an absolutely despicable tale, metaphor or not, and making it palatable for people in a modern society requires one to “reinterpret” it in ways that would be unrecognizable to anyone who believed it even a few centuries ago.

  19. #19 windy
    December 22, 2007

    No one can reasonably claim that something that’s so obviously metaphorical was ever meant to be “assertions of historical fact”.

    Why not? Since when can’t historical accounts incorporate metaphorical language? (“The die is cast”?) Or do you mean that the whole resurrection story is an allegory for something – if so what?

    Besides, the Bible is more in the genre of magical realism than proper allegory….

  20. #20 Pseudonym
    December 22, 2007

    I’d have to agree with windy on both counts, but I’ll add that even in the absence of a better explanation of how things came to be, the book of Genesis has been considered allegorical by various people for a long time. The earliest written example that we still have, in fact, is in the Bible itself. (Galatians 4:21-24, in case you’re curious.)

    The point underlying all this is that Jason’s position, that the literal reading of Genesis is the “obvious” or “plain” reading, is the minority position, even amongst atheists who study this sort of thing.

  21. #21 Tyler DiPietro
    December 23, 2007

    Pseudonym: I seem to remember that Paul’s exegetical claim in that passage of Galatians is that certain aspects of the story contain allegory, not that the story itself is allegory through and through. That doesn’t exactly establish that Christians have not historically understood Genesis as accurately describing creation in historical detail.

  22. #22 J. J. Ramsey
    December 23, 2007

    I’d also say that it is likely that whoever put the creation accounts in Genesis thought they were literal events, especially since there is an unbroken genealogy in Genesis from Adam to personages such as Jacob, who is supposed to be the ancestor of the Israelites.

    That said, there is nothing that requires Christians to believe that a literal interpretation has to be the last word. It’s their holy book, so they get to choose how to interpret it. If they choose to use a ton of hermeneutical Scotch tape to fit Genesis with the theory of evolution, that is their business. If they outright chuck the whole nonsense of inerrancy, then definitely more power to them.

  23. #23 windy
    December 23, 2007

    The point underlying all this is that Jason’s position, that the literal reading of Genesis is the “obvious” or “plain” reading, is the minority position

    I don’t think the obvious reading is that the Genesis account has to be correct to the tiniest detail (especially since the two of them don’t match), but it certainly seems that the intended message is that a personal God created the heaven and the earth in a very hands-on manner.

  24. #24 kozmetik
    December 23, 2007

    The gospels are written in the language and imagery of Isaiah, Zechariah and the Psalms. No one can reasonably claim that something that’s so obviously metaphorical was ever meant to be “assertions of historical fact”. Acts isn’t terribly reliable even when it comes to reporting on Paul’s life – it contradicts his own writing about his conversion experience. You can’t expect someone to take the writings of the author of Luke/Acts as “historical fact”…he wasn’t writing history, he was writing mythology. You can look at the various accounts and try to figure out the history that lies beneath it. But no one except a fundamentalist would look at the contradictory accounts and say that should be taken as historical accounts.

  25. #25 Rick T.
    December 25, 2007

    Ben,

    “How would you explain what the apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19?”

    First of all there is no literal truth to be found here but if you are to study it as one would study any literature then it’s safe to say that Paul’s writings can mean something other that what it seems to literally say.

    Elaine Pagels book “The Gnostic Paul” mentions a new evidence for a gnostic Pauline tradition that is becoming apparent from the Nag Hammadi texts. Briefly then, this passage would speak to those who doubted whether those that where “dead” (those deadened in this existence) could be raised to spiritual life.

    There was an initiation system in these gnostic religions of the day. There were several steps in rank with the “dead” being the lowest or common unenlightened man. You get a flavor of this when Paul speaks of babes in Christ and the elect or the mature. He seems to be speaking of a spiritual hierarchy.

    Maybe Paul was more gnostic than we ever realized which would make sense of the fact that he seemed to know nothing of a real live Jesus as he never mentions any events in the life of Jesus or even his teachings. Read Earl Doherty’s rock solid treatment of the subject in “The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity begin with a mythical Christ?”

    It’s true that fundamentalism is rather recent and hasn’t been the norm throughout the history of Christianity. I would prefer a non-literal approach to textual interpretation. I just don’t like the way Haught seems so sure that a mere scientist could never hope to touch the hem of his garment. Especially in light of his poor logic and lame reasoning as exemplified by his saying that atheists can be moral but their morals have no justification. Where does our morality come from (certainly not God) and why do we need religion to validate it? We are social beings and it would seem reasonable to have developed a moral impulse.

  26. #26 heddle
    December 25, 2007

    Writerdd

    That’s exactly right. The average Christian in American knows less about theology than Dawkins, doesn’t think theology is relevant to salvation, and some even think that theology is heretical. The average Christian in America (and I was one for 20 years so I think I have some authority to say this), follows a pop theology that is terribly unsophisticated and tends to follow Biblical teachings closely, if not actually literally.
    Theology is a hobby for intellectuals. It has nothing to do with the religious masses.

    Not in my experience. Basing what Dawkins knows of theology on what I read in The God Delusion, most of my Christian acquaintances know a great deal more about theology than Dawkins. They do follow bible teachings closely (duh) but you seem to imply that such a practice is orthogonal to sophisticated theology. It is not. You can have a sophisticated theology that follows the bible teachings closely. In that case it is not theology that is heretical, but theology that is nonbiblical.

    Oh yeah–theology is irrelevant to salvation–we know this theologically because a study of the bible reveals no such thing as salvation by a passing grade on a theology exam, or salvation by sincerity, or salvation by good deeds.

    You comment is just like a million others that I see along the lines of “we unbelievers generally know more about the bible and theology than Christians.” Bullshit. You can only make that case (weakly) if you standup a caricature of a Christian.

    IanR,

    Acts isn’t terribly reliable even when it comes to reporting on Paul’s life – it contradicts his own writing about his conversion experience.

    No, it doesn’t. (References for your assertion?)

  27. #27 Eric Thomson
    December 25, 2007

    He should have invoked Godel and Quantum Mechanics to make his points. Taken together, they prove the importance of faith, interconnections among all beings, and the mystery core of the universe.

    For one, it obviously requires faith to see the truth of the unprovable statements in arithmetic systems. If you can’t prove them, how else would you know they are true? That is the implicit premise in Godel’s argument.

    Quantum mechanics (in the phenomenon of state vector reduction) shows not only that you influence whatever you measure (thereby showing how connected everything is), but that there is a fundamental mystery at the core of the most important science. How does an actual possibility reduce to an actual actuality?

    Godel and QML: faith, mystery, connection, all proven by science. Why therefore, shouldn’t the best science be part of the best theology? And why not vice-versa? My theology says purpose is also fundamental, therefore it must be integrated into our best science. Science and theology are both looking at truths, so they should complement each other, not be in conflict once they are fully developed.

  28. #28 Eric Thomson
    December 25, 2007

    My previous comment was a parody. What I wrote about Godel is complete poppycock (confused in so many ways I won’t even waste the space to explain why).

    The QM stuff is just the typical crap, though with an actual kernel fo truth: state vector reduction is a mystery, a real stumper. But so is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and you don’t see the New Agers trying to make a big deal out of that.

    Enjoy your holidays everyone.

  29. #29 J. J. Ramsey
    December 25, 2007

    “Read Earl Doherty’s rock solid treatment of the subject in ‘The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity begin with a mythical Christ?’”

    Rock solid. Riiiight.

    To end on a somewhat lighter note, do you think that New Agers who are into QM should be allowed near cats? :)

  30. #30 Rick T.
    December 26, 2007

    J.J.,
    Thanks for the link. Historical Jesus? Possible but not at all convincing.

    Anyway, Happy Mithras Birthday. You know, the son of God who was born today, the 25th of Dec., of a virgin mother, who when older went about healing the sick and raising the dead. Remember? The guy who had the 12 disciples and baptised and had the meal with the bread and wine to represent his body and blood. He was worshiped before Jesus-come-lately ever arived on scene.

  31. #31 Michael Kremer
    December 26, 2007

    Rick T: “he [Paul] never mentions any events in the life of Jesus or even his teachings”.

    What’s this I read in 1 Corinthians 11, 23-26 then? “the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”” Hmmm…. looks like events in the life of Jesus to me. And a teaching on top of that. Did Paul write that bit?

  32. #32 Rick T.
    December 26, 2007

    Michael Kremer,
    Ya your right, I never should use the word never. However, Paul was refering to the eucharist and that was a big part of religious rites even in worshiping Mithras. Was he refering to Jesus the person or Jesus the Christ figure? To my mind, there seems to be a lack of passing on the teachings of Christ and little mention of specific historical references in Pauls letters. It’s as if he’s not familiar with Jesus’ life or specific teachings. Even when there is a chance to use Jesus’ teachings as an authority to add import to a statement, Paul never (?) quotes Jesus. Example, Love is patient and kind,…love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, suffers all things … etc. Why didn’t Paul also mention that Jesus taught that love was the greatest commandment?
    In looking at Paul’s teaching over all it seems that he’s not familiar with Jesus the person but only Jesus as a Christ figure.
    Having read Elaine Pagels book “The Gnostic Paul” I think that Paul’s teachings might have been gnostic to start with because they were part of one of the gnostic cannons (I forget which one). Looking at them from a non-orthodox view, I can see many gnostic things. “What ever you bind on earth is bound in heaven”, “I was caught up to the 7th heaven.” He talks about principalities and powers and also refers to a hierarchy of Christian maturity which may indicate the mystery aspect of some gnostics. His conversion and training as a convert seem gnostic also.
    In any event, it’s been some time sense I entertained an interest in this and I was just offering some suggested reading material for those who may be interested.
    Since it matters not, I choose only to say this. Either Jesus did not exist as a historical person, since we have nearly nothing mentioned of him by historians of the day, or he was a big fish in a very little pond, say the Essenes, and his story became a mixture of all kinds of myths and teachings. Either way I don’t care. He means as much to me a Mithras.
    I just don’t want to see the religious fundys get any sway whatsoever in our government. I’ll grant them freedom of religion if they grant me freedom from their religion.

  33. #33 J. J. Ramsey
    December 27, 2007

    Rick T: “Anyway, Happy Mithras Birthday. You know, the son of God who was born today, the 25th of Dec., of a virgin mother, who when older went about healing the sick and raising the dead. Remember? The guy who had the 12 disciples and baptised and had the meal with the bread and wine to represent his body and blood.”

    Rick, Mithras was born of a rock, not a virgin, and the whole idea of him having twelve disciples comes from pictures of his deeds (like the slaughtering of the bull) being surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac. I contributed a stub article on Mithras to SkepticWiki:

    http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Mithras

    What I have found is that the remarkable parallels between Jesus and Mithras are not real, and the real parallels between Jesus and Mithras are not remarkable.

  34. #34 Jim
    December 27, 2007

    from Heddle:

    IanR,

    Acts isn’t terribly reliable even when it comes to reporting on Paul’s life – it contradicts his own writing about his conversion experience.

    No, it doesn’t.

    I do not have much to offer IanR’s claim that Paul contradicts himself regarding his conversion except to say that I think that it is curious that the conversion on the road to Damascus by the Paul of Acts is considered so important that it is mentioned three times yet the Paul from the Epistles makes no mention of a “Damascean road” conversion nor to an origin in Tarsus (incidentally, Jerome reported that Paul was from Galilee).
    Which brings me to my real point — that Paul is just another invention of the writer/s of the Bible. For instance, we are informed by Acts that St Paul’s early day stance was as Saul, the Christian persecutor. Yet if Saul really was a vigilante for orthodox Judaism at the time of Stephen’s stoning, becoming the chief persecutor of Christians, no less, one wonders just where was Saul, not long before, when a supposed radical rabbi called Jesus was stirring up whole towns & villages?

  35. #35 heddle
    December 27, 2007

    Jim,

    Paul’s own account of his (very Calvinistic) conversion in Gal. 1 is entirely consistent with those written by Luke. As for why he wasn’t an earlier persecuter–there could be many reasons. He may have been restrained by his mentor Gamaliel who (see Acts 5) demonstrated moderation in dealing with the early Christians. Perhaps he simply came into his own when outright persecution was adopted as an official strategy. Why he never mentions that he is from Tarsus in the epistles, I couldn’t say. It doesn’t seem very significant.

    Do you have a refererence to Jerome arguing that Paul was from Galilee? That is something I was not aware of.

  36. #36 Rick T.
    December 27, 2007

    J.J.,

    A quick google search and I find a lot of what I wrote above. I see also that Joseph Campbell writes that Mithras had a virgin birth. (Campbell, Joseph (1964). The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology. Viking Press. pp. 260-61.)

    This website talks of the plagiarism of Mithraism by Christianity. http://www.atheists.org/christianity/jesuslife.
    How unremarkable is it that the attire, the mitre (this word is even derived from Mithra) and the name of the pope are all pre-existent in Mithraism.

    I find there is compelling evidence of a connection between the 2 religions although it sounds as if you aren’t convinced. Could I ask why?

  37. #37 Rick T.
    December 27, 2007

    J.J.,

    By the way, you must be aware that you also need to account for all the other god/men that pre-date Jesus that have very Jesus-like myths associated with them. This site refers to Dionysus and other god/men: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa3.htm

  38. #38 Kevin
    December 27, 2007

    like your blog a lot and am thankful to be able to participate even though I am a Christian

    WTF?

    who is stopping you? Jason? I think not. your own twisted beliefs? what does your sentance even mean?

    I “am thankful to be able to participate even though I am a Christian”

    Dave Briggs

    where are you sitting? why are you thankfull? because of the intertubes? how can you think that a diety exists? when you know you are just pond scum?

  39. #39 J. J. Ramsey
    December 27, 2007

    Rick T.: “I find there is compelling evidence of a connection between the 2 religions although it sounds as if you aren’t convinced. Could I ask why?”

    Because there is a huge gap between what one finds in the literature and what one finds in a “quick google search.” That is a big red flag right there. Because I’ve caught outright dishonesty in the attempts to make connections between Mithras and Jesus of Nazareth. See my links above.

    “How unremarkable is it that the attire, the mitre (this word is even derived from Mithra) and the name of the pope are all pre-existent in Mithraism.”

    According to Merriam-Webster Online, the word “mitre” derives from “Middle English mitre, from Anglo-French, from Latin mitra headband, turban, from Greek,” and the word dates from the 14th century.

    And it is hardly remarkable that the heads of two different religious groups be called “father.” (“Pope,” “patriarch,” and “papa” are all related words.)

    Oh, and as for the page from ReligiousTolerance.org? It cites Freke & Gandy and Kersey Graves as sources. Those are red flags right there.

  40. #40 Michael Kremer
    December 28, 2007

    heddle:

    On Jerome, Paul, Galilee: a little googling finds Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Paul: A Critical Life, discussing two sources in St. Jerome. In each source, Jerome is reporting a story he has heard. Paul is said to have been from a town or region in Judea called Gischala; his parents are said to have been forced to flee to Tarsus by the Romans. The placement of Gischala in Galilee is not Jerome’s but the only known Gischala is apparently in Galilee. See the book I referenced above, pp. 37-38. (Again, this is just the result of my googling — prior to this I knew nothing about it).

  41. #41 heddle
    December 28, 2007

    Michael,

    That’s quite interesting. I read the pages you indicated having found the book on google books. It describes St Jerome repeating a story (which may be true for all I know) to explain a different problem–oddities of Paul’s education–a story that suggested Paul moved to Tarsus as a child.

    Of course, a thirty-something man who spent all his life except early childhood in Tarsus could accurately be described as “of Tarsus.” Not unlike the fact that Jesus, though born in Judea, is described as “of Nazareth” or “of Galilee.”

  42. #42 Rick T.
    December 28, 2007

    J.J.,
    Is Joseph Campbell scholarly enough for you? He speaks of the virgin birth of Mithras. Campbell, Joseph (1964). The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology. Viking Press. pp. 260-61.
    Mitra=headband in Latin. Mitra=Mithra. I think you are trying to hard to protect a cherished belief. If you were an archaeologist you would be throwing away alot of fossils that didn’t look like what you wanted to find. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for you?”

  43. #43 Rick T.
    December 28, 2007

    J.J.,
    Sorry I repeated the reference from Campbell’s book. It’s early here and I’m late for work.
    Still, are you going to ignore all evidence? You seem to be over-compensating. A little skepticism is great but you’re taking it to a “ho nuvuh lebel” to quote Mad TV.

  44. #44 J. J. Ramsey
    December 28, 2007

    Rick T., I found pages 260-1 from The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology online, thanks to Amazon, and it is underwhelming, to say the least. First, Campbell refers to the same rock birth as I did, and his justification for calling this rock birth a virgin birth of sorts rests in a strained appeal to Jungian archetypes. Second, as Manfred Clauss pointed out in his own book on Mithras, Campbell’s claim that there were shepherds at Mithras’ birth is incorrect, and apparently derives from the torchbearers shown at the birth.

  45. #45 Jim
    December 28, 2007

    heddle-
    The Jerome reference was really just an aside. I actually read the same account but from a different source. But having read from the source that you & Michael Kremer refer to I’m sure that you also noticed that the story is related at least twice by Jerome; one five years after the first reference in which he contradicts himself. I don’t think it really matters to anyone, as a stand-alone fact, whether or not St Jerome knew if some obscure village is/was in Galilee or somewhere else. The real point, it seems to me, is that he is regarded as a church father & he was wrong about something regarding the church … one wonders what other significant church “fact” he may have been wrong about.

    I find your explanation that Paul may have been restrained by his mentor in his early days unsatisfying. After all, Paul was a contemporary of Jesus in time & place, raised in Jerusalem at precisely the time Jesus was supposedly overturning moneychangers in the temple & generally provoking Pharisees & Sadducees. Would not Paul, a young religious hothead have been an enthusiastic witness to Jesus’s blasphemy before the Sanhedrin? And where was Paul during “passion week”, surely in Jerusalem with the other zealots celebrating the holiest of festivals? Yet he reports not a word of the crucifixion?

  46. #46 Eric Thomson
    December 28, 2007

    Joseph Campbell is good if you want Jungian storytelling, not good if you want historical accuracy and impeccable scholarship.

  47. #47 heddle
    December 28, 2007

    Jim,

    Jerome, it is never claimed, wrote under inspiration, so it is no special problem that he may have contradicted himself, or may have exegeted erroneously. No doubt he and every theologian ever since have written in error at some point or another.

    As for Paul being restrained by Gamaliel, whom it seems clear was still greater in the Pharisee ranks than Paul in the early days of Christianity, just after Pentecost, well I guess plausibility is in the eye of the beholder. I’m not saying that I believe that either–I just offer it up and consider it possible. There was a growing dynamic here–and at the time of Christ and just after there was not intense immediate (prolonged) systematic persecution (thanks in part to Gamaliel). It could very well be that it just took a while before the authorities reached a flash point and unleashed Saul. Or maybe Saul himself simply wasn’t fired up yet. There are many possible explanations–it does not follow that there is anything suspicious about the fact that Saul began his persecution, which may well be what put him in the limelight, at some day other than day zero.

  48. #48 Jim
    December 28, 2007

    heddle-
    I’m not sure why you choose to ignore the actual argument line — that Paul (or whomever was writing as Paul) reported not a word surrounding his witnessing the trial or crucifixion which he surely must have if he actually existed — ringleader or not.
    I wasn’t arguing that Gargamel was lower in rank than “Paul” within the Pharisee ranks. I was arguing that “Paul” would have found it difficult to restrain himself, as a young zealot hothead, against such outrages. But, ok, you say he wouldn’t have been a ringleader, or even a participant. Fine, I guess, but he still would have taken notice, observed, & written about it later as a Christian.
    Maybe you can address this issue a little more straightforwardly — why is it that St Paul doesn’t appear anywhere in the secular histories of his age (not in Tacitus, not in Pliny, not in Josephus, etc.?) Though Paul, we are told, mingled in the company of provincial governors & had audiences before kings & emperors, no scribe thought it worthwhile to record these events? Second point — the popular image of Paul is selectively crafted from two sources: the Book of Acts & the Epistles which bear his name. Yet, the two sources actually present two radically different individuals & two wildly divergent stories. Why would this be?

  49. #49 heddle
    December 28, 2007

    Jim,

    Because I don’t see how you (or anyone) can claim, with any certainty that Paul “surely must have witnessed Jesus’ trial and/or crucifixion.” There is simply no basis for the claim; it is pure speculation. I agree that almost certainly Paul would have mentioned it if he had been there, so I conclude that he was not there–with no concern that this is a problem. Since we have no knowledge of where Paul was during those few days from trial to crucifixion to resurrection, or indeed during all of Jesus’ public ministry, nor do we know his standing at the time, there is simply no reason to consider it a problem. The possible reasons are virtually endless.

    As for Paul not appearing in secular histories–I would say that it is because the historians of the era did not consider him important and may not have even heard about him, and if they did they would just consider him a disciple of yet another obscure sect of Judaism. Jesus barely made it into Josephus’ history, and even there at least part if not all of the reference to Jesus is almost certainly a redaction.

  50. #50 Jim
    December 28, 2007

    heddle-
    Because we have basically commandeered this thread from Jason’s site I’m going to have to make this my last word.

    Surely it must seem curious to you that no Jewish rabbinic writings of the first or second century so much as mentions a renegade student of Gargamel who, having studied under the master & vigorously enforced orthodoxy on behalf of the high priests, experienced a life changing vision on an away mission. Not a word emerges from the rabbis about the star pupil who “went bad”, a heretic who scrapped the prohibitions of the Sabbath, urged his followers to disregard Judaism’s irksome dietary regulations, & pronounced the Law & circumcision obsolete. Surely such a renegade could not have completely escaped the attention of the scribes. But I suppose this is also of no consequence for you.
    How likely is it that Paul really studied under the Pharisaic grandee? Paul clearly had difficulty with the Hebrew language: all his scriptural references are taken from the Greek translation of the Jewish scripture, the Septuagint.
    My parting thoughts about this: if you can simply sweep this under the rug as well (& there is so much more even to consider) then your faith in your faith truly is impressive.
    Finally, you could have at least acknowledged my Gargamel=Gamaliel joke — it wasn’t that funny, but it was worth a sniff.

  51. #51 Sastra
    December 29, 2007

    Late to the party, but still a quick comment:

    So does Haught’s theological argument really come down to “Silly atheists, don’t they know these are all myths?”

    But, apparently, myths which are true on the dimensional level of feeling, hope, and purpose. Which belief is sometimes referred to by the technical term “atheism.”

  52. #52 Rick T.
    December 29, 2007

    J.J.,

    Thanks, I guess, for prompting me to do a little research. It seems that there have been conflations between the Persian Mithra and the Roman Mithras as described by David Ulansey �The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World�. The Persian version has Mithras born of Anahita, an immaculate virgin mother once worshipped as a fertility goddess. Anahita was said to have conceived the Savior from the seed of Zarathustra.
    However, I don�t think you want to get into the habit of straining a gnat and swallowing a camel. You still haven�t given me an explanation for the other virgin-born, dying and resurrecting god men (just rhetorical, please don�t bother). And, the Roman version of Mithras, based according to Ulansey on cosmology, introduces the prospect that there are now similarities to be explained in the Mithraic treatment of Mithras being outside the cosmos in the same way that Jesus, the Word, is described in John as being above the world. The rock birth is the exterior view of the cave which depicts the universe. Mithras emerging from the rock represents the breaking of the cosmic egg and emerging from and then controlling the universe. Jesus is seen as doing much the same as he conquers death and leaves this world to be above it and in control of it.

    The core of my original comment stems from this. I don�t believe that the Bible is true any more than you believe Kersey Graves is a reliable scholar. Argument from the authority of the Bible, which has none, is just a silly endeavor. That�s why I flippantly mentioned Merry Mithras on the 25th. The Bible is no more authoritative and holds no more truth than any other religion. It also has been influenced by other beliefs to some degree or another. You�re welcome to attempt to piece together I wondrous mosaic of religiosity that suits your fancy and maybe others by picking and choosing while simultaneously ignoring what does not serve your agenda. If this does not describe you then I must ask what is you nit picking point?

    �Joseph Campbell is good if you want Jungian storytelling, not good if you want historical accuracy and impeccable scholarship�.

    You don�t get it. All religion is storytelling. It takes someone who is not myopic, like Joseph Campbell, to show us the meaning of the myths that are so common as to be taken for granted. As for historical accuracy, it would have been much easier to achieve this had not Christianity destroyed all evidence of competing ideologies. This makes it easier for you to find your �impeccable scholarship�, you know, that which aligns with your Christ myth.

    Enough of this. I�m not going to persuade you of anything and certainly the reverse is true too. I don�t need to reaffirm anything for myself and you�re not going to loose that Christian meme anytime soon so,
    Thanks,
    Rick T.

  53. #53 J. J. Ramsey
    December 29, 2007

    Rick T.: “You still haven’t given me an explanation for the other virgin-born, dying and resurrecting god men (just rhetorical, please don’t bother).”

    Sorry to answer a rhetorical question, but a link in an above post with the words “Freke & Gandy” points to a review of their book The Jesus Mysteries, which is all about those supposed “virgin-born, dying and resurrecting god men.” The gap between what the sources cited by the book say and what the book actually says is pretty huge, and in one place, they even misquote a source that misquotes its source. Given this, I have plenty of reason to be cynical about supposed pagan parallels.

    Rick T.: “The Bible is no more authoritative and holds no more truth than any other religion.”

    Finally, something on which we agree.

  54. #54 Eric Thomson
    December 30, 2007

    I said:
    “Joseph Campbell is good if you want Jungian storytelling, not good if you want historical accuracy and impeccable scholarship.”

    Rick replies:
    “You don’t get it. All religion is storytelling.”

    But history of religion is not storytelling. Along the same vein, I could study the history of astrology in an extremely scholarly way. Same with history of various religions. Arguments here have focused on historical facts about what different religions (Mithraism) have said. Those aren’t religious questions, but a historical questions. An atheist can be a competent historian of religion.

  55. #55 Rick T.
    December 30, 2007

    J.J. and Eric,
    I see the game we’re playing. I make a point and reference it and you say the book is not scholarly or overly Jungian.
    Or you offer up a book not of my choosing then poke holes in it.
    I’ve done enough reading to satisfy myself that Christianity and also Judaism are crap as far as being inspired by God. Also, both have been influenced by surrounding and predated cultures.
    You must realize that there are many hundreds of books on these subjects which need your critical attention. So, while you’re busy doing that, and since you have not offered a point of view of your own, I see no further need to defend my anti Christian views to you as that is way down on my list of things to do.

  56. #56 JimC
    January 3, 2008

    Not in my experience. Basing what Dawkins knows of theology on what I read in The God Delusion, most of my Christian acquaintances know a great deal more about theology than Dawkins.

    Heddle don’t know more theology than Dawkins and your continued sideswipes at him show me a deep seeded fear of his arguments. You make the some of the most ridiculous statements regarding religion anywhere.

    Dawkins takes the bare bones approach and frankly either provide evidence he is wrong or stop pretending you have answers you don’t have,

    You comment is just like a million others that I see along the lines of “we unbelievers generally know more about the bible and theology than Christians.” Bullshit. You can only make that case (weakly) if you standup

    As a Christian I have found that unbelievers do know the bible better than all but a small percentage of believers.

  57. #57 AUMMR
    January 4, 2008

    From reading this blog as a person who was raised christian and then gradually learned a RATIONAL way of viewing the universe based upon the scientific method, it gets my blood up that all of the committed Christians in this blog seem to make several common logical fallacies. You must come to terms with the fact that if you were born in saudi arabia you would be muslim, and if you wwere born into tribe x on borneo island, then you would be a headhunter. Your very beliefs and your faith is in effect an accident of birth given to you by your parents. It was given to them by their parents and so on and so forth.
    Secondly, religious faith in general is illogical, so it presents an extraordinary challenge to science, by definition logic, to explain an illogical idea. It is only possible because everything is rational, or has a reason. Even religious peoples agree that the world is rational, though they are irrational in their explanation of worldly phenomena. But back to my point,the only logical way of searching for a scientific explanation for the illogical existance of religion is to look for the possible motivations for people to believe in it. In other words, what do all religions have in common that gives them such a popular appeal among people. Well, from my understanding , all religions offer explanations forancient unknowns, such as: What happens after death? and why does the sun rise each day? Basically, why are things the way they are? It is my thinking that the very human motivation for religion is the need to answer these unknowns. People first found their own individual answers to these questions. But eventually enterprising individuals, looking to empower themselves realised that they could cement their power over a population if they were the “god” that ensured that the sun rose and that there was life after death. These were primitave religions such as the many egyptian, mayan, incan, aztec,etc. religions. Eventually the stock ideas behind these religions evolved into the modern forms of religious faith: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. Essentially everyone wants to be “in the know”, and in ancient times the only way of finding answere was to arbitrarily come up with ones own beliefs. But there is obviously something unsatisfying about that. So people understandibly gravitated towards the arbitrary explanations of others seeking to solidify their power. Now that we have science and no longer need the arbitrary illogic religious beliefs of our ancestors, it literally boils my blood to see “beleivers” attempt to justify the existence of the prison into which they were literally born.

  58. #58 jesse
    January 4, 2008

    Hi there,
    If some of you guys are interrested in watching some videos
    on the subject of Creation vs Evolution i’ve copied a link below.If you are open minded to believing in creation and god then go ahead and watch these 7 seminars. Start by watching video #1 “the age of the earth” and watch them in sequence…But i warn you…If you watch all these vidoes you will probably believe in god …If you dont want to believe in god like alot of people then dont watch this!! Thank you!!

    http://www.drdino.com/downloads.php

  59. #59 Joe
    January 5, 2008

    Ok jesse, I took your bait. Every once in a while I have to read, watch, or listen to something that a creationist says will change my view. I don’t know why because it almost always creates a new record for low standards … I guess I do it out of good-faith or something. This leads me to your link above. I have to assume that you are about 10 years old, so congratulations on successfully posting on an adult web-site.
    I couldn’t get through 2 minutes of the 1st video without losing track of the misstatements. I just can’t see going any further when the guy confuses something profoundly basic as evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next & descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations) with cosmogony (a theory concerning the origin of the universe). If he doesn’t know the difference then he has no business speaking in front of an audience about either one. If he knows the difference then he’s purposefully giving his audience misinformation (lying). So, jesse, you choose: ignorance or fibbing. Take your pick. But there is a 3rd, & better, option. Discover & question on your own by doing your own investigation. $1.20 in over-due library books is really a good deal. So jesse, dust yourself off & get back up on that horse again. At least you’re starting to ask the right questions … not bad for a 10 year old.

  60. #60 Gona
    July 16, 2008

    Hi Kremer,Maybe you can address this issue a little more straightforwardly .

  61. #61 ?apkac?
    July 24, 2008

    Hi Joseph Campbell is good if you want Jungian storytelling, not good if you want historical accuracy and impeccable scholarship.

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