Kommentoin seuraavasti kirjoituksen alapuolella linkitetyn artikkelin kommenttiosastossa (tätä kirjoitettaessa kommenttiani ei ole vielä julkaistu):
Charlton: "Nor is forgiveness a matter of ignoring sin, or of making oneself believe that there is no difference between good and evil, or that what seemed bad was actually good (as when people always put the most optimistic and well-intentioned construction on events, regardless of the reality).
Conversely, failure to forgive - i.e. persistence of resentment, or grudge - is implicitly acceptance of the primacy of evil, the dominance of the demonic. It is denial of Christian Love as the ultimate principle. It is therefore the denial of reality."
- You have written so many good articles that it is perhaps unforgiving to criticise this without balancing it with justified praise. But, that rendering of Christianity is a mistake. Also, it is dangerous, both religiously and societally, despite the first paragraph I quoted. I sense that this mistake have deep roots in our being and thinking, so that it has propensity to rotten new ideas and thinking. Thus my criticism is a mostly a general critique.
Middle-eastern Muslims have a monotheistic custom that predates Muslims. When they make e.g. figures to carpets, they are often very symmetrical, but not perfectly symmetrical. They could make the figures perfectly symmetrical, but they break the symmetry deliberately. In this and other things they do essentially the same thing. With this they respect the God's exclusive rights, perfections and universals.
Western man sees himself as an individual in competition with other individuals. He has a tendency to some extent exaggerate his accomplishments and downplay his negative sides. He always tries to rise above the rest, like a cone-shaped wave with concave slopes. He tries to rise mostly with intensive personal efforts, but also by pressing others down and with various elaborate, but thin social arrangements, ideologies etc., and their complex lift - press down effects. He reproduces this basic pattern in his thinking; the greatest this, the ultimate that, beyond this, the highest that, the perfect this, the first that, etc. He often neglects or undervalues things, ideas, concepts and people (including his own relatives) outside his selective and limited, but paradoxically always expansive purview. When there is no balancing and mediating communities and cooperation, Western man and his thinking resides precariously and ambivalently between alternating atomistic individualism and collectivism. In his thinking there is always subtle and almost invisible tyrannical flavor, whether the individual himself notices or recognizes it or not. He doesn't brook contradictory ruling and/or social ideas, that are not de facto subdued to ruling principle and/or ideology, fixed in a hierarchical organizational and collective order.
Thus to Western man Jesus taught de facto contradictory and irreconcilable things, and hence to him endless and uneasy interpretations would be necessary even without ubiquitous individual competition, which makes it worse. There is no solid ground, despite that Jesus taught exactly that. To Western pseudo- and commercial Christian there is no solid ground, although he never fails to advertize his Christianity as a solid ground. Instead of thinking like Jesus in terms of community and congregation, hence balancing; connecting, but at the same time durably separating; preserving; and protecting seemingly contradictory things and concepts like particularism and universalism, love and hate, forgiveness and unforgiveness, ingroup and outgroup, earth and heaven, man and God, Western pseudo-Christian always discerns the greatest principle, which he separates, cuts it's proper connections, lifts it up to a ruling void, and from there it starts, selectively or wholesale, to suffocate other principles. In his wake he leaves at minimum "neutron bombed" pseudo-Christians, whose souls have died, but their bodies live on in a decaying society; or at worst a secular tyranny.
When Western men plan to cooperate, weakly and transiently, they display their strong sides, and decide if they receive enough utility from cooperation. Western Christians should lay the foundation of their long term ingroup cooperation, in coherence with Christianity, to:
a) Counterintuitively to weaknesses, insufficiencies, inadequacies and perhaps defects. These should be displayed. These have five functions: 1) Another man's weakness or inadequacy in one area is balanced by another man's strength or greater strength 2) Every man pledges to improve himself in the weak areas for the group, especially if the weak areas are important 3) Realistic knowledge of the group and it's members increases. 4) Revealing personal information strenghtens the bonds between members 5) The significance of one unit of risk because of weaknesses and inadequacies is greater than one unit of utility because of strengths
b) Extra, but not blind and indiscriminate, forgiveness in the group not based on personal and earthly utility, of which the latter is perhaps done anyways. Extra forgiveness is rewarded personally in the life after death by God and at the group level here on earth.
c) Extra, but not blind and indiscriminate, services to the group not based on personal and earthly utility, of which the latter is perhaps done anyways. Extra services are rewarded personally in the life after death by God and at the group level here on earth.
d) No great status differences in the ingroup.
e) Strengths and capabilities of members coordinated to mutually strenghtening cooperation, where the effect of the whole group is greater than the sum of the parts.
These together with daily Christian life will, quite naturally, teach how to balance and connect the "components" of Christianity with each other. Or secular ideas.
Charlton asked me to clarify, so I wrote:
I add about Hutterites (without evaluating the details about them, their customs and Christian orientation) that they can easily reconcile e.g. strict ingroup endogamy (particularism) and universalism in permanent manner in their Christian life. They are satisfied with their endogamy and ethnicity, but at the same they are proud (not secularly proud) that they have converted people to Hutterite Christianity as far as in South-America and Africa. They admit that especially in Africa Hutterite things have gone wrong, but they move on with their lives, they have done their best.
How long it would take that this kind of strong "contradiction" or some accentuated principle in our atheist/pseudo-Christian, atomized individualist and large complex organization -society would either veer to some extreme, become totally corrupted or blow to pieces? What are the reasons for this in our thinking and way of life?
Does this make it clearer?
Addition. To put it another way, in Christianity, forgiveness, like everything else, is a solid and highly connected "team player", understandable only in real life Christian congregation or community context. It is certainly God's mercy, forgiveness and love that ultimately will save us, low and insignificant life forms compared to God, but shouldn't we leave all the perfections of the world, ultimate principles etc. to God, and try to gather the unavoidably imperfect "team" (of principles and men) we need in this world and to gain access to the next?
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