...that I feel I should link to this (mostly) excellent video of one of his lectures.
One of the reasons I find Voris so frustrating is that he is so right about so many things, and his zeal is so admirable, that all the heavy-duty pugnacity just seems such a wasteful shame, obscuring his many good points.
A point he makes in this video-- that Satan only really moved against Our Blessed Lord after he revealed himself in the Eucharist-- is one that had never occurred to me and is fascinating.
I do, however, find his rhetoric about absolute truth, as demonstrated in this lecture, quite irritating. The point of pluralism is not that we claim truth itself is plural. The point is that we don't impose that truth on others. Please note that I say impose. I don't mean that we don't seek to persuade, to evangelize, to convince, to sway, or to awaken. We should do all those things, given the proper time and circumstances. But in a pluralist society, unlike a theocracy such as Iran or a totalitarian society such as North Korea, we don't impose our vision of the truth. (Except in some cases, like a parent imposing the truth on her child.)
And I think that this social philosophy should go further than simply not coercing another person to accept the truth-- it implies a certain respectfulness towards their opinions and beliefs, mistaken though they may be. We enter the dictatorship of relativism only when "you have as much right to your opinions as I have to my own" slides into "your opinion is just as good as mine". (Because if it's really your opinion, as opposed to your preference or your sensibility, you can't possibly think like that; it's a contradiction. Unless, perhaps, the opinion was so tentative that you have no great confidence in its rightness.)
Is it possible that a human being can seriously believe that two contradictory claims can both be true? Surely only if they mean that they are both true in different senses. It's true, people do sometimes talk as though there is no ultimate truth in philosophical or ethical or aesthetic matters; but what they are really saying is that there is no truth in those fields, rather than that contrasting truth claims can both be true. (I think it's quite possible for there to be no truth in a particular matter. There is no truth about what underwear Ebenezer Scrooge wore, for instance.)
If you are interested in some new ideas on religious pluralism and the Trinity, please check out my website at www.religiouspluralism.ca, and give me your thoughts on improving content and presentation.ReplyDelete
My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic theology.
In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept of the Holy Trinity.
The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:
1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.
2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or "Universal” Absolute Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna; represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the "body of Christ" (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.
3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being – represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas, Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.
Other strains of religion seem to be psychological variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.
* The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.
** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme, so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit Synthesis of Source and Synthesis – the metaphysical Destiny Consummator of All That Is.
For more details, please see: www.religiouspluralism.ca
Samuel Stuart Maynes
Thanks for that, Samuel. Are you a Urantite?ReplyDelete
I am sceptical whether non-Christians would be too pleased at being accommodated within a Trinitarian framework.
Maolsheachlann... Yes, I have borrowed from the Urantia Book, but I’m not trying to force other religions into a Trinitarian framework, only pointing out how well those religions portray individual members of the Trinity. You can learn a lot about the threefold nature of God by looking at religions in this way.ReplyDelete
If you read the Preview on my website at www.religiouspluralism.ca, you will see that I am merely expanding on what is already inherent (but sometimes obscured or hidden) in the orthodox concept of the Trinity. Despite apparent differences, the underlying similarities among religions suggest the possibility that they may all be merely different facets of the same multi-dimensional reality.
The diversity of world religions may very well be rooted in the diversity of the divine life itself. Thus, a deeper understanding of the Trinity might include a synthesis of all that God has revealed of himself, as contained in the wisdom of all the world’s major religions. Indeed, when we examine world religions, we see in the personalities they portray and the language they use, a reflection of one or other (or some combination) of the three divine psychological personae.
Mere toleration is too fragile a foundation for a world of religious differences in close proximity. It does nothing to unite people, and leaves in place the stereotypes and fears that underlie old patterns of division and violence. In the world in which we live today, our elitism and ignorance of one another will be increasingly costly. If the interactions of society are to be at all a rational process, some set of principles must motivate the general participation of religious groups in the oneness of the community, without hindering the maintenance by each group of its own identity.
In the past, religious misunderstandings have caused immense grief, but civilization is rapidly approaching the point where the very survival of the world depends on overcoming anti-social religious conflicts, and the negative impacts of increasing population on the planet. The human race can no longer afford religious strife that divides people and disturbs urgent cooperation on mutual issues such as conservation and sharing of resources, combating climate change, stimulating healthy economic growth, etc.
Peace in the world requires peace among religions. Religious pluralism is a necessary paradigm shift whose time has come. Absent any better idea, the Trinity Absolute concept of One God in three phases or personae is the only adequate metaphysical vehicle necessary and sufficient for a real form of religious pluralism that is more than just lukewarm toleration and talking past one another.
Samuel Stuart Maynes