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Date Posted: 18:29
Author: ketch-1May02
Subject: Re: Addendum/Correction
In reply to: Eponymous-1May02 's message, "Re: Addendum/Correction" on 18:27

I'll let you have the last word, Ketch.

Thank you! Then I shall use my last word to point out that the flaw in your arguments comes from your use of the word "elightened" when what you really mean is either "liberal" or "fashionable".

When we speak of enlightened behaviour we usually mean behaviour in accordance with, or guided by the divine will. Since neither you nor I know with certainty what the divine will is in any given situation we can not say for sure whether specific actions are enlightened or not. We can only make judgements based on our knowledge of the actions of those we believe to be enlightened. E.g. we might well consider murder to be unenlightened since many saints have declared it to be contrary to God's laws. However most cases are not so clear cut.

"When an adherent of Yogananda says he was enlightened, the adherent doesn't mean that Yogananda was enlightened-for-California-in-the-1930s."

No, we mean that he was in touch with the divine, and his actions were guided by his contact with the divine. However it is quite conceivable that God would want someone to alter their behaviour according to the standards of the time and place in which they lived. Behaviour which may have been in accordance with God's will in 1930 California may not be the same as that which would be appropriate in 21st century California.

"First, you've changed the question from whether baby killing is an unenlightened practice into whether we can judge those who engaged in the practice by contemporary standards of enlightenment."

I do not believe we can judge whether or not an action is enlightened. We may surmise that it is very unlikely that a primitive tribesman is guided by the divine, and therefore their actions cannot be described as enlightened by that definition. As to whether such actions are in accordance with the divine will, we cannot be sure. It may well be that the killing of an infant in order to enhance the prospects for the tribes survival is in accordance with the divine will while the killing of a baby in New York is not.

"Hmmm. If society has reactionary "sensitivies," I see no enlightened reason to show those sensitivities any respect short of viewpoint toleration; and even then, such toleration would not include anything like invading the marital liberties of adherents merely on the basis of the unenlightened sensitivities of outsiders."

It always amuses me how intolerant most liberals are. Perhaps God wishes his devotees to have more respect for others opinions. Although you have said you will let me have the last word here, I wonder if you regard denying people the right to marry their own brother or sister, or denying people the right to marry members of their own sex as being unenlightened. It is just as much a denyal of individual freedoms as prohibiting inter-racial marriage.

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