/ Towards a Definition of Theology

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Rob Exile Ward on 27 Nov 2012
'The development of tenuous, fragile, abstract and inconsistent arguments in an increasingly futile attempt to bridge the widening gap between primitive superstitions as represented by 'faiths' such as Christianity and Islam, and our increasingly sophisticated understanding, validated by falsifiable predictions, of the physical universe.'

I'm certainly not happy contributing any of my taxes to it.
dissonance - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

you wanting your own 1000+ thread?
cragtaff - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: Theology? Isn't it a study of myth, fantasy and superstition?
Horatio on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary. (From wiki).

I'm not happy contributing taxes for cluster bombs to be dropped on Pakistani villages by drone airplanes.
Should we get rid of sociology and psychology too? After all they don't help us make iphones or fly to the moon.

We can all make up analogies. Atheist - One with the arrogance to think that the rest of the overwhelmingly non-atheistic human race are a bunch of morons based on some infantile scientific discoveries and hypotheses, that most of them don't really understand. :)
Rob Exile Ward on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Horatio: 'religious truths' Oxymoron?

'Should we get rid of sociology and psychology too?'

As a former sociologist I would say not, but I would, wouldn't I?! Because sociology studies how we are shaped by our social interaction, and can - and has - had practical, tangible effects on making the world a better place.
Horatio on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: 'the nature of religious truths' - not an oxymoron. It's a fundamental part of human sociology and psychology, and it's a fascinating subject.
mkean - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Horatio:
Should we get rid of sociology and psychology too? After all they don't help us make iphones or fly to the moon.

I've got the feeling you are wrong about that: If you can't find a sociologist at Apple or a psychologist at NASA then I suspect you aren't looking very hard.

Mkean - A chemist.
Dave Garnett - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I'm certainly not happy contributing any of my taxes to it.

A couple of the brightest people I've met at universities have been reading theology. It doesn't imply that they were religious themselves.

Given that so many people in the world are religious, it seems fair enough for a small number of people to study religions as a social and historical phenomenon.

I guess there's even a small chance they might figure out what could be done about it.
Christheclimber - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to Horatio) 'religious truths' Oxymoron?
>
> 'Should we get rid of sociology and psychology too?'
>
> As a former sociologist I would say not, but I would, wouldn't I?! Because sociology studies how we are shaped by our social interaction, and can - and has - had practical, tangible effects on making the world a better place.

And Christianity has shaped the history and culture of the western world
dissonance - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Given that so many people in the world are religious, it seems fair enough for a small number of people to study religions as a social and historical phenomenon.

but is that best dealt with under theology or under sociology/religious studies? Since theology does have the historical (and in some parts of the world still existing) baggage around it being professional training for clergy.
Dave Garnett - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:

Well, my personal prejudice is that at least theology (certainly in the better departments) has some academic rigour. I don't have that impression of 'religious studies'. I'm agnostic about sociology.
Rob Exile Ward on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Christheclimber: I'm tending to the view that Christianity - probably most religions - reflect the development of society rather than create it.

I don't see much connection between the 'Christianity' that underpinned the Crusades, William the Conqueror or the Inquisition and the 'Heavenly Jesus, Meek and Mild' of sentimental Victorians. Or the 'God is Love' meaningless mantra of today's happy-clappies.
Horatio on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to Christheclimber) I'm tending to the view that Christianity - probably most religions - reflect the development of society rather than create it.
>
> I don't see much connection between the 'Christianity' that underpinned the Crusades, William the Conqueror or the Inquisition and the 'Heavenly Jesus, Meek and Mild' of sentimental Victorians. Or the 'God is Love' meaningless mantra of today's happy-clappies.

What about the Christians beliefs of the US neo-cons, or the Islamic beliefs of the terrorists they're at war with? Both happy-clappies and crusader type religious folk exist just as much today as they ever did. Would they still be at war with each other without religion?
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Horatio:
> (In reply to Rob Exile Ward)
> [...]

Would they still be at war with each other without religion?

oh yes. in the end, war is about resource allocation. everything else is window dressing and means of justification
Horatio on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: Ta, that was my point :)
Rob Exile Ward on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Horatio: Hmm, mine too!
ice.solo - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to Horatio)
> [...]
>
> Would they still be at war with each other without religion?
>
> oh yes. in the end, war is about resource allocation. everything else is window dressing and means of justification

yes. tho often that resource is dogmatic and easily coerced human populations

thin bob on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
Theology should be a subset of sociology, it's the study of human behaviours.

Interestingly and obviously *utterly* coincidental;

escatology:
1. The branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind.
2. A belief or a doctrine concerning the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Second Coming, or the Last Judgment.

scatolgy:
1. The study of fecal excrement, as in medicine, paleontology, or biology.
2.
a. An obsession with excrement or excretory functions.
b. The psychiatric study of such an obsession.
3. Obscene language or literature, especially that dealing pruriently or humorously with excrement and excretory functions.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com

;-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
thin bob on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
and furthermore, if people want religion, they are perfectly welcome to pay for it themselves. It's not a god-given right.....

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