“I agree with Tolkien, a cynic may grasp an aspect of the object of their derision, but never the whole. The cynical view is always partial. And always too self-confident to realise its own partiality”
Says Mr Badger.
The clear, yet modestly unspoken, implication being – that ONLY the religious-minded can see things objectively and impartially and totally.
you misunderstand me. Suppose I were to claim that all atheists are unable to appreciate anything beyond the mundane, I’d be wrong to make such a cynical judgement. It cuts both ways, I am aware of that. The point about cynicism wasn’t purely meant to run only one way.
Nice to be back in the swing of things again. I love the clip. Perhaps the first example of militant agnosticism.
I interpret it as taking a belated swipe at the Dawkins-ites, in a context where it’s a given that the religious are loonies. But it’s a hopeful corrective when an ancient member of the comedy establishment moves a little bit beyond knee-jerk God-bashing.
The only one who sees things in all their fullness is God himself, of course. One might illustrate the dangers of the cynic’s focus on what he finds unacceptable with our beloved Toad no less, who is unable to contemplate the full richness of Hollywood’s oeuvre because he appears to find Mel Gibson a tad irritating. I can only conclude that Toad has been smoking his ‘Slime Bong’ again. Poop, poop!
“The proud spirits who never prayed and who today pass for torchbearers of culture vanish, with regularity, after a few years and are replaced by others. Those who pray are torn by the populace that does not pray, like Orpheus torn by the Maenads, but even in their lacerations their song is still heard everywhere; and if, because of their ill-use by the multitude, they seem to lose their influence, they remain hidden in a protected place where, in the fullness of time, they will be found once again by men of prayer.”
Von Balthasar has written masses, and seems a reasonably controversial figure. I’ve only read his book on the afterlife (as previously discussed) and the book on Mary co-authored with Ratzinger (of which Toad once got a belly full in The Other Place CP&S).
So where is your quotation from, my dear Badger, and what do you think of him?
I think this video is a good corrective. Atheism is a completely respectable intellectual position. But in the last decade there has been an upsurge in an (to quote Hitchens) “anti-theism” that is infuriated by those who do not agree. Setting aside my sense of the numinous, I think that Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas were absolutely right to assert that the foundation of existence is a spiritual, and personal, Will, rather than an endless chain of material causes. The danger today seems to be that because science has been very usefull and is unable to cope with the transcendant, we should just forget about transcendant things, and only worry about material causes.
The spiritual world is not inhabited by supernatural beings. Spirituality is being at one with the earth in which we happen to exist, there is no need to make up ‘special friends’ to explain that which we don’t understand. It’s enough to admit that we don’t know.
KA, you are making truth claims. Is this under the assumption of materialism? Please explain what you mean by “spiritual”, and how, in any empirically demonstrable fashion, we can be “at one with the earth”.
Good luck with the worldview. Maybe if it survives unaltered for a few months you’ll develop a little more respect for one that has clocked up a few hundred billion person-years.
….Spirituality is being at one with the earth in which we happen to exist….
KA, I have some sympathy with that. A close friend of mine is a biologist. He is an atheist, and became interested in science as a boy because of a passionate curiousity and a sense of ‘wonder’at the world. His attitude to the natural world is almost one of reverence (expressed in conservation work etc). If I’m reading you correctly that is related to what you mean. I think that is an incomplete world-view, but it certainly has value.
What I’m saying is that living with a respect for all other living things, for the natural world around us is fundamental to how I live my life. I have no need to believe in the supernatural, which I see as completely unnecessary for my way of living.
The sad truth is, my dear Toad, websites make this sort of thing rather easy (although we can manage Mel with just a brain). Thus, some website has come up with 40 thousand anagrams for “FatherRanieroCantalamessa” at my request, the most interesting of which (from the first thousand or so I bothered to scroll through) are
I can’t get too excited about his Owl Gaffe – though I concur it is a gaffe – just a bit of Italian artistic licence to illustrate the point he is trying to make would be my guess. You’d be hard pressed to make a case for deep antipathy to science here. Most of that sort of fun emerges from the US Deep South, as you have told us.
Both right, of course. But what got Toad’s goat (how animal this blog is!) was not so much “Canta” getting it wrong, but then proceeding to make some sort of laborious analogy – about how atheists get stuff wrong – about it, even as he got it wrong himself. (which Toad can’t even find any more) Are there no ornithologists in the Vatican?
But that was all last year. Time to move on.
Toad, as usual, is deeply pessimistic about the coming year.
Fanatical religious lunatics of most every stripe will – as is customary – kill one another, and innocent bystanders as well, in large numbers.
Oh dear, the normally excellent CP & S has “The Roots of Liberal Theology” as its latest post. It wouldn’t do any good to comment, but God protect us from a defensive and paranoid response to modern scholarship. And also the error of tarring modern scholarship with an Edwardian brush.