The Dallas Examined Life Philosophy Group Monthly Meetup

  • November 8, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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TOPIC:  Christianity as a philosophy

The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom".

While people tend to think of Christianity as a religion it occured to me that it also meets one of the definitions for Philosophy: a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs. In the Christian tradition, Augustine of Hippo was a cornerstone of Christian philosophy and theology. He lived from 354 to 430 CE, and wrote his best known work, The City of God, in Hippo Regius, (now Annaba, Algeria) challenging a number of ideas of his age including Arianism, and established the notions of original sin and divine grace in Christian philosophy and theology. (Wiki)

The problem is that most systems of philosophy claim to rely on reason, logic and critical thinking who many believe is in short supply when it comes to anything related to religion.  So, what do you think?

1. Is there anything of value in studying Christianity?

2. Does it matter whether Jesus was an historical character or not?

3.  How does Christianity differ from any other philosophy? ... or does it?

Links you may find interesting:

Evidence for the historical Jesus.

Stanford University Historical Jesus by Thomas Sheehan

And more books/articles by Thomas Sheehan (PhD, Stanford Dept of Religious Studies)

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a spirit discussion and thoroughly enjoyable evening, due to the resident rapier wit, a handful of new faces, thought provoking concepts and comments and the priceless look on Rinda's face when everyone starts talking at once. I do love it!

    November 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I really enjoyed the stimulating conversations. Lots of viewpoints.

    November 9, 2012

  • Sherrina

    This was a very interesting meet up and had quite a few new faces. After listening to everyone, I hope to see them more often. Great discussion. Now go play on the discussion boards!

    November 8, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    check out an interesting book on Jeshua/Christ "Love Without End" at: www.lovewithoutend.com

    November 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    You have surely heard this one before: "God made truth, men made religion" -I hang my hat on it. Yes, we all have the primary responsibility to find our own way. Others, including Jeshua (in theory anyway)... can only provide an example to follow, should the goal be shared.

    October 20, 2012

  • Rinda G.

    Sorry, you'll not make the meet-up. We've done some Saturday afternoon meet-ups (1-4 pm at Central Market) and hope to do more but the primary monthly meeting is on the second Thursday.
    As far as an historical Jesus I require considerably more secular evidence to be convinced. Still, for this discussion I don't see that matters.
    Worthwhile ideas can be found in many places. It seems foolish to depend on any one book or person for one's salvation (aka "truth"). My personal surety lies in my belief that the only thing I need to be saved from is my own stupidity and the only person who can save me is me. The dogma of a religion is what I believe prevents people from considering it as a philosophy.

    October 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Rinda, I like your reply and queries. I am a new member and I will try to make some Thursday PM meetups but normally I am booked Thursday PMs. (Do you ever meet any other days/nights?) I am quite positive Jeshua/Christ was a real person but, then and now, not so well understood. Many had already died for humankind, and many more died after Jeshua for humankind, and still do. Perhaps the greater mission of Christ was not to die on the cross for our "sins" but to separate from God to demonstrate that the power of love is supreme in reuniting all that have separated in any manner and know that life is eternal. If God cannot be equated or at least identified with unity, love and life then I have missed the point!

    October 20, 2012

  • Rinda G.

    Actually Dale, both questions are excellent deserving discussion.
    Early on I recall my questioning as to whether an historical Jesus/Yeshua (aka Christ) actually existed or was merely a mythical character intended to embody the best possible character of a human, a combination of the thoughts of many early writers. (Along this line I’ve posted a couple of links that members may find interesting.)
    Today, I’m not so sure whether Jesus was “real” or “Memorex” actually matters. Either, like any philosophy, the precepts have value or they don’t. Just because other human beings made a “God”, a “Savior”, a “Christ” out of him, doesn’t mean there weren’t ideas in his purported “words” and valuable lessons that could be found in the bible.
    In any case, thanks for raising the question. Feel free to sign up for the Meet-up so we can discuss your thoughts in person. I look forward to meeting you.

    October 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is the question about the value of studying tenets and teachings of Christ or what mankind structured thereafter as religion(s)? -I doubt "Christ" intended to start a religion per se but rather upgrade beliefs about reality (based on love) so that humankind would alter behaviors to the contrary, at least for starters. Being non-judgmental and non-dualistic, this becomes easier.

    October 11, 2012

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