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The Burnsville Socrates Cafe Message Board The Burnsville Socrates Cafe Discussion Forum › 12/21/10 questions and discussion

12/21/10 questions and discussion

Jon A.
Group Organizer
Saint Paul, MN
1. Why can't money buy me love?

2. Are all things as they are, or are all things as we see them?

3. What are the social benefits of shame?

4. Are we in the US on our way to becoming a "trailer town?"


. . . and the winner is: Is it too dangerous to talk about the Trinity? -- from Phillip


Phil: raised in the faith, I was a unitarian for a while (too liberal), am now a member of a conservative church (fundamentalist) -- I go mostly for the music. It's easier to be liberal in a conservative church than a conservative in a liberal church. Sometimes the Trinity is too hard to talk about. Some people take offense/it personally.

David: when the Gutenburg press was invented the powers that were insisted the Bible always be printed in Latin, to control access. Later folks were persecuted for failing to worship correctly. When did the Trinity become important?

Phil: with Constantine?

Jon: in Art History I learned at one time the Holy Ghost was considered female (see the ancient (now) mosque in Turkey originally built as a Christian cathedral named "Hagia Sophia" (or Holy Wisdom).

Jim: what IS the Trinity?

Phil: one's notions of the Trinity can make trouble if one's faith depends on it. I do not believe it to be necessary so it is not a troublesome topic of discussion in my life. Places like this group are really the only ones where I feel at ease with this topic.

Jim: let's say there is a god. let's assume it's good. with regard to man, what is the highest gift it gives to man? I submit it's free will, the only way to reconcile the range of human/natural evil.

Phil: a free mind is our best defense from strife on this issue.

David: if true why'd he tell Noah he's gonna destroy everyone else?

Dick: from Wikipedia: the the holy spirit is "lord and giver of life."

Phil: the Trinity makes Christianity a monotheistic religion that could work in what at the time was a context of polytheism

David: Roman emperor Constantine shrewdly used the faith to bind his people and his soldiers to him

Phil: he had his soldiers paint the cross on their shields. They were victorious, or so the story goes, giving the faith a booster shot

Jon: was Constantive shrewd/a man of faith/a practical leader/politician?

Dick: from Wikipedia: the Trinity is "three in one (the godhead)". They each have exactly the same nature. This is contrasts with those who go Binitarianism (one deity/two persons), Unitarianism (one deity/one person)

Jim: we treat it with some disrespect but think about Quantum Theory and its evidence of particles that act like waves and waves that act like particles

David: if they're all the same, then they're accepting the god of the Old Testament as well as the god of the New

Jon: for the Curran's Philosophy group we're about to discuss a buddhist guy who died in the 1920s. His book "Inquiry into the
Good" goes to some length to explain god through the filter of what the Buddha taught. He is convinced that god and fundamental reality are the same thing. I gather from this that each different religion is but a different story telling the same thing (once "irrelevant" details are removed)

Dick: religion exists because it's fun

David: people love fantasy books/movies. Religion may offer us a real benefit/penalty system. But they reflect our basic interest in using our imaginations to explain the mysteries.

Phis: Harry Potter is just a game. Not comparable to religion. Folk afraid of Harry Potter actually believe there are such things as evil spirits et al. They can't see the game being played

Steve: they're both about good vs. evil.

Jim: a successful religion must seem coherent. God gave freedom via the ability to survive. Inconsistencies aren't evidence of no god, they're indications that there is a best way to proceed and we must choose that way. Coherence of faith is what holds individuals in groups. A fundamental problem is the tension between group/individual demands.

David: why is god male and why was hell invented?

Jim: when things can be so bad, we need to attribute it to something other than god. A good god can't create evil

Steve: the golden rule means I need to get along first and foremost, no matter what I think is fundamentally true


Jon: well we all seem to agree with Phillip's assessment of the touchy-ness of discussing the Trinity with an open mind. Our greatest energy tonight comes instead from questions that expand out from there. Questions related but not limited to the topic of the Trinity.
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