Thursday, June 30, 2005

a kantian dilemma if there ever was one

Jason, your sarcastic jabs have poked at a nerve. If you remember your "jewish proverbs", we all must "dialogare per non morire." (loosely: engage in dialogue in order to stave off that hoary breath of the destroying angel). To that, I reply: "Dialogiamo, allora!!" (loosely, again: Let's get our dialogue on!!)

Do I make sense to anyone besides myself?

A lot of people in the church are pretty attached to the idea that sacrifice brings blessings. Off hand, I can't think of any scriptures that support that explicitly, but I'll assume there are some. Say, for example, I go to the temple because I enjoy it, is that less noble than those times I go to the temple when I really just want to stay home and play Xbox? Or, to put it in more philosophical terms, is obedience out of duty the more virtuous route?

Big question, I know. But hey, we're dialogue-ing.


At 6/30/2005 09:40:00 PM,

Let me try to rephrase the argument: That's why a few pet gray "sins" (like Coke; like the pet phrase "holy hell"; like The Simpsons) are so important to each of us. Without them, we wouldn't be sacrificing in those moments when we want to be cool, clever, hip, sly, the toast of the town, the life of the party, a real card--but decide to drink lemonade; bite the acid tongue; or turn the TV off.

Thus, by having these alternative desires, we get to sacrifice our desires for Faith and Worship.

I like your appeal to the scriptures here. Does not scripture enjoin "putting off the natural man" as opposed to "keeping him alive but constantly submitting him?" Are we not to, as Paul, develop ourselves to the point where we "have the mind of Christ?" Do not the truly converted feel, at their best moments, that they "have no more desire to sin?"

At 7/01/2005 12:52:00 AM,

If I can reply again, this begs the question of whether hymns are scriptures, which I find really interesting. If they are, that poses more interesting questions. So many people have noticed that some hymns are of questionable theological value. And did W.W. Phelps or Parley P. Pratt have the authority and calling to define doctrine just because their songs have withstood time and become classic expressions of mormon ritualized history?

When Phelps writes "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven" does his phrase carry the force of Moroni's "I give unto men weakness that they may be humble?" And, to allude to my latest post, what about Phelps' "stain Illinois" outburst? Couldn't we get ourselves into all kinds of ecclesiastical trouble (a ready example is provided by the line in question--but I won't go into it) by hanging on the words and potential import of phrases in a hymn instead of treating it as a pure and communal expression of shared devotion and adoration of God by raising our voices to His praise?

At 7/07/2005 01:28:00 AM,

I kind of like it when I just dialogue with myself. Half the time I don't remember what I have written, so it is fairly exciting to read it again.

Sacrifice for what purpose? Always doing required things in the hardest way? Not enjoying P-day? Not laughing when you think something is funny? Making church a burden instead of enjoying it?

At 7/07/2005 04:36:00 PM,

I gotta do better at continuing the dialogue. I horrible about putting in my two cents and then washing my hands.

All those questions, jason, are the problem. Do we purposefully make things miserable to receive blessings? Or better, is enjoying things you otherwise do out of duty a blessing in itself?

Admittedly, this is a whopper of a dilemma, and like most whoppers doesn't boil down to yeas and nays.




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