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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 4, Fostering a Greater Understanding of IDC< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Febble



Posts: 310
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 22 2012,04:00   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Mar. 21 2012,15:43)
Quote (Febble @ Mar. 21 2012,13:26)
Oh I don't disagree with any of that.  It's just that if I had to describe the flavour of humanist I am (and I prefer humanist to "atheist" - I still have some kind of meaningful referent for the signifier "God"), it's Christian, not out of conviction, especially, but because that's the religious tradition whose apples I stole.  And there are plenty of apples, especially if you spent time, as I did, in contact with Quakers (I was at a Quaker boarding school).  We had to learn, by heart, a bible verse or other piece of improving poetry or prose, each morning, before breakfast, and recite, en masse, during.  But the verses were carefully cherry picked to emphase all the lefty bits of Christianity, so I left school both a Christian, a Marxist, of sorts, a pacificist, and excited about non-violent civil disobedience in support of civil rights, against apartheid, the bomb, and all that stuff.

In the sixties and seventies, Christianity could be quite radical.  We made love, not war, and my brand of love included love thy neighbour as thyself.

It saw me through more than half a century.  Then I read Dennett.

Curious. I was a young Quaker (a quacker).* The meeting I attended was very 'old school' plain unscheduled. Not too many then, not very many now. The notion of memorizing bits of the Bible would have been very frowned upon. And those old Quakers sure could frown. They had "frown" down.

Of course, I am older now than they were then, and I wager I could out frown most of them.

* That was a Quaker joke. Here is another;

One morning Farmer John's cow kicked over the milk pail just as he had finished draining her. It was the third time in a row she had done this.

Brother John said, "Thou know I shall not beat thee. But, Thou might not have considered that if you do not mend your ways, I will sell thee to the Baptist down the road, and he will beat thee very well!"

Ours had "frown" down too.  Boy, did they.

Not sure where the bible-memorising thing came from, it was an old school tradition.  The school was called "The Mount" and if you could memorise the whole of the Sermon on the Mount you got a Complete Shakespeare.

But the passages were highly selected.  Some psalms, and bits of Isaiah were all we got from the OT, and, as I said, all the lefty bits of the NT.  The best bits of Paul.  The more PC parables.

But the best parts of all, of course, were the silences. I still like those.

  
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