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 Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 10:24

You 轻信 person, you!  Cheers
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 11:53

The things you learn here on Res Hiss!

I now know how to say "readily believing chicken" in Chinese, which I suppose could be taken for sarcasm in some takeaway establishments in Bolton. I still haven't quite mastered "with crispy seaweed and boiled rice" though. I wonder if they sell "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" in Beijing and, if they do, how is it written on the tub? "Readily Believing Butter!" doesn't sound quite as innocently astonished somehow.

No new thread then? Come on, P.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 12:51

Far too busy  developing the atheists next hymn  'Glad I'm not gullible, and the sky is blue.' Must be careful not to get my meta physics entangled with me religiosities. I  started with 'Old Hundred' tho. All people that  on earth don't dwell,  ignore the lord with disbelief..... someway to go on that.and I shall enjoy 'He who would valiant be...... making that a staff on which the ungullible can take strength should be a challenge. Then there's 'And did whose feet in the Radio Times, step upon   England's awful land.

I like these tablets I'm on no end!!!

Rgards P
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 13:29

Hey P, they're playing our song!

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 15:32

@Priscilla wrote:
Must be careful not to get my meta physics entangled with me religiosities.

 Smile

Don't put them in the machine together then, especially not on the "Gullibles and Delicates" cycle. It's always a complete disaster.

PS Some hymn tunes have lovely names, I think. The German ones are particularly impressive, as you would expect; although the Lutheran ones can sound a bit like something from an Audi advert.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 17:31

Can't even  non-gullibles into the machine - too much stiffening in the thread at a guess Needs a rub down on the ol' wash board if it can be found in the our overlord's humble skiffle box..... am I hearing strains of Immortal, Invisble?  Surely not - maybe by one of the Bronte girls getting through the ether - - whatever was in those tablets?
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 18:58

@Priscilla wrote:
..... am I hearing strains of Immortal, Invisble?  .... whatever was in those tablets?

Dunno P - but at school we always sang:

... ♫ Immortal, invisible, God only knows! .. ♪    .... followed by other rather more profane verses!


And so for my schoolboy self I now apologise to Mr Walter Chalmers Smith who wrote the original hymn. Although he in turn did steal the tune from an old Welsh song.

PS : We ought to have a thread on hymns - even "Satan's lapdog" aka Richard Dawkins, admits that he likes to sing hymns in church. As do I. But communal hymn-singing does seem to be a uniquely protestant thing ... I've attended quite a few Catholic services, and at funerals and weddings alike it's only ever the choirboys that get to sing. And I have always felt something was missing.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 19:21

@Meles meles wrote:


PS : We ought to have a thread on hymns - even "Satan's lapdog" aka Richard Dawkins, admits that he likes to sing hymns in church. As do I. But communal hymn-singing does seem to be a uniquely protestant thing ... I've attended quite a few Catholic services, and at funerals and weddings alike it's only ever the choirboys that get to sing. And I have always felt something was missing.


I think that's a lovely idea, MM. Please would you or Priscilla start one? I'm hopeless at starting threads.

And just imagine the Boss's face when he signs in tomorrow to find we've all been singing "Onward, Christian Soldiers!" in his absence (with or without gusto).

The Songs of Praise Thread. Shocked  pale   Smile



Last edited by Temperance on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 19:42; edited 1 time in total
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 19:27

Or "Backward Christian Soldiers" as Jesus would have written it.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:05

Oh come, come Nordman, the catholic church, though at times appearing backward, has rarely actually ever been backward in coming forward to advance it's onward-marching, aggressive forward plan for the conquest of the world and the future enslavement of souls.



Oh dear .. perhaps too many glasses of wine tonight. I'll probably delete this in a bit , as per Temp.


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:11; edited 2 times in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:10

Oh heck, I always say the wrong thing, don't I?

It was just a little joke, but I think I'm in trouble again. Oh, well. I'd better shut up and get back to my book now. It's about Lancelot Andrewes who could write the most sublime prose.   study 

PS But to be serious, MM, your suggestion is really interesting. I wonder why Catholics don't sing as much as the Protestants? Must be something to do with the Reformation and Luther writing all those great hymns for the hoi polloi to belt out. But I know at Exeter Cathedral - which of course is C of E - the congregation don't get a look in: it's always the choir singing complicated anthems and such. They do it very nicely, but I agree it does spoil it a bit, if you want to join in.

I once stood up at Evensong at the Cathedral because I was used to singing the Nunc Dimittis and no one else did - just the choir. I felt an awful idiot.


Last edited by Temperance on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 22:04; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:15

@Temperance wrote:
Oh heck, I always say the wrong thing, don't I?


Not a bit of it ... I was just responding to Nordy's "Backward Soldiers" comment, ... in kind, but I sort of lost the plot and got confused whether I was advancing or retiring. Lah di dah! It happens after a glass or three of red n'est ce pas? My comment was meant to be ironic, or at least not to be taken at all seriously.


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:49; edited 2 times in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:16

Oh, MM, we know all that, but surely that shouldn't stop us discussing interesting things here in a friendly way? Not everyone who is gullible is a total b*stard, or completely witless, you know.

I am beginning to despair - really.

PS Can I have one of your tablets, Priscilla?

EDIT: Crossed - or cross -  posts.

And I don't know whether I'm coming or going either - or shuffling off the site backwards like you do after an audience with the Queen. And I haven't had anything to drink.


Last edited by Temperance on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 21:17; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Missed "do" out, so it sounded as though MM had had an audience with the Queen.)
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:21

Now I AM confused .... whoever said that "everyone who is gullible is a total bastard" ?

And why the despair?

And why cross?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 20:33

It's always implied here. And just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean everybody isn't out to get me.

I'm going back to Lancelot now. He may not be everyone's dream man, but I think he's brill. He could speak at least fifteen different languages. T.S. Eliot pinched stuff from him wholesale. He was also a great influence on George Herbert. Thought you'd all like to know that.

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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 21:09

I'm confused too, the only relationship I see between the gullible and the total bastards is the way that the latter can exploit the former.
Just tell me who's been implying that about you, Temp, and I'll beat them about the head with the collected works of Philippa Gregory, still in the bookcase.

Seriously though, that's one of the problems about debating in this format; no body language or facial expression to help assess another's reaction or warn when a nerve has been inadvertently struck, no tone of voice to hint that the jokey retort disguises real hurt. I'm constantly in awe of the erudition, humour and grace with which you conduct your discussions so if I should have ever have said anything which has pained you then I apologise. Long ago a colleague described me as loud and excitable, I haven't changed, I'm afraid.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 21:42

Oh, I'm sorry, tout le monde. It's just me having a bad week. What with dead hedgehogs, a wilting Jackmanii and First Utility not responding to my frantic E-mails about Atlantic Gas threatening to cut off my gas supply (I've just switched to F.U. from Atlantic Gas; wish I hadn't now - it's been awful - I've paid both companies this month and Atlantic Gas are still threatening to cut me off, even though they are no longer my suppliers, although they say they are), I'm at the end of my tether, and it wasn't a very long tether in the first place.
.
I do agree about no body language or facial expression making things difficult, here, ferval. I love follies and nonsense, especially my own, but often people don't realise I'm joking and they think I'm being cutting or sarcastic or something, and I'm not. I'm usually laughing at myself.

Shall I send another E-mail to First Utility threatening to gas myself? I have a 1962 cooker (honestly - it's my pride and joy - works perfectly) and I suppose I could say I was about to do a Sylvia Plath in it. But they probably wouldn't know what I'm talking about - or care.

I'm now really worried that nordmann is furious with me for suggesting we have clandestine hymn-singing on his site. I'm probably imagining that too - I'm sure he doesn't give a hoot.

But, just in case, I shall say sorry. Sorry, sir, it was just a joke, sir - honestly.  Lying low

PS I've never imagined you as "loud and excitable" - quite the opposite in fact!
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 22 Jul 2014, 23:45

We're always being told to switch companies and it usually turns out to be a disaster, as far as I can see.  My friend changed ISPs and still didn't have internet access three months later.  And I stupidly changed phone suppliers when we were going away and came back to find some of the advantage I had had with the first ones didn't apply with the new one, and when we went back to the other one, they didn't come with the new policies either.

A thread about hymns is perfectly suitable here surely?  When I read Under The Greenwood Tree a couple of years ago, much of that was based on the singing of hymns and the changing role of music in the church at that time, with organs coming in and being controversial.  I feel some of these music bits have been about as controversial as gay priests etc nowadays.  (Speaking of which we visited Southwell Minster while we were in Britain and the day after I noticed a newspaper article about controversy there when one of their officials or ministers had moved in with his male partner.  Southwell Minster offended me by coming up to me as I was about to take a photo of a nice modern wooden sculpture saying "It will cost 5 pounds to take photos."  They were keen not to have charges with the result that they were pushing aggressively donations etc.  We wondered why there was no pamphlet in English when they were there in German, French, Japanese etc.  It was because we could buy a English information booklet for 3 pounds. I didn't give them anything except 50p for a postcard with the sculpture I liked.  You have to be careful how you ask for money and they were too anxious/desperate/pushy.  

This hasn't much to do with anything, has it?  Never mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 01:26

@Meles meles wrote:

PS : We ought to have a thread on hymns - even "Satan's lapdog" aka Richard Dawkins, admits that he likes to sing hymns in church. As do I. But communal hymn-singing does seem to be a uniquely protestant thing ... I've attended quite a few Catholic services, and at funerals and weddings alike it's only ever the choirboys that get to sing. And I have always felt something was missing.

Well no it isn't a purely proddy thing at all, it just depends on where you are and whether the church in question has a choir. I've never been to any RC service where there wasn't communal singing, ugh if it wasn't bad enough having to go to church but having to sing ghastly hymns on top of it was the pits. Would have much preferred there were a choir to do it, at least they'd be in tune.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 07:58

Temp wrote:
I'm now really worried that nordmann is furious with me for suggesting we have clandestine hymn-singing on his site. I'm probably imagining that too - I'm sure he doesn't give a hoot.

Not only am I not furious but I heartily support the project - nothing like a good ol' sing-song to bond the community. My own party piece used to be a soulful rendition of "I'll Walk My Dog From This Day On" (his dirty paws he'll lean upon, this is my prayer, my solemn plea, may my doggy never have fleas). Currently it's "How Fake Thou Art" (though my mate Art in Clonakilty hates it for some reason) so I'm thinking of moving on to "Amazing Grass" (how sweet the puff, that fills my lungs for free, there is no charge to smoke this stuff, some dude, he shares with me ...)

Altogether now ...
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 08:31

@nordmann wrote:


My own party piece used to be a soulful rendition of "I'll Walk My Dog From This Day On" (his dirty paws he'll lean upon, this is my prayer, my solemn plea, may my doggy never have fleas).


That doesn't scan.

I'll walk my dog from this day on,
His dirty paws he'll lean upon.
This is my prayer, my solemn plea
That ever, Lord, he flealess be.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 08:36

You have to imagine Harry Secombe (accompanied on his organ -ouch- by Jess Yates) doing a Welsh rendition of "doggy" (emphasis on the first three syllables in "doggy").

EDIT: Actually if Yates was involved then it's a moot point whether Harry would do "doggy" Welsh-style or "Welsh" doggy-style. Religion was so much more fun when it was portrayed on TV by lechers on their organs.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 21:40

@Caro wrote:
We're always being told to switch companies and it usually turns out to be a disaster, as far as I can see.  My friend changed ISPs and still didn't have internet access three months later.  And I stupidly changed phone suppliers when we were going away and came back to find some of the advantage I had had with the first ones didn't apply with the new one, and when we went back to the other one, they didn't come with the new policies either.

A thread about hymns is perfectly suitable here surely?  When I read Under The Greenwood Tree a couple of years ago, much of that was based on the singing of hymns and the changing role of music in the church at that time, with organs coming in and being controversial.  I feel some of these music bits have been about as controversial as gay priests etc nowadays.  (Speaking of which we visited Southwell Minster while we were in Britain and the day after I noticed a newspaper article about controversy there when one of their officials or ministers had moved in with his male partner.  Southwell Minster offended me by coming up to me as I was about to take a photo of a nice modern wooden sculpture saying "It will cost 5 pounds to take photos."  They were keen not to have charges with the result that they were pushing aggressively donations etc.  We wondered why there was no pamphlet in English when they were there in German, French, Japanese etc.  It was because we could buy a English information booklet for 3 pounds. I didn't give them anything except 50p for a postcard with the sculpture I liked.  You have to be careful how you ask for money and they were too anxious/desperate/pushy.  

This hasn't much to do with anything, has it?  Never mind.


Caro,

glad to see you back. I will start to answer to your old thread how governments can betray people to go  to war in a democracy...
A bit handicapped: 20 July a bit of a food poisoning and the day before yesterday an accident while working...right hand...three houres in the emergercy...and three stitches...yesterday evening completely out of service....missing this interesting extrapolation...

Perhaps you, all, as fluently speaking Anglo-Saxons, even MM "dans un bain français" remaining still an Anglo-Saxon, as our Norwegian eloquent Nordmann, aren't aware how difficult it, is to distangle all the finer twists of the English language...
Take now the word "gullible"...never heard about that word...in my 1991 edition of the Collins paperback stays: "gullible": easely tricked...yes, that's quite something...
Thus if I use sometimes something insulting, that's because...and mostly I look in the dictionary before...and everybody here knows me...that I am not the person to start purposely insults...

I wanted yesterday to answer to Nordmann again with some "heavy stuff"...as he was reading Sartre's thousand pages and mentioned the Norwegian translation of a French word...
I read somewhere that there was a school? of historians, who said that each history is different depending of the language it is written in...the words in each language having their specific "contenu" (contenance?)....as usual , you know me, I don't agree on the first sight...and I will start a new thread to not burden this thread again with "heavy material"...

Caro, kind regards and with esteem as always,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 21:54

OOPS, Caro, and I forgot to talk about "hymns"

Will first look to the concept of the word "hymn"...being to 18 in a Roman-Catholic college...and even in a Catholic "high school?" after my 18 still obliged to attend some Catholic services...I am nearly convinced that we (the Catholics Wink ) have the best "hymns"...or aren't that "hymns" Nordmann? You with your Roman Catholic background...see you all back on the new thread...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 21:58

"PS I've never imagined you as "loud and excitable" - quite the opposite in fact!"

Me too, Temperance...especially about Ferval...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 22:43

I don't have a "Roman Catholic" background, Paul. You're making that presumption (a dangerous one too) because I'm Irish in origin. I was definitely surrounded by all that crap but I grew up therefore informed about these sects - a very different proposition to being brainwashed, I assure you.

ferval is loud and excitable. I've warned her about it before.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Thu 24 Jul 2014, 21:01

Nordmann,

"I don't have a "Roman Catholic" background, Paul. You're making that presumption (a dangerous one too) because I'm Irish in origin. I was definitely surrounded by all that crap but I grew up therefore informed about these sects - a very different proposition to being brainwashed, I assure you."

Many excuses, Nordmann...that's the danger with presuppositions...and yes it is not worth of a honest man Embarassed ...and it is not the first time that I make allusions at it  Embarassed ...at least it is now cleared for us all...

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 14:31

I'm the first Judi* on the planet, Paul. You should know that!  Smile 



* not to be confused with Jedi. Judis are one with the farce.

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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 10:36

Ah, Judis - does a candle light your head?
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 18:26

@Priscilla wrote:
Ah, Judis - does a candle light your head?


Priscilla,

nothing at all...it is one of Nordmann's (my friend Gilgamesh could also "throw" such "phrases" in a serious Wink  discussion") enigmatic (for me) utterings...
The only thing I found (apart from the "crap") in a quick research on the WWW was:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_(name)


And I wanted to add a whole reply to MM this evening about the hymns...but replied yesterday evening to Historum about Darwin and social Darwinism and want to interfere on Philip II of Spain thread...and all with three stitches in a wound of the right hand...

If you have a hint about Judis...?

Kind regards and with esteem from your friend Paul.


PS: And hearing "voices" for the moment...not angels I suppose...it happens many times when my computer is on with the two big boxes...I can't understand but it is like Flemish...it looks like, as it sounds, the conversations between a control tower and airplanes...as Nordmann knows nearly everything I hope that he has some suppositions about this too...(rational one's...Nord I couldn't resist...it is my inherited  Twisted Evil ... Cheers ...)
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Fri 01 Aug 2014, 12:58

@ferval wrote:
I think that Temp's reference to cultural identity is very significant. The circumstances in which these practices arose may be opaque but their continuation seems to me to mostly occur in minorities who persist with them, despite the disapproval or outright opposition of the majority, as an affirmation of their difference and perceived superiority. As well as the exhibition of masculinity and fertility associations, there's something of the trial by ordeal in these as well.


I read a couple of things yesterday which reminded me of ferval's words from earlier in the thread, and also of my own comment that the insistence that these bizarre practices are always faith-related could be a bit of a red herring. Could they be philosophy-related? Ferval's "trial by ordeal" made me wonder whether these dangerous and apparently crazy efforts to overcome extreme pain or fear - now associated so much with Christianity - could actually have had their roots in the Greek philosophies that so influenced Roman and then Christian thought. I'm thinking of Stoicism in particular.

The first thing that I read that had me pondering was this from Professor Gerard Wegemer's biography of Thomas More, A Portrait of Courage:

During these (early) years, More worked at ...achieving self-mastery, struggling to discern his vocation and to prepare himself for whatever that was...Recognising the importance of personal effort, he also began the practive of extensive mortification. During this period, for example,  he began wearing his famous hair shirt, a penitential practice he continued until his death. He also limited the number of hours he slept, fasted regularly, and strove to teach his tongue to seek charity rather than victory. Such age-old methods of self-mastery...did not become outmoded during the Renaissance; if anything the rediscovery of Roman valour, toughness and virtue acted as a greater spur to their use. (My underlining.)

Deliberate mortification of the flesh as an "age-old method of self-mastery" - made me think of the Stoics with whose philosophy More was, of course, very familiar - the need to fight "passion" (suffering? pain? emotion?) until passion no longer exerts any influence. Such control is a requisite for a warrior of any sort, religious or otherwise.

Then I read this chatty but rather interesting article, and I was intrigued by the mention of the experiences of the Vietnam veteran, James Stockdale: how his knowledge and practice of Stoic belief helped him survive his time in a Vietcong prison camp. The mention of the book by Nancy Stockdale The Stoic Warrior also intrigued me. Stoicism - Christianity - proving (by apparently senseless "ordeals"?) that one has achieved self-mastery, that one has conquered the "passions" of fear and suffering? Probably of no relevance to the thread at all, but I thought it would do no harm to share these thoughts here.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kareanderson/2012/09/28/five-reasons-why-stoicism-matters-today/

From the article:


3. If you’re Christian, you’re already part-Stoic.
Imagine a religion that stressed human brotherhood under a benevolent creator God; that told us to moderate and master our basic urges rather than giving into them; that nevertheless insisted that all humans, because we’re human, are bound to fail at this mission; and that spent a lot of time talking about “conscience” and the multiple aspects, or “persons,” of a unitary God. All of that might sound familiar. But the philosophy that invented all of those ideas was not Christianity, but Stoicism.

It makes sense that Christianity is a deeply Stoic religion. Stoicism dominated Roman culture for centuries—and Christianity went mainstream in the same culture. What’s more, many of the leaders of the early Christian church were former Stoics. Of course Christianity borrowed much of its thought and terminology from Stoicism–because thinking about religion in the early 1st millennium meant thinking like a Stoic.

As Christianity continued to grow, church leaders, who wanted to emphasize the uniqueness of their faith, began to downplay this Stoic connection. But Stoicism is still there at the foundation of the Christian religion, in some of its most basic terms and concepts.

4. It’s the unofficial philosophy of the military.
In 1965, James Stockdale’s A-4E Skyhawk was shot down over Vietnam. He later remembered the moment like this: “After ejection I had about thirty seconds to make my last statement in freedom before I landed…And so help me, I whispered to myself: ‘Five years down there, at least. I’m leaving the world of technology and entering the world of Epictetus.’”

Stockdale spent more than seven years in a Vietnamese prison, and he wrote that Stoicism saved his life. Stockdale had spent years studying Stoic thought before deploying, and he drew on those teachings to endure his captivity. These words from Epictetus kept coming back to him: “Do you not know that life is a soldier’s service?…If you neglect your responsibilities when some severe order is laid upon you, do you not understand to what a pitiful state you bring the army?” While some of his fellow POWs tormented themselves with false hopes of an early release, Stockdale’s Stoic practice helped him confront the grim reality of his situation, without giving in to despair and depression.

Stockdale was not alone as a military man who drew strength from Stoicism. In her book The Stoic Warrior, Nancy Sherman, who taught philosophy at the Naval Academy, argued that Stoicism is a driving force behind the military mindset–especially in its emphasis on endurance, self-control, and inner strength. As Sherman writes, whenever her philosophy class at Annapolis turned to the Stoic thinkers, “many officers and students alike felt they had come home.”
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Fri 01 Aug 2014, 20:10

Temperance,

some relationship with your previous post?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagellant


And:


http://www.odan.org/corporal_mortification.htm

Some excellent warnings about masochism...
And this I found also relevant about "Female Numeraries":The Founder believed that women had passion that required moer discipline to tame.

I made in the time for the ex-BBC board a whole thread about Opus Dei and on it's "Founder"

Kind regards and with esteem as ever,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Fri 01 Aug 2014, 21:31

Paul - does a candle light your heads  is from 'Oklahoma;  the ironic dirge 'Poor Judd is dead, A candle lights his head....... a simple jibe unworthy of a serious thread but one has so few opportunities to have a o   at our nordmann.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Fri 01 Aug 2014, 22:34

Ah, but, Priscilla,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTvF-z_iv4E
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 08:43

Thank you for the links, Paul. However, I wasn't thinking so much of the extreme practice of flagellation (which appears to be a form of self-harm symptomatic of borderline personality disorder): I was simply wondering whether the Christian proclivity for suffering and enduring both mental and physical stress with apparent indifference actually had its roots in the teachings of the Stoics.


Was St Paul - who quotes a Stoic writer in Acts and who, like the Stoics, believed that enduring hardships leads to growth in character - more influenced by Stoic doctrine than by Mosaic teachings? He writes: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character."

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3142715

The reference to Tarsus, where Paul was born, in the Jstor article as "one of the chief seats of Stoic philosophy and the apostle was almost as much born into the ethics of this sect as he was into the rabbinic ways of argument" is perhaps relevant, as is this quotation from the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus: "I do not say you must not groan aloud. But in the centre of your being do not groan."

But this is all no doubt off-topic; although I suppose a rigorous training - whether delivered by priests or by military advisors schooled in Stoic thought - in how to endure/overcome/survive extremes of terror and pain could have Darwinian relevance.

PS "Seed-gatherer!" That's me!  Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 11:08

While this is all true, I think, and the influence of Stoic thought is profound in the writings of Paul and others, I'm not at all sure this is relevant in the extreme and dangerous practices that we started off with. These seem to me to be almost the antithesis of Stoicism where that endurance is internalised and, well, stoic. These activities are flamboyant performances, spectacles, and designed to foreground the devotion and passion of the adherent to others, as well as the chosen deity, rather than any personal and private subjugation of the flesh or the quiet acceptance of suffering. Even more mainstream practices like fasting which may have originated in the the struggle to overcome bodily desires as well as a devotional aid can become performances and public exhibitions of how devout the participant is, as well as the kind of community bonding and identity confirming exercise we have discussed before.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 11:13

"Get over it." Though Epictetus would approve, that is   condemned as a way of handling others' grief.  Our society is ALSO geared to support those who cannot survive alone - 'Age Concern' is probably looking bright eyed at me already. Now, whether a group, clan, society can survive if this  support becomes a real burden is an interesting thought and in contention with the tenets of most faiths. Is this a relevant thought in this debate -or has it been covered earlier? Or just plain P. sort of waffle?

Edit - Clashed with ferv's deeper observation. To delete mine or not, that is the question
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 11:18

@ferval wrote:
While this is all true, I think, and the influence of Stoic thought is profound in the writings of Paul and others, I'm not at all sure this is relevant in the extreme and dangerous practices that we started off with. These seem to me to be almost the antithesis of Stoicism where that endurance is internalised and, well, stoic. These activities are flamboyant performances, spectacles, and designed to foreground the devotion and passion of the adherent to others, as well as the chosen deity, rather than any personal and private subjugation of the flesh or the quiet acceptance of suffering. Even more mainstream practices like fasting which may have originated in the the struggle to overcome bodily desires as well as a devotional aid can become performances and public exhibitions of how devout the participant is, as well as the kind of community bonding and identity confirming exercise we have discussed before.


I'd agree with that - a corruption of the original idea, perhaps, as so often happens? Stoicism gone wrong - leading ultimately to the hunger - or pain - artist?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_artist


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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 11:20

No P, don't delete.
Whether humanity is now in a position to defeat Darwin, in fact has it been doing so ever since it began to transform its environment rather than the other way round, is both a really interesting topic and entirely relevant.

Temp - one f nordmann's misfires? I think it probably is.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 11:23

I'm so glad that this thread has revived while sir is on holiday and not around to hand out punishment exercises for poor preparation and woolly thinking!
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 11:29

Me too. I often get too frightened to even put my hand up these days.

But he's not always right, you know (although he usually is) - he just makes it sound as if he is. It's called self-confidence.

But you get gold stars all the time, ferval!! You are never woolly.  Smile 

I rather like being woolly.  Suspect


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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 12:58

I think - to be fair here - we should note that the Catholic church does recognise how ideas about the ancient practice of "mortification", interpreted in the wrong way and practised by those who are psychologically unstable, can be extremely dangerous and far from spiritual. Such practices are not encouraged - quite the opposite. Perhaps that was always so? But it is the "performers" who get noticed and/or remembered?

The Desert Fathers emphasized that mortification is a means, not an end. They generally recommended prudence when practicing mortification, with severe mortifications done only under the guidance of an experienced spiritual director. Consequently, practicing mortification for physical pleasure is seen as a sin. Likewise, mortification for reasons of scrupulosity (which is similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder) is considered very harmful: a contemporary example is fasting due to anorexia nervosa. Catholic moral theologians recommend that the scrupulous not practice mortification, avoid persons and materials of an ascetical nature, and receive frequent spiritual direction and psychological help. Not all forms of self-mortification are approved of by the Catholic Church. Practices such as the nonlethal crucifixions performed on Good Friday in the Philippines are generally frowned upon by Catholic officials. Participants imitate various parts of the Passion of Christ, including his crucifixion. The spectacle draws a large amount of tourism every year.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortification_in_Roman_Catholic_teaching
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 17:13

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Ah, but, Priscilla,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTvF-z_iv4E



Thanks Gil...turned it on youtube overhere...learned it from Nordmann...

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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 17:19

@Priscilla wrote:
Paul - does a candle light your heads  is from 'Oklahoma;  the ironic dirge 'Poor Judd is dead, A candle lights his head....... a simple jibe unworthy of a serious thread but one has so few opportunities to have a o   at our nordmann.


Thanks Priscilla for solving the mystery...





Kind regards and with high esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 17:42

@Temperance wrote:
Thank you for the links, Paul. However, I wasn't thinking so much of the extreme practice of flagellation (which appears to be a form of self-harm symptomatic of borderline personality disorder): I was simply wondering whether the Christian proclivity for suffering and enduring both mental and physical stress with apparent indifference actually had its roots in the teachings of the Stoics.


Was St Paul - who quotes a Stoic writer in Acts and who, like the Stoics, believed that enduring hardships leads to growth in character - more influenced by Stoic doctrine than by Mosaic teachings? He writes: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character."

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3142715

The reference to Tarsus, where Paul was born, in the Jstor article as "one of the chief seats of Stoic philosophy and the apostle was almost as much born into the ethics of this sect as he was into the rabbinic ways of argument" is perhaps relevant, as is this quotation from the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus: "I do not say you must not groan aloud. But in the centre of your being do not groan."

But this is all no doubt off-topic; although I suppose a rigorous training - whether delivered by priests or by military advisors schooled in Stoic thought - in how to endure/overcome/survive extremes of terror and pain could have Darwinian relevance.

PS "Seed-gatherer!" That's me!  Embarassed


Temperance,

yes I knew and thanks for the links about Paul (I mean "the" Paul)...
But my "loose Wink " connection with the subject was that the Christian flagellation had already predecessors in ancient practices and even in new ones as the Shiite flagellation...I was also thinking reading the Opus Dei site along the lines Ferval is wording now...but I will elaborate my thoughts in a reply to her...

Kind regards and with high esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Sat 02 Aug 2014, 18:30

@ferval wrote:
While this is all true, I think, and the influence of Stoic thought is profound in the writings of Paul and others, I'm not at all sure this is relevant in the extreme and dangerous practices that we started off with. These seem to me to be almost the antithesis of Stoicism where that endurance is internalised and, well, stoic. These activities are flamboyant performances, spectacles, and designed to foreground the devotion and passion of the adherent to others, as well as the chosen deity, rather than any personal and private subjugation of the flesh or the quiet acceptance of suffering. These activities are flamboyant performances, spectacles, and designed to foreground the devotion and passion of the adherent to others, as well as the chosen deity, rather than any personal and private subjugation of the flesh or the quiet acceptance of suffering. Even more mainstream practices like fasting which may have originated in the the struggle to overcome bodily desires as well as a devotional aid can become performances and public exhibitions of how devout the participant is, as well as the kind of community bond we have discussed before.


Ferval,

"These activities are flamboyant performances, spectacles, and designed to foreground the devotion and passion of the adherent to others, as well as the chosen deity, rather than any personal and private subjugation of the flesh or the quiet acceptance of suffering. Even more mainstream practices like fasting which may have originated in the the struggle to overcome bodily desires as well as a devotional aid can become performances and public exhibitions of how devout the participant is, as well as the kind of community bonding and identity confirming exercise we have discussed before."

Yes indeed I was thinking along the same lines, when reading the Opus Dei recommendations...we, the group under our "Founder" are practising that particular methods to show to the rest of the world that we are "apart" (a bit as for instance the Amish people or other religious groups or "groups" tout court)...

And yes: "Even more mainstream practices like fasting which may have originated in the the struggle to overcome bodily desires as well as a devotional aid can become performances and public exhibitions of how devout the participant is, as well as the kind of community bonding and identity confirming exercise"

And perhaps it has also something to do with Darwinian evolution...?

Kind regards and with high estime,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Mon 04 Aug 2014, 23:21

Ferv wrote:
I'm so glad that this thread has revived while sir is on holiday and not around to hand out punishment exercises for poor preparation and woolly thinking!

 Cheers 

The link between stoic philosophy and Christianity (especially Pauline christianity) is seductive in its apparent continuity of precept - until of course one then notices the remnants of so many other standard Greek schools of philosophy in what might be called the core christian doctrine, often at times ones which were quite contemporaneously oppositional to the tenets that lay at the core of stoicism. What others have observed (even Malcom Muggeridge as I recall) is the re-establishment or the re-affirming of what might be called stoic principles every time christianity underwent a major ruction in its history, be it from internal division or in response to a perceived serious threat from outside. It is almost as if a heavily doctrinal theology finds comfort and solace in the stoic notion of universal order when forced to reappraise its position. In ancient Greece and later in Rome opposition to stoicism rested largely in the suspicion that a philosophy that presents way more answers than questions is one bordering on the ludicrous, however sensible its tenets may be presented, and by the first century stoicism existed anyway as a very watered down version of its original manifestation (which many historians have traced back to Spartan militancy and social philosophy), surviving only really in the portions that overlapped with what Romans considered "good" civic, political and military behaviour. On that basis alone I would be inclined to think that Christianity's early appeal to Hellenic citizens of the greater Roman empire lay not so much in its quasi-stoic representation as proselytised by Paul but by its very Platonic open-ended challenges as represented by what we now call the "gospels" and by the Aristotelean "solutions" the same narratives advertised.

However I am loath myself to make too strong a case for Christianity having any sensible grounding in Greek philosophy. It is after all a religion and one that also makes much of the central tenet that the core activity of universal importance to every individual - being "saved" through submission to an enigmatic deity - overrides in importance and relevance any attempt to intellectualise or justify this required belief through mere philosophising, an undeniably and quintessentially human activity. Its adherents, and especially its would-be extrapolators, have always therefore been very coy, and rightly so, about inferring any debt owed to previous philosophical thinking. After all, if one can see the logic behind why different schools of philosophy are seen as such then one is drawn to conclude that the blending willy-nilly of different strands of thought from all these schools is inherently illogical, and not redeemed in that respect simply by calling it "revelation", however divine this revelation may be claimed to be. Encouraging people towards that conclusion would have been (and still is) bad for business if one's intention is to recruit members in the faith in question and to hold onto them.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 05 Aug 2014, 14:35

@nordmann wrote:
 

The link between stoic philosophy and Christianity (especially Pauline christianity) is seductive in its apparent continuity of precept - until of course one then notices the remnants of so many other standard Greek schools of philosophy in what might be called the core christian doctrine, often at times ones which were quite contemporaneously oppositional to the tenets that lay at the core of stoicism. What others have observed (even Malcom Muggeridge as I recall) is the re-establishment or the re-affirming of what might be called stoic principles every time christianity underwent a major ruction in its history, be it from internal division or in response to a perceived serious threat from outside. It is almost as if a heavily doctrinal theology finds comfort and solace in the stoic notion of universal order when forced to reappraise its position. In ancient Greece and later in Rome opposition to stoicism rested largely in the suspicion that a philosophy that presents way more answers than questions is one bordering on the ludicrous, however sensible its tenets may be presented, and by the first century stoicism existed anyway as a very watered down version of its original manifestation (which many historians have traced back to Spartan militancy and social philosophy), surviving only really in the portions that overlapped with what Romans considered "good" civic, political and military behaviour. On that basis alone I would be inclined to think that Christianity's early appeal to Hellenic citizens of the greater Roman empire lay not so much in its quasi-stoic representation as proselytised by Paul but by its very Platonic open-ended challenges as represented by what we now call the "gospels" and by the Aristotelean "solutions" the same narratives advertised.

However I am loath myself to make too strong a case for Christianity having any sensible grounding in Greek philosophy.



I am finding all this terribly confusing. What then are we meant to accept about the roots of Christianity and the various philosophies of the Greeks? Can we rely on any authority or source these days? Nordmann tells us he is loath to make too strong a case for Christianity having "any sensible grounding in Greek philosophy", yet only a short while ago - on the Plato thread - he commented:

@nordmann wrote:


Subject: Re: Plato - as a person   Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:29 pm  

Nietzsche was adamant that Plato founded Christianity - end of story.  


A few posts back here I happily and confidently asserted that Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic, only to be told by El Nord:


@nordmann wrote:
Pigeon-holing him as a stoic does him a huge disservice (though he often has been in the past, especially by Christian theologians).


Yet the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy - surely a reasonably authoritative source - says:


Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy wrote:
Marcus' chief philosophical influence was Stoic...


And now we have this business about Stoicism and the roots of the Christian faith. Again, information from a source which I presumed to be reliable - the classical scholar and translator Maxwell Staniforth - would appear to be disputed. Staniforth's translation of the Meditations  of Marcus Aurelius has a long and interesting introduction. One section deals with "Stoicism and Christianity". Staniforth explores in some detail what he calls "the large debt" that the Christian church owes to Stoicism. Too much to quote here, but he notes that, among other things, "a notable contribution to the manners of the Church, and one which has had a lasting influence, was the practice of asceticism". He concludes the whole section with the following:

Perhaps the best evidence, however, of the way in which Stoic ideas penetrated Christian thought is found in a treatise which became the basis of medieval moral philosophy, the Duties of Saint Ambrose of Milan...The voice is the voice of a Christian bishop, but the precepts are those of Zeno...In the face of these and similar pronouncements by a prelate and doctor of the Church, who will deny the right of Stoicism to be called in the words of a writer of our own age*, 'a root of Christianity'?"

Is this unreliable, out-of-date tosh?


PS
@nordmann wrote:
It is after all a religion and one that also makes much of the central tenet that the core activity of universal importance to every individual - being "saved" through submission to an enigmatic deity - overrides in importance and relevance any attempt to intellectualise or justify this required belief through mere philosophising, an undeniably and quintessentially human activity.


That's very much a Protestant - Lutheran - thought, isn't it? Catholic intellectuals have never believed in justification through faith alone. The five solae and all that simplistic nonsense? Mere faith? Poor Luther - no wonder they thought him an awful simpleton in Rome, albeit a very dangerous one. Didn't Luther, in his passionate and naive innocence about his belief, admit he was a lousy philosopher? Pope Leo X, on the other hand, Luther's great opponent of Exsurge Domine fame, was (so I've read, but no doubt I'm wrong) an expert in Neoplatonism. His Holiness famously declared in front of Cardinal Bembo and others at a banquet on Good Friday, 1514: "How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us and our predecessors!"


PPS * Unfortunately Staniforth does not name "the writer of our own times".

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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 05 Aug 2014, 18:16

Quite a bit about the Stoic philosophy in this prog for those who can (and wish) to access it.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 05 Aug 2014, 18:54

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Quite a bit about the Stoic philosophy in this prog for those who can (and wish) to access it.

 Gil, where is "this prog"....?

Kind regards and with esteem, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Risking your life (and others') for faith - Darwinian theory in practice?   Tue 05 Aug 2014, 21:56

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