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Entry 620, on 2007-10-09 at 19:32:24 (Rating 3, Politics)
Recently there has been a bit of news around a potential Christian political party being formed here in New Zealand. We have had Christian parties in the past but they have either been combined with more mainstream views to form a more conventional party or have been small and more specialised and unlikely to achieve political success. Actually, judging from the initial activities of this (so far unnamed) party they are unlikely to have a lot of success either.
The only real philosophy or policy I have heard from this party so far is that they support family values, whatever that means. But what political party is going to say they don't support family values? The left say they support family values because they want to use taxes to pay family support. The right say they support family values because they want a strong economy to help families survive financially. By the way, I don't think either of these approaches is likely to be very efficacious.
So what in particular is the Christians' spin on family values? Is it forcing kids to participate in prayer at school? Is it outlawing gay marriage? Is it closing shops or banning advertising on Sunday? I don't know. But what I do know is that, based on past experience, Christian solutions to the social problems of modern family life are very unlikely to be any better than those from the mainstream secular parties.
Christians have a right to participate in politics just like anyone else (although I find it odd that members of the Exclusive Brethren, who say they stay out of politics, are clearly involved) and it would be at least entertaining to see what they can come up with, but I think a strong role for religion in New Zealand politics is unlikely.
Comment 17 (1406) by OJB on 2008-04-14 at 23:03:49: (view earlier comments)
But is faith really complex or is that just an excuse to make it seem more than it really is? The problem I keep coming back to with faith is that it can be used to believe any number of contradictory things. And also, why should there is no evidence for something? Does that not seem just a bit suspicious? How would you really know the difference between a delusion, a deliberate fraud, and a real phenomenon which requires faith?
I think that anyone making a blatant political statement like that should make their identity known. if they aren't prepared to do that then they shouldn't get involved at all. I really don't see what the problem is.
He was saying they should follow the Old Testament laws, right? And the OT has a completely different philosophy than most of the NT.
Comment 18 (1411) by SBFL on 2008-04-16 at 00:43:34:
It is not only complex, but also broad and therefore can be "used to believe any number of contradictory things". One's faith is very individualistic, and I doubt and two persons faiths are ever exactly the same. Regarding evidence, well you should reword this "hard evidence known of today". Even 'evidence' is a bit broad. Does it need to be physical or logical? If someone says they like the colour blue, what evidence to prove this other than the key witness account? And don't tell me you're going to measure brain activity with a polygraph when the colour blue flashes across a screen before the persons eyes!! Then there's love....
Unbelievable. Every man and his dog would probably have a view "don't vote xxx". Now we need home addresses to say this? For a 'free thinker' you don't much believe in free society or free democracy!
On the last issue, you are going totally generalistic and not reading the context of the verse you initially proposed. I don't think I can explain it much more than I already have. I hope you're not letting your bias get in the way of your intellect, because I have figured you to be rather 'switched on'.
Comment 19 (1418) by OJB on 2008-04-16 at 14:28:08:
I don't believe faith is complex at all - its just self delusion and what's so complicated about that? And yes, FMRI scanning and other techniques are revealing the physical reality behind emotion and belief. Did you know, for example, that its possible to stimulate an area of the brain to create a religious experience? Interesting, isn't it?
There's a difference between expressing a view and creating a public campaign to push your view. You are indulging in a straw man argument here. As it happens, I don't think the act is a good idea, but I do object to the exaggerated criticism of it that many people indulged in.
Well, when it comes to Bible verses I barely think its worth worrying. It would be like analysing a speech by Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings. I think the Bible is basically fiction so its not worth taking it seriously. The fact that many parts of the Bible have been reinterpreted to suit current conditions just shows how meaningless it really is.
Comment 20 (1426) by SBFL on 2008-04-17 at 23:37:44:
I can probably sum up all three of your responses in that you appear to have quite a closed mind. You decide to shut out what you believe not to be true rather than exploring it. Your choice of course but I sense you don't like to be challenged. Your last paragraph is especially disappointing. I thought I could get some intelligent debate here, but some people just decide to stick to the hard line for the sake of it. Shame.
Comment 21 (1430) by OJB on 2008-04-18 at 13:37:21:
Well instead of changing the subject and attacking me, why not defend my attack on your beliefs? What it really gets down to is this: how can you justify a belief system which relies on faith. Faith can lead you to believe anything. If faith is the foundation of your belief how can it be seen as better than any other belief also based on faith?
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