John Grehan jrg13 at psu.edu
Fri Aug 7 17:07:00 EDT 1998

Comments on Anne Kilmer

>I do not see anywhere in Jesus' life and works where he told us to
>squabble and fuss at each other, let alone fling big hard sharp heavy

I was not aware of this discussion as constituting squabbling and fussing.

>When we have achieved a knowledge of perfect union with God, the first
>thing we will notice is that we all agree just fine.


>Meanwhile, it is probably a good idea to pretend that this is already
>happening. Ecumenism. Environmental gardening.

Why pretend?

Even the enthusiastic
>agreement of the people on this list that we ought to hunt down that guy
> who is selling endangered Chinese butterflies, and enlighten him
>forcibly. (Heretic bashing is a splendid hobby, and don't we jump right
>into it!)

In my case I did put a lot of thought into the the need or not of sustaining
biodiversity. I think this may be true of the others who have commented in
a similar vein. I'm not sure the Chinese butterfly person is a heretic as that
would imply that biodiversity conservation is the prevailing orthodoxy when
in fact for much of human history it has not. Among a substantial proportion of
the people in the world its the conservationists (or whatever term you
like) that
are considered the heretics.

>Now. My two cents:
>We are a tapestry which, from the thread's point of view, has its ups
>and downs. You can't see the big picture while you're being one of the
>threads, but you can sure have ideas about how your bit ought to be


>Teleology, my conservation biology professor kept sputtering.
>I like the notion that Nature has a wisdom of its own, and, when I
>meditate, feel the streaming force of it.
>But when, as here, I am addressing scientists, I try to use their terms
>and phrases, perhaps for credibility, perhaps out of courtesy. I
>describe Nature as a machine, rather than as the person I know. Who is
>actually God, I hope.

Teolology is as valid a philosophy of the universe as any other (in that I have
no universal criterion to eliminate any one or other). Usually my
critique of teology is its use in the empirical rather than philosophical
particularly when teleological arguments are made to *explain* something.

>Might we therefore, agree that at some point we do agree, were we all to
>define our terms to our satisfaction.

This is a bit too vague for me to understand

This is not the place for such
>discourse, and perhaps we could discuss bugs more comfortably were we to
>agree that a little teleology is, after all, not such a bad thing.

I acknolwedge this as a personal point of view, but I presume Anne is not
suggesting that it be imposed on everyone else on this server. I find
explanations wanting in that they hardly ever, if at all, tell you much
about the
object in question (e.g. to say that a butterfly has wings to fly fails to
give any information about nature of the wing itself).

John Grehan

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