Second, it should be noted that with his emphasis on experiment, Peirce does not simply mean the experience of an isolated event; rather, he means experimentation as part of a larger project of discerning a general pattern in the world through manipulating and modifying given conditions.
In a letter to William James, Peirce feels the need to bring into attention the significance of generalization for his pragmatism:. That everything is to be tested by its practical results was the great text of my early papers…In my later papers, I have seen more thoroughly than I used to do that it is not mere action as brute exercise of strength that is the purpose of all, but say generalization, such action as tends toward regularization, and the actualization of the thought which without action remains unthought.
In sum, the pragmatic maxim attends to two things in its analysis of the meaning of a concept: 1 the practical and conceivable consequences of the concept, and 2 the ways in which these consequences instantiate general tendencies. What would this pragmatic approach mean in the realm of religion and more specifically in the realm of scriptural hermeneutics? Peirce himself saw his approach as having transformative implications for discussions about metaphysics and ontology.
Applying the pragmatic maxim to scriptural hermeneutics means reading the text by paying attention to its suggestions for the practice of the reader. Pragmatic hermeneutics in itself does not guarantee that any scriptural text will be meaningful in pragmatic terms. It is significant that both of these key themes are discussed with an emphasis on their practical consequences. Similarly, the descriptions of the afterlife time and again make connection between wrong attitudes and their consequences. Apart from this tension between miracle stories and emphasis on ordinary events, the very miracle stories themselves seem problematic.
Thus the miracle stories seem meaningless, at least to a current reader.
I argue that bringing the pragmatic maxim to bear on these texts is promising in that it can clarify what is at stake and help us discern empty talk from meaningful readings of these texts, if the latter are at all possible. This means that even if there were a way to document the historicity of these events, it would not necessarily make them sufficiently meaningful from a pragmatic perspective if we cannot derive any consequence from them for us.
In order to be relevant, these stories should convey to the reader something more than particularistic bits of information. The question is: Can these stories nourish in the reader certain habits of thought and action in the world? If so, are these habits sustainable and applicable in our lives?
What does the text want me to do by telling me this? All I know is I left a book in the house, which is perhaps now a horse that has defiled the library with its urine and dung, and that I have left in the house a jar of water, which may have turned into an apple tree. For God is capable of everything and it is not necessary for the horse to be created from the sperm, nor the tree to be created from the seed- indeed, it is not necessary for either of the two to be created from anything. Perhaps [God] has created things that did not exist previously. For Ibn Rushd, miracle stories in their literal sense imply a rejection of scientific endeavor: why study nature if the order can indeed change at any time?
Is it possible that the text can be read as asking the reader to do something other than acting hesitantly in her daily life? Could the practical implication of miracle stories be something other than giving up scientific study on the basis of the belief that God can do anything at any time? An important cue for a different reading comes from the very reception history of these miracle texts. They all treat virgin birth as an exception, and see no reason to read it as an indication to change their expectation that all pregnancies require sexual intercourse.
If the destruction of a commonsensical assumption of regularity of the natural order is not the pragmatic import of these texts, then what could it be? Does the text actually ask the reader to do something at all? Indeed, for many interpreters, the text does ask the reader to do something other than giving up science. For Ghazali, for instance, the text is calling the reader to change the way she interprets the natural order by contemplating the exceptional break in the order portrayed in the story.
According to Ghazali, the miracle texts are about making the reader aware of the fact that the apparent causal links between things are not in themselves necessary, and that there is a wise maker who constantly maintains the order. But since it is also part of a synodal process, I am also addressing this message to the entire People of God, pastors and faithful alike, since all of us are challenged and urged to reflect both on the young and for the young.
I cannot include all those contributions here, but you can read them in the Final Document. In writing this letter, though, I have attempted to summarize those proposals I considered most significant. In this way, my words will echo the myriad voices of believers the world over who made their opinions known to the Synod. Those young people who are not believers, yet wished to share their thoughts, also raised issues that led me to ask new questions. Let us draw upon some of the richness of the sacred Scriptures, since they often speak of young people and of how the Lord draws near to encounter them.
In an age when young people were not highly regarded, some texts show that God sees them differently. Joseph, for example, was one of the youngest of his family cf. Gen , yet God showed him great things in dreams and when about twenty years old he outshone all his brothers in important affairs cf. Gen In Gideon, we see the frankness of young people, who are not used to sugar-coating reality.
Samuel was still a young boy, yet the Lord spoke to him. As a result, he became a great prophet who intervened at critical moments in the history of his country.
Benedict T. Viviano: Schillebeeckx’s Jesus and Christ — Contributions to Christian Life
King Saul was also young when the Lord called him to undertake his mission cf. King David was chosen while still a boy. When the prophet Samuel was seeking the future king of Israel, a man offered as candidates his sons who were older and more experienced. Yet the prophet said that the chosen one was the young David, who was out tending the flock cf. The glory of youth is in the heart, more than in physical strength or the impression given to others.
Yet the audacity of youth moved him to ask God for wisdom and he devoted himself to his mission. Something similar happened to the prophet Jeremiah, called despite his youth to rouse his people. But the Lord told him not to say that cf. The devotion of the prophet Jeremiah to his mission shows what can happen when the brashness of youth is joined to the power of God. A Jewish servant girl of the foreign commander Naaman intervened with faith and helped him to be cured of his illness cf.
The young Ruth was a model of generosity in remaining beside her mother-in-law who had fallen on hard times cf. Ru , yet she also showed boldness in getting ahead in life cf. Ru Yet his thoughts of independence turned into dissolution and excess cf. Nonetheless, he found the strength to make a new start cf. Young hearts are naturally ready to change, to turn back, get up and learn from life. How could anyone fail to support that son in this new resolution?
Yet his older brother already had a heart grown old; he let himself be possessed by greed, selfishness and envy Lk Jesus praises the young sinner who returned to the right path over the brother who considered himself faithful, yet lacked the spirit of love and mercy. Jesus, himself eternally young, wants to give us hearts that are ever young.
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In a word, true youth means having a heart capable of loving, whereas everything that separates us from others makes the soul grow old. Let us also keep in mind that Jesus had no use for adults who looked down on the young or lorded it over them. For him age did not establish privileges, and being young did not imply lesser worth or dignity. Young people are not meant to become discouraged; they are meant to dream great things, to seek vast horizons, to aim higher, to take on the world, to accept challenges and to offer the best of themselves to the building of something better.
In the silence of their heart, they have a store of experiences that can teach us not to make mistakes or be taken in by false promises. It is unhelpful to buy into the cult of youth or foolishly to dismiss others simply because they are older or from another generation. Jesus tells us that the wise are able to bring forth from their store things both new and old cf.
Mt A wise young person is open to the future, yet still capable of learning something from the experience of others. We should never repent of spending our youth being good, opening our heart to the Lord, and living differently. Late have I loved you! Mk On the other hand, in the Gospel of Matthew we find a young man cf.
Yet his spirit was not really that young, for he had already become attached to riches and comforts.
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He said he wanted something more, but when Jesus asked him to be generous and distribute his goods, he realized that he could not let go of everything he had. He had given up his youth. The Gospel also speaks about a group of wise young women, who were ready and waiting, while others were distracted and slumbering cf. We can, in fact, spend our youth being distracted, skimming the surface of life, half-asleep, incapable of cultivating meaningful relationships or experiencing the deeper things in life.
In this way, we can store up a paltry and unsubstantial future. Or we can spend our youth aspiring to beautiful and great things, and thus store up a future full of life and interior richness. To be sure, many other passages of the word of God can shed light on this stage of your life.
Pragmatism: It Works for Me | Crossway Articles
We will take up some of them in the following chapters. Mt on a cross when he was little more than thirty years of age cf. Lk It is important to realize that Jesus was a young person. That ending was not something that simply happened; rather, his entire youth, at every moment, was a precious preparation for it. The last images we have of Jesus as a child are those of a tiny refugee in Egypt cf.
Related The Miracles of Christ (Christ - from a pragmatic viewpoint Book 2)
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