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Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Schiffel, Jeffrey A" <jeffrey.a.schiffel@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2007 09:54:53 -0500
Message-id: <ECF42862FCA16D41BFA98F8C45F0955402E26FC4@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Losing track of just who wrote what recently, I read the following:


>> Or maybe we just have different methods of enquiry?

>> Religions are based dogmas, and are created by societies, (I agree,

>> can be dangerous stuff) while spiritual growth and living by certain

>> rules (honesty, truthfulness etc) is generally a very personal path


Taking the second comment first, that religious interpretations (not religions, that is a different subject) are created by societies, is a reasonable statementThen it follows that all meaning is cultural. Hence, all ontologies are cultural artifacts because they are created by individuals who infer meaning and structure from their cultures. Criticisms of religion and criticism of various ontologies are pretty much the same kind of thing, except for the emotional content.


As for the first part, perhaps ontologists should be aware of some of the different methods of enquiry used by theologians. For example, in eastern Christianity (i.e., the Orthodox), God is defined not by what he is, but by what he is not. Apophatic theology is a well-developed neo-Platonic way to define by negation. This form of reasoning is also seen to some degree in other eastern and far eastern theologies.


-- Jeff Schiffel

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