Second verse, same as the first …

This is no laughing matter.

Your problem is a lack of faith. We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our minds. That means we must submit all of our intellect and accept the authority of the text.

You’ve got it backwards. All that book learning has convinced you that your intellect should be applied to the text, when really it’s the other way around. And that is why you refuse to accept what the text plainly teaches: gorillas can talk.

It’s right there, plain as day. You either accept it as it is, or you reject it. But realize that in refusing to accept the word of the text, you’re elevating yourself above it. You’re acting like you’re God.

And I seem to recall another story about a  talking beast having something to say about that, hmm?

You’re always going on about there being “many different kinds of texts,” but really there are only two. There are texts whose authority you accept, and texts whose authority you despise.

And, no, I do not think “despise” is too strong a word for the fanciful way you’re twisting the plain, obvious meaning of this story — the gymnastics you resort to just to avoid reading it literally as it was meant to be read.

Not only are you rejecting the plainly stated reality of the story, but you turn it on its head! You insist that gorillas cannot talk and then you even claim — and here I quote — that this is somehow “the whole point!” That’s absurd. If you’re trying to teach that gorillas cannot talk, then you don’t tell a story about a talking gorilla.

When the text gives us a story about a talking gorilla, it can obviously mean one and only one thing: gorillas can talk. That is clearly what this story teaches us and it is clearly what this story was written to teach.

But you lack the faith that would let you understand that. I just feel sorry for you. But I will keep you in my prayers.

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  • Either ALL people should be allowed a greater latitude of imagination,
    or culture needs to stop giving special imprimatur to one set of beliefs
    about one set of entities.

    (nods) I agree with this strongly, and endorse the former.

    I have an assortment of stuffed animals who have names, identities,
    personalities, voices. At times in my life, they have expressed ideas or
    served as an audience for ideas that proved extremely valuable for me.
    We’ve grown apart since then, but they’re still around and we maintain a
    friendly relationship. Do they exist solely in my mind? Well, no; they also exist in the minds of several other people I know, among them the ex-girlfriend I was involved with when I first acquired most of them. (Most amusingly to me, an acquaintance I made years later, upon being introduced to said ex-girlfriend for the first time, exclaimed in shock that she “sounded just like Claire!”, Claire being a stuffed fox.)

    The young daughter of a friend of mine has an imaginary friend whom she talks about a fair amount; it’s one way she approaches topics that for whatever reason she doesn’t want to engage with in her own voice. Her parents are utterly matter-of-fact about this; they don’t pretend that the imaginary friend is a flesh-and-blood person, but neither do they insist that her imaginary friend doesn’t exist. Her imaginary friend is her imaginary friend, and her relationship to it is something that is worked out moment to moment, just like her relationships to flesh-and-blood people are.

    Several friends of mine engage with spiritual beings with whom they consult on various aspects of their lives. In some cases I consider those relationships healthy, in others I don’t. This is also true of the ways in which my friends engage with corporeal beings.

    All of this strikes me as both natural and valuable. To the extent that my culture insists that the important distinction is between real things and imaginary things, and decides that the former are important and the latter are not, well, so much the worse for my culture. To my mind, it seems far more valuable to start with the distinction between healthy relationships and unhealthy ones.

  • To my mind, it seems far more valuable to start with the distinction between healthy relationships and unhealthy ones.

    Quoted for truth.

    I think the key point is that people should be able to distinguish healthy fantasying and unhealthy fantasying.

  • Tricksterson

    How about both?

  • @Invisible_Neutrino:disqus Neutrino: I think you mean fantasizing. And what you call “fantasy” may be truth. There are still many things in the Universe that are unexplained by science. That doesn’t mean of course that it can’t be explained by science. But I myself have had profound spiritual experiences that I personally can’t explain. How did I know the exact day of the week, month and year that my mother would die? This came from a dream that was very explicit in it’s details.

    Now I can’t prove any of this to you but I will say that the mystical elements of our existence are always with us, whether we recognize them or not. One man’s fantasy can be another man’s truth.