Archive for the ‘historicism’ Category

We can say only how things currently seem to us from our point of view

September 15, 2009

There isn’t any pure or quite neutral experience or knowledge of reality. In order to have any experience or knowledge at all, you must have a practical slant, an interest, an angle or a perspective which…makes certain things stand out and become noticeable…There are indefinitely many such perspectives or angles upon the world – and they are all of them historically occasioned, human and contingent…even the most advanced scientific theories are …subject to future revision…We can say only how things currently seem to us from our point of view; we cannot say how they are absolutely.

Don Cupitt, Ant Realist Faith, p.2

Of course, Cupitt’s theory is itself open to ‘future revision’ when it may be seen to be just one perspective that can be as dismissed as the merely ‘historically occasioned, human and contingent’ theory it clearly is. If only he had listened to the One who knows rather more than all of us.

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Man is the measure of all things

September 6, 2009

Man is the measure of all things…Whatever in any city is regarded as just and admirable is just and admirable in that city for as long as it is .

PROTAGORAS, 480-411 BC
Attributed in Plato’s Theatetus, 196C or 160D

1. ‘thought to be so’ by whom? The majority?

2. Slavery in the British Empire was ‘regarded as just’ by most for a time. It took a Wilberforce to say, ‘It is not just, just because most say so.’

3. Man is the measure…Which man and which men? Were Lenin and Stalin the measure for the Soviets? Tough luck for the Ukrainian kulaks then.


Fire burns both in Hellas and in Persia; but men’s ideas of right and wrong vary from place to place.

Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, V, (vi) 2


Historicism and Marxism

August 26, 2009

We are left asking how we could ever know that Marxism itself represents the final truth and not a mere passing ideological by-product of a fleeting period of economic revolution.

Alan Richardson, Christian Apologetics, 1955, p.74

Historicism is self-refuting

August 26, 2009

all our thinking is historically conditioned.

Don Cupitt, Is Nothing Sacred?, 2002, p.33

May I presume, then, this statement is also historically conditioned. I mean, it’s just the sort of thing white, Western academics in the late 20th and earl 21st C. typically say, isn’t it?