I’m not, actually.
Kady M.
741

Whether something is new or not is not the issue. The presuppositions are the issue. As those change and shift the focus changes, the understandings of what is true or not changes, the questions of what is true or not changes. Is God called Father because he is male? Is that what is true? Or is Father his title? Or is he Father because he is Father-like? Or is he Father so that a male-centric society and culture can more easily comprehend the realtionship of a superior to its created? Or is he literally a father and there is a mother somewhere who has abandoned us or is otherwise unknown? And then how does that all shape everything else we assume, especially about scripture? What is the universal and what is the particular?

While Francis Schaeffer (a Christian apologist popular in the 70s and 80s primarily, but still widely read in many Christian streams) has other issues with his understanding of philosophy, he does point out how art parallels those changing presuppositions.

Pre-rennaisance paintings of divine were not to be too human.

But then when culture shifted to re-examining Greek and Roman humanism, shifts in what presuppositions were important changed our focus our understanding of reality or even what was reality.

And then Kant changed everything and we have been trying to live a bifurcated understanding of our humanity ever since.

Not that any of these ideas or understandings didn’t exist before. But what ideas held sway shifted. Examining art also I think more clearly illustrates how long it used to take for our presuppositions to be challeneged and change. As we spread out more from our central communities (and thus face what other cumminities hold as presuppositions), both geographically and now electronically, those challenges and changes happen more often and quickly, for good or ill.

So a consensus belief reaching back to antiquity is not in itself reason to accept that belief. Their answers are based on what questions they thought were relevant and important. What was once understood and commonly accepted as a basis from which to judge is not the same as today. To live like it does is only going to cause confusion if not worse.

What precepts we as individuals choose to believe is not the point. Appealing to antiquity and then expecting everyone else to accept that appeal to antiquity is going to require more than simply saying “But this is how it has always been”. And to a certain degree (especially in an age of uncertainty), as to the OP’s point, sometimes what we think has always been hasn’t always been exactly as we think.

That’s what I think, anyway.

Joe

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