Monday, March 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.

~Joseph Campbell~


  1. So if it's a quote, who said it? My phrase for it - which I think is original to me tho' I could be wrong - is that we shouldn't turn metaphors into metaphysics.

  2. Oops, left the name out.

    It's a quote from Joseph Campbell.

    If you've never read "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Campbell, I think you'd really enjoy it.

    I've been a fan for years.

    I like yours better, ;)
    But what, should I start quoting Sam Norton on my blog?

  3. LOL! I have read it, but a long time ago - I went through a phase of being quite a big Campbell fan, especially 'follow your bliss' but it's probably time I had another look.

  4. Is this the god-talk post?

    I think the central problem I have is that I can see that the utility of god-talk to the language community, seems in part to depend on it being interpreted as having at least some factual content. For example that Jesus really was crucified, died and rose again. Which is why the vast majority of Christians I have encountered are realists.

  5. Psiomniac, no – it’s just leading me there. I'm thinking about it right now, probably have it up later this week. You know, weekdays are think easy time for me – unless of course I have some startling revelation on the half hour car ride to or from work.

    Anyway, to your comment I would agree to a certain extent - but it certainly wouldn't apply if you were, say, a Buddhist, or Hindu.

    Where I'm trying to lead my thinking towards is, how can we lead Christianity away from its self devouring dogma? Certainly being strictly non-realist isn’t necessarily the answer, although I haven’t completely thought it all out of course.

    If I thought being a Christian relied completely on something such as Christ coming back to life, well, I’d have become an atheist a long time ago. I don’t believe Mary was born a virgin, I don’t believe Christ came back from the dead, or walked on water, or turned water into wine, so on and so on.

  6. Opps, correction, I don't believe Mary was a virgin.....

    Certainly she was at one point in time though.