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An Intriguing Question
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Author:  DWill [ Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  An Intriguing Question

There, I got you to check out this thread (I'm so sly). Really, I just wanted your help in evaluating something in The Evolution of God, so please stick around whether you're reading the book or not.

In Chapter 9, "Logos: The Divine Algorithm," Robert Wright gives us a "fairly modern and even plausible theology whose broad outlines were envisioned by Philo" (p. 240). Philo was an Alexandrian Jew who reinterpreted the parts of the Hebrew Bible that reason could not assent to as metaphoric or allegorical. This especially applied to the Bible's interventionist and ruling God. God was pretty mystical for Philo: "no name nor utterance nor conception of any sort is adequate." Philo's God seems somewhat similar to that of the Deists much later, existing but not pulling the strings. Philo did believe that we experience God, not directly but through the Logos, which is kind of an operating system of the universe, described by others as the "reasoning principle in the universe" and "Natural law for all men and matter." Philo called it "Such a bond of the Universe that nothing can break." But the Logos applied not just to natural law but also to history, giving it a direction toward the good. Eventually the Logos would work "to the end that the whole of our world should be as a single state, enjoying the best of constitutions, a democracy." This from a man who lived just before the Christian Era.

Although God is beyond the material universe, he did "imbue the Logos with his spirit and his values," so "to know the Logos is to sense divine intention, even to know a part of God" (p. 221).

Wright says enough about the Logos to indicate that he finds it the best candidate for incorporating in our lives the divine, non-theistically. For Philo, of course, theism remained to a degree. In our time, we may be able to go farther than Philo was able to, by retaining only the Logos if we prefer.

Does it work?

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