Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Daniel Arendt

"Write Something" Counts More Than We Think?

  • Sometimes some say I sound like a manual or textbook, but looking even at any State’s (including Oregon Employment Department) workforce development agency definition for “clergy” or “minister”, one of the things States say is clergy of all types are given to researching items at assorted libraries and reference materials; indeed, it would be super-lengthy of me to list every secular and religious resource on faith and spirituality I’ve ever read, possessed, or researched…then there’s keeping up with scientific, legal, and political related ephemera on each diverse issue. For me, everything I learn synthesizes into my own belief system together with personal and random experiences and is echoed where seemingly apropos, just like many other clergy…credit given where any particular citation is relied upon, and this is another such case. 

    Citing topic “Truth” in “The Encyclopedia of Philosophy”, Volume 5, section “Nature of Metaphysics”, Paul Edwards editor in chief, MacMillan Company & The Free Press, ©USA 1967 by Crowell Collier and MacMillan Inc, Library of Congress catalog number 67-10059:
    “Metaphysical argument is like literary argument in that it reaches no apparent end; it is like it again in terminating, insofar as it ever does terminate, in an insight which is more personal than public…But it would be wrong on that account to think that the concepts of truth and falsity have no application in metaphysics. We must, however, decide for ourselves what is really illuminating and what is not…we cannot just learn the truth from another”; and,
    “A comparison with metaphysics which is in some respects even closer [than comparing to history] is provided if we consider the interpretation of a literary text. The data which the literary critic confronts…are ‘harder’ than in the case of metaphysics, but this does not prevent the appearance of a wide variety of conflicting theories. And it happens that there is no accepted criteria for deciding among the various theories; all that each critic can do, in the last resort, is explain his way of looking at the text, marshal the points in its favor, and invite the reader to test the matter for himself. But we must not conclude from this that it will be a matter of luck or, perhaps, of psychology which theory will win the reader’s approval…he can be entirely convinced of the authenticity of one particular reading, and he can be persuaded that it offers more enlightenment, covers the central points more impressively, and does better justice to evidence than its rivals” [bracketed terms referencing cited text’s prior paragraphs added].    
    That’s often what I do, find secular or other data or just gather my own thoughts, present it, then step back and let others decide if it’s for them or not…audience responses not increasing or decreasing my own faith in whatever I said, unless a sustainable counterpoint is defined.
    I think all this fairly sums up the religious nature and metaphysical approach ULCM offers the public and each of its ministers: not one of us is a religious autocrat nor capable of acting beyond appropriate experience, life work, training, or separately applicable licensure(s) if any; not one of us can substitute our religious opinions for the way of pursuing ethics; not one of us compels another to join or leave or sets or limits participation levels; and as long as it’s non-violent and civil as Roberts Rules of Order might uphold, we can poll, answer others, or state our opinions on literally anything and allow others to make up their own minds about it on our common ethically-committed spiritual journey. 
    Sure sounds more inclusive than some calling for the dissolving of ALL philosophy ( including atheistic, legal, and all others )and just pretending no one on earth has an option other than to treat (and be treated) as if they’re cattle to be globally herded and kept like pets…in this I refer specifically to the life work of Richard Rorty, a social Darwinist philosopher whose stated goal 1979 to his natural death the other year was that he would work to dissolve all philosophical questions and lobby for ushering in such a social scheme. With windbags like THAT having been in the contemporary educational fore, I for one heartily invite every lucid person, atheist, cosmologist, or religious on earth to join or at least check in on ULCM…for me, Rorty although taught to so many just didn’t illuminate much about his central points that did better justice to evidence than had his rivals, so I offer my best counter-evidence and observations thereon.
    When your blog is dedicated solely to supporting freedom of nonviolent religious expression in our times, sometimes you have to mention things appearing to have great influence against religion which things may not be known to all readers or ministers; and some such things of their nature require talking on terms unfamiliar to some, or invite better commentary from ongoing Rorty-type boosters.
    I don’t diminish ANYONE here for the equal value of their own contributions, nor do I get flustered if another view is raised. To anyone reading my blog, please take no offense, as none is intended.
    [As the reverse-side terms of any ULCM credential card represent, ordination alone should not be taken as ULCM certification the bearer has understood ANY denominational belief system, at best meaning a minister is only religiously entitled to ordain others and espouse doing right (within laws and personal capability) in everyday and occupational life. Some may be non-degreed, some may be first professional, most fall in between…with many missing that morality (or “ethics” or “right”) can be defined sans traditional faiths but still be religious.
    In concern for them, I offer that certainly morality which must conform to a religious or particular personal viewpoint is subjective and against Kant’s observation morality must be “autonomous” or it can’t exist on its own for measure by ANY standard. But to say the “right” is of anything is “objectively real” is to say it’s there to be discerned, not created by belief in it(example: you see an old lady with arms up, a man with mask in front of her pointing a shotgun at her and taking her purse, and she’s yelling “help!”; you add this up and conclude you’ll call police saying you apprehend a describable person doing a particular thing to perceived distressed of another contrary to robbery law…not because you just want to call somebody a robber, or as the Ten Commandments set rules, but by reasoning the right from facts is that somebody needs HELP apart from the particulars).Moral judgments appearing objectively valid yet appealing to autonomous reason lead to theistic metaphysics, yet a minister’s belief system could only help explain why they do or don’t think something “right” only once any error(s) or omission(s) appear through definable logic alone.
    To believe under any philosophy that spiritual eternal progress requires trying to succeed ethically even if we fail runs into Kant’s lament: then there is pointlessness in the law and even in a propitious universe where others make it impossible to succeed, this doesn’t support a Divine Creator as Architect of Order. In fairness to Immanuel Kant, he lived well-prior to physics establishing the universe had a transcendental causal agent, which re-invigorates the worth of trying.
    “Proofs” like: “There is no God”, “I am liege”, “I just personally like or don’t like”, “a party I respect tells me so”, all point at best to subjective morality and deprive others of probative confirmation or denial in rational minds. Where ULCM encourages even atheistic ministers to contribute to objective moral conversation, there seems no tension in rationally defining imbalance with any proposition and first then (if at all) saying they reject it as against transcendentally caused order.
    Even if some ULCM minister didn’t preach, or have tons of degrees or medals or try to counsel anyone to the minister’s capability limits, if they participate in bringing up or joining discussions on objectively real “right”at ULCM forums, at minimum they’d seem to be participating in monastic theistic metaphysical contemplation as clergy of a bona fide religious organization.]          
  • Daniel Arendt
    Daniel Arendt One of the first stings I encountered from the public re ULCM was allegation in nature that sure it may be a legal RELIGION, but isn’t the way it passes out ordinations or honorary degrees to anyone on request sort of like those Sheriffs who passed out ba...  more
    March 14, 2010
  • Daniel Arendt
    Daniel Arendt Thanks, Mike! I prefer your cut-to-the-chase style, but in my journies I encounter a number of folks who seem to enjoy parsing the life out of ANYTHING and using "big words" to deride any faith whatsoever let alone the simplicity of ULCM...just trying to ...  more
    March 14, 2010
  • <i>Deleted Member</i>
    Deleted Member snore
    March 13, 2010 - delete