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Re: questions for discussion
by Alan Spector
04 October 2002 17:14 UTC
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Justus Ogembo wrote:
Do you see your criticism of the Christian predictions as applying to all
teleological theories of history?
Are there degrees of "teleological"? Are all theories that rely on Marx "teleological"? I think Marx is useful.
My critique of that one set of Apocolyptic fables, held by a minority of Christians by the way, is based on the fact that they are so vague as to be interpretable in a million ways. And furthermore, because they are based on supernatural explanations, there is no way that we can use our human faculties to evaluate their truth or falseness.
On the other hand,  there are "feedback loops" in social processes. Humans can think, and their ideas about how the future might unfold can impact on how that future actually does unfold. So in that sense, some "theories" that might appear to be "teleological" can be based on verifiable, material processes.  My general critique, then, is of  "teleologies" that are psychological reductionism or spiritual reductionism which, along with their disguised twin, biological reductionism, embrace non-dialectical dualisms that oversimplify the realities of social processes.
Of course, there are other types of telelogical theories that might be inaccurate, but my categorical critique was mainly focused on those that are based on supernatural factors.
(I hope this isn't too abstract........it's only an off-the-cuff e-mail, after all, and not really a developed theory of history.)
Alan Spector
----- Original Message -----
From: "Justus Ogembo" <jogembo@cisunix.unh.edu>
To: "WORLD SYSTEMS NETWORK" <wsn@csf.colorado.edu>
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: questions for discussion

> > I discuss this theory with my students. A key part of the theory is that
> the
> > bible states that "the bear" will attack "the lamb."  According to the
> > Apocolyptists, the lamb is "the lamb of Israel" and the bear is "the bear
> of
> > Russia", since Russia has a bear on its flag. Hence, Russia is going to
> lead
> > an attack against Israel.  (Possibly in concert with Germany and the
> > European Union, or possibly as a separate army.)
> >
> > Then I pointed out that the University of California at Berkeley has a
> flag
> > as its symbol. So perhaps the bible was really predicting an invasion of
> > Israel by the students at Cal Berkeley.   Or maybe the Chicago Bears?
> Alan:
> There is not one but several "world-systemist premillenialist"
> interpretations of Revelation 13. Another interpretation sees the U.S. as
> the two-horned, lamb-like beast who arises out of the earth (not out of the
> sea as the first beast which, according to this interpretation, is Europe)
> and "causes fire to come down from heaven [bombs?] in full view of men".
> Do you see your criticism of the Christian predictions as applying to all
> teleological theories of history?
> JO
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