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Thread: Comparative Prophets.

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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Comparative Prophets.

    Do the maxims of Confucius and Jesus Christ differ so much, that we cannot take the plain and simple maxims of the former, to help illustrate the more obscure ones of the latter?

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    Clearly Manichaean you've used "obscure" as an indicator that you believe it holds more intrinsic value than the "plain and simple," but I would argue the opposite. I prefer Confucius' simple humanity more than Jesus' obscure divinity. I'm not sure the obscurity of the later provides any more clarity, wisdom, or insight, than the simplicity of the former. Granted though, one was a man of the world, and the other a Hellenized Jew influenced by Cynicism and the predecessors of Mani himself.

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    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MANICHAEAN View Post
    Do the maxims of Confucius and Jesus Christ differ so much, that we cannot take the plain and simple maxims of the former, to help illustrate the more obscure ones of the latter?
    Sorry to have missed this one, M. I don't know the Analects very well, but my strong hunch is that you couldn't compare them in as meaningful a way as we used to compare the synoptic sayings to the Gospel of Thomas. I mean, you can always compare what you like and take such enlightenment as you can, but in this case there needs to be an enormous caveat about provenance. The originals are separated by five or six centuries at least and come from worlds that knew little if anything about one another. So there's a danger of misinterpreting one saying by wrongly placing in the context of another. But there could be exceptions. I believe Confucian literature has a Golden Rule-ish saying, as many different traditions do. So something like a universality of this profound truth could be inferred by its appearance over such different times and places. You might go mining for other such nuggets, I suppose. But take along someone who knows the Confucian classics--pas moi!
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Au contraire.

    Dear Lord you don't know how you were missed with your wealth of knowledge.

    And thanks for getting me back on track re historical perspectives.

    Take care
    M.

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    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Thank you for the kind words. They mean a lot to me.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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