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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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    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!

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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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    Thank you for the kind words. They mean a lot to me.

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    If you have a serious interest with comparative prophets, then check out Karen Armstrong´s book "The Great Transformation-The Axial Age" This book is a masterpiece of religious literature which begins with the great prophet of the Zoroastrians and concludes with Jewish dogma. You can watch many tutorials about the axial age on youtube. Her book touches on Confucius, Tao and a few more prophets who were instrumental in the change of mankind's behaviour towards each other. Well worth reading.

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    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    Comparing religions can be educational and enlightening but at the end of the day I believe the Lord Christ addressed the problem of sin and its consequences and cure rather then most (if not all) other religions that attempt to build up mankind as a rational being who just needs a nudge every now and again. As to obscure divinity of the Lord Christ as noted above the Bible seems to be rather definitive about that IF one wishes ot believe it is factual, truthful and not muddy symbolism. It's been awhile since visiting here but my viewpoint is that of a believer in the word of God as revealed in the Old and New Testament so I come to any discussions predisposed.

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