To quote Samuel D. Caldwell in "The Inward Light": In effect, it(pseudo-universalism) denies all religions by affirming all equally and embracing none.

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I'll have to agree with him -- its a way of ending discussion, and expressing superiority while belittling the other.

The best thing about taking that position is you get to deny that you just did that.  (admitting that you have a difference of opinion seems more open to me.  Claiming to be non-biased is essentially claiming to have good enough perspective to make the definitive judgement... all who disagree are biased.) 


Does anyone care to define "pseudo-universalism"?    and -- I'm curious -- what is the assumption that people call it who practice it?  That would help me to further understand what we're talking about.   

I'm assuming they don't believe they are practicing it and call it something else.   Oooh, talking about other people is so thorny... ha

Michael commented:  "Claiming to be non-biased is essentially claiming to have good enough perspective to make the definitive judgement... all who disagree are biased.) "

hmm.  I would say that there is THAT which is actually the ideal of which you speak, not  just the cynical version.  All who are in fact unbiased about a particular topic but open to it, or unbiased about a particular person and open to them....

There is THAT, and that does not require that one in such a state believe that all who feel differently are biased.   To the contrary, it is what being a Quaker is all about -- the belief that we each see a piece of the the Divine and the humble recognition that that's the most we can hope for and that my neighbor sees God too, even if my neighbor sees differently from me. 

Actual universalism comes of asking: "What religion does God have?"

From that viewpoint, the peculiarities of a particular religion seem appropriate to the particular people who practice it. You can see this from the perspective of a basically-atheistic anthropologist -- because a religion that isn't somehow functional in the particular circumstances of its carriers simply won't be carried.

But once God has tapped one on the shoulder (or thumped one on the head, etc) you're left with another perspective: That God does behave as Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount; hence God sheds light on all humanity [as Fox read John] and would not deprive any population of us from some worthwhile clues as to How ItAll Works -- so far as we're open to them.

It does seem more valuable to see what's given for us to see by -- than to sneer at the crud in anybody's eye.

As Sam Caldwell explained what he meant by "pseudo-universalism", so let me explain "Scissor-hands":

"Edward" is artificial-Quakerism, invented by now-dead pseudo-universalism; taken in by suburban Friends and appealing to a teenager in the Life. "Edward" is good at cutting through the Quaker hedge and employed in salon-style "Friending". His problem is imposed-isolation which restricts his common sense and grasp/grip on reality. "Kim" is elderly-Quakerism which knows a snow-job when she sees, let alone embraces, one. 

"Forces" just "force" one thing or another to do-as-driven.

"Beings" "be". Whatever qualities you "assign" it or refuse-to-assign it; a Being will keep right on being as-is. That's how we humans "be;" that's how 'What Bees In Us' does it.

We find in it what it Bees in us...


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