What thinkers do you admire?

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What thinkers do you admire?--Al

-- Al Schroeder (al.schroeder@nashville.com), May 21, 2000


Interesting your searching for answers and proving to yourself that we are supposed to be here. I think losing someone you love is really conducive to such a search.

I've come across Harry Emerson Fosdick recently. He was a Baptist preacher born in 1868 (what is this recovering Catholic doing reading a Baptist preacher?) who was, in his day, at the center of the fundamentalist-modernist clash. He was a man who believed that Christianity could be meaningfully reconciled with modern science (and he wrote before the Scopes controversy). He believed in the word of Jesus, and did not put his focus on all the "don'ts" that have arisen over the centuries.

Fosdick believed love is more important than doctrine. "There are many opinions in the field of modern controversy concerning which I am not sure whether they are right or wrong, but there is one thing I am sure of: courtesy and kindliness and tolerance and humility and fairness are right. Opinions may be mistaken; love never is."

He also believed that the main business of Christianity should be not to discuss details of theology, but to minister to human misery. He believed that to devote one's energies instead to theological controversy is "immeasurable folly." (I'm sure he would not be a favorite of today's televangelists)

-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), May 22, 2000.

Beautifully said Bev. Admired thinkers ? The poets, the scientic thinkers from the ancient Arabs up to and including the present day. To my mind, Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa were both thinkers rarely seen, both striving for the welfare of humanity. (I wish Ghandi's peacful disobedience would be more in use here today). The composers of wonderful music, the tale tellers from the beginning of our caveman history who had the intelligence not only to amuse but also hold life and events together in passed on tales of tribal history.

Nany others, of course, too numerous to mention. To top it off, thank God for the thinkers of the world who convert dreams into reality and the ones who convert reality into dreams.

-- Denver doug (ionoi@webtv.net), May 22, 2000.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen monk who was thrown out of his country for protesting the Vietnam war. He lives in France now and helps other refugees. He's a spokesman for the "Veitnamese Buddhist Peace Movement" and was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 1967 by Martin Luther King JR. The Dalia Lama and Mother Theresa are other favorites. In short, I like religious figures who live a life of poverty/simplicity, and express their religion through acts of compassion rather than theological debates.

-- AJ (joijoijoi@hotmail.com), May 22, 2000.

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