Skip to comments.SETI and The Bishop of London
Posted on 02/14/2009 2:21:35 PM PST by .cnI redruM
The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) experiment ended up being far more successful as a marketing gimmick than as a science project. The intrepid researchers never found the little green men. Perhaps that's because they never aimed their high-dollar radio telescopes at The Church of England.
The Right Rev Richard Chartres made the following comments that suggest his familiarity with how affairs are conducted on the third planet out from Sol is nodding at best. He addressed reporters covering the Church of England's General Synod on the financial crisis.
"Sometimes, people seem to be relieved to get off the treadmill and to be given an opportunity to reconsider what they really want out of life. One of the great implications of this turbulence for us is to re-boot our sense of what a truly flourishing human life consists of. The 'CrackBerry' culture is dangerously addictive and switching off from it is notoriously difficult," he said.
How quaint. The Vicars of Christ are special people, but they are not making mortgage payments. The Archbishop of Canterbury also hasn't been a real fan of the whole "right-sizing" concept. Judging from the empathy displayed by Rev Chartes towards his flock, this may be an unfortunate thing.
It also speaks volumes as to how poorly modern humanity comprehends the role of philosophers. Many of those amongst us who are paid to think philosophically are also enjoined to do so absent the encumbering backpack of daily responsibility. Philosophy, many believe, is that which is done in a vacuum, uncorrupted by the unrelenting press of day-to-day affairs.
In certain cases, this approach succeeds. Mitchell Jay Feigenbaum lived the stereotype of the wacky professor. He wandered around Los Alamos, muttering incongruities apart from the rest of society. He returned to terra firma with the Feigenbaum Constant; thereby transforming the modern understanding of semi-stable systemic equilibriums.
However, from the beginning, the greatest philosophers lived amongst the mundane. They retainined a gravamen in reality to support their forays into symbolic, metaphysical conjecture. When Socrates spoke of his views on death, he did so as a veteran of more than one war. He'd seen the evil bastard up close and shook hands.
In Platos Apology, when he holds forth on death and the thereafter to Simmias and Crito, he does so as a condemned man. Nothing makes Socrates' views on the subject more admirable than the fact that he manned up and drank his hemlock.
Thus it surprises no student of philosophy at all to learn that Augustine, Peter and Paul drew heavily on their readings of Socrates to properly describe and contextualize the sacrifice Christ would later make on the cross. Hence, it disappoints me profoundly when a minister so totally acts in apposition to the example at the core of my faith. This cloistered and pampered Bishop has probably never walked the walk.
American Philosopher, General and Theologian Lew Wallace famously admonished us to live our lives as imitations of Christ; not in vaudevillian mockery. His novel Ben Hur drew heavily on his own background and personal experiences. He would never have reached the insights he imparted therein if he had lived ensconced in the ivory tower.
Thus, the Bishop of London wanders far afield from how we all lead our daily lives. This allows him to smell the roses, but not the manure required to make them grow and blossom. This parallels the drift of the modern Christian Church into increasing confused irrelevance.
Reporters cover the Christian Church now in hopes of seeing a freakshow. Individuals such as Catholic Bishop, Richard Williamson happily oblige. Imagine receiving the sacrament from a man who walks around denying The Holocaust like an Iranian President.
The Bishop should rethink his errant words and try again because much is at stake here amongst the dwindling band of believers. Hes said something that could truly have come from the mouth of an extra-terrestrial being. Now he needs to add something intelligent. That would restore my faith both in SETI and in the modern church.
AFAIK, this is a title of the RC Pope. No Anglican has this title. And by definition there can be only one VOC at a time.
A “vicar” is, roughly, a representative. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in addition to the pope, each bishop is referred to as the “Christ’s Vicar”(§1560) to their diocese, and the conscience is called “the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.”(§1778)
And one level of pastor in the Anglican church, besides rector, is vicar.
1) The sentence above was specifically intended to swipe at Benedict. Please accept my apology if this was how it was taken.
2) Other protestant denominations do refer to higher ranking clergymen as vicars and sometimes Vicars of Christ.
I’ve never heard the title applied to anybody but the Pope.
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