The Doctor Is In

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I found a new blog through my referrals, called The Doctor Is In. It's by a medical doctor who seems to have an interest in some things that are genuinely interesting and therefore worthy of having an interest in. He doesn't post very often, but his posts can be unusual enough to be worth checking in on him every now and then.

His post on myths points out a number of liberal narratives based on falsehoods that get perpetuated regularly. I don't like the modern notion that a myth involves falsehood, since a myth is just a story under which we think about ourselves and our lives, and those can be entirely based in truth, and he ignores right myths such as questioning the patriotism of people who disagree with their country's current policies or framing the abortion issue as being only about life (as if other issues are irrelevant and unimportant even to abortion rights advocates) rather than as being decided by conservatives on the issue because the issue of life is more important than liberals on the issue think. Still, his main point here seems right to me.

Also, see his provocative post on what he sees in common between contemporary liberalism and ancient gnosticism. I'm not quite sure what I think about this. For example, his claim that gnosticism predates Christianity seems really suspect to me. The biblical scholars I trust most have argued that there was no such thing as full-blown gnosticism until well after the New Testament was completed, though there were earlier movements whose elements were combined in gnosticism. Also, I can see examples of people (e.g. John Kerry) who seem thoroughly uninterested in things they've said in the past compared to what they're now saying (the case of pulling troops out of Europe and Korea comes to mind, since he thought it was essential when Bush wasn't expected to do it and then thought it was absolutely terrible once Bush announced that he would do it). The NOW case he mentions is another that really bothered me. Still, it seems to me that hypocrisy is the last sin for a thoroughgoing liberal of the secular mindset. If you don't believe in moral principles, then you don't have to follow them, but surely those who believe in them should! That's why hypocrisy is the most common complaint of secularists against conservative and/or Christian leaders. In the end, I think the surface similarities between liberalism and gnosticism are just happenstance, the coming together of an interesting set of features in two very different worldviews for completely different reasons in each case. Still, it's an interesting topic.


>gnosticism predates Christianity seems really suspect to me

I agree that gnosticism predates Christianity (its base meaning of salvation through special knowledge was part of several ancient mystery religions) but found its greatest expression in its Christianized version. However, the current gnosticism running rampant through the dying West has more in common with those ancient mystery religions than their later Christian counterpart.

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