(Fwd.) Max Mueller (Part 2 of 2)

B. Reusch reusch at uclink4.berkeley.edu
Sun May 25 22:04:18 UTC 1997

Just got back from LA and found a "help!" message from Howard Resnick, who
several days ago tried to post the following reply, unsuccessfully.

Forwarded message starts here:
In reply to George Thompson, Greg Downing wrote:
>He (MM) is right that people are creating myth by a "disease of
>>language" if people think fire is a god and there is in fact (for the sake
>>of the argument) no actual fire-god as a personal agency. But that does not
>>exclude the possibility that people also see abstract and natural phenomena
>>for what they are, and are simply trying to express that poetically or
>>allegorically when looking at things through the lens of myth.
	As scholars, we should first admit that there is no feature or
aspect of an
academic education that qualifies one, as a scholar, to say that there is, or
that there is not, a god of fire. This is a religious issue, and only a
hopeless logical positivist would argue that we must reject a god of fire on
"scientific" grounds. To affirm or deny a particular proposition places one
in the identical realm of discourse. An algebra teacher that marks a
student's answer right or wrong requires the same knowledge. To affirm that
Agni is the god of fire is no more a religious utterance than to deny that he
is and thus proceed to a discussion of how and why a community "created" this
Howard Resnick
Adjunt Professor
Graduate Theological Union,
Berkeley, California

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