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The truth and Anamgol UBF 
17th-Jul-2006 11:49 pm
I found a Sunday message on the website of Anamgol UBF which is considered most elite UBF chapter in the UBF world. Anamgol UBF focuses on recruiting students in Korea University, one of the top five universities in Korea. Mark Yang used to be the director. I don’t know who the current director is and who wrote the message. I wanted to discuss problems of this message because it is based on John 8:31-32 and they happen to be my favorite key verses in the Bible. I want to discuss them in the comment section with the following topics:

I. Some comments on my English translation
II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant and Critique of Pure Reason
III. Issues on the author’s interpretation of ‘truth’ in John 8:32
IV. Concluding remarks
20th-Jul-2006 01:39 pm (UTC) - please
Dear human12,

Please, we anxiously await your concluding remarks and deep commnetary.
20th-Jul-2006 08:43 pm (UTC) - Re: please
As I stated in the previous post, I do not have anything further to raise as an issue other than what you have already talked about in your post. But if I were to say something, I would talk only about the student’s question and the Anamgol author’s attitude about the question.

The Anamgol author seems to be very sympathetic with the student. But what is very ambiguous to me is this: Does he sympathize with the student himself or does he sympathize with his question and his request to end the lecture?

As you also mentioned about the student’s question, the question sounds very weird. I mean, what kind of question is that? Does he even know what he is asking? The student’s position, as the Anamgol author understands to be the most important part of the question, is: “What does its being truth have to do with me?” I think it is very important for an insurance agent who handles an insurance claim that what is claimed must agree with what has actually happened. Otherwise, it becomes a false claim. But then the student would ask: “So what? What does it have to do with me?” It is important at least to me because too many false claims will raise my premium in the long run. So I would prefer an insurance company that has very good policy against false claims.

The student would ask again: “But is this something that I should die for?” Since I think nobody can answer this question in a reasonabe way, let’s try to answer it in the following way. I want to borrow Kant’s idea from his another book Critique of Practical Reason in roder to vindicate him a little.

What is going to happen if nobody cares about whether an insurance claim is false or not? Let’s say the insurance agent is too tired to investigate the accident. So he just take the claim as it is and processes it thinking that just one time would not make big deal. Now suppose that every insurance agent in Korea does the same. What is going to happen? Suppose nobody cares about whether recent economic statistics from the Korean government is false or not; nobody cares about whether the recent earnings reports from Korean companies are false or not; nobody cares about whether recent mission reports from the Korean churches are false or not. What is going to happen? It is easy to see that Korea as a nation will collapse quickly. Now the answer seems to be obvious to the the student’s question: “But is this something that I or the insurance agent should die for?”

What does the Anamgol UBF author sympathize with in the student’s question? Actually I still don’t know even after I spent sometime to translate his message. I feel that Pastor Kim, the student and the Anamgol UBF author are trying to “milk a billy-goat while holding a sieve underneath” according to Kant’s expression.

I think that what they are doing is deeply rooted in Korean culture in which truth is not absolutely upheld but authority and connection to authority prevail over truth. For example, an insurance agent hides something false about his home-town friend’s claim to cover for him in return for a favor from him later; if a business man such as Samsung CEO has a connection to government authority, he can get away with any false data on his company’s earning report; if a church leader such as Mark Yang is favored by a church authority like Samuel Lee, he can get away with his adultery. Church members do not care about whether Samuel Lee doctored a picture to make 2-story auditorium look like 3-story auditorium as long as they experience religious high through God’s grace and blessing during the conference.

Under this kind of cultural atmosphere, an autonomous individual who can exercise his independent judgment based on his clear conscience is ridiculed. Instead an individual who cab be easily put under the control of tribal authority and who is very manipulative in achieving practical benefits is praised as a successful person. So although there are namy reports about false teachings, unspiritual and unethical practices in UBF, once you are in UBF you cannot distinguish truth from falsehood since you are basically embedded into the mindset of this Korean culture.
20th-Jul-2006 11:45 pm (UTC) - Re: please
Oh, one more thing. I think the best part of the movie, A few good man was when the general cried out "You can't handle the truth! I am going back to my barrack." The movie makers portrayed in a very funny way how some people like Samuel Lee, John Jun, Mark Yang, Peter Chang, and the Anamgol UBF author distort the truth with their authority, which is called boolsheetting with authority.
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