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Heresy

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Heresy

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:54 pm

• heresy •


Pronunciation: he-rê-see • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A controversial opinion that violates accepted doctrine, especially if it denies the truth of that doctrine or otherwise casts dispersions on it. Usually associated with religious doctrine.

Notes: The noun and adjective from this word are rather different from their origin. The noun is heretic [her-ê-tik] and the adjective heretical [hê-ret-ik-êl]. Two quite different forms with Ts where the S stands in the underlying form. This is not uncommon in words borrowed from Greek: hypothesis: hypothetical, psychosis: psychotic, neurosis: neurotic.

In Play: First and foremost this word is associated with religious doctrine: "Dr. Dubchek was shunned by members of his congregation when he expressed the heresy that Jesus could not have appeared on Earth parthenogenically." However, we are free to use it anywhere we find a set of ways that are considered inviolable doctrine: "Any criticism of the boss is treated as heresy at the office, and bringing into question the employment status of the critic."

Word History: Today's word comes from Old French heresie (Modern French hérésie), from Late Latin haeresis, from Late Greek hairesis "a choice, faction". This noun was derived from haireisthai "to choose", the middle voice of hairein "to take, grasp, seize". One etymologist claims that this word goes back to Proto-Indo-European ser- "take", but I can't find that meaning recorded for ser-. (Today we thank our old friend William Hupy for recommending this religiously Good Word.)
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Re: Heresy

Postby chatsnoir » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:40 am

shouldn't that be "cast aspersions" rather than "cast dispersions" :?: :)
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Re: Heresy

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:09 pm

:o
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Heresy

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:33 pm

Though primarily a religious concept, heresy is found in many different fields. A few years ago I read an article in the New Yorker by a nonmedical psychoanalyst who had become a protégé of Anna Freud. He got to work for a while in the Freudian archives. There he found documents that indicated Freud changed his viewpoints considerably in his later years. When he tried to publicize that information in the interest of scholarship, he was booted out.

Likewise in the history of science, even modern science, those who rebel against the standard beliefs of the time are often considered heretics. I think there is something in the make up of certain people, whether genetic or acquired, that makes them uncomfortable in the presence of paradox and exploration. I often hear of people who see the world in black-and-white. They claim the opposite his shades of gray. But hey people! We live in a technicolor world!
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Re: Heresy

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:28 pm

I am often bemused but never amused by who calls whom an heretic. There is a sect, that shall be nameless, that accuses all Christendom of heresy. It is actually amusing that this sect wants Christendom to accept it as non-heretical. I fail to see the logic. Heresy used to be a serious matter. Now, calling an heretic an heretic is tantamount to intolerance. Unless, of course, it is a politically correct person trying to paint someone who actually sees differences as important with the broad brush they call intolerance. Vlotaire said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.” We should all take that attitude.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Heresy

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:37 pm

chatsnoir: Welcome to the Agora. I haven’t responded to your posting before. Post often. Writing dispersions in place of aspersions was probably a slip of the pen, or keyboard. Your keen eye did catch it.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Heresy

Postby chatsnoir » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:28 pm

i catch myself doing that sometimes: typing along and using a similar-sounding word instead of the one i intended. it happens :oops: and can be embarrassing if you don't catch it before you publish it.
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