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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 616)...

    How are you different from the prophets who tell people how to live thier lives? I know it is not your intention to do so, but I feel like through reading other questions and talking with other Ishmael readers, that your ideas revolutionize the way we think about the world. In turn, how we live is ultimately shaped by you. Gutting out our system of understanding and replacing it with that of Ishmael changes how we think and live, right?

    ...and the response:

    If you get no exercise, smoke three packs a day. and have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, a doctor can tell you that you're working up to a heart attack. Is he "telling you how to live"? No, he's just pointing out the consequences of your lifestyle. If, on the basis of what he says, you decide to quit smoking, exercise regularly, and change your diet, does that make him a prophet? I've said that if there are still people here in 200 years, they won't be living the way we do, because if people go on living the way we do, there won't BE any people here in 200 years. That doesn't make me a prophet any more than the doctor is a prophet. I nowhere tell anyone how to live. In fact, I say very specifically, again and again, that there is NO ONE RIGHT WAY for people to live. So how could I be telling people how to live? Besides all this, a prophet is one who speaks with divine authority. You're to believe what he says, because it comes from God. By contrast, I don't claim to speak with divine authority, and I definitely don't want anyone to "believe" me. If you have doubts about what I say, don't get down on your knees and pray for faith. Go to the library and check it out.


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