Tim Bonney wrote:Keith, I see you as being theologically progressive. Do you think that non-creedal denominations can set parameters that people will actually both agree to and follow? (And I really still have some confusion as to what "parameters" means. )
Ed: And Tim your confusion is quite legitimate, and while I do believe I could make a case for staying with Parameter, I would be willing to change to perimeter.
Perimeter or Parameter? englishplus.com/grammar/00000288.htm
These two words are often confused, especially parameter for perimeter.
Perimeter, pronounced with a short i in the second syllable, means "the border or line around an object, especially a two-dimensional geometric figure." By extension, it can refer to the border of any area or any kind of limit.
Parameter, pronounced with a short a in the second syllable, is a specific mathematical or physical term which means "a variable which has the same value in more than one equation." Unfortunately, people will often use the word parameter when they mean "boundary" or "limitation," because it sounds more scientific or technical.
Sociologist Thomas Sowell writes: "One of the incidental examples of 'scientific' puffery is the widespread use of the term 'parameters' to mean boundaries, rather than its actual meaning in mathematical equations. What are usually called 'parameters' in discussions of social policies could more accurately be called perimeters. But of course that would not foster the illusion of 'science.'"
However In doing so I want to again barrow from the physical sciences and move into social science to note that borders need not be absolute barriers the may be permeable if you will allow the substitution of thought, ideas, and mental energy for liquids, gases, or magnetic fields as seen in this brief definition of permeable. "ADJECTIVE 1. allowing substances through: allowing liquids, gases, or magnetic fields to pass through.
And no, I do not want to get into a protracted debate with those who do not accept the term social science, at this point.
Edited to say: Also Tim, I support your reply to Bruce on his question about Jesus setting Parameters. 2nd edit to correct one letter in first sentence