Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Socratic Method and Theism

We live in a world of conflict. Wedge Strategies by manipulative minorities erode a sense of sameness and attempt to draw attention to the differences between us - and while we are busy duking it out - they sneak up on us and try to pull things...

The Religious Conflict that has been stoked for years is very disturbing. There are a lot of religions in the world - but the conflict that I am talking about - really amounts to multiple concurrent conflicts. When you add them together you find multiple groups that are pushing mutually exclusive ideologies: (In alphabetical order)
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Non-Believers
  • Scientology
These groups, in some part at the very least, have it in for each other - though that is not a blanket statement nor an over-generalization nor does it apply in all cases. Certainly there are zealots on all sides - a few minutes worth of searching on YouTube yields hours of testimony to this fact.

I am using the 'Non-Believer' label loosely here. I was blown away when Fox News asked the question "Is Obama's use of the term non-believers inclusive or offensive?" Based on the speech and the context of the remark, if that question were on the S.A.T. exam - I would have chosen 'inclusive'. I am pretty sure that were I to have answered such a question with 'offensive' I would have lost a point on that question.

The term 'Atheist' is weird - since it defines a group by what they don't believe - which is never done with any other usage of the post-fix 'ist'. Some people who fall in that category reject the term and others wear it like a badge.

'Agnosticism' does not preclude a belief, but neither does it imply one. Actually I wouldn't put Agnostics in one of the war-camps. If anything they are the biggest losers in the conflict since they are heavily solicited on all sides by those trying to convert people that are considered 'fence-sitters' by one of the aforementioned groups.

I have said before that I do not promote a belief in anything. That is not to say that I do not believe in anything. I am saying that I do not want to believe in anything - I would prefer to think about everything. That gives me the ability to change over time and learn from mistakes.

I do not find the concept of "Faith" to be reassuring. On the contrary, I find the idea of relinquishing my reason to someone else whose judgement I do not trust to be terrifying. It would be difficult for me to mindlessly believe something that was explained to me by someone else who mindlessly believed it. If they had thought about it deeply and could explain to me why they believed something and they used a line of reasoning that I could understand and accept the odds of me accepting it are greater.

True Faith - as it has been explained to me by True Believers - precludes the need to question apparently. If that is so - then the only thing that I have faith in is Asking Questions.

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