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Old 05-19-2011, 11:22 PM   #127 (permalink)
'trane
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Originally Posted by LX View Post
Oh there were no narrow boundaries in our debates. that was the case until I got stuck in a religion class with a 45 year old virgin that insisted we were going to he'll if we didn't attend church every Sunday. she went everyday herself. I dropped that class. Up until then I was presented with questions concerning equality, justice, how a conscience develops within us, and the value of finding meaning in our lives - and open discussion was pretty much all there was.

I was taught biology by a former nun. she was a great teacher that made photosynthesis come alive, and lead us through evolutionary theory so that it felt like we were piecing together the puzzle ourselves. It's a shame that so many kids are getting spoon fed such important ideas as though they are toxic.

anyway - I don't understand why extraordinary personal understanding should not play a part in relationships or culture or forming community. It seems like an odd idea to try to impose such restrictions. We just see religion very differently. I've experienced very negative and very positive aspects. The negative aspects usually revolved around power being exercised and justified and abused. I have no time for any of that. But I completely respect those that see faith as a way to approach big questions. To me faith is all about questions and doubts, without limits. And beliefs are about answers. I worry about any beliefs that do not recognize their own limitations. That is where you get both bad science and bad religion. And when limits are recognized as science and religion in essence call for, then human possibilities can be separated from the power structures that attempt to restrict possibilities.

I personally find too much of science and too much of religion weighed down by accumulated detritus. I would love to see a return to the core principles that sparked all such disciplines and a complete restructuring of societies based on real needs. Make minutes 100 seconds or whatever is deemed particularly meaningful today, instead of what made sense for people thousands of years ago. Define progress by what actually works within the obvious material limits we are saddled with, instead of being limited by so many old ideas of the past that progress must somehow be built upon, even though their meaning has gone stale while put to work holding up multiple delusions. That would make me happy. Power messes it all up, and I recognize the need to understand how power works, but I refuse to allow power to define meaning. I like my delusions to be my own while remaining open to understanding as much as I can.

OK I'll stop now.
you seem to be putting forward the position that faith somehow increases openness in some way. i take that from your point that "faith is all about questions and doubts, without limits". this is not how i have ever seen faith defined. to me faith (and religion) are different from spirituality.

i would argue that none of the 'good' things you mentioned in that post, and there were many, are the sole property of faith (or of religion).

faith is conviction in something that is not supported by proof. there may be many connections and points of agreement between spirituality and faith, but they are not the same thing. when it comes to social interactions in which we would come to disagree and in that we both have something to lose or gain, we should both be subject to providing evidence to support our position. faith is not evidence. a position based on faith alone should have no bearing upon me.

this is not to deny personal exploration, soul searching, questioning, or imagination. it is in fact to encourage it. i really don't know what you meant by this:

Quote:
I don't understand why extraordinary personal understanding should not play a part in relationships or culture or forming community. It seems like an odd idea to try to impose such restrictions.
again, i have never tried to argue that you should never explore something. i am only arguing against the social and political consequences of convictions based only on faith. it's easy when i agree on something with someone who's belief stands in faith alone, but impossible when i don't. in case where we both have something to lose or gain, i am not the one posing the restriction on our interaction.
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