Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Clarification Needed

It has been brought to my attention that my last post ventured into a bit of hypocrisy. Hm... I may need to clarify things a bit.

First, what a person believes is their business. If I ask about it, I expect to hear their opinion with its inherent bias. (Yes, I know... Bias is based on facts, prejudice is based on opinion but I'm being kind) In fact, I ask this question quite a bit. I enjoy listening to people talk about their faith. I learn a great deal about the human capacity to accept certain premises as true while ignoring any evidence they may not be. Such is the lot of humanity.

Second, I may comment on such things, give my opinion of how they err in their thinking, but that shouldn't matter to them. Why would my opinion matter at all? Their faith must be strong enough to survive any reasonable assault on its premises. But, despite any questions or comments I make, I will never tell someone their faith is wrong ... for them. I only make the statement that their premise is wrong ... for me. Christianity is wrong for me. I cannot say it is wrong for anyone else. When Christians try to make their beliefs part of my world, I get heartburn. The public arena is open to all but when religions start using their beliefs to make changes in rules that affect me, I get angry.

Finally, I consider all faiths important in the grand salad bowl of human potential. There is a path that each of us take as we head into the Future. This path is ours and ours alone. It's paved by the things we've experienced, learned, considered and dismissed from our birth to the present and stretches out before us to the moment we cast off this mortal coil. We may walk this path to the Future by ourselves but we are never alone. All paths intersect, run parallel and diverge many times along the way. As we walk our path, we meet up with others on their path. We exchange ideas, state opinions, argue our facts, then we part company (even if only for a short time). Each time we intersect with another's path, we expand our own. One of the problems I see with humanity is that we try to shield ourselves from the paths of others. We must be strong enough in our own faith to challenge it. If it cannot hold up to debate, then there must be change. Holding onto a belief that you have no faith in is, well, hypocritical and shows a lack of personal courage.

Unfortunately, modern religions count on this hypocrisy of spirit. They instill fear and confusion into their dogma, using peer pressure and, in many cases, threats of violence to hold on to followers. (yes, condemnation of one's soul IS a form of violence) If they were to allow free thinking in their ranks, their 'Church of Cards' would surely fall.

Yes, my rants may single out Christianity. I am not as experienced with Islam to do the same, although many of the same concerns I have about the Jesus cult applies to the Muhammed cult. They are two sides of the same worthless coin. Judeism is part of the trifecta in this circus of fools too, but since they've been the target of the other two for so long you kind of cheer them on. In reality, they aren't so innocent in all this. You need only look at the Middle East to confirm it.

I don't have the answers for you. I only have answers for me. If one of my answers applies in some way to a question you have, so be it. That answer becomes yours. I look everywhere for the answers to my questions. When I find something that impresses me, I take it along for the ride to see if it can withstand my journey. If it does, I accept it as part of my path and it becomes one of my answers.

I rant about Christians because they can not, or will not, do this. They are held to a strict set of rules and standards that can only be changed by people who have gamed the system well enough to make these decisions for everyone else. Normally, I would have little problem with this, other than the off chance to challenge a few staunch believers. But these gamers try to make decisions that affect me and that's when I cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

Hope that clarifies things a bit.

So Mote It Be,
David A.


a bit of fun with the Faithful courtesy of Goldy at HorsesAss.Org

See you in the Hot Place.

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