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October 09, 2012

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I've never met anyone who was a relativist when they thought they were being treated unfairly. Suddenly, they do have a standard of how they think you should behave.

What a poorly brainstormed article...

Not sure truth exists?

Is that statement true?

You may not be sure what the truth is, but I don't understand not believing truth exists. Isn't denying that truth exists a sure way to kill all scientific enquiry? Why would you search for a scientific answer to anything if you didn't believe anything was actually true?

Why get an education? If nothing is true, how is a professor's view any better than yours?

How much confidence in x is required in order to count as believing x? One might be agnostic in the sense of lacking that degree of confidence, and yet still be quite reasonable in asserting certain things and behaving in certain ways. In fact, at a strictly cognitive level, I don't think there is anything about Christianity to keep one from legitimately claiming to be a Christian despite lacking sufficient confidence to count as believing in God. Suppose I think it considerably more likely than not that there is a God, but cannot quite bring myself to believe it. Suppose that nevertheless I am impressed with the doctrinal teachings of the Church and the moral example of Jesus and try my best to live as though I did know all those things to be true. I cannot imagine God saying to that person, in the end, "Sorry pal but you just didn't have enough confidence" (though I am sure there are some on here with stronger imaginations than I).

A lot of teenagers get in car accidents because they can't imagine that accidents will happen to them.

Reality is not obligated to confine itself to what we can imagine.

Because of the inevitable objection, add that I trust Jesus as best as I am able to pay for my sins and to forgive me when I repent. At a cognitive level I can't quite believe that he will, and yet at a practical level I organize my life as though I did.

I don't attend a church, nor am I am member of any organized religion. Yet I believe in Christian doctrine.

Am I a none?

I heard Norman Geisler once say people might read the Bible, but very few will actually take the time to sit down and study it. This takes time and effort which people wont do. I think many people make up excuses to justify their lifestyle and digging into the deeps of any religion will fly in their face.

Claude,

I don't know if you are a 'none' but you seem to have qualms about the term.

You are not alone; here is some of what the original Pew report says about nones.

Scholars of religion in the United States have been using the term “nones” since the 1960s, despite some qualms about its connotations. The term refers to people who answer a survey question about their religion by saying they have no religion, no particular religion, no religious preference, or the like.

All the more reason, in a case like this, to go through the report itself. Look at the questions asked. Look at the wording. Consider how people you know might answer the questions. Look at the statistics of how thousands answered them. Look at the charts. Look at the conclusions the researchers came to.

For me, the figures that chart answers over time are the most interesting.

RonH

Much of this has to do with honesty to some degree. Everyone wrestles with questions. Few admit it, especially inside of circles of faith where it is too risky to do so (often), and perhaps even fewer define themselves by that posture. I live in an academic town and it’s all here. “New Age” is an understatement. On the surface there is a reasonable fear to commit to anything absolute. “I mean, like, come-on-man, every time someone commits, it’s like, someone ends up killing someone else.” And there it is: the paradox of that self-contradiction all in one sentence affirming the Truth of ‘Love’ and debunking the truth of anything whatsoever. The truth of the matter is X, there beneath the surface, and, layered over of the top of that X, almost obscuring it, lay the questions of the searcher and the fist raised in the air asserting, well, asserting something about, about……”Well come-on-man, you know what I mean”.


Much of that is internally referenced to the Nth degree: the pure existential. I feel. We feel. Very well then. Let’s go with that. Real-Feel. I suppose my own walk towards Truth began that way, too. Years later that interior pendulum swung the other way. Years after that, in the Now, I find there is, at the end of the day, Truth “out there” and also “in here”, and, too, there is falsehood “out there” and also “in here”. Perhaps some who are None are not sure what is real. Well then? Start with what you know is real, or, rather, go with the “feel” of it and start with the real-feel. This day. Us. You. Me. A kind of Ought (Non-Violence! Whateveeeer!) The body. Some of us taste a kind of need for mercy. The sky. Other people. A kind of Ought-Not (Violence?) That tree. This chair. And, from there, follow the solid ground. Start there. Start with that. And when you see genocide, or rape, or slavery, stay on the solid ground: don’t fear what truth may cost you in that millisecond. When you see the sale of a four year old boy by one well educated adult male to another well educated adult male for the sake of profit for the one and sex for the other, well, follow the real-feel and, upon seeing such hitting you in the face, listen to what the winds blow, commit to that millisecond of commit, and, there, when Atheism then tells you that that certain sort of Ought-Not you sense therein is, at best, wish fulfillment or, at worst, delusion, or, perhaps, a deterministic reaction to a sequence of stimuli which continues to exist because it fosters, as rape fosters, more frequent replication of DNA, then it is up to you to decide, in that millisecond, if such a statement is a statement of delusion or of reality. Start with what you know is real. Start with that. Start there. If you decide that analysis “rings true”, well then, so much for Non-Violence. If however you decide to believe the existential wind of the Ought-Not somehow supersedes the former, well then, so much for atheism. Follow what you believe is real. That's the best any of us can do. And when you finally drift over into Theism somewhere, in the land of Spirits and such, follow the Eternally-Sacrificed-Self there inside of Love and, should Ultimate Reality turn out to be Love, should the Highest Ethic turn out to be Love, should Love’s blissful Embrace house within it a very real I, a very real You, a very real I-You, and should that I-You, that Singular-We cry Unity in Diversity, Many yet One, E pluribus Unum, then follow that. Go with that. It will lead you to this Is-Statement of the Absolute, there at the end of ad infinitum: God-Is-Love.

scbrownlhrm, I (selfishly?) hope you are i) a person adhering to the main traditional Christian tenets, and ii) interested in writing to large audiences, since that little piece of literature at 3:25 am was unlike any that I have ever read in a blog. There is a sentiment and spirit contained therein that is similar to those darn good classical Christian books by C.S. Lewis and the like. Not that Lewis was without imperfections in his theology etc., he was indeed a human being, but your writing style and wit could quite possibly it seems, like Lewis', move mountains.

Thinking everyone as equally dogmatic and intolerant in their beliefs doesn't really make whole lot of sense in any real world context. Does it really sound reasonable to think of some sort of "I don't know, but I hope we can all respect each other" -type of unbelief as being in the same category as Islamic mullahs declaring death penalty for apostasy, the Inquisition, or politically motivated terrorists? If you define dogmatism and intolerance in this fashion, the words don't seem to mean really that much.

Of course no one is ever truly "neutral" in all of their beliefs, but this also doesn't make them all equally biased and unreasonable.

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