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Showing posts from November, 2008

Mysticism?

It seems that truly pondering God inexorably leads to mysticism. (Which I describe as thought and experience outside the sanctioned walls of dogma.) And here's why: God is by almost all religious revelation, (Jewish, Christian, Hindu, etc.) defined as being beyond our understanding and categories. But paradoxically, religion is all about understanding and categories. To have an organized religion requires definitions. God IS this. God IS NOT that. So to follow the logic that God transcends our understanding, categories and definitions, means we have to leave the walls of our religious context.
I feel like this is what is happening to me whether I want it or not. I feel like I would have to be disingenuous to keep my definition of God if it contradicts The definition of God as One Who Transcends. I mean, aren’t all our dogmas and doctrines based on our faith in a specific revelation(s) of the nature and definition of God? Yet we contradict them all if we simultaneously hold to t…

How the internet is changing the world

Someone posted this question on a forum I frequent. It's interesting food for thought. Here's my response:

Ok. Just off the top of my head here's what I see as having potential societal impacts.


1. The pluralism of the West is intensified. We all grew up understanding that there were other people with other beliefs. But that reality is much more accessible and interactive to those outside urban areas. I think this pluralism is a force that breaks down traditional structures and institutions such as religion, constitutional government, marriage, education, patriotism, etc. As these break down new traditions will emerge. I have no idea what they will be.

2. Fundamental attitudes about what constitutes intelligence are emerging. In pre-enlightenment times intelligence was measured by ones ability to memorize. Information sources were rare, and those who could keep that information were praised as a result. Now we have the inverse. Information is everywhere and easily accessibl…

The real difference between liberals and conservatives

Image
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html


So here is a guy giving a little talk on my new favorite website: TED.com, talking about what makes liberals and conservatives tick. He starts out by polling the audience, and it looks like about 2% of them consider themselves conservative. He claims that liberals are overwhelmingly dominant in the character trait called Openness-to-Experience.

It’s looking like it’s going to be an all out conservative-bash-fest, but Haidt does something cool. He turns the tables by using a liberal concept to force them to consider the value of the conservative mind. He points out that when everyone in a group thinks the same way they fall into a team psychology which shuts down open-mindedness. A general lack of moral diversity is going to make understanding the world a lot harder. So he challenges all these open-minded liberals to “take the red pill” and look at some moral psychology with him.

What we end up with is some ch…