[lit-ideas] Re: True believers
I'll start with a light moment from that Hitchens/Fry discussion about
"blasphemy" discussion that Simon pointed to on Monday:
- From: Paul Stone <pas@xxxxxxxx>
- To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 10 May 2006 09:27:58 -0400
Hitchens said [roughly]
A buddhist walks up to a hotdog stand and says "make me one with everything"
He pays for it with a ten dollar bill and waits for his money back.
The vendor says "sorry, but change has to come from the inside".
US: What a prescient subject line, Mike. I've been thinking for the last
two days that there might be something salvageable out of this predictable
back and forth. How could we all, intelligent people that we are,
continually interpret all events to match our world view? I marvel at
Lawrence's ability to look at the same news stories I look at and find in
them, support for his world view. Perhaps he is equally in awe of my
ability to do that. It seems somehow akin to religious faith, which no
facts can budge. How did it get this way? What furnace are our world
views created in that they are made of such tough stuff?
What would it take to make us change? Could we change?
I'm always amazed at how there is this inevitable predictability to most of
our discussions in here. But... I also find myself agreeing with almost
everybody on something. That is to say, while there are some sort of
'types' at work, each of us is quite different. Our collection of "world
views" as Ursula calls them are each of them, a collection of
beliefs/opinions/conclusions that we have each gathered over our lives.
And, in a small way, this list is part of my life.
If I look at my intellectual/spiritual makeup today and compare it to that
of 9 years ago -- when this whole listserv odyssey began -- I can see that
some of my views and attitudes have been undoubtedly molded or at least
influenced by things that have been written in our various fora.
I think the key is to at least respect your opposition so that you can try
to understand what it is to be them. I'll give you one example of what I
mean. I've always wondered about people of faith -- why/how etc. as I've
said here -- but over the past couple of years, after repeated inquiries
and discussions, I've softened my once overly pugnacious question "why
would any intelligent person be religious" to a more diplomatic sentiment
"I wonder what it's like to be religious and what piece of us does such a
belief serve to fill?" This is a direct result of Phil Enns and Robert Paul
replying to me in ways that both surprised me and made me change my tack. I
could mention other instances, but won't bore you. This is an effort to
assure Mike that there are some "results".
It seems to me that too often, the list gets political -- and I'm not
talking a discussion about any nations' politics, I'm talking about list
politics. People seem to have agendas and as Ursula notes, they generally
won't budge, only continually re-write the same arguments while furiously
sticking to their general theses. This is a bit disappointing and as Mike
wrote -- probably only half-facetiously -- we might as well just send in
signed, but otherwise blank emails sometimes, because in many ways things
have become a bit predictable.
Still, to this day I've never put anyone on filter/kill and try to read
every single post in any thread that catches my interest. It may be 'just a
group' but I think it DOES affect the way some of us lead our lives, even
if in very small ways.
becoming more one,
Kingsville, ON, Canada
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