Decorations of belief


What is the one thing on which we can all agree?  The one thing we all have in common?

It is not God or faith or religion.  It is not belief or science or history or now.  It is not what we eat or drink or breathe.  It is not how we look, how we sound or how we speak.  It is not what we have or have not.  It is not what we were given, or what we were not.  It is not what we have achieved or not achieved.

What we have in common is nothing that we can change.

We are all the same species.  We are human.  Homo-sapiens.  Whether that was at the whim of a deity and / or the soup of evolution is irrelevant.  I.R.R.E.L.E.V.A.N.T.   We are what we are.  We are not what we are not.

And whether we agree on “beliefs and preferences” – whether we choose “either or” – whether we choose “either and” – whether we are “inclusive or exclusive” – whether we are “right or wrong” …

That is simply our choice of how we each decorate our own lives.

And if we have the time and energy to decorate our own lives – then we were probably given more than others.

I was given so much.

A colour of skin associated with wealth and intelligence.  An education associated with wealth and power.  A gender associated with leadership and power.  A mother and father with their own home and income – the wherewithal to feed and clothe me – the lifestyle to sustain me – the motivation to love me unconditionally – the money to support my discovery of “choice” – the money to support my trying this and that – the money to allow me to try and put down, to pick up belief and preferences – to decorate my own life with my own decorations that are – and were – the decorations of privilege.  And, in that, I am not unique.

And yet …

I see so much anger in this blog community.  So much hatred.  So much malicious “fun” at the expense of others.  So much proving you are wrong because I am right.  The (mini) clubs of similar “interior decorations and beliefs” seem more important than that we each have in common.

And I think that, for a lot of us, “interior decoration” IS more important.  Except that none of that has anything to do with “God or Science”.

N.O.T.H.I.N.G. at all.

All that says is “I belong!”“I have rights”“I should be given more!”“I am right and you … aren’t.”  And that is an injustice.  That is “You do not belong (as much as me) – you are N.O.T. the same species (as much as I am ). You are N.O.T. human (like me) – you are N.O.T. homo-sapiens (in my own creation).”

And (unless I am missing something really important) – all because:

“My decorations of belief are more important to me than you are.”

Because I see great science and I see great faith.  They are not incompatible.  They are both (great) decorations of belief – just as I see (shabby) decorations of belief.

For me, the “great” are not at the expense of another, but those whose beliefs and preferences are to build rather than demolish. Whose humanity comes first.  Those who hold what we have in common as the only non-negotiable decoration of belief.

Because I see that as something else we have in common.

If we allow.
.

(so what makes us not allow?)

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24 thoughts on “Decorations of belief

  1. Science is a method of inquiry adduced from reality; religion a set of proscribed beliefs imposed on it. Science produces evidence-adduced beliefs; religion maintains faith-based beliefs. These are different kinds of belief. Science is a way to form a conclusion, religion assumes it and denies reality the opportunity to arbitrate claims made about it. Sure, when the two make contrary claims, they are incompatible. But even when they are not, perhaps even in agreement, the two approaches are mutually exclusive. They remain in opposition by methodology, and so are incompatible… because their methods are incompatible. Trust and confidence is earned in science; trust and confidence is demanded in religion. They remain forever incompatible, which is why there will always be confrontational opposition between fact versus faith.

    • tildeb, the more you preach a sermon of scientific infallibility as the reason for your belief in the fallibilty of religion – the less you become a scientist and more the preacher. And the more I see belief and the less I see “science”.

      Great “anything” has nothing to fear. Yet you fear so much. This is not your being right and me rejecting it. This is me inviting you and Ark and those who believe a similar set of beliefs as you to be “great” instead of just mediocre. Because if the only commonality between us is for you tell me I am wrong at the expense of relationship … that ignore everything written here and on the past couple of posts – not about who is right – but about why banging the same drum without any desire for relationship is just noise. And that is not good science – not great anything. It is just the repetition of your chosen dogma (not science).

      remember your “global warming” comment and how “my beliefs” and “religion” (which makes me “religious” according to you – and therefore harmful to all creation)? Have you ever stopped to ask me what I think rather than tell me? Have you any interest at all in what I think – as opposed to what you tell me I think? Because THAT is not good science – it’s not great anything. It is just your beliefs in action. And as you keep telling me – that is not science.

      Could you ever believe all I ever want for anyone is not just a set of beliefs regurgitated – not even someone who fears relationship – not someone who seems to fears their beliefs changing (unless change is in line with their beliefs) – but a great human being absent of fear and kind to all. That brings about change. And that has nothing to do with religion.

      • Tildeb is not ”preaching” infallibility and I’ll wager he does not believe science is infallible at all. Neither do I or anyone I know who rejects the nonsensical claims of religion. but upholds the scientific method.

        You wrote like a semi christian. You make half claims and wrap them up in language that gives the appearance you are actively trying to obfuscate what your real intent is.

        I am a straightforward person, and utterly loathe this type of approach to these issues that you have adopted, especially the gag-awful soft hand Jesus meme.

        It’s like reading a post on sex education where the host is explaining how she is half-pregnant.

        If you have the genuine desire to be taken seriously then come clean and state exactly what your position is regarding your current stance on the issue at hand.

        And you can begin by answering this straightforward question: Are you a Christian. Yes or No.

        • “If you have the genuine desire to be taken seriously then come clean and state exactly what your position is regarding your current stance on the issue at hand.”

          There are bunch of assumptions in that paragraph. It is a pattern I am coming to recognise more and more: “Here is how we define you, and here are what we conclude, so state your case within our parameters of conclusion.”

          I have also answered your “Are you a Christian. Yes or No.” So feel no need to repeat myself over and over again.

          However, to keep it “straightforward” – it is the application of your beliefs that are wrapped up as “factually correct science” I struggle with. Not the science nor the “facts” – just the way you have made them beliefs. That is not “good science”.

          • I asked because I had forgotten your response the last time.
            Clarification would help, you know?
            Surely stating if you are or are not anymore can’t be that difficult.
            I have no trouble making it known I am atheist to the core and quite anti-theist as well.

            What do you mean I have ”made them my beliefs?”
            I don’t understand what you are trying to say here. Could you elaborate please, Paul.

      • Paul, I was explaining why science and religion are incompatible: because the methodology is opposite. This is an inherent incompatibility and not a ‘belief’ I am preaching. You need to understand this in order to understand why the methods often produce contrary claims and comprehend why adducing beliefs is in opposition to imposing beliefs. The first is worthy of confidence and trust because REALITY arbitrates its truth value, whereas imposing beliefs has no such arbitration independent of the person who does the imposing. So when beliefs are in conflict, which deserves our confidence and trust? Well, the latest statistic I have is about 3 in 4 religious people will grant their imposed beliefs a higher level of trust and confidence even when reality tells them these beliefs do not comport. This is a very real problem when the issue has to be resolved by action; is the action guided by knowledge adduced from reality or is the action – or lack of it –
        decided by belief contrary to what reality indicates is probably true?

        Now, if you don’t care to understand why confusing religious belief with scientific insight is such a global problem threatening our species survival, then you are very much part of the problem… no matter how much or little you wax poetically about love. Your lack of understanding matters. And that’s why I’m trying to bring you up to speed… not for you but for your grandchildren. They really shouldn’t have to be ashamed of you.

        • I have great respect for you tildeb. Please don’t invite me reassess that. And here’s why.

          I think you speak a lot of commonsense. I think you have made connections in your living and learning that make sense. I think you ask a lot of great questions. And yet –

          You write with one very clear premise: scientific insight (the methodology, the testing, the objectivity, the knowledge, the truth and the humanity) are what you preach. And the evil that is religious belief (no grounding in fact, not evidence worthy of the name, nothing good about it all) you preach as just that: beliefs based on fresh air. And from that you have extrapolated an entire High Court scenario: prosecutor, defender, expert witnesses, character witnesses – jury – judge – executioner. And the whole thing has one one fatal flaw: assumptions.

          The root of science is assumptions (beliefs, propositions, faith, fresh air). And your assumptions about me (I am not a latest statistic). And the reason for highlighting “that” is this – you have a premise which requires the necessary structures to support and endorse your premise to be the conclusion.

          And that (to repeat myself) is very similar to that you accuse “religion and faith”.
          Science in the guise of technological advance is at the heart of many of the ills you lay at religion’s door. Science in the guise of “truth” keeps getting it wrong – with consequences for real people. And “science” is as wide a topic as “God”. there are divisions and subdivisions as there are denominations and sub-denominations.

          There is good everywhere – because there are a lot of good people. And there is bad everywhere for the same (opposite) reason. And there are many who are both. Who seek the path of least resistance. Who can be good and who can be bad. Because life is not static. Living is not the same. And what is important changes. Just as science keeps getting it wrong and right. Just as there are many within “science” who have space for spiritual matters – just as there are many within “religion” who have space for science. Diversity is not just a species thing – it is also a personal thing. And what binds us all together (in my experience) is love of “something”

          Unless your belief structure is that fragile it must be protected before anything else.

          You and I are not so different I think.

          • Except that religion and all forms of god-belief are built upon false premises.
            And the evidence demonstrates this time after time.
            But you will never accept this because if you were even to acknowledge the possibility and were honest and truthful you could only hold onto your faith if you lied.
            Religion is not humanity’s saving grace. Never has been and never will be.
            It is destructive and divisive.
            There is no good in religion. Good people, sure. But no good religion.
            Stop indoctrinating kids for one generation and you will see how quickly it will fade away.
            Good riddance to bad rubbish,

          • Paul, you state, “The root of science is assumptions.”

            No it’s not. The root of science is allowing reality to arbitrate our beliefs about. This is in opposition to faith-based beliefs, whether those beliefs are religious or not. Religion is simply the Mother Ship for faith-based beliefs and presents faith as if a virtue when, in any other area of human endeavor, faith is a vice. That;s a clue…

            • And on this – the “root of science” – is where ideas (that are tested) begin. I have nothing to give you that will convince you, for that is not my purpose in writing about love. So let me leave you with a question.

              If, as you assert, you are right about “religion and God” should I not be trying to convert you? Should I not be dismissing you? Should I not be telling you that I can prove God to you? Should I not be trying to “damage” you? And yet I agree that I cannot prove God to you, only myself. I agree that I should not, and am not, trying to “convert you”. I seek only to connect in a way that is safe and without fear. Just as I would and do with any. And yet you have shown no interest in my personal views on the “scientific issues” you present as reason for me to “drop this God stuff”. You refuse to delve deeper. You insist on conversing in language that proves your premise. You only want me to stop (I think) – for reasons that continue not to prove very much to me – and yet insist is sufficient proof for any sensible person.

              Tildeb, that is a faith discussion on both sides. And I have no problem with that – I have no problem with any of this. Yet you do.

              Why is that?

            • Paul, like so many people, you state as if true that science and religion are compatible. They are not. I explained why. You claimed science and religion operated by faith. They do not. I explained why. I think anyone who says these kinds of false things needs to be challenged and that responsibility for stopping to spread these falsehoods falls squarely on those who spread them. Why you have a problem with this has nothing to do with me.

  2. I was thinking all night about this. Why we/I haven’t be able to allow? I believe is because we want and need validation, acceptance, and others to agree with the core of who and how we choose to “decorate” ourselves. For someone to disagree with us strikes at our very core. If I think I’m smart, yet if you judge me as incompetent, surly my ego is triggered. Firey dart, direct hit. But if I allow, “your welcome to your opinion”. You have changed nothing within in me. The accuser is disarmed, what is left just the echos of empty words.
    Prove to me, “The tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” We do not to live by how we feel, but by His Word.”
    So if I deem myself intelligent, yet you have asseted me as lacking. You have appoined yourself as my judge, should I now bow to you to prove myself, my worth??? And in subjecting myself to you by my defense, have I not also appointed you as my judge? Yet, I have but one judge, one Lord, one Father, one husband. Jesus didn’t and doesn’t subject Himself to the judgement of others, because He knows who He is no need for validation, acceptance, or needing others to agree with Him. He allows us to have our opinions and the freedom to choose. But this our accusers cannot allow, because it threatens their self appointed position as superior Judge. For me to be valid, I must prove you invalid. Yet. The Truth is always valid, where we fail to see it or prove it. Freedom is found in knowing truth/Him. ” I Am that I Am.” And in Him, at my core, the truth is I am too made valid. : ) ….Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross , and follow me. 25. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

    • Just thinking out loud. Like a hungry lion at the smell of blood, (life is in the blood) firey dart, wound, ego needs to prove itself, unknowing we submit to a false God by placing them in the position as our judge. .Now instead of standing on Truth and holding up our shields of faith. . We find ourselves jumping through hoops, an have given our power away. We have fed the enemies ego. And this is what the enemy has been after all a long, not the Truth. It’s never been about the Truth, but about power and feeding ones ego at the expence of others. What’s love got to do with it?

      • They always aim at the ones full of Life, Love, and Power/ Him. They seek to use our love and compassion against us. If the truth and caring was truly really their goal, then it their words amd actions would look quite different.

        • I’ll probably regret responding to you, but your assertion here is very misguided and wide of the mark. One reason I clarify when people like Paul try to argue that religion and science are compatible and then try to paint this as an opinion based on love is, in fact, deeply dishonest, poorly thought out, and amounts to selling a lie. And it’s a lie with legs, so to speak.

          I work with families who have family members – loved ones – going through palliative care, families of people who are terminal, who are going to die soon. And t’s beyond question that those who have the most complex grief, the most debilitating time getting over, getting past, adjusting to, an inevitable death are the most religious. This cuts across many religions but it is a common feature especially with Christians. What is it about this religious belief that does not mitigate but adds complexity to grieving? And let me assure, this grieving is very real and the religious component brings with it a layer of additional suffering.

          This fact flies in the face of the kinds of assertions Christians make all the time as if true, that their religious belief promotes healthy living, healthy love, healthy adjustment to facing life’s complexities and problems and suffering. Paul likes to imply his way of living is a way of loving that is associated with his religious beliefs, with his version of soft-hands Jesus. I am here to tell you that this is an assertion by him that does not contain the whole story about the very real costs of believing a healthy love is in some way associated with religious belief.

          If my experiences working with hundreds of families and thousands of family members have some merit, then listen to me when I say that the two ideas when connected – love and religious belief – produce far more suffering than is either necessary or healthy. And that should raise a red flag to assuming anyone who criticizes Paul’s assertions is doing so because “to use our love and compassion against us.”

          No. You are factually wrong and entirely misguided. Unsurprisingly, you are trying to impose your belief on others and then assuming that they are descriptive of reality. This method will fail you every time if you actually care about what is true, if you care about respecting reality, if you care to treat others with the same respect you think you deserve. This method of imposing your belief on reality rather than checking it against reality first is a guaranteed way to fool yourself. Your accusations against me, in particular, are false. It is a form of bearing false witness and you should know better than to do that.

          • “If my experiences working with hundreds of families and thousands of family members have some merit, then listen to me when I say that the two ideas when connected – love and religious belief – produce far more suffering than is either necessary or healthy. And that should raise a red flag to assuming anyone who criticizes Paul’s assertions is doing so because “to use our love and compassion against us.””

            The open forum of these comment boxes and the confidentiality of the families you work with impedes any meaningful conversation. Your certainty cannot be challenged for I am not privy to your experiences. But your conclusion of absolute certainty can.

            tildeb, I have met those who have no faith who are more screwed up than those who do, and I have seen those with a faith who are more screwed up than those without. For you there must be certainty – and more and more I find that intrigues me. You do not have exclusive rights (rites?) of the knowing of death and dying.

            “It is a form of bearing false witness and you should know better than to do that. ”

            Touche!

          • You own words bear witness to your truth, just as does Pauls. . “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ” If your puroses is love, why so much belittling, criticizing and shaming? If you are seeking truth, why do you claim to already know it? And if you don’t want anyone impossing their beliefs on you, how can you demand conformity to your own.
            Paul words are a witness to the one who resides in his heart. When Paul opens his heart to his readers, I see love, compassion, edification, and inclusion, but your own words towards him you that bear witness to the condition of your heart” Can anyone claim to be all knowing, but fail to see?
            As a side note.. My comments were not so much directed towards you, but to the enemy of our faith who always targets truth, love, and compassion.

            • ” If your puroses is love, why so much belittling, criticizing and shaming?’

              That’s not my purpose. My purpose is to hold everyone to the same standard of honesty and integrity that I expect in return. And beliefs about reality are only as honest as they are reflective of it. That means respecting what reality has to say about our beliefs. Once you lose this respect for reality, you cannot have intellectual integrity. Because that threatens our species survival, someone has to push bring it to the forefront and point out that each and every person who accommodates this danger – respecting faith more than respecting reality is very much a central part of the problem. You need to hear this now. And it is not going to be enunciated by anyone who respects the basis of religious belief: faith. It is the worst kind of vice even if it is shrouded in love.

              “If you are seeking truth, why do you claim to already know it?”

              I don’t. But I do know – as do you – that faith-based beliefs produce no knowledge. Ever. Never has. It is a failed methodology. Upholding faith over reality just interferes with respecting reality. And this carries a cost. That’s why you don’t fix your car engine by sacrificing a chicken or make a burnt offering. You seek a mechanic. What religion does is protect and promote ignorance and superstition while stealing any and all human virtues and then claiming them for its own. It’s time to grow up and leave Dad’s basement, leave these Just So stories on the bookshelf as stories. It’s time to become responsible adults and accept responsibility for holding faith-based beliefs and the maturity and integrity to discard them for good reasons. It’s time to put away these childish things and start dealing with reality as it is, finding and supporting real human solutions to real human problems and using one’s energy and allegiances to forge a better future for the seventh generation that will follow. You have that responsibility even if you abdicate them in the name of piety. Respecting reality is the metric by which all of us need to start thinking and stop believing that our wishful superstitious thinking is worthy of any respect at all. It’s not. None. And that’s not my belief. That’s what the evidence demonstrates.

            • “It’s time to become responsible adults and accept responsibility for holding faith-based beliefs and the maturity and integrity to discard them for good reasons.”

              Touche (again)

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