Thursday, April 13, 2006

More linear philosophy

So I boiled down my agnosticism to this: I can make the leap of faith to accept that a higher power exists. If it ended there, that's fine. But I'm an agnostic simply because I believe there's no way to know more than that, to decide which religion is right, or if you believe they're all paths leading to the same place, which one of them makes for the more pleasant stroll or goes closer to the point. If you're an exlusivist monotheist, then you must believe either that the truth of your way is somehow self-evident and that people who reject it are knowingly brushing aside the One True God, or just be callous enough to not care whether other people make it to the good afterlife or not. If you're on the more open side, that all faiths are the yellow brick road, then you accept not being able to know for certain which one will be the most spiritually satisfying.

That's not to say that none of them are worth beleiving in just because we can't know for sure. For myself, I see them the same way I do sociological models: some work well in some places and fail in others, others work the other way around. So I can't get why sociologists stick to just one school of thought and acclaim it as the best, knowing full well it can't answer everything, instead of seeing all the models as part of a whole acting together.

Then again, people of the same sociological belief system don't schedule potlucks with each other, which I think is really too bad.

Thinking a lot in rhetorical argument lately. Maybe it's just that I've been sitting here writing law arguments all day. On the plus side, it's my birthday tomorrow, or as I'm fond of calling it, "Martini Time."

6 comments:

personalcashadvance said...

no higher power exists, it's just you and that's all there will ever be.

Elissa said...

Yikes. Certain solipsism.

Heard your thesis defense went well. =) Happy birthday in a few hours!

A.G. Moseman said...

I don't think it's really solipsism either. I'm willing to make the possibly irrational leap that a higher power exists, but if it does, I expect it to be more rational than the incarnation found in most monotheistic theology.

Chris Jones said...

I expect a higher power to make some sense, yes; but I also expect it to defy sense sometimes. Mythology is much older than rationalism, and conveys a much more encompassing vision of truth(s). The trouble is that we were all taught to view the Incarnation as a factor in a big cosmic equation, which strangely enough added up to our going to heaven and everybody we didn't like going to hell.

For the, the Incarnation is one of those myths that defies sense and in so doing strikes a deeper truth. But the sociologist in you couldn't be more right: beliefs stick because they work. People are rarely more unhappy than when they are stuck in belief systems that no longer address their basic needs (see: Oklahoma).

A find discussion you've got here. Yes. OK: I'm off to play Pontius Pilate in an awful Good Friday pageant.

Elissa said...

BTW: I was referring to personalcashadvance, who seems to be advocating for *you* to be a solipsist. He/she doesn't seem to believe in anyone else, though. So maybe you are the higher power....

doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo (twilight zone theme)

A.G. Moseman said...

I am powerful, and unattainable.