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Location: Southeastern, United States

Sunday, June 05, 2005

and peace like an ever-flowing stream?

I've been struggling with some stuff lately. Mainly, I've been struggling with the fact that there are other people out there and that those people seem to persist in having opinions that do not match mine. I put my fingers over my ears and yell LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU, but then I sign onto the internet anyway.
Latest: the philisophical wankery here. (Can he tell I gave into his demands? Hopefully not.)

Now, I am an atheist in about the way that my dad is a Christian; we both believe in the basic tenants of our given philosophies more or less (we're both wishy-washy on the existance of the divine; we're also both leery about empiricism as the be-all and end-all of understanding). But we both refuse to label ourselves as such because all the atheists/Christians we seem to run into are primarily 1) bigoted 2) intolerant of others 3) fanatical.

I realize I'm tarring with a very wide brush here. I will admit I know a lot more decent Christians than I know decent atheists; that's probably because most of the decent Christians I know are devoutly religious and most of the decent atheists I know are so secular it never comes up. For me, right now, the existance or non-existance of God, and the formulation of beliefs, is not the important bits. I have religious rituals that bring me comfort; perhaps they exist only to give me comfort. I might concede that they have a wider purpose, without empirical proof, because I don't worship the scientific process either. I believe in humans, in the middle of their world, making sense of their world their own way. I believe in the multitude of patterns of sense and thought and practice that people live, in the middle of, as cultures and religions. I believe that the ultimate test of a system of thought is not how well another system of thought can make sense of it (if chemistry can make sense of Songhay sorcery, or Christianity make sense of paleontology) but how well it leads people to live. The standards of subjective; I am subjective, you are subjective. Long live the relative.

All this, of course, will be invalid in a week when I become an Epsicopalian or something equally strange. A foolish consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds, after all, said the Unitarian sage.

love,
alex

I realize the lip-smacking moral smugness of this essay, btw. Letting it go, letting it go.

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