Friday, July 10, 2015

All Beliefs Are Not Equal

Please before you rant back, read to the end. There are several stalking horses and straw men set up in this post. This next paragraph comes from, the writer sets up belief as a bad thing. Maybe not bad, but certainly confining, limiting and anti-intellectual. The point is seductive.

"Believing something is not an accomplishment. I grew up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they’re really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because “strength of belief” is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you’ve made it a part of your ego. Listen to any “die-hard” conservative or liberal talk about their deepest beliefs and you are listening to somebody who will never hear what you say on any matter that matters to them — unless you believe the same. It is gratifying to speak forcefully, it is gratifying to be agreed with, and this high is what the die-hards are chasing. Wherever there is a belief, there is a closed door. Take on the beliefs that stand up to your most honest, humble scrutiny, and never be afraid to lose them."

Provocative thoughts, particularly the example of speaking with a die-hard. Someone who by implied definition would die for their beliefs. Lost in the argument are those "beliefs" that are long and well thought out. Those that reflect our true nature, our ethics and morals. True, some beliefs are actually disguised prejudice. Most certainly you see the "other guys" beliefs are just that.

I mean how can you be against two loving people being married? You must be a bigot.

How can you condone the killing of unborn children? You must be a murderer.

Where and when were beliefs and judgment so cruelly intertwined?

A very provocative point being made here by the Thought Catalog writer, one that will be instantly rejected by anyone immersed in their own belief system. The problem is some beliefs defy the obvious strictures of right and wrong, the most obvious being the taking of a life. You are not justified in killing the infidel because of his beliefs. Equally droning anyone to death because of what they believe is wrong. Actions have consequences, beliefs should not. Particularly not in the country that alleges to believe in free speech and the freedom of religion.

Black churches should not be burned to the ground. Synagogues and mosques -- ditto. On the other hand, five Catholic men on the U.S. Supreme Court should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on the uterus of every woman in this country or the rights of queer Americans. Yes, I know, I'm supposed to write LGBT Americans, but fuck PC strictures, did I happen to mention this is a free country. Next, you're going to tell me that disrespected is a real word.

Beliefs should be questioned, reconsidered; brought out into the bright light of day and the dark, contemplative shadow of night. We each should stand responsible for our own beliefs. I like to take mine out for a stroll every now and then, personally I find them best illuminated by the light of a new moon.

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