Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Frustrations With The World

Well, ask my roommate Del and he can tell you of my frustrations with the world.

Religious people are defined by the rest of the world (yes, I am creating a dichotomy and, *gasp*, division!) as "fanatics, fundamentalists, and people who are not reasonable".

I would like to address all three of these topics briefly as I believe they are incredibely false as I most definitely do not fall in any of those three categories nor does most of the Catholics I know.


Fanatics are seen as people who have an ideology to push. Now it is interesting what the term ideology is perceived to be. Ideas and ideologies are not the same thing. Ideologies are seen to be supreme truth that only a select know and the only way to make the rest of the world know the same truth is by supreme force on the will of others to submit to the truth of the ideology.

An idea also promotes a truth. However, it sees itself in accordance to reason and thus wishes to be thrown in the arena of ideas, in which proper dialogue according to the standards of reason occur, so that, if this idea is true, it will hold up against other ideas that would not be true and show that they are lacking certain propertie that make them claim to be in accordance to reason.

In other words, ideologies impose, ideas propose. There is no room for discourse or dialogue in ideologies, but that is the central idea in ideas.

Fanatics are people who are ideological.

I do not consider myself nor the Church in general in that camp. If people actually read what the Church has to say and what many Catholics do have to say (I can only talk from a Catholic perspective in these 3 cases), they would see that proposition is the essential nature of the Church's mission. We cannot impose our faith because that is contrary to the idea of faith.

Even when it comes to things such as abortion, we hold it to be true, but we put our idea into the realm of discourse to see if it is in accordance to reason. We believe that it has withstood the opposition of other ideas and that this is a truth that is universal and in accordance to reason. I will approach it later, but reason implies a necessity of universal truth.

Also, ideologies are not limited to religious groups (I am the first to admit there are some out there), but reading, for example, the abortion debate on Facebook has shown me that there are fanatics on the abortion side who refuse to apply their ideology to reason, but instead just yell and scream until others get fed up with them.

Parts 2 and 3 are to follow.


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