Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Perceived Arrogance

While reaching my current set of conclusions regarding spirituality and religion, I felt a certain self-loathing, and received very negative feedback from those closest to me. By questioning the basic tenets of Christianity I was demonstrating an unacceptable level of arrogance, elevating my views above those of countless thousands of believers in the existence and continued activity of a divine creator. I expect that readers of those views today may have a similar reaction; feel offended, and will be inclined as a result to avoid any further exposure to such heresy.

I’d like to make a plea for open-mindedness and acceptance of my explanation that the views expressed here simply represent the picture that my extensive reading and thinking about the subject have generated. I’m always open to learning new things, further questioning whether my perspective is right. But after about three years of intensive investigation and another ten of using “targets of opportunity” to further refine my understanding, there is enough convergence to feel fairly confident that I am on the right path, at least for me.

Using the approach to learning that has served me best in the past I have concluded that the concept of divinity is a human creation, which serves a variety of important functions in the survival and growth of our species. Because it is best perpetuated by stories about people (or human-like creatures), this creation has taken on the quality of an internalized myth that protects the young, and prepares us reasonably well for productive interaction with each other. As a recipient of its protection and social education, I have the utmost respect for it, and continue to apply many of its lessons to positive effect in my daily life. In many ways, I am still a very good Christian.

But I have learned enough to doubt the details of the myth and had the audacity to try to find my own way drawing from more than what I learned in Sunday school. What I represent here is the result of that probing, and I do so primarily to share something valuable with others in the hope that we may all benefit from continued exploration and debate.

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