Saturday, January 13, 2007

Got to have faith, sort of

So in this session of my blog I have decided to ventue out into philosophy. Is this a good idea? Perhaps, time will tell. I dunno if I really should use this venue for philosophy, my sessions in this are never that well organized and I don't care to organize them that well because this is a blog. If I want to write an essay, use an essay forum, if you want to write a rant, blogs are fine. Yet this is not formal philosophy, and these ideas are perhaps not well enough formulated to deserve a full essay (also I get anxious about writing full essays, so it's a little additional work to get over that and I'm feeling lazy). Besides, I can always rework these ideas formally later. And finally, perhaps the most important reason, this venue is one I can easily use and which has a vague chance of getting some views.

Ok, now for the ideas themselves. This is something I've been thinking about for a while, lots of people say I don't just believe I know for their ideas. This is common for certain types of Christians as well as for more materialist people (I don't mean greedy, I mean those who do not consider spiritual matters important). Honestly, I don't think this is possible. We all start out with some beliefs. This might be the belief in our senses, a belief in reason, or a belief in our friends, family, or the local preacher. The physical world offers no particular reason you should believe any of those sources (of course to even consider the reasons you should believe in those sources you must believe in reason, but I'm describing stuff not giving advice, or at least not directly giving advice). We can say that our instincts or biology tell us to believe this or that, but there is no reason to believe in this or that. In a universe with nothing but reason, good and evil have no meaning, because there is no inherint reason to do one thing or the other or nothing in fact. Well, perhaps doing nothing has the advantage of simplicity. We can say that we should preserve life, that that is a natural motivation, and maybe nature does advise us that life is precious, but there is no reason to believe nature.

Ultimately, we have to go with our instincts though, because our instincts are our most basic guide to the world. Based on those instincts we will consciously and unconsciously start to believe certain things. We also might adopt certain types of processing new beliefs, what I mean by this is, among the beliefs we have we might also believe that when faced with a new idea we should listen to our feelings, or we might believe we should listen to our reasoning, or that we should listen to our conscious or unconscious. And then we use these beliefs to shape how we view the world and what ideas we accept or reject and what new beliefs we accept or reject. This is how we think.

Here's the problem. If this is so, it is very possible for two people to be completely justified in disagreeing with each other on fundamentally different and conflicting views. Contrary to the ideas of some, instincts are not simply our basic biological urges, they are also shaped by our experiences, they are in fact a part of our subconscious. We are all different, and thus our subconsciouses are different, and thus our instincts are different, and since our instincts determine our most basic beliefs, thus our basic beliefs are different and may be conflicting. How do you resolve such a dilemma? We like to think we have some common ground in our beliefs but there is no reason for that. Our common biological urges could be so overwelmed by our experiences that our instincts bear little resemblence to them. So what do we do?

We could say let by-gones be by-gones, but that neglects the fact that certain beliefs require actions, sometimes ones that force us to react. Sometimes conflicts arise. Is there any hope for resolution of these conflicts. Me, what do I think? Maybe, if there is a spiritual plane of existance (which I believe) and there is a God who is absolutely good (again which I believe) maybe he can guide us to a resolution. Perhaps. That is something I'd like to believe, and perhaps I do. Maybe. But sometimes what we believe is shrouded by the mists and shadows of the curtain between our conscious and unconscious minds, and the barriers between God and man can sometimse be great, so what do I believe? I'm not sure, but I like to think I believe in hope and love. So yes, yes I believe that we can resolve our problems if we can try hard enough and open ourselves up to righteousness. Well, that's what I believe.

Well, that's my philosophical session. A little bit of a mess if I do say so myself. But it does have a point, an idea, and it gets it across as only a blog can. With a good amount of feeling, with a little less than perfect clarity, with an almost stream of consciousness air, and with often poor grammer. That's really all I have to say for this session, so it take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. (I thought I'd use this ending again, but maybe I'll start using "Goodnight Folks!" though it looks ackward written out like that.)

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