Thursday, January 13, 2011

Teach Free Thought

Last night I was on the internet again, searching for some sort of guide, a sort of "manual to faith."  But then it struck me--I had an epiphany, if you will--I think organized religion is [insert expletive here].  That's how I started all those many years ago to gather and organize my thoughts into a faith of my own.  Belief is all your own and faith is ultimately a personal experience.  The ultimate personal experience.  I don't think believing in common divines is a problem.  After all, humans are a social species and just because you incorporate the ideas of another is only the difference between a research paper on original lab work and a review of other's lab work (ie your own conclusions).

Gods, what am I trying to say?  I feel like I should invoke the muse.

I guess you could take an example, such as the Christian tradition of Sunday School.  The idea of Sunday School is just... *shudders*  Someone "teaching" you what to think.  Thought cannot be "taught."  But (as evidenced by the prevalence of Sunday Schools) it can be shaped.  Like damming a river to change the contours of the land.  Virtually irreversible, I might add.  "Taught" implies the introduction of something new and foreign; numbers can be taught, and grammar, and history, but you cannot be taught the truth because the truth is yours.

But what are we [as a species] without religion?  The short answer is: I don't know.  This simple question has kept me up at night.  Keeps.  I don't know.


Tim Rueb said...

Interesting post. I am curious about the types of Sunday School you attended. It doesn't sound similar to the ones I remember.

Anyways ... good luck on your Post a Week goal for the year.

argent wolfwing said...

actually, haha... no Sunday School. Just spent a few days at a church summer camp and drawing on descrips from friends. But I am curious about your experiences with Sunday School. Thanks for the comment!

Tim Rueb said...

Well in your post you state that you cannot be taught truth, because truth is your own. Well you can be taught precepts and principles, then you can choose to live by them or not.

My memory of Sunday School is the attempt by flawed humans trying to pass along in their own clumsy way the precepts given to them by the author of a book of writings which as Christians we hold sacred.

Here are some of the precepts you will find in the stories of the Bible:

Cain and Abel: Precept - it is more important what comes from your heart then from your hands. Cains first sin was jealousy and murder was the symptom.

King David and Bathsheba - Precept - regardless of our station in life, we are all flawed humans who make mistakes, but we can still be used for great things, or maybe in more modern terms "Failure is an event, not a title" King David committed adultery and tried to cover it up by having her husband murdered, when exposed he repented. From the lineage of King David our Christ was born.

Joseph - Precept - regardless of our situations in life, we control our integrity and God can still use us Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. For 18 years he endured slavery, wrongful imprisonment, false accusations, but his integrity never failed and he always performed his best, and in the end God used him to help save his people in a time of great famine.

There are just to many to go through, you'd need a lifetime of Sunday School to have them all told to you. 8)

Hope that helps.

argent wolfwing said...

ok, I see what you're saying. Yeah, I understand the concept of teaching precepts, and that makes sense to me. However, I'm saying that sometimes I think the precepts are flawed. Some of them sound a bit dogmatic to me, like they're assuming faith (of a particular variety) almost as a precept by itself. In the same breath, I'm still struggling with how I think we should treat education in matters of faith and religion. Since children are fairly malleable, is it ethical to introduce a strong faith (such as Christianity)? Letting them choose would lead to all children being of the same religion as their parents (I don't know a kid who doesn't want to live up to Mommy and/or Daddy). Is this even an issue? A person can decide in adulthood (or earlier) not to follow the path of their parents; many of my own [pagan] persuasion are good examples.

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