Critical Conscience: and

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There are almost always more than 2 sides to a story.

I am trying to work through various frustrating and depressing situations I have encountered in my life. My big goal is for people to avoid suffering. I have for many years been told that I write well. I do not know if I communicate what I want to as well as I can partially because my combination of views is very unusual (there is relatively little previous work to draw from). Yes, I really believe the views I express, but I do not write to persuade.

I write so that others might avoid suffering. I write to give an account that some people disagreed with what was accepted as ok in our society. I mainly write to others who have experienced similar things in life or have similar opinions on things so as to give them a voice.

You have heard of conservatives and liberals but have you heard of an apocalyptic worldview? I realize that most people will find offense with at least one of my major points. On the other hand, I believe that I offend most people equally. There will always be people smarter, stronger, and better at everything than any of us. Despite our limitations, we need to do what we know is right.

I am very critical of a lot of things people assume are true. For one thing, I do not think that someone is better or understands things better just because they are smarter or more rational (or have more education). The thing that really concerns me is when people in authority think they speak for God. This is basically the crux of the issue.

As an existentialist, I think that no one can be objective as that is equivalent to saying you are God. I do believe in the Bible and absolutes contained within, but the moment it leaves the pages it is an interpretation, not a binding contract. God's ideas are binding, but peoples are not.

I believe that there are obvious things in life that I cannot deny that are not in Scripture. I also believe there are some things that are basic and are very clear in the Bible, while others are not. I believe that we should focus on these and not focus on things we are unlikely to figure out.

I am trying to resolve one of the issues I see brought up a lot that seems to separate believers from unbelievers. This is the issue of the absolute vs. relative understanding of the Bible. Christians and non-believers agree that many things in the Bible are unclear. Christians think that some of these ideas are clear, but disagree on which ones are. I am clear on what is clear and not, as well, although many would not agree.

I believe God is rational and reasonable and so how can we disagree on things that are necessary for salvation? Some of the biggest issues that divided the church over the bulk of history were not about theology, but about how people determine what is true. We agree on the Bible, but disagree on reality in general and everything not in Scripture.

Some people believe that the government's laws are a good force in the world, where others do not. Some people believe when people in authority say things, while others do not. Some people have challenged what they have been taught in school. Some people think what they were taught in school is true. Some people think that reason explains the world while some people think the world is fundamentally spiritual.

These are ideas in a discipline called philosophy (theory of knowledge, to be specific). I have definite ideas about what I think and you probably do too. I am not challenging that. What I am challenging is what we assume not based on our conscience or experiences but based on the society we live in.

Do you like the way the world is and do you want to accept this view of reality? If not, I think philosophy is worth studying. Philosophy is not anti-religion. Philosophy is another topic that crosses over in many ways like how Science and Math work together.

So instead of us asking is something rational, try asking is it morally right? Instead of asking whether a certain idea is compatible with the Bible, consult your conscience. Sometimes we make things more complicated then they need to be. This is just something to think about. There are no right or wrong answers in philosophy, unlike there are in religion. by Ben Huot

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