Rational Religion

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tuppennyprofet - at - aol - dot - com
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We're Not Evangelistic, Here.


I'm not trying to convert anybody from their cherished beliefs.


I'm a big fan of  "Whatever gets you through the day...” or through your life.  If you're not having trouble reconciling what you are supposed to believe with what you are able to swallow, crawl out of this hole and don't look back. 


If you hang around you'll just get mad and waste a lot of time formulating counter-arguments and rebuttals and maybe figuring ways to blow me up.  I don't need that, and you don't need the aggravation. 


Go home. 


Don't play on this block.  


I'm serious about this.  Being comfortable with what you believe in is one of the first bastions of a happy and healthy life.  Be grateful for it.  


Don't start searching through these environs for a bunch of "aha!s" which will prove how dumb or depraved I am, and therefore dismissible. 


Just dismiss me from the get-go and get on with your life. 


Except for that disclaimer, I'm not talking to you! Kapesch?


Of course, if you happen to have a kid who is transparently less than enchanted with whatever orthodoxy is at the center of your (family?) life, you might decrease your irritation level also by steering her or him as gently as possible in another direction.


Never mind that the young person in question might find herein some useful ideas and data for constructing his or her own personal metaphysics, if she or he doesn't stumble upon it, solus, you are doubtless parentally justified in deflecting their attention. 


What you definitely should not do is go through this, annotating the errors, and try to use it as a bible- (whichever one)-study lesson.   Mistakes in logic, ethics and morality which are patently obvious to you may look like sweetest reason to your congenitally different offspring.  Best just not to bring it up.


You see...


I don't have much use for evangelists, of any flavor.   Their effect on me ranges from annoying to insulting, so I'm sure as hell not going to do that to anybody else. 


Some evangelists are so convinced they are right that they can't bear for anybody else they meet to be so wrong.  They really do have your best interests at heart, to the point that they are willing to invade your space and pester you. 


It's not that they really think their proselytizing will have much effect.  If they are older than five, and if they've been doing this for a while, their experience has taught them that the Devil has Hardened most people's Hearts.   But they've tried to save you from Eternal Fire, so their conscience is clear.


Some of them, I fear, are motivated more basely; as in, (strictly subconsciously of course), "If all those other people believe something else, maybe I'm wrong."


This heresy seldom rises for conscious inspection.  It hangs around there, below the surface, producing malaise and motivating the believer to even more frantic evangelism.


Nietzsche has his prophet say, "If you follow me, you do not follow me!"...


[*Nietzsche is a good philosopher for the average schmoe to read and digest.  He's not too deep to wade through and he's kind of funny.  Don't swallow him whole, of course.  He was way off the mark on a lot of stuff and he probably slept with his sister.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, per se, but his sister was a Nazi before there was a Hitler and she gleefully tried to make her deceased brother the prophet of the Third Reich, so both of them must have been a little bent.]


I'm with Nietzsche on this.  So much for evangelism in this crib. 



On the Other Hand:


We are all gratified to identify other people who have "seen the light" in the same or similar spectrum of colors available to us. 


Although I make it my business to teach whatever subject matter is in the curriculum to all comers, to the best of my ability and regardless of their philosophical background, I cannot deny being a little biased in favor of those who have reached major conclusions similar to mine.  It doesn't affect (I hope) my teaching or what the pupil learns, but it probably does have something to do with which of my students I am most likely to associate with down the line.