I'm struggling with a lot these days and seeking to understand something beyond myself... Memsamechnun is pushing me (which I appreciate) to wrestle with my cynicism. Below is a comment that extends an earlier posting and comments...
To Read the Original Post and Comments
Sorry Memsamechnun, I'm dealing with some difficulties in my personal life as well, perhaps my reply came off worse than it was intended.
I am a person of deep faith that there is something more. I pray and seek answers. I try to commune as able with other life forces (human, animal, and other earthly manifestations)... I don't know if there is something more, but I won't rule it out.
My reply to Still Patience was a claim of radical doubt framed in a way that keeps me working on my own beliefs instead of securing my insecurities by forcing others to reinforce my apprehensions through their embrace of my doubt.
I don't seek converts. My doubt and fear and alienation is painful. I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. It is markedly so because I was raised to "believe" and I remember those earlier golden moments when I had no doubt about the meaning of the world, my life, and what would happen to me when I died--I was part of the chosen... and I knew where the others were going...
Harris does go overboard and I'm not sure if he really thinks it is possible or good that religious thought disappear. I watched the scientific movie (about quantum theory) "What the Bleep" the other night and it seemed to be very religious ... maybe science really is becoming religion? But what is Harris saying that makes sense? Is there something wrong with religion in its roots (at least the monotheistic types)? What has been the result of radical belief that views all other beliefs as wrong or worse evil? Can I really engage and respect you if I believe that because of your faith you are evil and will be condemned to eternal flames? How can that ever allow for true communion and dialogue?
As for Rushkoff, who I respect, and feel indebted to, his book on religion really seemed simplistic in that he mapped it out as if it was the latest media trend ... I don't know... have you E.L. Doctorow's "The City of God"? The characters in there evince a belief that I think is closer to my own form of faith which struggles with doubts raised by experience of the world... or if I was to have a faith maybe it is more tied into the larger earthly forces that govern our lives and the communion of beings on this planet (maybe along the lines of the doomed characters of James Welch "Fool's Crow"). I of course have just chosen two novels as examples and perhaps that says a lot about how I view other holy texts.
Memsamechnun, I respect your struggle to understand and your ability to question inspires me.
One last question, what scares me more radical doubt or radical belief? What has caused more pain in the world? Which leads to productive questions?