My first post. Wow. I'm kind of exited! This may be extensive, as I've been up to a lot since I first opened this blog - but we'll see how it all goes.
I started an online class in July on the topic of Philosophy. The class itself is called "Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge & Reality" and I must admit - It's a pretty intense class (even for an online class). The discussion board is always full of threads from many different students stating many different theories and thesis's. Its wonderful being able to open your thoughts and ideas to so many different people with different beliefs and not be shot down for something you say! It's more along the lines of people adding to your idea (not dragging you down).
The class itself is almost over. It ends on the 16th of August. This is the last week for discussion and quizzes - so it was a pretty short class.
Some of the topics of discussion included the idea of knowledge, and the difference between it and belief. We debated on many different ideas of religion, and the concept of God. Then we were introduced a bit to the concept of morality (for humans and non-human primates).
We were asked to read a book a week, and my favorite of them all was Ethics of Belief by WK Clifford. I love how he goes into talking about the idea of belief and when it is alright to believe. One of his most famous quotes is, "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." Think about that for a moment, if you will.
Clifford goes into talking about how every belief and action we have/take has an effect on everyone around us. As a society - were are whole! The choices we make based on our beliefs affect everyone. This is why he talks so highly about only accepting and believing in those things you can prove. If you go out and starting telling the world you are the Christ reincarnated and people start to believe you (whether or not you really believe you are) you have now affected anyone they come in contact with - and anyone those people come into contact with.
Envision a domino effect, if you will. All it takes is for one domino to fall and the rest fall with it.
How can we believe so blindly when in the end all we believe - whether or not others believe it too is going to affect the rest of the world.
I know that I can never do Clifford's saying justice in my own poetic (or not so poetic) words, however, the concept is never the less the same.
One more quote that I love from Clifford is this, "'But,' says one, 'I am a busy man; I have no time for the long course of study which would be necessary to make me in any degree a competent judge of certain questions, or even able to understand the nature of the arguments.' Then he should have no time to believe." If you are unwilling to take the time to understand your own faith - or even to spend your life studying it then you should have no right believing at all. You cannot blindly accept something and chose to make judgments off of that belief - you do not know enough to make the right judgments and effect people properly. You could be spreading lies and deceit - even if that was not your intention.
I suppose this is why I chose the path of a pagan overall. I may not, at the moment retain the specific amounts of evidence required to believe, however, this faith is one of continuous learning - and I am dedicated enough to spend my life learning to obtain as much knowledge as the world will let me.
In the near future I am taking a class on the Psychology of Death and Dying due to the extensive amounts of knowledge I don't have on the subject (personal family reasons included as well). And I will also be attempting to learn the Gaelic Irish language as I have been interested for some time now. I hope to be able to share all my incites and learnings with you and I hope you enjoy what I have to offer.