The Wheel of Masks (yulicorn) wrote,
The Wheel of Masks

Militant Agnosticism: "I Don't Know and Neither Do You!"

I made a couple edits to that last post about Christianity. I realized, after a little further reflection and criticism, that I needed to clarify to what extent I'm willing to tolerate Christianity: Pretty far, actually.

I realized I am not so much up in arms against Christianity as I am against absolutism. I am staunchly morally opposed to philosophies that insist their adherents believe everything about them with any sort of certainty or finality. I don't think anybody's experience, spiritual or otherwise, gives them that right. I believe Christianity is factually wrong, but that is not the source of my antagonism -- there are plenty of worldviews I disagree with that I don't feel moved to oppose. I oppose Christianity only when and where it is practiced as an absolutist, normative religion that even presumes to regulate the behavior of people who don't subscribe to it; unfortunately, this is most of the time.

Given the choice, I'd much rather co-exist with Christianity. I just don't think this is a possibility now. I don't think making the traditional Christian worldview obsolete is an absolute necessity; I just think the situation has conspired to make it potentially beneficial. What I really want is for Christianity to have no impact or authority over my life, ever again. What I want is to not have to deal with people who think they have all the answers, when they don't.

I still think that mainstream Christianity a) is utterly factually incorrect about the nature of God and humanity and b) advances social ideals which are not good for humanity's long-term health. But I'm willing to tolerate that error, if others will tolerate my own. (Believe me, I'm quite aware of the weaknesses of postmodernism, materialist skepticism, and anarchosocialism.) But that's exactly what I'm complaining about! My active opposition to Christianity exists only to the extent that many Christians will not tolerate what they see as my "error," not even provisionally, for the sake of legal compromise. One people insist their values be treated as the default, and show no willingness to accept that my own values may be based on something more than ignorance and self-indulgence... war is inevitable.

I think there is a real difference between people who can find doubt in their own belief systems and those who can't. I think I am in the first category. I think many, but certainly not all, Christians are in the second category, and that this is a specific result of the all-or-nothing nature of Christian beliefs. I think that does make me better equipped to live in a modern, democratic society than these people who are memetically insulated against doubt. But I'm not sure about that. :>

Other people may think my beliefs are in error. And I'm fine with that, as long as they recognize that other people can (and inevitably will) believe they are in error, and no consensus will ever be reached. And therefore, in the interests of civility and peace, nobody may assume their position on a controversial position is self-evident. This is why, for all the "PC Whiners Are Destroying Rational Thought" crowd has tried to taint the term, "tolerance" is a respectable ideal. Because these questions can not be resolved. And I resent people who act as if their own best guesses are good enough to assert as eternal and unshakeable ideals. That is the closest I have to an absolute belief: if you think your system of belief is absolute, you are crazy.

I am declaring war against Christianity... but only to the extent that it is a religion that assures its followers that they are Absolutely Correct. I think that I have the right to err, and to think that other people err. I think people who say "it's like this and onyone who says otherwise is crazy or lying" are just spitting in the melting pot. They have put themselves in a position where it is not possible to co-exist with them, and I refuse to try. I can't imagine why I should be asked to.

And for right now, anybody who's been privy to the details of my daily life with Postrodent, and still insists gay relationships are destructive and immoral, is getting the boot. That isn't even a philosophical position -- I just choose to avoid the company of any such person. Why should I associate with anyone who thinks so little of me?

Oof, and I should retract one other nasty thing I shouldn't have said: I shouldn't have let it sound like I thought everybody Christian was just expressing a neurosis. I've read a fair amount of Christian theology and I definitely don't think being Christian is in any way incompatible with being a thinking, independent person. I do think Christian belief is generally an expression of psychological needs and personal upbringing -- but I think this is true of most belief systems. I didn't end up a hippie by accident. ;)
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