Tuesday, March 18, 2008

sometimes i think what i think i think, i think...i think...errr...

I read this philosophy book called "Do you think what you think you think?" It was written by a couple of atheists. I kind of liked some of the book, it was interesting. I got bored and just read through it without doing all the little "tests" that determine if I have tension in my ways of thinking, or if I contradict myself, or if I'm dumb. Here's what I learned before I got kinda bored.

I'm either an incredibly subtle thinker or a mass of contradictions!
I am so logical that people tend to stare at my ears and call me Dr. Spock. (I aced that test)
I'm no fool, but I really need to pay more attention! I should try omega-3 oils.
My blueprint for God is a logical mess. Maybe I should consider becoming a mystic.
My ideas about God and religion are not clear and consistent enough for their liking, but I seem redeemable.

I wasn't offended by the way the writers think or present ideas, but at times I felt like the way the options in these exercises were worded kind of trapped people who believe in God. Not always, but sometimes. Also, I didn't always agree with either choice, but to get an "accurate" result all questions had to be answered and some of it was just weird and I kinda felt forced into thinking in a way that I never would in the real world. Which I guess isn't always bad, but I hope I'll never be in a country or religion where I have to decide (or care) if its ok for people to have intercourse with frozen poultry. And I assure you I'll never eat my pet cat. (Read the book if you're intrigued, or accept my apology if you're offended.)

I understand that the point of these exercises is to open up my thinking. And I realize that it would be pointless to think the unthinkable if I never allowed for the possibility that the unthinkable might sometimes be true.

The writers do make a good observation or analysis about Wittenstein who said that philosophy leaves the world as it is. While the meaning of this statement is not obvious, the writers say he could be suggesting that the main purpose of probing our ideas and values ever deeper is not to change them but to understand them. Interesting.

I like philosophy (even though I don't know much) and I like the way some atheists think. Sam Harris ("The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation" ) is a really smart man. But, I still have a healthy amount of faith, and I still believe in God. Maybe book reports on Sam Harris' books will come later. I'm reading alot these days, actually nights.


Hoov said...

I have found the most happiness from the idea that I don't have to know everything about the world and God and the human existence. I find happiness in ignorance...does that make me dumb?

it's me, andrea. said...

No hoov, that makes you smart. The cool thing I've learned from the Atheists who's books I've been reading is that contrary to popular belief, most Atheists and Philosophers totally admit that they don't have the answers. It's sad that the word 'atheist' has become such a negative and scary word to Christians. It would be awesome if it wasn't taboo to mix science with religion.

Justin said...

It is a negative word to Christians because Atheist means they don't believe in GOD or Jesus or the Atonement. The very foundation of what it is to be Christian.

I spent most of my life to this point without a defined religion, and I have experienced enough to confidently say that the truth remains ingrained in us no matter how much we decide to make it fuzzy with philosophy or free thought of our own or others.

The difference between Atheists and Christians on the subject is that we (in ignorance) cannot have all the answers and look to God with faith for the future; whereas Atheists do not.

"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated -- And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

And we all know it is easier said than done. Precisely why it is a learning experience.