Re: MD quality religion

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Mon Mar 22 2004 - 07:16:59 GMT

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD Definition of 'liberal'"

    Hi Steve,

    > My preference for thinking about faith is to replace the belief aspect
    > with a decision to live a certain way. So my ideal Christian Church
    > would interpret faith as trust, loyalty, and conviction but not factual
    > belief.

    I would say that living in a certain way is the important thing, not particular beliefs. I would
    evaluate beliefs in a pragmatic fashion (by and large) ie, if you believed in the cosmic monkey, but
    doing so allowed Quality to shine through all that you do - all well and good. I happen to think
    some beliefs are more likely to allow Quality to shine, that's all.

    > That's exactly what I want to get into. What statements if any must
    > someone hold as factually true to be a Christian?

    When I was about 15 I asked a monk who had visited my school whether you had to believe in the
    resurrection in order to be a Christian. He said yes, and I was very disappointed, but I've come to
    understand why. I think that belief in the resurrection isn't first and foremost a factual belief,
    it represents the commitment to a certain way of understanding life. I suspect that concentrating on
    'facts' is misleading as well - there are no "facts" that are essential to faith as such, as that
    makes faith into [scientific] belief, which is to minimise faith vis-a-vis the sceptical method of

    I would say that faith is more a commitment to a way of seeing things, a framework of values -
    within which all the decisions and facts make sense. So we all have a faith, it's just that some
    people are more articulate about it than others.

    ' strikes me that a religious belief could only be something like a passionate commitment to a
    system of reference. Hence, although it's belief, it's really a way of living, or a way of assessing
    life. It's passionately seizing hold of this interpretation.' (Wittgenstein)


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