Friday, May 28, 2010

This Is Not a Relativistic Post

I have full confidence that what I believe is "true" for me. Therefore, for myself, I know it to be true. I have no confidence that what I believe is "true" for anyone else, since they have to discover what they feel to be true.

That's not a relativistic stance, as it sounds initially. I just look at it like Nephi did: I know what I have seen and felt and experienced. It's truth "as I understand it". I'm not a bit perturbed that my current "knowledge" differs from my earlier knowledge - or that it differs from what my future knowledge will be. I'm not concerned at all that others will read this and say that I don't "know" anything, but that I merely "believe". It feels like knowledge to me, so I accept it as knowledge for me. If I explain it to others and they translate it as "belief" for them, fine; if they feel what I feel and translate it as "knowledge", fine.

Some have the gift to know; others have the gift to believe those who know. For what it's worth, everything I have read on all the blogs I frequent convinces me that such a distinction pretty much covers everyone - those who follow what they feel they know and those who follow whoever is the most convincing to them. I'm fine with both, and I try not to force one on the other.

I just think that many people are too stuck on quibbling over definitions that they want to impose on others and not open enough to letting individuals self-identify as honestly as they can on a personal level - and that "natural man" tendency is alive both inside and outside the Mormon Church. It certainly is alive and thriving in the Bloggernacle.


adamf said...

I struggle with not following those who are the most convincing. I try to remain open to new perspectives and ideas (about anything, really, not just religion) but at the same time, I'm convinced that argumentation is more about the arguer than the facts, and I try not to allow myself to automatically change my opinions just because someone smashes me in a debate that I didn't want to be in in the first place.

All this came about last year when somehow, I ended up in debates with an ex-mormon, an atheist, a right-wing "the constitution is scripture" mormon, and a fundamentalist Christian---all around the same few weeks. They were ALL very skilled and I think I lost to all of them... one common theme was their insistence on "logic" and "reason" and how if I really followed those two, I would agree with them. Logic and reason are fine, but they are used by different people with wildly different results

Unknown said...

Oh my word, I identify with this so much I feel like I could have written it myself.