Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thoughts On A Thought...

I just read this quote from Alan Watts, and I wanted to know what people think of it.

"Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, openness--an act of trust in the unknown."

Fire away.


laura said...

I think it's intellectual suicide to be too relativistic, to be too open. If you don't have any convictions to stand upon, how can you talk about anything? How can you define anything? And I don't see how it logically follows that "faith is, above all, openness." I think faith, like love, is above all a choice. While I think truths can be found within other religions and worldviews, I am choosing to believe that Christianity and the life of Jesus provide the best way to life and so I am putting my life in the hands of Jesus to show me that way. If I didn't make that choice, how can any change happen? Faith and convictions go hand in hand, more so than faith and openness.

Nancy said...

I really like Laura's comment.

As for me, I'm saying what I've been saying for a while: I'll take Christianity until something better comes along.
Am I really willing to believe THAT - that something better (other than Christianity) might come along? Hmm. I used to be so willing. Now, I'm basically convinced in Christianity. (That's FAITH.) Hmm. I guess you could call me 'closed'.

Does that mean I'm unintellectual, even foolish?
Yeah, call me that... but also call me joyful.

laura said...

what do you think about it, Rob??

Being Beth said...

I'd like to see the context in which Watts said or wrote this. That would help me to make a better judgement.

I'm not even sure that human beings can make an irrevocable commitment to anything. I think often my faith rests not with the commitment I've made but rather with the irrevocable commitment God has made to me.

As for being open or closed minded to any new vision of the world, I don't think that's what I'm pursuing. I'm really looking for a clearer vision of God. The religions of the world, nature, people, scripture all provide me with insight and exposure to a variety of facets of who God is and as I am progressively open to seeing God as he has presented himself then I am better able to see myself more clearly. It's through this that my faith grows and I learn to trust God, humanity, and myself.

I must say, though, that I do think it may be close to intellectual suicide for a person to allow another person or even a church to define who God is and how God relates and interacts with people without question or thought. I've seen so many people get really down on themselves and their spirituality because they don't experience God like their pastor or church says they should. My understanding of God and my faith is just that -- mine. It doesn't translate very well into someone else's life and experience.

Being Beth said...

I agree with Laura -- when are you going to chime in with your comments, Rob??? Waiting...waiting...waiting...