Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Developing a Respect for Alterrnate Viewpoints

I recently participated in a religious dialogue with a friend.  He maintained an unusual high degree of objectivity. He asked to share the dialogue.  So, I am violating my following principles:
You’re welcome to share my views, recognizing that I chose to take the attitude of a Tibetan monk.  If people “climb the mountain” and come asking I’ll answer, but I will not become a missionary.  Missionaries frequently do more harm than good.
His religious attitude is remarkably rare and open-minded. Most people become extremely defensive and assume the posture of the TWO of the Three Wise Monkeys.

He said his goal was,
While at church last night the realization came to me that you and I have created a remarkable dialogue worthy of preservation and perhaps sharing with others, at least from my standpoint.  Hence I'd like . . . to make a printed copy or two.  My 19 yr old granddaughter has declared herself to be an agnostic, and the thought occurs that if she is going to maintain that viewpoint into full adulthood then I would like to give her an example of the right way to sustain and hopefully spiritually grow with her agnosticism, namely by following your Skepticism definition below and looking at your MTS Blog, and by reading our dialogue.   
Hopefully I can nudge her away from any temptation to adopt a superficial sneery attitude about a 'Sky Fairy' and thereby unwittingly fall into the deadend religion of Atheism which, as I think you indicated elsewhere, requires as much faith in its dogma as any theistic religion. 
He is willing to share, 
If you want to make our dialogue available to the MTS community or anybody else that may be interested, that's fine with me.  I only ask that whatever I've written remain intact as written to maintain my thought continuity and context, and otherwise be treated with appropriate courtesy.  And I don't mind responsible criticism and comments from the MTS Blog community; just 'be nice' about it; our dialogue has motivated me to clarify and verbalize my thoughts, and it has certainly helped me to understand and develop new respect for the origins and development of alternative viewpoints.

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