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Quest II Essay #1

Quest II Essay #1 - Mooney 1 Laura Mooney Religious Quest...

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Mooney, 1 Laura Mooney Religious Quest II: McDargh TTh(1:30) 11february2008 Essay #1 . A Question of Approach: Buddhist-Christian Interfaith Dialogue Comparison of the approach of Christian writer Thomas Merton with that of Pope John Paul II to the Christian-Buddhist interfaith exchange is revealing of a fundamental contrast between the sociological starting point of the two thinkers, and perhaps--in a more general sense--the two religions. If this does reveal itself as the fundamental difference, the apparent discrepancies become merely a question of approach to human discernment of divine knowledge. If the essential purpose of organized religion is a union of human beings into a beneficial community through their mutual desire to develop as deeply as possible a personal relationship with the divine, then religion must be seen as a sociological enterprise. If the quest for an organized religion is to be approached honestly and in earnest, then the best method to this end must be undertaken. In Barnes, Bloor, and Henry’s Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis , an inspired search for the most utilitarian process of collective discernment of knowledge by human beings, the importance of the perceptual experience of the individual--the perceiver--is cited as the grounds from which all knowledge must be derived. It is self-evident that any attempt to undermine this concept effectively invalidates all attempts at sociological enterprise, and thus, condemns society in all of its modes to the realm of absurdity. In the first chapter, which deals with the nature of perception, the conclusion presented is that discrepancies in experience presented by different individuals who have undergone the same event must ultimately be attributable not to any difference in the information presented to the senses by external reality, but to the perceptual filters which inevitably permeate each individual’s “observation report”. One of the bits of explanatory evidence provided by these authors is the
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Mooney, 2 citation of experimental trials which repeatedly provide examples of the tendency of man to distort his observation reports in favor of what he expects to see, rather than what is objectively presented to his senses. Though some philosophers of science argue that these psychological experiments do not conclusively prove that the actual experiences of an event differ between individuals, it becomes difficult to for these arguments to avoid the Kundgabe error; this term
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Quest II Essay #1 - Mooney 1 Laura Mooney Religious Quest...

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