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religion comp - The tree comes to me it tells me what it is...

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The tree comes to me- it tells me what it is, and how I can legitimately use it. It is the objective fact, unchanged and unchangeable from the beginning of time, no matter what any society or group or individual says. To be free costs- first, it costs the time and effort to find out how many real options you have. Second, it costs a commitment to one of the options (and rejection of the other option). When you commit yourself to one side of the ‘fork in the road’ you lose your freedom to choose. Faith is a calculated risk- in all of our choices – including the choice for or against the existence and relevance of God – the more calculation, the less the risk.. but there is always a risk you might be wrong. Opinions are only as good as the evidence that backs them up- our opinions about Shakespeare are not as good as a teachers, or our opinions on homosexuality aren’t as good as a psychiatrist. They have spent years studying it… whether we like it or not. The evidence comes to us from the object in question. Theology – What you know about God. (strictly academics) Belief - What you accept about God (from what you know) Religion- What you do (about what you know about God. A connection b/w you and God) The Latin Root = religare [“to bind fast”] The need for assurance - we feel the need to trust the people that we know. Ex: playing the ‘trust game’. People have betrayed our trust before. Ex: Parents lying about Santa. Low-grade paranoia- we have our guard up. We rely on family and friends, but keep one eye cocked even on them. We cannot allow ourselves to be hurt. We learn to live with this paranoia. We miss out on most of what life has to offer. You have to trust something- without some trust – and some reasoned basis for trust, no one would do anything, or even get out of bed in the morning! We were made to reach out: to know and to love and to grow. Primary reality- objective facts – lies outside the mind Secondary reality- subjective opinions – inside the mind 50 million Frenchmen can be wrong- objective truth is not established by majority votes or polls. If you took a vote 500 years ago about the shape of the earth, the flat majority would have been wrong.
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Vested interest- often our opinions are skewed by our inner desire that such-and-such truth not be true – or that a falsehood is true, even when it’s not. Admitting objective truth would make us give up on something we like. Epistemology- the study of the validity of knowledge and opinions. Comes from the Greek word pistis – meaning “trust” Greek Knowledge- a statement was trustworthy because it was grounded in objective faces, arrived at by scrupulous logic, and found consistent with other already tested truths. Hebrew Knowledge- a statement was trustworthy because the speaker had proven himself trustworthy. The Hebrew word for knowing anything was in the grounds of sexual intercourse.
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