A place to play with my world view. A space to pontificate, ruminate, and cogitate. A home for words that somehow escaped my mind.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Circle the Wagons!
I have been reading and writing blogs for a couple of years, now. I regularly visit a lot of different types of blogs, and have observed some trends. For example, crafty blogs with a lot of cool pictures and on-topic writing have a lot of traffic. More philosophical or political blogs have smaller followings, for the most part, but have very strong supporters. Religious blogs are similar. In essence, the more "serious" and focussed the blog, the smaller the base of followers.
The philosophical/religious blogs have an interesting tendency to be defensive. There is a lot of "preaching to the choir," and sometimes some expression of openness to challenges, yet when a particularly sensitive area comes under scrutiny it looks like a wagon train pulling the wagons into a circle because someone saw a feather on the horizon. The enemy is near, circle the wagons!
Some of the Christian and/or religionists of Texas and the Mid-West are still in active conflict with the Atheist/Agnostic scientists of that same area over how evolution is to be presented in schools. Of course there are other related points in conflict, but this one is easier to focus on. I can see both sides of the argument, and two groups of wagons forming circles to defend fundamental truths.
The religionists want to prevent evolution from being the sole mode of creation taught in schools. This is a defensive response to a perceived threat to the spiritual well-being of their children. A threat to children is a serious threat, and so the response is strong regarding this threat. Circle the wagons!
The scientist see a threat in what is essentially a myth (from the scientific perspective) being placed on par with a body of scientific knowledge that has been assembled through the proven reliable method of scientific research. This causes a defensive reaction and the wagons of science are drawn into a circle.
Too often the venue for the subsequent battle is the court of law and the halls of the law makers. This third body, the makers and enforcers of laws, is in the unenviable position of trying to find a viable middle ground. The issues in conflict are not subject to compromise, and so the battle comes down to trying to shape and influence policies and rules and laws in favor of one camp or another.
An ongoing struggle with little promise of resolution. The scientific thinkers reflect on a past when new ideas were squelched by religious hierarchies, and fear the religionists gaining too much strength. If you examine history it is a reasonable fear.
The religionists fear the corruption of their children, who will be discouraged from faith because that faith does not submit to the rules of scientific inquiry. The educational practices of declared atheistic political orders in recent history lend some strength to such a fear. Think KGB and USSR.
What are your issues, the ones close to your heart or touching on something you really value? What causes you to bring your wagon into the circle? Are they so dear, so fundamentally part of your view of the world, that they are not open to discussion? Are there ideas out there that cause you to feel threatened?
Watch closely. I think I saw a feather on the horizon.
I am currently 62 years old. At present I am a retired correctional officer with 20 years of service. (My real job these days is being a Grandpa.)
I am married to my long-suffering wife, Linda. I have three children; Matthew, Beth, and Jon. I currently have six grandchildren; Alexandra, Madelyn, Wyatt, Lucas, Abigail and Landon.