Why do people become Republicans? Democrats? Christians? Buddhists? Why do they adopt particular affiliations associated with things (propositions, statements, ideas) considered to be true or even Truth?
Based on subjective experience and observation, I would contend it is largely resonance. A proposition just feels right. Granted, a portion of the population of humans will investigate propositions and make thought out decisions with regard to those propositions. Most, however, are the consequence of resonance.
Even the process of investigation can be (and probably mostly is) guided by this resonance. This alternative feels better than that alternative. Some might be associative. "My family has always been Republican Democrat Christian Buddhist Insert Your Own Thing Here." Some the consequence of extended hours of diligent comparison.
At some point, however, a decision has to be made. I would contend that resonance is the ultimate deciding factor. A lot of the study associated with this resonant choice becomes apologetics. "I am right and here is why" kind of study and argument.
When you think about it, thinking about it takes a lot of time. How many people have selected their political party through diligent and dispassionate study of all of the available literature? History, opinion pieces, analysis and dissection. How long would a truly exhaustive study of political parties take? Could one actually arrive at an unbiased conclusion and subsequent decision using this method?
How about religion? The complete and exhaustive study of one religion is more than a lifetime worth of work, much less every major religion and then consideration of the multitude of sects and sub-devisions. It might be possible, but I cannot see it being done. I doubt that it has been done.
Amazingly (but not surprisingly) people can be so intense in their beliefs as to die for them. More troublesome, they have throughout history been willing to kill for them. That is some serious resonance.
Discord is a consequence of incompatible resonances. Harmony is the joining together of various resonances in a manner that is appealing. The melding of truths can be discordant or harmonious, as well. Some of us like to believe that there is a conductor for this symphony that is the life experience. Others don't find that idea resonating in their own frequency. They fail to see it as truth.
It does take a degree of faith to believe that the conductor can incorporate the seeming discord into a larger harmony. Evidence often does imply the contrary. Some would argue that it proves the alternative, though I would contend that they have not examined enough evidence. They can't. They are too finite and the problem too large.
But that's alright. I choose to believe that their discord is part of a greater harmony. I don't really have any evidence. The idea just resonates with me. Oh, there are evidences that I also find compatibly resonant, and I will share them with others when opportunity arises. I don't expect to argue anyone into harmony, however.
In my youth I pursued Truth, truth with a capital T. My understanding of what Truth might be was understandably nebulous. I was a youth, a young person of limited knowledge and experience.
Truth with a capital T is truth that is true. It is absolute and stands above time and space and is not touched nor tarnished by either. Kind of like God in the absolute and monotheistic sense of who and what God is. Are. Am, as in "I Am." Which puts Truth with a capital T in the same realm as a transcendent God. Essentially, it is His exclusive property.
That leaves us humans on Earth with limited truth. This is truth that is true, in that it accurately (though finitely) reflects Truth that is absolute. I am obviously waxing Platonic here, except for such points as might be more Aristotelean in nature or not easily placed in either basket.
Now, human truth has for a long time been a matter of authority. Essentially some group (quite often priests of some sort) claimed exclusive stewardship of Truth. They either gained political authority themselves or somehow became the sanctifying agency of political authority, and doled out Truth in one form or another under that authority.
Sometimes independent Truth hunters found a bit of something they called Truth, but the stewards of Truth often took issue with the independents and did bad things to them. Or at least threatened to do bad things to them. Galileo could address this a bit better. Some day I hope to sit down with Galileo and one or two of the Popes, assuming any of them make it into Heaven. I hope they do.
So, we have authority dispensing and defending truth, and over time the independents get out from under said authority and start building new temples and priesthoods. Not that the prior authority structures ever became truly monolithic. They just used their public relations people to make them seem so, and backed it up with a lot of sharp pointy things.
Time passes, and Truth gets broken up and repackaged, at least here on Earth. I assume God has kept His in pretty good order. I have seen only local copies of His Truth, and it has been somewhat tarnished and lost its capitalism. Oh, wrong word that looks right. Lost its capital state, as in capital T.
I still believe that God has Truth. I also don't believe anyone here on Earth has Truth. They just have truth, which is true truth only when it reflects the Truth that God has and we don't. This could be upsetting and distressing, and for me has been upsetting and distressing. However, I really do think God is the best steward of the Truth, and knowing that He has exclusive possession and authority over Truth makes me much less upset and distressed these days.
I suspect that it is my Agnostic past that influences my suspicion of anyone claiming not only to hold the Truth, but to somehow have an exhaustive and exclusive grasp of Truth. Scientist or Theologian, Democrat or Republican, Communist or Capitalist, at best I may grant you some grasp of a minute fragment of what is true. I don't know, and because I don't know I have to assume it is possible that you don't really know, either.
Now my subjective experiences have been sufficient for me to find a balance in what I think and believe and believe about what I think and what I think about what I believe. I have chosen to believe that I am redeemed in Christ, that I have an eternity in Heaven awaiting me following this short experience that is called life. Do I know that it is true? I am not sure. Do I believe that it is true? I choose to so believe.
Having read this far you may have concluded that I am wrong and probably mad. Depending on where you draw the lines, I am. My way of thinking has come to serve me well enough. It keeps me on this side of what I have experienced of madness, and it is a comfortable enough place to be. It is often fun, as well. That may not be particularly relevant but it is rather nice.
So, in my quest I have indeed discovered Truth. It is in the stewardship of a sovereign God, and He permits me a glance now and then. He does not promise me the whole thing, and has over time shown me that I should be thankful for that. I am.
If you wish to discuss any of this with me, I am quite available. Facebook is currently one of the better places to find me. You can also leave me contact information in the comments. Please, comment freely. If you prefer to wait, we can discuss this on the other side of death.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is sufficient to overcome and triumph over your shortcomings, which are traditionally called sins. You simply have to trust enough to stand before God and say, "I have no excuses. I depend fully on the blood of Christ." I certainly have no other (or better) argument.
I hope to see you in Heaven. The music will be great and the catering superb. I will be hanging out with Galileo and a couple of the Popes. Jesus will probably be telling us just how wrong we were.
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.