Perception and Humbility

This is yet another post I made in the deism forum on myspace.  It was mostly inspired by an extremely vocal and obnoxious christian guy that has been posting purely thoughtless messages in the forums about any number of topics.  Of course, as deists are lovers and seekers of knowledge, when those of us try to explain, honestly and clearly to him, he takes them as personal attacks instead of reason based knowledge.  He is a perfect illustration of why faith, in the manner of the christianity he preaches, is a rotten corpse, bloated and smelly, and in need of burying.

Everyone comes into their own belief system in their own time. I think that is a fair generalization to make which applies to everyone. Even those that have grown up and force-fed their religion all their lives form their own interpretations. This fact of humanity is the source of the problem with revealed religions. Paine didn’t speak against revelation. He concurred that revelation happens in everyone. For example, it was a major revelation when I realized that there was a philosophy out there, called Deism, which mirrored how I had built my own set of understandings about god, nature, and mankind. The key here is that it happened to me, for me. When I try to explain how I was thinking and how I felt when it happened to someone else, that person puts their own perspective on it. It changes as it sits inside someone elses mind because they are wrapping their own perspective around it, interpreting it in ways that it wasn’t meant to, and so on. When they try to translate my words into their own, and explain it to someone else, the story changes again and yet another perspective is wrapped around it. Thus is the case with revealed religions.

What does humble mean? As an adjective it means “not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive” but another definition of the same word is as a verb, meaning, “to destroy the power, independence, or prestige of”. Now if you would be so kind as to reflect on this quote from Jesus of Nazareth (which I pasted from the Jefferson Bible):

Chapter 3
1 Take heed that ye do not your good works before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy inner chamber, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee.
7 And when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

According to the quote, which definition of the word humble, is being the more preferable one in which to be? I would think that it is obvious that I, personably, would rather be humble than to be humbled.

I started off speaking of revelation and how it looses it’s meaning upon sharing with another, then I started talking about the definition of humble and quoted something from the literature of a revealed religion. I have done so to illustrate as clearly as I can, that even this particular revealed religion implies that a person should keep their beliefs to themselves, or that if you wish to share your beliefs, do so quietly but with the knowledge that what you are saying isn’t necissarily what is being heard or perceived by others as the same thing. The moment you forget to be humble about your perceptions, you become humbled. Remember that.


~ by aeroslin on January 30, 2007.

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