Mudcat Café message #3779266 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159479   Message #3779266
Posted By: Joe Offer
16-Mar-16 - 02:53 PM
Thread Name: BS: I Love this Idea
Subject: RE: BS: I Love this Idea
Shimrod quotes Joe: "I think it's far better to consider things from a variety of perspectives, even from various religious perspectives. If we look at things from various directions, we're far more likely to come up with a valid approximation of reality."

Shimrod responds: I'm not sure that that is true. Can you give us any examples where "considering things from a variety of perspectives" has worked?

Well, Shimrod poses climate change as an example, and I think I could add evolution as a similar example.

And yeah, my principle doesn't work the same way when the other party's perspective is the denial of something I know to be a reality. But in that case, the other party's position is the denial of the possibility of discussion or common ground. So, in that case, mutually-respectful consideration is impossible.
Still, the other party is most likely a voting citizen, and it behooves me to understand the others point of view and not refute him/her too strongly if I'm going to need his vote or need to form an alliance with him. It may well be smart to avoid discussing climate change or evolution with that party, unless there's a real need for his denial to be refuted. I can have a really good time singing with evolution deniers if I don't fight them on that topic. But if I do battle with them, it makes it hard to sing together. So...is the battle worth it?

But many of us religious people accept the theory of evolution, even though some may say our acceptance of evolution is not valid because we don't abandon our ideas about God. I dunno. I've considered evolution from a theist and from a non-theist perspective, and most things come out more-or-less the same. From my theistic perspective, I see a unifying essence within and beyond all things, and I ponder that and find myself taken to exploring a wide range of possibilities. I've also considered evolution from a more purely rational and scientific perspective. I find that's a very good way to root my perspective in reality, but it takes the poetry out of it all, and I get a lot of appreciation and enjoyment out of those broadened perspective.

So, let's take a flower. If we look at it from a scientific perspective, we can photograph it, dissect it, or maybe eat it. But we could also look at that flower from the broad variety of perspectives of various artists and philosophers and poets and musicians - most of which may not be scientifically accurate. Nonetheless, they can be very rich and rewarding to me.

Or maybe I could look at the flower from an Islamic perspective, and wonder about how that flower inspires Islamic art and poetry and music and architecture and mathematics - all in ways that are very foreign to me, but very worthwhile.

Or, as suggested by the first post in this thread, I can attempt to consider the flower from the perspectives of various animals - and each attempt to see through those other perspectives will deepen my appreciation of that flower.

So, yeah, I can see value in considering things from many perspectives, even though I may not consider those perspectives to be completely valid. And in the process, I gain respect for the other being, and I believe that respect makes this world a better place for us all to live in - even if we all don't come up with the same answers to the questions.

Up above, Donuel suggests that I consider the perspective of Gaia, and I have dabbled in that and found it worthwhile. I like the idea of a feminine deity, and the unifying principles and earth-based spirituality that follow. But it's not where I come from, so it doesn't feel right to be my primary perspective. Still, I see a lot of value in it, and it is popular in some spheres.


-Joe-