That’s their thing?

June 3, 2005 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

Dr. Yow, on the first day of my American lit survey class yesterday:

“I think it’s unethical and immoral to muck with people’s belief systems. That’s their thing.”


I really sympathize with the motivation for statements like this. On one hand, I agree that it is insensitive and careless to try to bulldoze another person’s entire framework for approaching and interpreting life. (That’s something I need to take to heart.)

And yet…if the person’s belief system is wrong?

I know we live in a relativist world, but it is a reality that people can–and do–hold beliefs that are not true. When they do, then they are operating on lies and deception.

I don’t think it’s quite fair to be cavalier about this. Lies always hurt people. They obscure the truth and prevent people from acting in accordance with reality.

And since we live in society and not in autonomy, a person who operates on an economy of lies harms not only themselves, but also those around them. Kind of like if I spontaneously decide I should drive on the left side of the road rather than the right. Our decisions and our conceptions of reality affect each other, for better or for worse.

For the good of individuals and society, then, I sure hope we are working to get rid of any mistaken thinking in our belief systems.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

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