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DISCLOSURE: First, I am a post middle-aged white male with leanings toward Protestant bourgeois values. I make no apologies for that; until I find a value system that better benefits the vast majority of people's lives, I'll keep this as a moral compass. It's hard to argue against the idea of forgiveness and charity as being a good thing.

I've learned through the years that "an open mind" without a point of view seems to be an invitation of sorts for newly indoctrinated zealots to "raise my consciousness" (to educate me to their point of view). Often, my experience has been that many would be teachers have a lot of holes in their general knowledge of history, science, philosophy or the human condition generally. There are worse things in life than being opinionated but, from Jonestown, Waco, Rwanda, Nuremberg, Leningrad, and unnamed thousands of metaphorical avalons, there is ample evidence of the price to be paid for allowing others to do your thinking.

So, I choose to believe in a loving and tolerant deity. I also believe in personal freedom, liberty and empowerment to make such decisions as allow for progress and errors from which we learn; I believe in personal responsibility. I admit my need for something beyond me and sufficient to handle my need for "good". So much for disclosure.

I would add though, that anyone seeking to understand the unknowable, to admit to "faith" will necessarily bother those that don't care or think they already have the only answers that matter. So there is the quandry. Those that care enough to ask such questions will annoy those that don't and those that do but arrive at different conclusions. My solution is to confine these activities to this web page.

That's life. While I think it is noble and good to seek an understanding of our existence, I acknowledge the chaos and violence it generates when competing ideas struggle for dominance. Human beings kill each other over beliefs as much as they ever have over the control of resources. (Watch what happens when we mix these two factors together!) We seem to have a need to seek out resolution of the contradictions between being and not being and all that comes in between, and I, for the most part, prefer the company of those that take part in the inquiry into God and faith and the process of self-discovery. The alternative postions offered by cynics, agnostics and materialists are as uninteresting, self-righteous and foolish as the faith based extremes they rail against, and often more destructive—I think of the Communist states here, freeing the masses of their opiate of religion by executing millions.

We live in fast times. We have leisure and wealth. But it is not utopia and simply existing is not enough for most of us. Many choose endless activities or maxims defined by politics cemented in law, or passive bonding to a stronger mind as a substitute for self-examination, while others simply imbibe chemicals to stupefication or self-destruction.

I respect the inquiries of previous millennia sufficiently to ponder their insights. Brighter minds than mine have been at work for countless generations and it seems good to learn from them.

Here are threads to other places of inquiry. The needle is in your own mind.




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