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Name-Based Faithing

September 2008

In human spirituality, we have the most incredibly personal, intimate attempt to relate to the most mysterious inner workings of reality. And apparently the best way to express this is to pick one of a dozen or so large boxes, and join the many millions of people already in there.

To be fair, I kinda see where this is coming from, and I am irredeemably post-modern in my response. If faith, or religion, or spirituality, is an attempt to describe the True Underlying Reality, then it makes sense you'd try to find consensus with others. Yet, religion is also about finding a way for your human-ness to relate to that reality – to live in light of it – and I'd estimate that, on this planet at this moment, there are around six billion different ways to go about that. Why the fuss about a name?

Matt commented:

It occurs to me I've made (at least) one glaring omission in my post-modern relativist way, which is that certain True Underlying Realities do imply or necessitate certain responses. If, for instance, you believe that Reality is of the 'choose between Heaven and Hell' variety, you want to make very sure you're heading the right way, so you're going to need ways to ascertain that – and 2 billion people in the same direction seems, on the surface, a reasonably positive sign.