|Sent on:||Wednesday, April 3, 2013 11:57 AM|
This would be a better discussion if it were in person and i could dedicate more thought/attention, but what the hell. I am most certainly projecting my own experience here, which is clearly different from yours (and Wade's and Ellery's). I was never, ever fundamentalist, and neither were my parents. My (liberal) dad was raised Unitarian Universalist and converted to the Episcopal Church, which my (liberal) mother and I were raised in. I never experienced cognitive dissonance as such until I moved to Alabama and found myself arguing about literal interpretations, homosexuals, evolution, etc., which led me to the false dichotomy of making an absolute choice between Christianity and skepticism and limp-wristed liberal Christianity. Naturally I largely opted for pure skepticism. But ive come to conclude that "Christian skeptic" is not an oxymoron.
In science you begin with a clear starting point and a few axioms, and use observation and inductive reasoning to build a robust if perpetually incomplete understanding of the material world, and it is a beautiful process. Religious and philosophical considerations are totally different - there is no starting point or even a clear methodology. While science certainly feeds into it, it is ultimately dealing with a priori, personally crucial, emotional things. And, most importantly, it's almost never a solo process. (Science isn't either, but it could be, in theory.)
Fwiw, when I listen to a good sermon, I dont come away saying, "Jesus is so effing cool and God is great etc etc". Instead I'm like, " that was really thought-provoking and I never thought of it that way."
Sorry for the rambling rant. I just am throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks (and hopefully not insulting anyone in the process!).