GlobalNet21: Recreating Our Futures Message Board Meetings Discussion Forum › Politics, Religion and Spirituality.

Politics, Religion and Spirituality.

Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 177
Michelle Thomasson •

Maarten has already been quoted: Better "to ask how different believe-systems can work together to promote humane solutions" but before how - we need to ask what we are searching for.

In this finite biophysical space without equality in the equation the dynamic tension to spur creativity between the disciplines and peoples will not be built on trust. So yes Jim, I agree, a search for the common good but in honesty - one that learns to let go of our self interest based on the all pervasive exploitive exchange economics that affects most of us. Could we unlearn this, is that what you would term "enlightened" Jim, or is that too idealistic? A great song from the original film score of Don Quixote comes to mind :)
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 178
Eric Galvin •

Great post. i agree with the thrust of your argument but there are two points I would add.

Frist, is the role of time in this. Nature can only be the arbiter of truth in so far as we understand nature at a particular point in time. In this I use the word "nature" with a very broad definition. I am thinking of truth in so far as it exists in the social sciences and the arts. Thus all that we know must be regarded as "work in progress" - something that is especially hard for people whose personality demands certainity and high levels of confiodence.

Second, picking up on one of Adam's points is the absolute requirement for people (however emminent or well regarded) to be flexible and open to new, sometimes paradigm shifting, ideas. It also nees considerable personal humility. Again very difficult for some controlling personalities. It also entails that there are some aspects of "nature" where progress is so limited that there is room for belief based on faith, evaluation of probabilities or some other means of creating a "working hypothesis. We also need a basis for thought or action in areas where there is a good deal of uncertainity. really good leaders know this and operate in ways that recognise their limitations.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 179
alan kirkham •

Why would we want to bring religion into politics? Politics is about coming to collective decisions to organise. Surely that process has to be as clear of unprovable and highly dubious beliefs? We see the true value of religion in politics in Afganistan, In Iraq, In the Southern states of America, Isreal and historically in Ireland, Spain and - oh heck almost any country you want to mention. If people want to believe in their God, Gods, hobgobblins, fairys, the teapot in the sky fine - but please spare us its penicious influance in real politic.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 180
Adam Butler •

Alan, I don't wish to paraphrase anyone, but I think some are suggesting that you can't necessarily treat politics and religion as separate animals for a whole range of reasons. Those places you mentioned would probably fit more into the realm of fanaticism rather than religion (in my opinion). Having a "faith" or "belief system" is not mutually exclusive to coming to collective decisions to organise (as you have described politics). Like Maarten said, "Better is to ask how different believe-systems can work together." You never know when someone who believes in fairies is going to come up with a great idea or prompt others of a good idea. But I guess Michelle has raised a good point in that we need to know where we are headed.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 181
Maarten Rector •

Michelle wrote: 'but before how - we need to ask what we are searching for.' Yes, although it must be said that sometimes the answers will only present themselves in the process itself and sometimes the process itself is the answer. It also never is said that the answer(s) we get is (are) the answer(s) we want.

But what do we want? I think everybody does want to meet his basic needs (Maslow his pyramid) For example everyone likes to eat, drink, be loved and treated fair, everyone likes to life in a pleasant and clean environment, e.t.c. These wishes immediately mean lots of things and with this many people on our planet such wishes already have many consequences we need to consider, like i.e. good education. The answers to these questions seem to me the most important to start with. Many wishes we can categorize as materialistic, or not of direct importance striving for.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 182
Eric Galvin •

Alan I fear I have to say that your recent comment about the "pernicious" beliefs highly offensive to many people - probably the majority of the world's population who have deeply held religious beliefs. Although I am not one of them I find your comment insensitive and a good example of the difficulties facing anyone who like Maarten and others in this group who believe that we should find ways of accommodating the diverse values and beliefs of people living in our global society.

For me political decision making is as much about values and beliefs of citizens as about hard evidence based perspectives of experts. I find it hard to concieve of a democratic society which excludes the perspectives of those with diverse belief systems or give primacy and exclusivity to the perspectives of experts. How often do we read of people in expert positions who either fail to live up to the appropriate ethical standards when offering advice or abuse their positions?

Real political and civic leaders are people who seek to understand and accommodate these beliefs into decisions recognising that compromises have to be made to enable our complex societies to work. Sadly many of the opinions in the political, economic and social shperes which perport to be based on hard evidence fail to stand up to any form of rigorous scrutiny. The ideal is, of course, a world in which these diverse perspectives are subjected to critical scrutiny in decision making processes - and there are examples of mechanisms where this happens, some in the legal system. As our understanding of "nature" discussed earlier of this series of comments deepens the complexity of our world becomes ever more apparent and the uncertainty and risks associated with decision increases.

In such circumstances the best safeguards are the views and opinions of those we elect who have value sets and beliefs similar to those of the bulk of the poplation.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 183
This is the end of the discussion thread thus far from Linkedin. Hope you add to this on what is clearly a hot topic!
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