"With an Open Mind" Discussion Group Message Board › Feedback on Most Recent Meeting
Colorado Springs, CO
I'm not certain how many of you happened to see David Rome's feedback on our most recent meeting (and it's not the easiest thing to now access), so I've extracted it and included it in this post (see below). I'd like to commend him for offering his feedback and use it as the basis for a mini-discussion -- that is, I'm going to respond to his observations and ask that others offer their insights.
David Rome: "This was my first time attending and it wasn't what I was imagining it might be like. I would have enjoyed it more if there was less educating and more open ended questions that prompts a philosophical discussion with each attendee contributing. From my point of view, we didn't really get to the evening's main question."
David makes the very valid observation that the meeting included a far lengthier "education" component than has been and will be typical of our discussions. We spent approximately 45 minutes "reviewing" the great diversity of religious viewpoints represented by the major world religions. While I hope most of those who participated found that portion of the meeting at least somewhat "interesting", I would be the first to admit it lasted longer than I'd intended. On the other hand, we DID spend almost an hour and a half in what I would characterize as a "lively" discussion of the following "leading questions":
What, if anything, does the ?diversity? of religious traditions say about Human nature>
What, if anything, does the ?diversity? of religious traditions say about The ?validity? of ?religious truth??
Why do religious traditions gain or lose in ?popularity??
What ?advantages? and "disadvantages", if any, do various religious traditions confer on their associated societies?
What are the prospects that human beings will ever reach a consensus on ?religious truth??
What ?developments? might lead to a consensus?
If we did reach a consensus, in what ways would the world be different?
Assume, for the moment, that you believe there is a God, but it's then "proved" that there is not. Would you lead your life any differently?
Assume, for the moment, that you believe there is NOT a God, but it's then "proved" that there is. Would you lead your life any differently?
As the moderator, I had some other questions on my list that I'd hoped to get to. Unfortunately, we ran out of time before we got to them, and that was my fault. I spent more time than I should have actively participating in the discussion than performing my moderator duties and moving things along fast enough to get to the following key questions:
Assume, for the moment, that the agnostics are correct ? that, given the current state of human knowledge, we do not know the ?truth? about God.
In what ways, if any, does it matter?
Is it, in some sense, ?essential? that we at least ?assume? we know? Do we have to ?decide??
Are we better off to ?decide? something and risk being wrong or ?defer judgment?.
Which is the better approach for the individual?
Which is the better approach for society as a whole?
Perhaps we should schedule a follow up session ... to allow time to address those questions we didn't get to the first time. Any thoughts?
|A former member||
Due to the valuable lesson learned this afternoon, I am separating my responses into more than one post due to the 7500 character limit.
First, Vernon, the 45 minute block of instruction would have been a welcome and appreciated effort. Most of us are not particularly knowledgeable about the specific beliefs of religions around the world ,and since we really want our answers and observations to be based on a solid foundation of knowledge and not just emotional tones, I would have welcomed the prompting toward objectivity AND the augmentation of my limited knowledge of other beliefs. Even though I was not present, thank you for providing the instruction.