Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Credence and credibilty

 As I write these blogs of mine I am speaking to myself more than anyone else. I have said in the past I find them a form of self therapy. Not that I don't enjoy engaging in deep discussions with other actual live people, I certainly do, but the title was chosen to express my intent. These are truly my random thoughts and memories. I will admit that lately my thoughts have become more centered around a few central themes and less memories are included. Perhaps I am discovering what is at the core of my existence, these blogs being a journey of self exploration. I can't say I have discovered anything new though. The reflection I see is pretty much what I expect. No epiphany yet !
 There is an aspect in all this that I find troubling. I sometimes feel the need to include the quotes and thoughtful writings of others to lend credence to my own thoughts. The troubling part being I do not include it for myself, but for those that would be reading that thought. I feel as though I am trying to justify my thoughts. I get the sense I am trying to convince others to think in the same fashion as myself on whatever topic it may be. That is in contradiction to my stated intent. The calling upon others to add credibility to my statements or thoughts somehow seems like cheating. It is almost as though I am saying, I don't think I'm smart enough to think this on my own, so here is a quote from someone really smart ! That's when I reach into the grab bag of famous quotes or writings. World renown poets, philosophers and all around geniuses work best. The use of these makes my thoughts more credible, or does it ?
 I have written before what I believe to be a true statement, there is little one can say that hasn't been said before. The only question being, if enough people say it, does it make it true ? The answer, obviously, has to be no. Some truths are indeed self evident, as our forefathers knew and stated so eloquently, but others are not so obvious. It is those truths I find myself exploring ever more deeply as time passes. Perhaps it has something to do with aging and the realization of my own mortality. Could it be that I am searching for evidence, for justification of the intangible ? The empirical is satisfied by observation but the theoretical is not. Theology is the study of God and religious belief. It is a theory. The meaning of life and our role in it is based solely in conjecture. Isn't that why we say no man can know the mind of God ? And so we must go on belief. Does belief require evidence? I would say it does not. That is why belief appears in so many forms. Belief can be claimed for the most humane of acts, as well as the most inhumane.
 When I write my thoughts and then seek " affirmation " of those thoughts from well renowned scholars, philosophers or theologians am I questioning my own belief ? Yes, it would have to be that way. Genuine belief requires no validation. Genuine belief, in a theology, can not be confirmed by empirical evidence. Thomas famously required empirical evidence from Jesus of his resurrection. Jesus showed him the holes in his hands and the wound in his side. Thomas, we are taught, doubted no more. Remember empirical evidence is obtained by observation. Thomas " saw " Jesus and his wounds. Whether or not Jesus was physically present at that point in time is not important to the story. What is important is the perception that he was. For Thomas that was the empirical evidence he required.
 It is this that I find myself troubled over at times. In the face of " empirical evidence " to prove or disprove ones own thoughts, feelings or beliefs the challenge can be tiresome. When we become " tired " we may make concessions or quit entirely. Is this the fight we are called to ? With the phrase, don't give up the fight, is that what we are saying ? Cling to your belief ? Yes I believe that is what it is. Belief does not rely upon the empirical. Thought relies upon the examination of the evidence as presented. Do we continue to search for the empirical evidence, or do we surrender to faith ? But by surrendering to faith are we giving up the fight ? As to the question of theology, I believe the "empirical evidence" will only be revealed in death. I am called to believe. Everything else is subject to review.