Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When the day is through.

"When I opened my eyes and saw reality, I started to laugh and I haven't stopped since.
I saw that the meaning of life was getting a livelihood; its goal acquiring a titular office. That "loves rich desire" was getting hold of a well-to-do girl, that the blessedness of friendship was to help one another in financial embarrasment. I saw that wisdom was what the majority assumed it to be, that enthusiasm was to make a speech. That courage was to risk losing ten dollars, that cordiality consisted in saying 'your're welcome' after a dinner. I saw that the fear of God was to go to communion once a year.
That's what I saw, and I laughed."
Soren Kierkegaard

"things never happen the same way twice, dear one" - Aslan

The study of fallacy's of argument focus in on how people use misinformation, generalizations, and other tactics to win a discussion, and or prove a point. There is a generally agreed upon list, which you can access easily by googling it. Knowing this list does much to help when trying to discern how people are winning/loosing an argument - as typically they will resort to fallacies when hope in the rational has gone.

Kiergaard devoted his life to what he saw as the empty formalities of the Danish church - themes such as faith in God, rituals, emotion and theology and...argument. Since him (and arguably much before him) many have devoted time and energy to understanding how it is we understand God. How we have missed the boat, how formalities have lead us astray and other areas surrounding the emptiness of Religion.

After a 5 hour meeting, in which David, Gideon, Aslan, Israel, and Moses (yes, that's right, they went there) were tossed around like best buddies of the group I am convinced of a few things.
Fallacies in argument, or rather fallacies in theology plague our faith. We are plagued by misconceptions, misunderstandings and misinterpretations of our experiences. But that in of itself is not the problem. It is once we employ our misunderstanding to "convince" or "win" the situation becomes lost. The base for thought and spirit is stripped and we are left with little more than words, anecdotes and "reflections." And because the general christian populous is ignorant to these fallacies, we engage in it routinely. I engage in it routinely.

And here's the point of my poorly made attempt at being intellectual: Where there is no peace, is where the fallacies will present themselves. Where there is no peace, we will resort to "winning" an argument. Where there is no peace we will talk for 5 hours thinking that resolve looks like a common sense of confusion, where the elderly are up past their bed time, the irish are dumbfounded and the others are well...just done.

And so what? So the answer is clear...sort of. We must work for peace, not a solution to the need, but peace. Does everybody need to get along? no. But peace must be employed. That is the battle. And once you put that lense on the situation, really, how can fallacies stand? I'm not sure exactly what working for peace looks like, but I want it. And I think I know something about how to start it:

"Waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning, O Israel, wait and watch for God - with God's arrival comes love, with God's arrival comes generous redemption. No doubt about it - he'll redeem Israel, buy back Israel from captivity to sin." - David