It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and I apologize for it. I really believe in this project; I think it would be good for us and might even be good for others, on so many levels. It’s so tempting to disengage, though, or say nothing about the things that really get under our skin or confuse us. But I want to work on doing small things that might actually help us understand each other, and by “us” I mean everyone.
There are so many things that set me on fire: guns, Tr*mp (who needs no more publicity, not even a mention on an obscure blog), calls for leveling some more people in some more countries, some of the reactions to the campus climate interventions in recent days. I could go on and on.
Rather than pick an issue, though, I wanted to explain a little of my reticence to do so. It has to do with the concept of Faith. Not religious faith necessarily, though that could be something to talk about, as I expect we are coming from very different places in that respect. I mean faith in the sense of what we know without knowing it, and the way we seek things out that confirm the ideas in which we have placed our faith. To pick an example: I am not, as you know, a climate scientist but I KNOW in my bones, without really knowing it, that we have screwed up the ecosystem/temperature/world. Sure, I learned about it in school and read a few articles and etc, but on some level I am going on faith, putting my trust in people who know more than I do, because it fits into my view of the world, my sense of human culpability/greed/recklessness/shortsightedness. (I picked this one because it is as undebatable for me as anything I can imagine; I just KNOW this is true, but I have not done anything in the way of responsibly confirming it. This is not to say that I have any doubt about it. Which makes it an even better example. You know?)
There are other bedrock ideals that feel good to confirm, so I seek out things that confirm them. Everyone probably does, and, because someone can make money off of this impulse, someone does. We get to curate our news, pick a media outlet/talk show host that tells us what, on some level, we know without knowing. So we can shop for information like a scarf. Except I think we both have a suspicion that there is something true out there that is not subject to our aesthetic judgments, that goes on being true regardless of the ideas in which we have placed our faith. That some ideals are better than others, because they bring about less pain and suffering if we uphold them. Maybe we could get to some of those, or at least be aware that, as we debate some kind of issue, the thing driving us is the desire to confirm a conviction that got there in a complicated way, that shapes us in ways we don’t fully understand.
The Truth Is Out There?