Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Identities, Faith and Such...

Identities are known to be "attached" to something. A fully developed and functioning "self" has come to understand itself within a framework of values that are of utmost importance. These values hold the "key" to understand what motivates the person to action and is what the personal identity is "attached to".

Children "attach" their identities to their "important other". Their "self" is understood only in relationship to another whose opinion and desires they seek to please. Parents are of utmost importance in the early stage of the developing ego. But, parental "images" continue in Christian understandings of faith. Reason does not define faith, but trust does. This is an infantile stage of ego development.

Young adults must be allowed the freedom to choose for themselves for what their "attachments" will be. Will their attachments be to their social group of origin, whether that be defined by religious/cultural/familial or will they find a separation of their identity because of "reasonable" reasons? The difference is based on whether one thinks that man is a "thinking self" or a "relational self". I don't think the answer is going to be an "either/or". Man is a thinking, as well as a social animal. And each individual will have variances of these tendencies.

Some have suggested that without content, faith has no value. This may be the case for some. The political has a lot to do with how the social is understood. The political is about power. Power was not the position of the early Christians, for the most part. Therefore, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that faith was a "crutch" to defend the identity of those whose identities had be stolen by those in power?

Democracy allows the "self" to develop beyond the infantile dependent stage of childhood. Freedom of information, and the individual's self determination of choice are important values to uphold in "helping" the individual to develop fully. Tribalisitc mentality leads nothing to critical thinking, but a dependent attitude of helplessness that mimics another's values, instead of coming to terms with their own unique identity. This is why American values of "life, liberty and the pusuit of happiness" is of ultimate value for anyone who believes in the individual and the individual's "right to exist".

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