Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Idealism or Realism?

All humans understand their "realities" within frames of reference(s). Individuals are understand thier "world" with philosophical or historical lenses, after they "come of age", as self-reflective individuals. Our psychology as humans is intent on creating ourselves within our "worlds" that provide for a "flourishing environment". An identity is where we "place our hat" in these philosophical and historical references.

Philosophy has been a way to understand the "ideals" in the human heart. Ideals are universals, while their historical contexts may make differences in how these universals are interpreted and these historical contexts are individually understood and embraced.

Religion is both historical and philosophical, as religion seeks to understand man's quest for significance in their understanding of "god". Religion has been useful to create an "ideal" in a "not so ideal world". And religions have formed from those that have represented certain "ideals" that are valued in a given society or by those that have represented a certain people, or cause.

The real world of history is born out in politics, power and economics. These are areas in which the political world "speaks" in society's institutions.

America's government doesn't acknowledge the institution of the Church, so much as allow for religious freedom in individual conscience. America was a Protestant Nation, after all. We were "nominalists" in our ideology.

Today, the "culture wars" are about the real issues of policy, which impact society's institutions and society at large. Religion becomes dangerous in such an environment, because instead of individual citizens making thier own determinations about what the "ideal" "should" be, we have "God" useful to justify a "one party system". And a "one party system" is not conducive for a free society, because the minority opinion becomes marginalized and demonized.

Without realizing what is happening, what is hoped for in fighting for God, becomes oppressive and tyrannical in the "name of God".

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