Arguments

I don’t like arguing.  I really don’t.  My mind is always bent toward reconciling and unifying, and my heart detests conflict.  Arguments don’t satisfy any part of me.

It is difficult sometimes that the ideas I think about most deeply and want to explore are ones that seem inevitably to go toward conflict.  The big, hard questions about who we are as human people and why we are here engender so many arguments, so much conflict.  So many opinions and opinions about opinions.

It’s tempting to just be rational about faith, and many people stick there, and it leads to even more arguments.  Because we can’t be rational about faith, or anyway we can’t be merely rational about it.  I think the deepest beliefs inside most human people are made on emotional and relational bases, and many never pull those out to examine or evaluate them rationally.  It’s a hard, scary thing to do.  So much easier not to, and the culture I live inside is full of distractions to make it easier.

I read and briefly talked in a conversation a couple of weeks ago about people-origins, why people are the way they are.  It baffles me that I’ve got good friends, really smart people, who look at humanity and don’t see intention and design.  I find the idea that we are here by chance incomprehensible.  I see and experience the principles of design, in my own hands — and so many of my good friends do the same, and go even deeper in exploring and working with those principles, but do not draw them out to the conclusions that I reach.  That the most complicated objects require the utmost skill, design and intention; that I myself am an object in the world, far more complex than any human-made thing around me, and so I am either the product of a much higher level of design and intention, or else the principle must at some point utterly reverse itself.  To me this is thoroughly rational and clear; why isn’t it just obvious to everyone?

Am I right, in my “thoroughly rational” conclusion?  I dunno.  Does my heart trump my brain?  Would I be able to tell if it did?

Are they wrong, my very smart friends who disagree with me about origins and principles, faith and reason and reasons?  Where do all of their diverse beliefs come from, all of their individual experiences of family and friends and reading and teaching and living and hurting?  What do I really know, in the face of any of it?

I don’t like arguments.  I hate disagreement.  It’s a strange thing, that so many people who love and support me in writing stuff, utterly disagree with so much that I believe.  I find that to be very, very strange, and hard to reconcile. Because I hate arguing, but I cannot honestly say every belief is equal.  I don’t think that’s true.  I do say every human has their own right to choose what to believe.  But I don’t think every possible such choice is equal.

If I think it matters, does it behoove me to talk and write about that?  Even when so often, I feel like I’m swimming upstream?  Even when it courts the disagreement that I hate?

If I believe something is important, but I refuse (consciously or not) to talk about it, at what point must I recognize that I’m just plain acting cowardly?

I really hate arguments.

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