Reason and Reality

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Simple Minded » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:41 pm

Parodite wrote:SM, I caused a virtual mess in your head it seems, or a mess in my own head about a maybe mess in your virtual imagery about yourself. Who knows? Nobody. :)

My talking about rational and irrational numbers was just meant as poetic spice (but I confess that while writing it started making more and more reasonable and real sense), but I was talking to you and Sam Harris at the same time - probably a recipe for creating confusion and obscure arguing. Won't happen again.


We're both geniuses! Numbers are the solution! Who needs tribes? We're all unique!

https://futurism.com/china-social-credi ... man-value/

https://www.threeifbyspace.net/2017/10/ ... le-review/
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Mr. Perfect » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:46 am

I thought kmich was an atheist.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby kmich » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:40 pm

Mr. Perfect wrote:I thought kmich was an atheist.


Why?
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:49 am

.

Mr. Perfect wrote:I thought kmich was an atheist.


What else you thinkin, MP .. don't tell you thinkin HP a believer :lol: :lol:

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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby noddy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:58 am

i thought kmich was eastern orthodox and azari is a mammonite
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Simple Minded » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:57 pm

noddy wrote:i thought kmich was eastern orthodox and azari is a mammonite


welcome to the multiverse.

Reason and reality contact.

There's the former, there's the latter, there's both, and there's neither. Perceiving who subscribes to which sub-category is crucial.

I'm a firm believer in reason, but when other people use it to justify their unreasonable thought processes or behavior, that's where I draw the line. Reality contact is fine, but have you noticed some people's realities suck? Best to avoid those neighborhood when traveling the multiverse.

Free will rules! ;)
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby kmich » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:28 pm

Simple Minded wrote:
welcome to the multiverse.

Reason and reality contact.

There's the former, there's the latter, there's both, and there's neither. Perceiving who subscribes to which sub-category is crucial.

I'm a firm believer in reason, but when other people use it to justify their unreasonable thought processes or behavior, that's where I draw the line. Reality contact is fine, but have you noticed some people's realities suck? Best to avoid those neighborhood when traveling the multiverse.

Free will rules! ;)

We take for granted that we understand the terms “Reason” and Reality” but are really only confusing the esteem these verbal icons have for us after our years of using them with clear comprehension, much like we do with terms like “freedom” and "free will " I do believe in reason and reality, but I do not think that one can construct a simple, practical and fruitful theory in these terms. They are too abstract and too prone to be misused; and, of course, nothing whatever can be gained by their definition.

noddy wrote:i thought kmich was eastern orthodox and azari is a mammonite

Grew up Russian Orthodox, currently attending services and active in a parish. Like most people who take the walk of faith, there have been periods of profound doubts regarding our traditional objects of faith, including what we call “God.” Objects of faith, anything we posit to "exist," are always subject to human construction and interpretation which subject them to our conditions and limited understandings. Consequently, these are always inadequate and incomplete in articulating the author of all conditions and of our very existence, whose true nature must remain mysterious and out of our grasp. In this sense, one can still be an “atheist” and still be on the walk of faith as long as the question of this existential mystery continues to deeply matter to us.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Simple Minded » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:19 pm

kmich wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:
welcome to the multiverse.

Reason and reality contact.

There's the former, there's the latter, there's both, and there's neither. Perceiving who subscribes to which sub-category is crucial.

I'm a firm believer in reason, but when other people use it to justify their unreasonable thought processes or behavior, that's where I draw the line. Reality contact is fine, but have you noticed some people's realities suck? Best to avoid those neighborhood when traveling the multiverse.

Free will rules! ;)

We take for granted that we understand the terms “Reason” and Reality” but are really only confusing the esteem these verbal icons have for us after our years of using them with clear comprehension, much like we do with terms like “freedom” and "free will " I do believe in reason and reality, but I do not think that one can construct a simple, practical and fruitful theory in these terms. They are too abstract and too prone to be misused; and, of course, nothing whatever can be gained by their definition.



Agreed. The fascinating aspect to me it that no matter what one posts, interpretation is entirely up to the reader.

As the old saying goes "I can teach you the subject matter, but I can't understand it for you."

Rather that the "good ole days" of four blind men describing an elephant (that they actually touched), extremely limited interaction of individuals, via cyber space & virtual reality enables billions of infinitely nuanced opinions. Or even complete denial.

Even the definitions of what one assumes to be common words can be localized and temporary.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby noddy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:54 am

kmich wrote:
noddy wrote:i thought kmich was eastern orthodox and azari is a mammonite

Grew up Russian Orthodox, currently attending services and active in a parish. Like most people who take the walk of faith, there have been periods of profound doubts regarding our traditional objects of faith, including what we call “God.” Objects of faith, anything we posit to "exist," are always subject to human construction and interpretation which subject them to our conditions and limited understandings. Consequently, these are always inadequate and incomplete in articulating the author of all conditions and of our very existence, whose true nature must remain mysterious and out of our grasp. In this sense, one can still be an “atheist” and still be on the walk of faith as long as the question of this existential mystery continues to deeply matter to us.


disapearing up my own backside (gnostic?) is pretty much number one on my list of fears/problems so to a certain extent i can understand many things beyond my atheism, on those levels.

for my personality, prone to childishness and flippancy, id use the word absurdity instead of mystery :)
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby kmich » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:10 pm

noddy wrote:
kmich wrote:
noddy wrote:i thought kmich was eastern orthodox and azari is a mammonite

Grew up Russian Orthodox, currently attending services and active in a parish. Like most people who take the walk of faith, there have been periods of profound doubts regarding our traditional objects of faith, including what we call “God.” Objects of faith, anything we posit to "exist," are always subject to human construction and interpretation which subject them to our conditions and limited understandings. Consequently, these are always inadequate and incomplete in articulating the author of all conditions and of our very existence, whose true nature must remain mysterious and out of our grasp. In this sense, one can still be an “atheist” and still be on the walk of faith as long as the question of this existential mystery continues to deeply matter to us.


disapearing up my own backside (gnostic?) is pretty much number one on my list of fears/problems so to a certain extent i can understand many things beyond my atheism, on those levels.

for my personality, prone to childishness and flippancy, id use the word absurdity instead of mystery :)

You know, noddy, I am not sure absurdity and mystery are all that different.

What came to my mind was Albert Camus’s “absurd hero” in his Myth of Sisyphus where Sisyphus's punishment in the underworld for attempting to cheat death was to roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll down again to roll it up again and on and on. Camus saw this as as a metaphor for the human condition and the absurdity of our experience. Camus’s "absurd hero" is able to recognize the absurdity of the human condition, abandon hope, find happiness in material reality, and ultimately find meaning in the struggle itself.

It is easy to see how Camus understood life this way in the hopeless darkness he lived in occupied France in World War 2 and having recently read about the Wehrmacht execution of Gabriel Péri which ended Camus’s pacifism and provoked him to revolt against the Germans no matter what the odds were against him. Le Mythe de Sisyphe is his contemplation on the problem of suicide. He rejects physical suicide as only an escape from the truth of our existence which is the tension between our persistent demand for meaning and significance in the face of an indifferent, mysterious universe: the “absurd” predicament. Camus viewed Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith” as “philosophical suicide” by dispelling the truth of the absurd for a credulous hope in the face of a silent, distant universe.

From my reading of Kierkegaard, I am not so sure though that Camus completely understood Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith.” Kierkegaard is not a particularly easy read and quality translations from the Danish are not easy to find. While Kierkegaard wrote about faith and a leap a number of times, the exact phrase “leap of faith” is not present in the original Danish. In any case, for Kierkegaard, faith was not meant to dispel meaninglessness, but, instead, to confront it with a “leap” of courage born outside the limits of reason in the hope of a higher value and meaning to our existence. Faith does not dispel or deny the absurd, it simply holds this tension within this courage. Existential love and courage are absurd from the limits of our reasoning, and cannot be derived from ourselves alone but from a power that reaches beyond our limits.

However, Camus was no moral nihilist or relativist, he was a deeply reflective, insightful, and courageous man, actually one of my personal heroes. In accepting the Nobel Prize in 1957 he said:

For more than twenty years of an insane history, hopelessly lost like all the men of my generation in the convulsions of time, I have been supported by one thing: by the hidden feeling that to write today was an honour because this activity was a commitment - and a commitment not only to write. Specifically, in view of my powers and my state of being, it was a commitment to bear, together with all those who were living through the same history, the misery and the hope we shared. These men, who were born at the beginning of the First World War, who were twenty when Hitler came to power and the first revolutionary trials were beginning, who were then confronted as a completion of their education with the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the world of concentration camps, a Europe of torture and prisons - these men must today rear their sons and create their works in a world threatened by nuclear destruction. Nobody, I think, can ask them to be optimists. And I even think that we should understand - without ceasing to fight it - the error of those who in an excess of despair have asserted their right to dishonour and have rushed into the nihilism of the era. But the fact remains that most of us, in my country and in Europe, have refused this nihilism and have engaged upon a quest for legitimacy. They have had to forge for themselves an art of living in times of catastrophe in order to be born a second time and to fight openly against the instinct of death at work in our history.

If Camus was not walking the path of faith, I don’t know who is. Actually Kierkegaard, who became an outcast for his attacks on the Danish State Church, may have been a kindred spirit.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:14 pm

.

Yale University Press
Why Liberalism Failed



Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism’s proponents tend to forget that it is an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history. Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure.



How Democracies Perish


How The Social Order Crumbles


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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Miss_Faucie_Fishtits » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:47 am

Using an accusation over and over again doesn't advance your argument. It's like taking a stick to a dog. Soon, the good-natured animal becomes aggressive and fierce and nothing is gained, only conflict assured. Not good.........
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby noddy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:23 pm

.
Last edited by noddy on Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Parodite » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:10 pm

My D'Souza post was deleted?
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby kmich » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:28 pm

How our search activity reflects our assumptions and convictions of the nature of political "reality:"

Confirmation Bias in Online Searches: Impacts of Selective Exposure Before an Election on Political Attitude Strength and Shifts

Abstract

Impacts of Internet use on political information seeking and subsequent processes have been subject to much debate. A 2-session online field study presented online search results on political topics to examine selective exposure and its attitudinal impacts. Session 1 captured attitudes, including their accessibility. Session 2 tracked what online search results participants selected and how long they read them; participants then reported attitudes again. The study represented a 4x8x2x2 within-subjects design: 4 topics, 8 browsing intervals each, with articles presenting opposing stances, with low versus high source credibility. Attitude-consistent messages and messages from high-credibility sources were preferred. Exposure to attitude-consistent search results increased attitude accessibility and reinforced attitudes, whereas exposure to attitude-discrepant content had opposite effects, regardless of messages' source credibility.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Typhoon » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:20 am

Parodite wrote:My D'Souza post was deleted?


Sorry. Meant to move it. Goofed. Apologies.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby noddy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:17 am

kmich wrote:
You know, noddy, I am not sure absurdity and mystery are all that different.

What came to my mind was Albert Camus’s “absurd hero” in his Myth of Sisyphus where Sisyphus's punishment in the underworld for attempting to cheat death was to roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll down again to roll it up again and on and on. Camus saw this as as a metaphor for the human condition and the absurdity of our experience. Camus’s "absurd hero" is able to recognize the absurdity of the human condition, abandon hope, find happiness in material reality, and ultimately find meaning in the struggle itself.

It is easy to see how Camus understood life this way in the hopeless darkness he lived in occupied France in World War 2 and having recently read about the Wehrmacht execution of Gabriel Péri which ended Camus’s pacifism and provoked him to revolt against the Germans no matter what the odds were against him. Le Mythe de Sisyphe is his contemplation on the problem of suicide. He rejects physical suicide as only an escape from the truth of our existence which is the tension between our persistent demand for meaning and significance in the face of an indifferent, mysterious universe: the “absurd” predicament. Camus viewed Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith” as “philosophical suicide” by dispelling the truth of the absurd for a credulous hope in the face of a silent, distant universe.

From my reading of Kierkegaard, I am not so sure though that Camus completely understood Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith.” Kierkegaard is not a particularly easy read and quality translations from the Danish are not easy to find. While Kierkegaard wrote about faith and a leap a number of times, the exact phrase “leap of faith” is not present in the original Danish. In any case, for Kierkegaard, faith was not meant to dispel meaninglessness, but, instead, to confront it with a “leap” of courage born outside the limits of reason in the hope of a higher value and meaning to our existence. Faith does not dispel or deny the absurd, it simply holds this tension within this courage. Existential love and courage are absurd from the limits of our reasoning, and cannot be derived from ourselves alone but from a power that reaches beyond our limits.

However, Camus was no moral nihilist or relativist, he was a deeply reflective, insightful, and courageous man, actually one of my personal heroes. In accepting the Nobel Prize in 1957 he said:

For more than twenty years of an insane history, hopelessly lost like all the men of my generation in the convulsions of time, I have been supported by one thing: by the hidden feeling that to write today was an honour because this activity was a commitment - and a commitment not only to write. Specifically, in view of my powers and my state of being, it was a commitment to bear, together with all those who were living through the same history, the misery and the hope we shared. These men, who were born at the beginning of the First World War, who were twenty when Hitler came to power and the first revolutionary trials were beginning, who were then confronted as a completion of their education with the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the world of concentration camps, a Europe of torture and prisons - these men must today rear their sons and create their works in a world threatened by nuclear destruction. Nobody, I think, can ask them to be optimists. And I even think that we should understand - without ceasing to fight it - the error of those who in an excess of despair have asserted their right to dishonour and have rushed into the nihilism of the era. But the fact remains that most of us, in my country and in Europe, have refused this nihilism and have engaged upon a quest for legitimacy. They have had to forge for themselves an art of living in times of catastrophe in order to be born a second time and to fight openly against the instinct of death at work in our history.

If Camus was not walking the path of faith, I don’t know who is. Actually Kierkegaard, who became an outcast for his attacks on the Danish State Church, may have been a kindred spirit.


yes, im not sure they are so different either, despite the apparent contradiction a literal reading might bring.

I have only a brief understanding of Kierkegaard - i really should rectify that sooner rather than later.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby Parodite » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:17 pm

Typhoon wrote:
Parodite wrote:My D'Souza post was deleted?


Sorry. Meant to move it. Goofed. Apologies.


No worries, lavender happens. Will post the link sumwea.
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:24 am

kmich wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:That, to my simple mind is the crux of the problem. We all experience current reality according to past experience.

For the person who has not had a genuine epiphany, the spiritual realm/god/angels/etc. will have the same amount of "reality content" as the person who has not interacted with Sasquatch. No demeaning intended here. Simply that, if Fred does not have experience X, experience X is not part of Fred's reality.

Always fascinates me to hear someone say "I never believed in God or Bigfoot or Angels or ET's and then one day......" Tales I have heard of those who have genuine epiphanies are extremely interesting, especially from those who were caught totally by surprise when it happened. Also of interest is the various methods through which a person may experience the divine, via music, or dance, or solitude, interaction with nature, or prayer, or church, etc.

Regarding the humans I have known personally who express religious convictions, they, as one would expect, run the entire gambit from charlatans to hypocrites to genuinely good people who both practice what they preach and preach what they practice. The first two groups seem to lack virtue, while the third group radiates virtue.

No doubt there is a free will, and much of whether an epiphany happens or not is due to the preparation and open mindedness fo the recipient, but I would imagine that additionally, God must screen the potential applicants. Sincerity must be a key factor.

I would imagine that the path to Heaven is the same as the path to Carnegie Hall, practice.

I don’t know, SM, I suppose I can only speak from my own experience. As we have discussed, our past experiences form the interpretive frameworks of our ongoing encounters with the world. The encounter with the divine does not work that way. This is very difficult to explain. God speaks to us in the darkness and silence with His presence, His being. The only decision one can make in that situation is a simple yes or no to the power of faith being offered. Faith, not in the form of ideas, teachings, and understandings, but a nameless power offering us to participate in that presence, which is the Truth embodied rather than articulated, “i.e. I am the Truth and the Light….”

The great danger is claiming possession of this power through one’s own decision to “believe,” and constructing whatever frameworks one desires to explain this. This is where idolatry comes in. This can be a trap for many religious people. Assenting to believe in something may be from objective knowledge, deference to authority, credulity, or from our own desires, but none of that is faith. We often like to live under defined teachings, rules, and “beliefs.”

While our “beliefs” derived from our traditions may serve as necessary objects of faith for our contemplation, worship, and religious communities, they are not faith, and can only point to the truth but cannot embody it. As such, doubt always accompanies our incomplete objects of faith and compels us to keep open and looking for the way to God inspired by a faith that is not an object but a power giving us the confidence to continue on the path. This is a grace granted by God but a power we cannot possess.

The dangers of our age is in the cynicism, relativism, dogmatism, and indifference regarding the question of “truth.” The way to the truth is not to succumb to those inviting temptations, but to sincerely keep asking the question out of the darkness and silence of our own ignorance. That is the essence of prayer IMHO. The hard part is that the silence and darkness can hang around for a very long tome, and the answers we receive, if we are willing to hear them, while revealing our true nature and destiny in God, may not be particularly pleasant or reassuring, i.e. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done...” Luke 24.


I recently finished reading an essay on the modern Russian Church which gives a rather positive account of its embrace of, for a lack of a better umbrella term, modernism in both its survival during 70+ years of persecution, and it's rebirth and flourishing for the past 20 years. I believe the above [series of posts] are excellent examples of the modernist position; or at least, the better version that it's sharper minds aspired. All to a allow for a church conservative in it's approach to the liturgy, and dogma yet remarkably tolerant towards theological speculation; with the flexibility to incorporate (and lionize?) Bulgakov, Berdyaev and Florovsky.

This is what Loisy and Tyrell (among others) wanted for the Roman Church
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Re: Reason and Reality

Postby kmich » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:20 pm

NapLajoieonSteroids wrote:I recently finished reading an essay on the modern Russian Church which gives a rather positive account of its embrace of, for a lack of a better umbrella term, modernism in both its survival during 70+ years of persecution, and it's rebirth and flourishing for the past 20 years. I believe the above [series of posts] are excellent examples of the modernist position; or at least, the better version that it's sharper minds aspired. All to a allow for a church conservative in it's approach to the liturgy, and dogma yet remarkably tolerant towards theological speculation; with the flexibility to incorporate (and lionize?) Bulgakov, Berdyaev and Florovsky.

This is what Loisy and Tyrell (among others) wanted for the Roman Church

A lot of different positions on issues and teachings in the contemporary orthodox community. The Russian Orthodox Church, like all religious traditions, perennially deal with the challenge of maintaining the integrity of their, historical and scriptural traditions while pursuing active, living traditions in their contemporary circumstances. Religions cannot survive in isolation, and scriptural and historical traditions are typically understood through the hermeneutics that are often framed by the challenges, attitudes, and issues of their times. It is very difficult to negotiate with the sensibilities of the age while maintaining the integrity of tradition, and while an essential effort, this is usually accomplished imperfectly.

It has been a challenge for the Orthodox faith to remain true to its traditions in the face of immigrant communities that are changing and the older generations dying off. Paranoia and a kind of resignation tends to be in the DNA of Russian Orthodox members partly due to the history of religious persecution in the 20th century, but largely due to the oppressed, brutish lives of the devout Russian peasantry for centuries. The rising anti-immigrant sentiment and bad press about Russia has not helped these attitudes in the US. Ecclesiastical politics, and negotiating the issues of autocephaly have also been very difficult. Orthodox communities, like all American religious communities also have had to contend with the contemporary values of materialism, feel good therapeutics, scientism, political convictions and agendas, assorted identity issues, and a pervasive narcissism. Indifference to spiritual issues and a lack of religious education have been serious obstacles in this process. Addressing the reality of evil in the world and the prospect of damnation are even harder.

Challenges to our most basic understandings in the face of changing circumstances can be very opening, My maternal grandparents managed to survive the 1921-1922 famine in Tatarstan, although my grandfather died in 1923 partly due to the deprivations. Even though Bolshevism was the passion in the cities and among the intelligentsia, the Russian rural populations remained deeply conservative. They believed that the famine was just God’s will and were passively resigned to their fate, largely due to centuries of Hobbesian “nasty, brutish and short” lives among the serfs and peasantry. When my grandmother, with my mother in tow, went to the American Relief Administration to receive a ration of corn, the official there spoke through a translator the Calvinist ethic of facing ones destiny not with resignation but with hard work, resolve, and discipline. A basic, get off your passive backsides and be responsible for your own destiny as a message of God's will. This greatly disturbed my grandmother who was concerned that such talk could lead her to a false pride and a Satanic defiance of God’s will. In the end, and partly out of family necessity, she worked closely with the ARA in their distribution efforts. This deeply affected my mother, who rejected the tradition of peasant fatalism in hope of an afterlife, took her fate into her own hands as a very young woman, and went off to Kazan to apprentice as a seamstress to make her way in the world. Her example and that of my father became the inspiration of who I am today, flaws and all.

Berdyaev remains controversial, which he would undoubtedly what he would have wanted his legacy to be. I have always appreciated Florovsky’s ecumenism and the value of open debates in the patristic traditions as a source of modern, Christian spiritual vitality. That is the spirit I have seen, at least in my own Church community. We respect tradition, but we must be open to our doubts and questions. This spirit is not so much a tolerance or forbearance in the face of diverse opinions, but rather a genuine openness to discussion and careful listening to the questions, doubts, and beliefs of others. This forces participants to not become complacent and idolatrous with their own convictions. This is also partly due to the instinctive recoiling from dogmatism, which not only motivated the political persecution of the church by authorities in the Soviet era, but also had been historically fostered by the church in a traditional, passive resignation to suffering in the hope of an afterlife. Our history of passive resignation to whatever faces us no longer speaks to us. We must be open while being the active, responsible agents in our lives as we have been created to be, and still take the time to stop and be silent to listen to the voice of God in our lives. A serious religious life is anything but easy.

In my own understanding, we are brought into the world to fulfill God’s often inscrutable will for us, not to make up our own minds about what we "believe" and follow our own self-indulgent constructions or the dictates of ecclesiastic authorities. All comes from God, and being challenged is part of that will, as is our response. Our priest often poses the question to keep our discussions on track, “where is God’s love here?” or “This is all very interesting, but what does it have to do with saving souls?” Nothing is better for strengthening faith than having it challenged and having to respond by contemplating those questions, not insisting that we "decide" what we "believe," and keeping our hearts and and minds open to His will.
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