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View Diary: Shocking! Catholics don't care what their Church says about ... anything (218 comments)

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  •  My thoughts on this have changed (5+ / 0-)

    I don't think its fear.  Like so much of human behavior, I think it has to do partially with identity - someone raised within a church finds that a fundamental aspect of their personality, and membership in a community is a powerful thing.  I also think it's partially aesthetic.  Religion can give one a context within which not just to explain the world, but to appreciate the world.  

    Now, I was blissfully raised without religion and don't have a shred of faith in me.  I don't frankly see religion as a useful way to explain the world. But strangely enough, while I've become more sceptical of those who use religion to explain the world I've become more... well, empathetic... to those who see religion as a way to appreciate the world.  Any honest (or intelligent) religious person will tell you that doubt is actually central to faith.  It does seem to me at the end of the day, religious people may have doubts but take an aesthetic choice to err in favor of belief.  Anyway, with thoughtful religious people, I don't think faith is easily reduceable to motives of fear or rigidity.  At least not in the religious people I know.  

    Perhaps that contrast between skepticism in the 21st century about religion's explanatory value versus embrace of its aesthetic value explains why so many can remain Catholic while ignoring so much of the Church's teaching.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:21:39 PM PST

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