Ever had a conversation that just wasn't right?
It's hard to put your finger on just what isn't right, but I think I've got it. Assumptions.
We all have a worldview, whether it's thought through or not. At the heart of each worldview are basic assumptions about life - assumptions which drive everything else further down our thought path.
So, when you're in a conversation talking about "things further down the thought path" it can be quite confusing if you're not aware of the other person's worldview assumptions. Or your own.
Lately I've been reading How Now Shall We Live
, a fairly comprehensive introduction to the Christian world view. I've been a Christian for most of my life, but I often haven't thought deeply about the implications of that belief.
Obviously, I'm not relying on one book to tell me what I should believe because I'm a Christian. Instead, I'm using it as a thought starter, to really comb through my beliefs.
I believe it's a good exercise for everyone, whether you're an atheist, Muslim, kaballah-ist, or confirmed agnostic. It's not only good for you personally, it's a ticket to entry in a multicultural world.
If you're not now, you will be working with people of different world views. Instead of responding with fear or stereotypes, start by listening, and not assuming the assumptions of the other person.
It's a good place to start.(end of useful bit, beginning of rant)
I find it ironic that in largely liberal New Zealand it's fashionable to characterise Christians - particularly American Christians - as intolerant bigots who can't handle diversity. The experience of a Christian in New Zealand is very different. If anything, Christians and other religious people have to examine their own beliefs, and adapt to the "real world" more carefully than do the majority of the population.
It bugs me when I hear people stereotype Christians while pretending to take the moral high ground by being - whatever they are. But I've realised the only way to deal with it is to ... hello, walk the talk, turn the other cheek, and get on with life!(end of rant!)