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Jay Kwon
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Topic: Food for thought, desert for discussion: Religion
Posted: 12 Mar 2013 10:45

Going back to one of the questions in the original post, on why views lead to such strong tension/strife:

Religion is a truth claim (or a set of). Humans are social beings and when we interact with each other, whether we know it or not, we deal in truth claims.

Easiest way to digest this is looking at a trivial truth claim. I can say "This place has the best bagels ever." You can either agree of disagree---it doesn't matter whether or not you've eaten the bagel yourself, you will counter with some truth claim.

"You're right, this place is the best." Affirmation.
"Nah, this other place has the best bagels." Counter.
"It's good, but best in the whole world?" Skeptic/Realist.
"You're a moron."

And so on. So what's the big deal with religion then? Religion deals with ULTIMATE truth claims. The meaning of life. Life after death. Infinite, eternal salvation. A higher power. Destiny.

In the big picture, no one cares about a truth claim about one place supposedly having the best bagels. Trivial. People will live their life just fine even if they've never went to that place, or even if they never eat a single bagel from anywhere.

The ultimate truth claim however, is so important to humans because from it comes all the other trivial (and maybe not so trivial) claims. How am I going to live my life? Why? How will I treat others? Why? How will I share my knowledge and talents? Why? How will I spread the word about the place I know with the best bagels? Why?

That's my take on why religion is such a strong topic and results in strong discourse. It gets even more tricky and tense.. because even discussing it will lead to more and more truth claims (heck, this whole post is a truth claim).

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