Saturday, 25 January 2014

Religion vs. Rationality - a simple exercise to demonstrate why we can't communicate.

Theist/rationalist debates have always been a source of frustration.  The reason for this: our value systems are completely different, and the 'horizons' we use to orient ourselves are not even comparable. Consider the following two diagrams:




...now try to take one item from one diagram and place it in another. It's a difficult task... more than likely a theist would group all the 'science items' at the same level, whereas a rationalist would group all of the 'faith-dependant' items at the same level on his graph.

Perhaps my bias shows in the choice of items on each chart, but all I wanted to do is show the 'horizon' of our respective value systems. It would be an interesting exercise to take all items from both charts and place them in a box, then ask an interviewee to place them all on one chart, then another. I'm sure that a theist will place things like 'bible veracity' on 'demonstrable' even if it isn't - but that would only highlight more our value differences, wouldn't it?