I get frustrated by people who believe they have a monopoly on Truth. I suppose my frustration stems from my belief that my beliefs are “true” – perhaps I should just let people be. I pray that I can always admit that “I could be wrong” & have the courage to live out my convictions rather than ridicule or persecute those who don’t share my views.

Below are a couple, but not sequenced, pages from the book by Shane Hipps that inspired the above thoughts. Picture 1, second highlighted section is better than I could have said it.


4 thoughts on “admitting we are not god

  1. I agree with you, another of your many very thoughtful and insightful posts. Personally though I get even more frustrated with the other extreme, the people who insist that there isn’t a right answer to anything and that the answer to a complex question should always be a cacophany of uninformed or at least varyingly informed or varyingly contemplated contemplated opinions.

    I think there are better and worse strategies for looking at a given question sometimes, and we can usually frame a controversy so that it can be resolved at least into the form of a reasonable dialectic where we acknowledge the matter isn’t resolved in the ultimate sense of “ultimate truth” as in “God’s eye view,” but can still be approached by identifying assumptions, preferences, biases, and objectives.

    That lets us see what each perspective brings to our own, but without just throwing up our hands and saying that all views somehow are right or none are wrong in any sense.

    To me, the purpose of an argument is to learn from each other. If we keep that in mind then we do. Sometimes more than others, but at least there’s an opportunity. If we forget it, and use argument just to show how clever we are and promote our viewpoint, then that’s what we get, we enshrine our own viewpoint and stop learning.

    1. I have learned so much from entering into genuine dialogue with those whose views are polar opposite of mine – as long as I am only trying to better understand their view & share my own, not convince them to accept my view.

      I like your point about the “other extreme”. Many people call me a “relativist” (which is what I would consider the “other extreme” you speak of). However, I can accept & try to live out a truth for myself & realize that truth might be wrong, this does not make me a relativist, but a rationale person. I would ranter be a thinking follower of Christ, than a dogmatic follower of a church. Hope that made sense.

  2. For me, calling someone an absolutist is the practical equivalent of calling them unreasonable and inflexible in their thinking. Absolutism in that regard is mostly just a way of justifying thinking with very tight constraints, or saying that there are certain things you won’t compromise in your thinking, perhaps even just for the sake of argument. “Absolutists” tend to argue against perspective-taking as a sign of reasonableness.

    I think of the “relativist” similarly as the practical equivalent of calling someone a know-nothing, they don’t claim any reason to assert one viewpoint over another except for provisional purposes. They use “relativism” as a way of justifying the avoidance of resolution procedures for arguments or verification strategies for ideas or claims.

    To me it makes more sense for “absolutists” to just identify honestly what they won’t compromise about rather than hiding behind elaborate ideological stances. Thinking with tight constraints is like engineering with tight tolerances, it works great for some things, but it also places limits on opportunities for innovation and learning. Their challenge is to learn ways to emply perspective-taking without feeling they are compromising on important principles.

    For the “relativists” it makes sense to me that they should identify honestly what they would consider unreasonable thinking. Thinking with loose constraints lets you be very creative and learn from diverse viewpoints, but it also makes it harder to settle on a single path when one makes sense.

    Sorry for the rambling response, it just seems like one of those eternal dialectics that should have a real resolution for particular cases between real people when there is an important decision at stake, rather than just being an endless abstract debate.

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