Sunday, October 29, 2017

What Does A Pious Religious Practice Require?

I understand why certain religions demand professions of faith in the literal truth of fantastical and implausible things. But for me, I couldn't do it, neither to have such faith nor to profess it. I think a pious religious practice need only require: 1) That you learn, teach, and use the myths and traditions of your people. 2) That you participate in their rituals and community life. 3) That you live their values. By these standards, I am not any more religious than by those others. But at least those are standards by which I *could* be religious. Nassim Taleb argues it is naive to conceive of religious faith by the epistemic standards of "true belief." Rather, he argues it is more appropriate to think of it as a form of trusting, in calls to action, and in interdicts upon action. Something like this is expressed in the old saying "it is not enough that your heart be in the right place. Your arm and your hand must be in the right place as well." - Eli Harman

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