"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Date: September 23, 2004 03:55AM
Its true that some "skeptics" have projected their confusion and anger onto "God", and have taken their anger at a religious institution that harmed them, and blamed this on "God" as well.
Just to clarify, when I say Skeptic, I mean someone who is quite disciplined in this subject, and has worked though their personal angst, and can look at it objectively.
Also, the "order" (and disorder) in the natural world is explained through the current ideas in biological science and Evolution. This is a huge subject, but it does have relevance to this subject. Richard Dawkings is an excellent writer who explains, for example, how "eyes" evolved over millions of years, in many different ways. This gets into how DNA works, and the entire massive subject.
Now this is the moment where everyone starts seeing red.
For those who believe in a religion, they can start getting very angry, and then start the argument for Creationism, or "Intelligent Design". One could literally spend years of their life trying to figure out who is more accurate in their explanations, and who is making errors, either on purpose, or by mistake.
This is part of the problem, in my view.
Reality is very complex, and very counter-intuitive, and very difficult to understand.
So people have built "mental models", to try and come to grips with it.
The trick here is to find a mental model that is as accurate as possible.
Now the problem is, our own Beliefs generally choose which model to Believe, and filter the "facts" to suit those beliefs in a closed-loop.
I think this is part of the problem with cults.
Most cultish groups seem to have a Cosmology that explains reality in some way. A certain Metaphysics.
So a very simple question about what is going on when there is a "laying on of hands", very quickly leads to whether or not God exists, and if so what is Gods nature. It also leads to conflicting views of the nature of reality itself, and to the current ideas about Evolution, DNA, and all the rest of it.
This is a very complex line of thought, and each person has to figure things out for themselves.
The problem is there are so many biased sources of information on all sides, systems of thought that are set-up to bring people into them.
Some of these are cultish in nature.
I don't know where I am going with this, but there have been some people who have sought a balanced, reasonable communication between conflicting ideas.
I guess what I am saying is for each person to try their best to figure things out for themselves.
The problem with that, is that these subjects are so complex, and there are so many "systems" out there to entrap people, I don't see how the average person can cope.
The only way out I see, is to not accept systems of ideas "whole hog". You have to break them apart piece by piece, and examine each part separately to see if it makes sense.
But do people WANT to do this?
So most of us walk into a pre-designed system of thought, perhaps even by Plato or Augustine, or by some local Cultish Guru, and we buy into it.
Anyway, this is a very tough nut to crack, but I do personally believe that the tools of critical thinking can help us find our way through this morass.