Tag Archives: Cultural Revolution

Belief and social identity

Glenn, at “Say Hello to my Little Friend” has a very useful post on a Christian perspective of open-mindedness (Scepticism, Open Mindedness and Mistrust). I think this perspecitve is not just a Chrsitian one. It is one that I recognise also in those advancing dogmatic secular ideologies. For my generation his analysis applies equally well to Maoists, to the Red Guards of China’s so-called “Cultural Revolution.”

Here’s how Glenn justifies a closed mind to non-Christian viewpoints:

“So it is when a Christian is asked to consider atheism. It’s not true that the Christian should be as open minded to the possibility of atheism as he would like people to be to the possibility of Christianity, any more than I should be as open to the possibility of my wife’s unfaithfulness as I would like people to be to the possibility of her faithfulness. A person who is a Christian has what he or she takes to be a relationship of trust. They have a prior commitment (and in fact the relationship between Christ and the church is likeness, in the Bible, to a marriage e.g. Ephesians 5:31-33). When I talk about a prior commitment here, I do not just mean a prior belief, something that they affirmed before and don’t want to give up. I mean not a commitment to a proposition but to a person – to a relationship, call it what you will. It is a relationship of trust, and more than that, of worship.”

So, this religious conviction is not about primary beliefs. It’s about a “relationship of trust,” “a prior commitment,” even a relationship “of worship.”

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