A Decontextualized Talking Point

One of the things I find most interesting about religious belief (or, I could say, about human thinking in general) is that religious beliefs both describe the world and shape the world. Without outside criticism, these two aspects of religion can collapse into dogmatism. Doctrine shows people what to see in the world and what people come to see through the lens of their doctrine validates the truth of their beliefs. This way of believing can form a close-minded and exclusionary feedback loop. Faithfulness, then, requires from the faithful an openness to criticism and critique. A faith that is immune to critique is merely sanctimonious intransigence. So I believe that the practice of faithfulness must be matched with an equally strong practice of self-awareness.

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