The argument for faith
Let it go!
Yesterday I talked about how society/the extended order is always evolving. This, I think, links in neatly with ideas that Daniel J. Siegel explores regarding emotions in ‘The Neurobiology of We’.
His key argument is that our brains, our minds (which he considers two separate things) and our relationships with each other work in a kind of permanent feedback loop. Emotions, he argues, can only be formed when we express our need for something (i.e. from a parent, a lover etc.) and they respond. At this point, we integrate the need and the response into what we would call an emotion. Emotions by themselves can’t really exist.
In the same way, societal systems, values and traditions can only develop when people interact and relationships develop implicitly around the unspoken acknowledgement that something ‘feels’ right. A person has an idea, and shares the idea or acts on it. Only when he gets feedback from others on it can its worth be appreciated. The idea in and of itself is valueless.
Over time weaker ideas die off, and good ones are strengthened, developing into laws, traditions etc. So society evolves. Dangers exist on both sides of the political spectrum with this. For those more left-leaning, and hence more prone to assuming they are clever enough to see all the issues and knock-on effects (no-one can!), the tendency might be to push things too far too fast. Conversely, those with a conservative mindset might fail to see the bigger picture and try to push back against changes, again without fully appreciating what they are doing, and ending up doing more harm than good.
It’s here that I think the concept of faith comes into play, because society is big and complex, far more than our somewhat irrational, anthropomorphic ideas about God. If we need some kind of faith, it’s in trusting society to sort itself out and not trying to interfere too much, if at all. If you can do that, then I believe a magic happens, and things far greater than any of us could ever imagine will occur. But only if we let it.
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