Thursday, February 09, 2006

InG we T - Implicational logic

In Gods We Trust
Ritual 3.0 - Implicational logic

By tuning out the scripted routine and forgetting changing details, participants are able to turn their attention to the "logical" structure and implications of religious doctrine presented in exegesis, argumentation, and sermonizing. As the "inexorable implicational logic" of religious doctrine becomes transparent to participants, the "codification and transmission" of religious belief take on a "high degree of ideological integration, coherence, uniformity, stability" Indeed the systematic, logically integrated character of institutions is an adaptation to conditions of frequent reproduction.

Last year I wrote some posts on TRIBAL RELIGION. One aspect of tribal religions is their lack of universality. Tribal religions are often defined by the inability to fully accommodate outsiders. To have a true sense of their meaning, one has to be born into them. This is the only way to fully understand the hidden meanings that support a unique and basically non transferrable world outlook. Outsiders, like anthropologists, can try to decipher meaning, but hidden memes will always destabilize projections.

Religion it seems, becomes more logical the more one gets in tune with the hidden assumptions behind it. Like Atran mentions in the previous quote, implicational logic become transparent to participants. The reproduction of memes is easy for religion to accommodate. This is because in one sense, the real value of religion doesn't lie in philosophical based doctrines, rather it lies in the ability to give representation to deeply seated memes, heuristics, and even universal assumptions.

In this sense religion mimics deep assumptions about the world. As we look at our own religious views, perhaps we can become too proud of their seemingly logical irrefutability. We assume others just need to see things more from our perspective in order to be convinced. Perhaps we think our perspectives are more useful for others than they may actually be. Perhaps it is too easy to get caught up in the apparent correctness of our view, making a firm foundation of personal experience and validation even more important. If not, we may be wont to follow a path that, as we progress, appears to be more and more correct. As ever the importance of initial direction may only be offset by the importance of humility and a repentant attitude.

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