Turning ourselves inside-out
Posted by Arlene Somerton Smith
Meet in the middle
Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hutchins, Sam Harris and others criticize the words and actions of extreme religious fundamentalists. But those prominent authors also hold extreme positions and show the same intolerance of opposing viewpoints as the fundamentalists they denounce. Albert Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we want to change problems created by extreme religion in our society, we cannot do it using the same approach that created them. Let’s stop working from the extremes and turn ourselves inside-out. Start from the central points of consensus, share ideas, acknowledge each other’s findings and learn from each other. If we want to fully enjoy our world experience, it is best for science and stories to work together.
And then face the same direction
When people disagree over the nature of the universe and argue each point of view, they face each other, lean forward to intimidate, waggle their fingers, and turn their backs on the world. However, when people acknowledge differences with compassion and acceptance, they turn their backs on the differences, not the world. They stand side by side, face the same direction and drink in the beauty and wonder of the universe. The remarkable thing about the publications of scientists and the writings of theologians is not that they differ in certain areas, but that they point to so many of the same things.
Removing dialogue about faith from the extremes allows us to begin the exploration of our universe from a balanced centre of science and story.