Politics Magazine

Binaries

Posted on the 16 September 2018 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

Inside, outside, upside-down.The more life moves toward binary code—what isn’t computerized these days?—the more scholars are moving away from simple binaries.Just when I thought I was getting used to this sacred/profane divide, academics are scrapping it for more nuanced paradigms not based on any assumptions of presumed deities and their projected wishes.Nothing as simple as “either/or” could justify all these salaries for stuff you can just look up on the internet, after all.Still, binaries are a very human way of looking at the world.Light and dark doesn’t mean there aren’t all the shades in between.And the very basic difference between inside and outside may be far more helpful than it might appear.

Binaries

Being inside a religious tradition—really being inside—creates a pattern of thinking that frames all of one’s experience of life.While reading about the Book of Mormon recently this became clear to me.Looking at it from the outside is something those on the inside have great trouble doing.The same is true of various Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions, or Evangelicalism.Those living on the inside of tightly constrained ways of thinking—believing—can’t see what it looks like from the outside.I suspect that not all religions traditions fall into such ways of thinking; there are shades here.“Mainstream” Christianities, for example, tend to blend at the edges and those inside might have an idea of how those on the outside view them.Lutherans know the jokes about their outlooks and can even tell them.Methodists and Presbyterians too.They tend to conform a bit to expectations andtend not to be extremist about things.  Being mainstream will do that to you.

It is unusual for a person to change religious traditions.Those who do can see their former tradition from the outside—whether mainstream of not—with a kind of objectivity that frightens true believers.Most religions have some tenets that look a bit unbelievable when viewed from outside.Once seen from that perspective, however, there’s no unseeing it.I grew up Fundamentalist.After some time in the mainstream Methodist tradition I could see Fundamentalism from the outside.When I eventually joined the Episcopal Church I had been viewing it from the outside my entire life up to that point.Looking at faith traditions inside out offers perspectives otherwise not to be had.Nobody wants to believe the wrong religion.Perhaps that’s why it’s so difficult to look at your own from the outside.You have to be willing to accept shades of gray, even if looking at it in a binary way.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Wednesday 12th December - Beatrice Buckstone

    Wednesday 12th December Beatrice Buckstone

    Here we are, half way through Blogvent already! Today's is a bit harrowing, so feel free to have a stiff drink handy. It concerns cute little uber-poppet,... Read more

    The 12 December 2018 by   Kirsty Stonell Walker
    CULTURE
  • Files.com Sells for $750,000

    Bill Sweetman from NameNinja tweeted out that his company and Sedo completed the sale of Files .com for $750,000. I’m thrilled to announce that @NameNinja... Read more

    The 12 December 2018 by   Worldwide
    BUSINESS, TECH
  • Why Blaming Gay Priests for Catholic Abuse Situation Will Not Help Anything (Plu...

    Blaming Priests Catholic Abuse Situation Will Help Anything (Plus News About Cardinal Pell, Anti-Gay Hardliner)

    I had decided as I posted my posting two days ago with an assortment of reports about the sexual abuse of vulnerable people in Christian churches that I'd do a... Read more

    The 12 December 2018 by   William Lindsey
    LGBTQ, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Brain Waves and Yoga

    Brain Waves Yoga

    by RamThe Wave by Edvard MunchNeurons communicate through electrochemical signals that are the basis for motor functions, thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Read more

    The 12 December 2018 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Tiki 101 with Jessica Souza and Chief Tiki Tay of Hudson House

    Like many a post-war baby (that war would be World War II, The Big One, WW2, or as it's commonly known, Tom Brokaw's retirement fund), I was introduced to Tiki... Read more

    The 12 December 2018 by   Boozedancing
    DRINK, FOOD & DRINK
  • Boeing 747-400(F), China Airlines

    Boeing 747-400(F), China Airlines

    @ San Francisco International Airport, CA June 2018 This 747 freighter, one of 18 747-400 in the China Airlines cargo fleet, is on final approach to SFO. Read more

    The 12 December 2018 by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY
  • Frank Sinatra’s Navy Blazer for the Holidays

    Frank Sinatra’s Navy Blazer Holidays

    Frank Sinatra trims the tree during the opening of “Happy Holidays with Bing Frank,” the 1957 Christmas special episode of The Frank Sinatra Show. Read more

    The 12 December 2018 by   Nguzan
    ENTERTAINMENT, TV & VIDEO