Friday, February 24, 2006

Knowledge: Good or Bad?

Something i was thinking about during the end of class on Wednesday that I wanted to save for a blog was the concept of knowledge. We were discussing how Eck was shyly suggesting that gaining knowledge and understanding of other religions may result in the change of one's own religion and that this is acceptable. She gave the example of how the Christian woman had Buddhist neighbors and actually adopted some Buddhist concepts into her Christian identity and that this was good. In class, we had been hinting at as a class that changing one's religious identity is not a good thing, that it sacrifices part of who we are and denounces the idea of 'faith.' Where was the faith that we had if we can quickly adopt foreign concepts and drop the concepts that we have believed in for so long?

Therefore I pose the question, is knowledge a good thing or a bad thing? Is it good to have a firm understanding of other religions, even if it sheds light on your own and may change your own beliefs? I would say that knowledge is good in all situations. To hold back on learning more because one could potentially change their identity and beliefs is uncivilized. I feel that if someone is enlightened to new ideas and concepts that make sense to them, then maybe they were believing the wrong thing all along because they did not have the more sensible alternative. I am a firm believer that everyone creates and operates according to their own religion. (if they, in fact, label themselves as religious) I believe that people create their own rules based on things they find more sensible. In a religion, for example Christianity, the only thing that is taught are rules and guidelines from that religion, leaving no room for growth. If there is to be growth on a national standpoint, let a lone an individual one, knowledge is the key ingredient, even if it means changing the identity that one has kept for a long period of time.

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