Interfaith Dialogue I: The Positive View
OK my crazy followers. I’ve thought of a new post to write. I won’t apologizing for not being around, real life has been a lot better later, and haven’t needed to spend as much time with the bloggernacle. In any case, I have some thoughts I want to share about interfaith dialogue. I’ve broken the post into two parts, the positive half, and the negative half.
As always, I will try to incorporate some chemistry to enlighten my readers and as an example of the principles I will be discussing. Think about the air in the room around you. How fast do you think the molecules are traveling? Some of you probably have no idea (that’s OK). Some might thinkk you’re pretty smart, and will say, “duh, PC, they’re traveling the speed of sound, about 343 m/s at STP (standard temperature and pressure).” But that’s incorrect, that’s only the most probably speed. In reality there’s a distribution of velocities. There are some molecules that are traveling slower than the average, some that are faster than the average, and some that are at the average. You can see some images of the distributions here. Now what’s interesting about these curves is that we also remember that the molecules aren’t stationary, they are constantly in motion, constantly bouncing, interacting and constantly changing. Sometimes the fast molecules interact with the slow ones, and the both become closer to the average speed. Sometimes molecules interact with each other and one molecule gains velocity and the other one loses it. Sometimes the interactions involve bouncing, or sticking, elastic and inelastic collisions.
So what does this all have to do with a positive outlook on interfaith dialogue? To me, it’s all about learning via interaction. Sometimes we may approach interfaith dialogue with “bad” intentions. We may want to convince others that their beliefs are incorrect. We may want to convince outsiders about what others beliefs are, either correctly or incorrectly. We may want to correct the false information spread by others. But in all of these interactions, we are changed, of course, we can choose if we are changed for the better or the worse, we can choose if you change closer or further away from the truth. We can choose whether we seek to glorify God by speaking the truth and relying on His Holy Spirit to Teach and Testify of Truth, or whether we rely on our own fallen minds to spread misinformation. We can choose whether we’ll be open to the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit by previous obedience to God’s commandments, or we can open ourselves to inspiration from the spirit of the devil by practicing and idolizing contention. No matter what, the choice is ours.