In RELIGION and POLITICS, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue, but have taken them at second hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing. – Mark Twain
I was about to grab and slam the gavel (mentally, lol) as I could only imagine what Twain was about to say when he said, “…whose opinions about them were not worth a brass…” You may fill in the blank. In today’s political and religious climate, I find myself increasingly unplugging from the usual religious and political outlets. MSNBC against CNBC, CNBC against CNN, Republic against Democrat, Black against White, Poor against the Rich, Christians against the Muslims, it could become overwhelming – if you aren’t wise enough to simply – unplug. Once you’ve unplugged, you must then begin a serious search for truth. You must initiate a sincere examination of your beliefs, conventions and convictions as well conducting a cross-examination of the beliefs, conventions and convictions of others without being confrontational. You can only do this by asking probing questions and receiving the same, thus encouraging lively and civil debate, discussion and/or exploration. Otherwise, your mind becomes stagnant, stale, and sour like unmoving water!
As an examiner, as Twain implied that some of us are in the above quote, I have longed examined the question “Are all religions: Baptist, Methodist, Jehovah’s Witness, Islam, etcetera, etcetera correct?” I have concluded that every religion may have a portion of the truth, but certainly not a monopoly on truth. Would that be fact or opinion? Whatever you believe, belief in and of itself would imply “opinion”, right? And could this possibly be the birthplace of the phrase, “…everyone is entitled to their own – opinion.” Speaking of proof, I “offer” the following definition as a starting point for examination(s): Fact is that which can be proven. Opinion is your feelings or another person’s feelings on a particular topic.
Fact or opinion can be subjective or objective, it wholly depends upon with whom you are conversing. There is nothing wrong with wrestling with a particular topic/issue and after a time, call “time-out”, not quit, but “time-out”. So, I ask you, are you an examiner or non-examiner? Is your answer subjective or objective? In either case, examine, re-examine and encourage more examination of our world. Only then do we avoid becoming stagnant, stale, and sour like unmoving water! Period, Case-Closed.