Believers and Non-believers
IS A SANE, CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE EVEN POSSIBLE BETWEEN BELIEVERS AND NON-BELIEVERS?
Philosophy, according Webster, is the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct. Any discussion of philosophy eventually boils down to one or all of the following subjects: religion, sex, money, and power. Politics involves them all, and the one which presents perhaps the greatest hurdle to constructive dialogue is religion.
Here is the problem. Most, if not all, religions contain the idea of "faith" or "belief". Webster defines these as: faith--belief that is not based on proof; and belief--confidence in the truth or existence of something not
susceptible to rigorous proof. So, if we are going to give credence to, and claim as reality, things which we can only imagine, e.g. God, then what are the criteria for judging the merit of any idea?
To have faith, or belief, is to deny reason and reality (even Webster is ambiguous about what reality is). If we can’t establish any mutually agreeable criteria for truth, what chance do we have for constructive dialogue?