Monday, November 12, 2007
This is not to say that this particular blog doesn't often contain some very interesting facts about paganism. But I've finally removed it from my feed-reader because, in the end, I'm not so interested in mere facts, especially when they're mixed with intolerant language and ignorant assumptions about vast, stereotyped groups of people. Instead, I enjoy writers, artists and thinkers who seek to deal openly and lovingly with other human beings as valuable, unique individuals who each have something to contribute, even when they disagree. I'm sure plenty of people would ask me why I continued to read and respond to this blog for so long if I so often found myself disagreeing with it or finding its message offensive. It is precisely because I want to challenge myself to consider more carefully my own ideas, to be forced to articulate them and ground them in thoughtfulness so that I can better know my own mind and beliefs, and respond more effectively to those who disagree or who simply want to understand. It is, perhaps, a flaw of the internet and Web 2.0 that it is so easy to avoid confrontation with ideas or systems of belief with which you don't already agree. It's so easy to subscribe only to blogs that reiterate your own worldview, your own assumptions about how things "really are." Likewise, it is easy to bombard blogs with generic partisan comments, without taking the time to think honestly about what the bloggers are trying to say.
This is why I wanted to reiterate my policy about commenting: I will never censor a comment for any reason other than that it uses intentionally hateful or inflammatory language (or if it's obviously irrelevant spam, though the CAPTCHA helps cut down on that), and I will always indicate publicly when I have chosen to remove a post for this reason, giving the reader a chance to respond with an explanation of the original post if she or he feels it has been removed unjustly. I believe that communication must be based on openness, honesty and trust, and that any philosophical or spiritual theory that cannot rise to the challenge of politely-given criticism is probably on shaky footing, anyway.
I also wanted to express my gratitude, again, for those of you who continue to read and respond to my most recent posts, especially those about "the meaning of 'God.'" Just today, for instance, someone added a new comment to this post, quoting Epicurus about the nature of God in relation to "evil." Though I do not really agree with this commenter's point, he sent me on a whole new line of inquiry--about the nature of evil, suffering and goodness--which has given me a lot more to think about, to write about, and to learn from. I'm so thankful to be able to have this kind of dialogue with people, and I only hope that my writings can provide the same kind of food-for-thought that my readers provide me with in return.
In any case, thanks as always for indulging my rambling. I hope you return, as I'll probably be writing something of substance (or not! ;) again soon. And keep the comments and the disagreements coming!