My last entry began with an apology because what was on my mind was destined to come out quite inartfully and had the potential to offend people. And for those that did not find my tack offensive, I was expecting to be misunderstood. Going after religion and/or theology in general is not on my radar. Having said that, let’s see what else in playing in Mark’s Mindhouse…
THE NEUROCHEMICAL BASIS…
Anyone remember the book, 'The Bell Curve'? It is doubtful that anyone has actually read it, checking in over 900 pages, filled with jargon and technical writing. The subject matter was to build a case that innate intelligence is a better predictor of what kind of choices that a person makes in their life, and how they deal with the different things that they would encounter in it.
The book has become a foundation piece in the argument for racial superiority. A whole bunch of people found their panties in a because of a few sentences that teases that the differences in intelligence is a result of genetics… i.e. race. Of course, the resulting uproar of the implication that blacks were inferior to whites (if I am remembering correctly, whites were superior to everyone, but don’t quote me on that) obscured any of the analysis that was made. Were there things that the larger society could have learned from open discussion of the book’s assertions? Again, I don’t know but I can talk about something that I think happened.
A failing of both theology and empirical, scientific study, is that it depends on the imperfect observer to determine and make sense of the data. You eliminate that flaw and then I guess I will have to come down one way or the other. For my money, neither position has the necessary objectivity to convince me that their view is more correct or plausible than the other.
From the skimming of ‘The Bell Curve’ that I did at the time, I could not ignore the possible bias that the American Enterprise Institute’s conservative roots, a group that one of the book's authors, Charles Murray, who is a member, had on the findings. It makes sense to me that would complicate his claim of objectivity, as the results were 'more equal' in his findings than to others.
TIT FOR TAT
I can’t remember the authoress, save that I know it was a black female who wrote a book that was more of a collections of addresses and essays she had given and was well-received by her audiences. I read it while in college and I asked myself “Why should they have been well-received?” It wasn’t like she was speaking in front of non-believers but in front of congregants who were willing to suspend independent thinking for themselves and let her do the thinking for them and believe in what she was talking about. And essentially what she was talking about gave me the title for this entry.
She laid out a premise that (bear with me and know that I don’t subscribe to ANY of what she said) led to the genetic differenceswhites making white people predisposed to evil, more so than peoples of color. Between Jared Loughner who prolly saw the world in a way that related more to the visions that took hold of Bill Lee in ‘Naked Lunch’, and the truly monstrous Kermit Godsell, I can make a makeshift case of debunking BOTH alleged scientific beliefs along with the questions I would have with blind faith in a supreme being. For me, I’d model my argument against of racial superiority by affirming that we all from the same genetic pool.
As far as things go with religion… no matter what answers to the questions that I have had pop into my mind that I have received, the one from when I was a child, never has been satisfied. There is significance in how the faith in a belief system accurately reflects the image of its
believers. Here in America that isn’t what is going on. As an African-American child I was unable to have my face reflected in the symbolism of the ‘white, blue-eyed and blond haired Jesus’ that hung in many houses of worship. The subsequent ‘browning’ of the son of God did absolutely nothing to dispel that persistent question in my mind, organically grown of why didn't Jesus look like me. Later I would confirm the importance of having ones self-image reflected in the deity of choice. When it comes to convincing me otherwise of the relevance of Christianity to me as a black men, there are centuries of contrarian behavior to be accounted for that can’t be explained away. Don’t have to pick on the Papacy or talk about the Dark Ages… there are 400-plus years here in America that Christendom still has to answer for in my eyes.
When it comes to science I don’t think I will ever be convinced of the pure, android-like objectivity claimed by the community that their view of existence is correct either. I mean, I am just some guy with a blog but what we are to fish, could we also not be to a God?
The two things I am certain of in the theology v. science debate are that we don’t know and that one day this (meaning me) vessel will come to its final dock. There is so much that is beyond explanation that we don’t know and may never know about existence. I’d like to think once we find out, then all the lights will go out, a curtain will fall and that is it. Either that, or things will end like ‘The Truman Show’. Either way, I am more than cool with whoever is right as both could be wrong.
NOW, FOR LIGHTER THOUGHTS
One thing that I have forgotten to mention has been to let readers know that any comment left is prone to being replied to, via e-mail. Some folks reply to people in the comments but I am not comfortable with that format… I used to do a post centered by a few selected comments but I sort of think there is a trust that in a conversation that gets broken by making what is my reply open for all to see. So if you mind me emailing you, please let me know.
Football games tomorrow… I would like to see a Packer-Steeler Super Bowl but it could be any two of the four teams left that could win tomorrow without surprising me in the least. While anytime you have a competition boiled down to its very best contestants, all four of this season’s conference championship game participants are deserving of ultimately being crowned Super Bowl Champion.
The characters and character issues seem to reside in the AFC games. Though the Rooney family is known for taking a stance against having miscreants in the organization, Ben Rothlisberger is a cat that is a mark against that record. As for the Jets, they not only employ some cats whom, may have rehabilitated themselves as far as attitude, have a sketchy past as well. In fact one of their playoff heroes, Santonio Holmes, IS an example of the Steeler organization saying ‘enough is enough’ of a key player and letting them walk away for a pittance in return. And I haven’t forgotten Rex Ryan and his foot fetish being leaked out… by his WIFE!!