insufficient evidence

Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, beliefs, evidence, values, known, Let’s start by considering the opposite of insufficient evidence—namely, sufficient evidence. The question put to us is simple, “Would there be sufficient evidence to convict you of what you say you believe?” or, “What repercussions do your values have for the way you live?”

Certainly, Navy Seals can boast ample evidence that their actions bespeak of a deep belief in “God & country.”  (Their motto is Ready to lead…, ready to follow. Never quit.) People of deep religious faith generally could be convicted for their faith; there should be sufficient evidence. (If there is not…, well.) There is probably a Gallup survey that asks “To what extent do you follow through on your commitments?”

Yet in our Western, postChristian, pluralistic world there seems to be more of an inclination toward tentative commitments and cautious relationships. The fear of being known has regained unusual ground in a culture longing for safety. There has also been a rise in the fear of being wrong, or making the wrong choice or decision. Therefore, many of us never fully commit to anything. We have prenuptial agreements, escape clauses, termination parachutes, etc. We are a people who do not like to be pinned down or labeled; Christian, Republican, Conservative/Liberal, even male/female.

Part of the reason for our hesitation-to-commit is our fear of being hurt. It is our fear of being rejected from “the group,” or our insecurity stemming from our own historical observations that commitments are simply inconsequential. So why make them? We have fed this innate fear that, if we make a mistake we need to cover ourselves; we need to provide an escape route that will free us from the whole mess, the marriage, the contract, the bond. We fear being hurt so much that we don’t fully give ourselves to anything, or anyone, anymore. We always need to protect ourselves— a way OUT.

Therefore, we can never be pinned down on what we hold dear, what we value, or what we believe:  it’s just safer for us that way. Or is it?

Without sufficient evidence to hold us to any belief system or set of values we may have escaped the wrath of some other group. We may have avoided another deep heartache. But we have also demolished our own core. We have morphed its solidity for mush, its certainty for wishy-washy equivocation, which is about as inspiring as tan wallpaper.

If our leaders, and ourselves, do not hold positional beliefs and values strong and clear enough to convict us then who have we become? Insufficient evidenceis the descriptor of weaker men who do not want to be held accountable for their actions.

Let’s stand up and be counted—  even if it costs us our lives.

‘Nough said,

  Gary

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insanity

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Christianity, insane, core, values, change, It’s often said that the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”  Although attributed to Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the definition is so widely used that even the great genius himself may have usurped it elsewhere.

            Nonetheless, we all do it. We all continue in the same procedures, the same management practices, the same life-style choices, the same patterns of daily life, and wonder why things always seem the same; monotonous, flat, zestless, perfunctory. Ergo, insanity. And I am just as guilty as anyone else.

            So, how do we confront this irksome, repetitive monotony? Surely there are training courses and books and articles in abundance that can help us change our ways. But is it simpler than behavioral re-patterning? Is it more basic, something intrinsically connected to the human condition? This writer believes it to be so.

            Our desire for sameness is a reflection of our need for safety, stability, security. Change, though also needed and usually necessary, threatens our inherent security levels and launches us into uncertainty, hinting of future instability and a relinquishing of our personal and/or corporate safety.

            Change, whether it be continuous change (improvements on past ideas or inventions, like automobiles), or discontinuous change (major paradigm shifts, like smart-phones), is a natural challenge to our way of life. We need to adapt to the “new,” which implies letting go of the old. The earth is no longer flat; nor is the British Empire an empire; nor is the atom the smallest particle. Shifts in discovery and invention challenge the way we perceive our world: they change our patterns of life on an individual and global scale.

            When change is disruptive of our way of life, be it for better or worse, but especially for the worst, we must adapt and challenge what comes our way. The formations of nation-states across early China and medieval Europe were bloody affairs, uprooting peoples and destroying cities and lands. The same can be said for the formation of the United States. On a personal scale the arrival of a new baby is disruptive of a way of life; so also does moving your family to a new location bring uncertainty into the formerly predictable way of living. Insanity.

            This ever-changing, uncertain world makes it all the more imperative that each of us formulate a set of core beliefs and principles that are both true to reality and aligned with truth. To not have these core values in your life is to foster further instability and insecurity.

            It has taken me years to construct my core values; and they still require tweaking every year of so. What about you? Are you aware of your core values? At rock bottom, what holds you together?

For what it’s worth,

  Gary