Saturday, March 02, 2013

Changing Politics and Idea # 67 (you've gotta have) faith

The results of the UK Eastleigh by-election are being scrutinised by the (UK) media and various interpretations are being put upon the Tories poor performance. In fact to me it appears that all the parties performed poorly  apart from UKIP who have not had to demonstrate any real level of competence in governing as yet. Why is it that Labour are expected to do badly in such a seat? Is a big loss of support to the Lib-Dems a demonstration of anything but disillusionment with a lying and cheating representative?

Italian Comedian too
Away from this small result in Italy politics too is under the spotlight and here the disillusionment is even more apparent but what we read into an opportunity for the electorate to choose a representative can be misconstrued - it seems to me that on ' private' voting each of us makes a choice that reflects our understanding, beliefs and desires, the results are then aggregated and commentators create an entity ' the Eastleigh voters or the 'Italian Electorate' and gives the entity an intelligence and character -is this real?
How do we accommodate an increase in votes to an Italian comedian with the continued presence of Berlusconi and his cohorts it would be a weird psychology that would allow for a  single personality to  tolerate such conflicted views within an entity.

Do we (all of us) need to involve ourselves more with the body politic rather than delegate  the least suitable personalities to deliver to us continually increasing 'standards of living'?  Interesting conversation on the radio this morning highlighted (to me)the possibility of using technology to remodel a more participative democracy but this I think needs to be informed debate rather than just a chance to vote for the unrealisable and then carp on about politicians failing to deliver.

Which neatly brings me to another of Crofton's Big Ideas still around religion it's Idea 67 Faith

Generally those with religious beliefs arrive at these by a mixture of logic and faith those who emphasise the logic are 'Natural Theologians' as opposed to the 'Fideists'  who hold faith as their primary driver, Tertullian  is a fine example of the latter . Tertullian was a Christian author from Carthage (now a suburb of Tunis).
Let's look into the meaning of the word (with help from Stanford), at its  general level ‘faith’ means something similar to‘trust’ but let's look at more specifically the idea of religious faith or to be more prescriptive the kind of faith exemplified in religious faith. Philosophical accounts are generally around theistic religious faith that is faith in God and they tend to be those within the Christian branch of the Abrahamic traditions. Although the theistic religious context settles what kind of faith is of interest, the question arises whether faith of that same general kind also belongs to other, non-theistic, religious contexts, or to contexts not usually thought of as religious at all. It may perhaps be accurate to speak of the faith of a humanist, or even an atheist, using the same general sense of ‘faith’ as applies to the theist case.

Generally there are three key components that  feature, with varying emphases, in models of faith these are
The affective, Relating to moods, feelings, and attitudes

The cognitive The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
The volitional The act or an instance of making a conscious choice or decision

For another view on Faith I like this guy (Pat Condell)