Deconstruction, or Demolition

Mendalla, you wrote something good an hour ago and I wanted to reply:

You know, thinking about the whole questions vs. answers thing, I realized that the idea of religion being about questions, not definitive answers, is very much a modern, if not post-modern, thing. Up to at least the Enlightenment, at least in the West, religion was about answers. Traditional religions, classical European paganism, and such dealt with how and whys of the world. Early and medieval Christianity were about Jesus as the “answer” to the problems of the world. Asking questions happened, but such people were kind of outliers and even got branded as “heretics” or similar. Asking questions was really more the province of philosophy and even there, you had a lot of philosophers posing questions that they then gave their own answers to. Is that why there is still resistance to questioning in religion, at least in organized religion, today? Because that simply was not how religion his historically/traditionally worked?

I openly wonder if it’s because people want answers, and others questioning the answers they accept is a threat to them and their state of mind.

The more nefarious reason to oppose questioning is when you’re the one providing the answers, or are positioned as the authority in interpreting the holy texts, and questioning undermines that authority.

So the people who provide the answers are weakened by good questions, and the ones seeking hard answers have their world view threatened by good questions.

In a world that values certainty over validity, questioning is a problem.

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Oh, for sure on both. I think there’s also the intellectual laziness of some people who want reality spoonfed to them instead of having to think about it too much. They won’t question but they also won’t care about others questioning. They’ll just go along with easy answers.

Okay but how did we get to where questioning was ever seen as acceptable yet lack of theological answers was not a dealbreaker?

Or is that what’s happening now in more “liberal” churches where questioning is allowed or encouraged? Is the questioning slowly evolving into deconversion before our eyes? I think this is a huge part of it, and is speaks to why conservative churches are declining more slowly. Yet it’s a hypothesis that the liberal churches will never address head on. They’ll dance around the idea but I never see them tackle it.