Questions from the Business World That push Against Faith

In making progress towards the research end of my writing project with Ryan Bolger, I’ve been reading the the Cluetrain Manifesto, by Rick Levine, et. al. It’s a business text that pushes into the way business currently operates, and how the Web [sic] is changing the market. (They reclaim this work throughout the text from the capitalistic/consumerism definition it’s had during modernity to the definition that meant the conversation that happens between one who crafts a good and one who wishes to purchase said good.) The book is worth the read for those involved in business for sure; be warned however, that the authors push HARD against the status quo and write rather candidly and colloquially.

This quote struck me stronger than some of the others so I thought I’d post for some communal reflection, if you’d like.

There are other questions possible, better questions. Questions that come from the heart, not the wallet, the gonads, or the lobe of the brain responsible for smugness. Questions that open the furture instead of making sure the dead bolt on the door is nice and tight. ~Christopher Locke and David Weinberger

Unfortunately, I have more questions than thoughts about this statement. Although they are writing about business, the modern epistemology proves fertile ground for dialogue with their statement.  Many of us have assumed fears and subsequent practices in our lives based on media spin. For example, why do many of us feel the need to shut and lock the doors to our homes in broad daylight while we are there? Many stories – the ones that are exceptional and so low on the percentage of happening to us – get the most airtime on the news. So, for safety, we remain behind lock and key.

That being said, what else do we put behind lock and key? What sorts of things do we strain to control, command even, despite a freer or alternative way of being? What possibilities do we shut down or keep out because we are afraid of not having the control – 0r comfort? – over? In a society spun with media fear, what does this mean for us as individuals, our perspectives, our communal paradigm? What of our risk taking?

For the work of my final writing project, these questions loom larger still: What does it mean for our faith in something bigger than ourselves? Something that we want us to save from ourselves? Institutional religions that have far too long shaped the questions, and either shut down or kept out certain questions? Based on fear? (Alternatively, does institutional religion still falsely believe it has the corner market on “true” spirituality?) What is there to loose if we open, say, the institutional Christian Church community, to alternative questions? Understanding? Further still, epistemology? Is the latter even possible?

Anyway, just questions. No answers. I have ideas, but I’d like to hear yours. Thoughts and responses welcome….

~ by Brian Shope on August 16, 2010.

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