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UU For You, But Not For Me
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Bob Lipton, regular reader and Scrabble guru, posted a link to a page listing "What Unitarians Believe". Here's the list, with, of course, comments on each item:

Every individual should be encouraged to develop a personal philosophy of life.

I don't suppose I have a problem with this one, though it almost sounds like each person is supposed to take a mix-and-match approach.

Everyone is capable of reasoning.

Okay. Sure.

We do not need any other person, official or organization to tell us what to believe.

Basically just reiterating the First Amendment, I suppose. Fine.

We should be able to present religious opinions openly, without fear of censure or reprisal.

Yup, sounds good.

All people should be tolerant of the religious ideas of others.

Well, I've blogged quite a bit about this one. What exactly does being "tolerant" entail? If it means not forcing beliefs on others, fine. If it means not criticizing them, sorry. Note below that they also list "Ideas should be open to criticism". Are they including religious ideas in this statement? If so, does it contradict the item above?

Is it intolerant to criticize someone's religious beliefs?

Truth is not absolute; it changes over time.

Okay, here's where they lost me. There's absolutely no way I could be a Unitarian if this is part of their belief structure.

I most certainly don't believe that truth changes over time. This is nothing more than postmodern hogwash. Two plus two was four yesterday, and five hundred million years ago. Truth doesn't change. Our perception changes over time, and our heads are filled with plenty of misrepresentations of the world, but those misperceptions do not have any bearing on the world itself.

This one is patent baloney.

Everyone should continue to search for the truth.

Now this one I agree with, but I don't understand how a Unitarian would reconcile this idea with the one just above.

If the truth is a moving target, then once you search for it, and think you've found it, it changes, right? So what would be the point of searching for truth if you always thought it was changing?

Everyone has an equal claim to life, liberty and justice.

Sure...hey, most of the ones I'm agreeing with are simply rephrasings of secular ideals put forth in the Constitution. These aren't necessarily ideals that need to be part and parcel of a set of religious beliefs.

People should govern themselves by democratic processes.

More political philosophy (that I still agree with), that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a religious belief system.

Ideas should be open to criticism.

Oh hell yes. Ideas should be open to fierce criticism. And if they can't hold up under fire, they don't deserve to be around. I think any given society should be a crucible for ideas, burning away those that cannot hold up under the heat, leaving only the strongest to prevail.

Good works are the natural product of a good faith.

I'm not even sure what the hell this one means. I would say good works are the natural product of valuing the right things and acting upon those values. Not having "good faith".

Anyway, like I said, the points above that I most agree with are already secular values detailed in the U.S. Constitution. They have little or nothing to do with religion, and I wouldn't feel the need to list them as "religious" beliefs. They're secular.

Those listings that do deal with absolutes, such as the one about truth, I think are utterly, horribly wrong.

Sorry, Bob. But thanks for at least taking the time to post a reference to what you believe.

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