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Post for Week 2

tangerines's picture

 Our discussion of perspectives this week reminded me of a scene from a book I read by A.J. Jacobs, called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. When incest was brought up in discussion, there were several extreme yet wildly different reactions to this taboo. This discrepancy called to mind Jacobs's book, which details Jacobs's attempt to follow every single rule in the Bible. The book also discusses the forms of religious practice among various Christian and Jewish denominations which Jacobs encounters. In one section, Jacobs describes visiting a creationist natural history museum, which features figures of children playing next to models of dinosaurs. Although Jacobs himself is incredulous, the curators of the museum fully believe that humans and dinosaurs coexist. Jacobs viewed evolution as the only plausible “story” of creation, and the curators viewed their Biblical explanation in the same way.

Both instances display the importance of context. I think it's often very easy to focus only on one's individual perspective, but to have an intellectually challenging debate, it's important to remember that the perspective of others matter just as much. Moral and ethical issues can generate heated argument, but to expand one's horizons it's important to take a step back. There is no single correct opinion or perspective – only other stories.

 

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