On Tue, 17 Oct 2000, John Cowan wrote:

> On Tue, 17 Oct 2000, Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
> > I often think I would make a much, much better agnostic than a
> > Christian.  <sigh>
> And I think that I would probably be happier as a person of faith,
> if I were able to be one, but I can't accept it --- not even fideism.
> <sigh>

Under some definitions I may be an agnostic.  I believe in God.  I also
believe it is perfectly possible for that belief (along with others) to
be incorrect in fact.  But based on the knowledge and judgement currently
at my disposal, I am going with what seems right *now.*  (If I waited for
definitive evidence on everything I suspect I'd be catatonic.)  It
doesn't mean I can't be proved wrong later, or even wrong, period, sans
proof (I'm thinking Gödel's incompleteness theorems, though I'm not sure
how applicable they are to matters of faith).  But I believe what I
believe, even if it's possibly wrong.

For some reason the above statement either confuses or disturbs most
Christian friends I've talked to.  They are often of the opinion that
acknowledging one's own belief could be wrong (presuming that greater
knowledge is available) means one's belief can't be all that strong or
serious.  I happen to disagree, mainly because I think Right and Wrong
are Right and Wrong regardless of whether I-in-particular see it.  My
beliefs happen to be the best working model I have at a given point in time.

> > [A] teacher once told me this about forgiveness and it
> > has helped me much: when God forgives it's like taking the nails out of a
> > piece of wood.  The nails aren't there any longer so He sees our sins no
> > more...but we still have the holes.
> That's the purpose of Purgatory: to putty the holes.

<enlightened look>  While I'm still not sure I believe in a Purgatory,
that makes a lot more sense.