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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %PARADIGM GUIDE ASSUMPTION ATTITUDE LEAD REASON GOD+930813 %RATIONAL MERIT RESPECT EXPERIENCE DIVORCE SEX LOVE+930813 %DICHOTOMY TEST CAUSE EFFECT META-THEORY DECIDE ACT 930813 Paradigms are what motivate, lead, and guide our formulations of assumptions, attitudes, reasons, rationalizations, theories, and testing of our beliefs against our experiences, and the experiences of others. Paradigms are meta-theories which motivate, lead, and guide our testing of lower level theories. For any theory to have integrity and merit our respect, it must be possible to test the theory against our experiences and the experiences of others---and to prove the theory to be false, misleading, disintegrative, alienative, incoherent or otherwise not meriting our respect or support. A theory which sets up rules under which its flaws cannot be exposed does not merit our respect or support. If any paradigm or meta-theory is of such a nature that it excludes the possibility of disproving the meta- theory in terms of human experiences---that theory does not merit respect. It is arrogant in claiming to have ultimate authority and to merit ultimate respect without respect for the consequences to the people who respect the theory and allow it to: motivate, lead, and guide their formulations of assumptions, attitudes, reasons, rationalizations, lower level theories, and testing of the meta-theory. Such a paradigm or meta-theory should be regarded as an idol, and those who worship such a paradigm or meta-theory should properly be regarded as lost in idolatry. They are probably playing collusive games of mutual self deception in the manner of addicts and their supportive codependents. The divorce of a paradigm or meta-theory from testing in terms of open and honest dialogue about the experiential consequences for people who show high levels of respect for the paradigm or meta-theory---is an evil divorce which leads to much alienation and suffering from which worshipers of the paradigm or meta-theory cannot learn anything of value; because the idolaters cannot be honest about the consequences of their idolatry. Such a divorce between theory and experience create dichotomies and blockages to: human talk, listening, dialogue, communication, conversation, conversions, learning, and correction of errors in the light of tragic mistakes made. People who set up some commandments, injunctions, prohibitions, scriptures, laws, rules, regulations, moral codes and their like as meriting ultimate respect and worship---in the absence of open and honest consideration of the experiential consequences of such ultimate respect and worship---are idolaters worshiping false gods who lead them into all kinds of dishonesty, collusions, addictions and codependent support of their idols. Every meta- theory and paradigm needs to be tested in the light of the experiences of people who show the highest level of respect for it; and in the light of the experiences of other people who are victims of the people who show the highest level of respect for the meta-theory or paradigm. These considerations are relevant to the wise examination of the experiential consequences of the paradigms and meta-theories of many religious leaders and fundamentalists of all kinds of foci all around the planet earth. By their fruits shall we know the nature of our leaders. To evaluate our leaders we need to ask questions such as the following: Do they promote integration, or disintegration? Do they promote healing or sickness? Do they work to generate alienation, or reconciliation? Do they work for creative conflict resolution, or to perpetuate unresolved conflicts? Do they seek to share authority and power, or to retain for themselves authority and power? Do they seek to be in control, or to participate in open and honest dialogue with people who are fundamentally different from them? Do they behave in ways which are consistent with what they say, or is there a lack of integrity as regards their talk and behavior; between what they say they are working to do, and what they actually cause to occur? Is their sincerity the kind of sincerity which characterizes participants in deceptive collusive games of mutual self deception---in the manner of addicts and their supportive codependents? Do our leaders promote personal and communal integrity in balanced ways intimately related to our experiences, or do they lead us toward personal and communal disintegration in unbalanced ways due to their exclusive obsessions with exclusive idols? (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================