The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty. -Proverbs 10:14
The rich man’s strong city above is his inner wisdom. The destruction of the poor occurs because they haven’t sought wisdom first. Without models to improve their worlds, the poor of spirit are continually stuck in self-destructive cycles.
Religion as a Model of Accepted Irrationality
It’s become very popular to hate on religion, to blame religion for all sorts of atrocities, from terrorism to the crusades.
The rationale goes, that religion is a fundamentally irrational, hateful set of ideas. If we simply cut out the irrationality of religion from our collective experience, we’d eliminate war and hate forever.
I won’t disprove that here, but let’s just assume that some power structures benefit by convincing people of evils which weren’t there. And they sell their own perverted version of “religion” to do it.
That being said, it does make sense to use a model of irrationality to shape your life.
Acquire Wisdom First
So what is wisdom?
Wisdom is the ability to optimally (effectively and efficiently) apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results.
So wisdom is a model for the way the world works. But it’s also a model for how we work best within the world. Religiously speaking, we use wisdom to get the results which give us the fullest life possible.
Incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thine heart to understanding.
– Proverbs 2:2
So really, the quote above is telling us to acquire working models for the world and ourselves first. These models must improve both ourselves and our worlds in their application.
Admit the Limits to Your Intelligence
The world is a big place. There is a lot to know.
Admitting the limits to your intelligence means focusing on building and testing models, above acquiring facts. It also means being aware of irrational ideas, and using them as necessary.
Religion and Science Are Supposed to Work Together
Religion gives us wisdom presented as the religious metaphor, and science gives us the methods to test which models work and which don’t.
There is no great battle between irrational religious people who want to murder everyone, and the upright scientists who drudge on, facing pure rationality in a world of irrationality.
We test models by putting them to work, and measuring their results. The religious models of wisdom which work we can keep for ourselves. The others we let go of.
Negation of A Model for Wisdom Isn’t Wisdom
Understand, dismissing a religious model just because it’s irrational gets you nowhere. The world we live within is irrational. There are predictable models, yes, and reason takes us very far, but reason alone is an insufficient tool to understand the world.
It’s insufficient because it gives us nothing new, only what’s already there.
Which new models will you begin testing today? Which models have worked in the past?