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Calvin Chatlos’ Human Faith model, with my expansions
Posted: 02 March 2008 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 241 ]
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I have to agree with Brennen here.  The Level thing is too formalized for me and I’m not sure I understand the need for it.  I like to discuss issues but I’m not really interested in “levels” of achievement.  I do think it’s important to understand one’s own motivations and to actively seek and promote fulfilling relationships in one’s life, but the “level” model feels too heirarchical and almost like a game—“let’s see if I can achieve level 5!”

Vanessa

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Posted: 02 March 2008 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 242 ]
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Brennen and Vanessa, you’re right. The levels aren’t necessary. I’ll post something tomorrow or later today, and we’ll see where it goes if anywhere.

I’ll clean up the progression in the action domain since I opened it.

Level 0 (bad): I’m engaging in self-destructive behavior.
Level 1 (not-bad): Restraint. I’m no longer engaging in self-destructive behavior, which is clearly a step forward, but I’m not really doing much of anything positive either.
Level 2 (good): Responsibility. Oh good, now I’m being affirmatively responsible. We’re making progress.
Level 3 (excellent): Generosity. I’m beyond mere responsibility. My life isn’t just a collection of contract-like responsibilities any more. I’m making the most of every moment, doing every positive thing I can with every available opportunity.
Level 4 (transcendent): for example, courage. This is also generosity, but it’s outside some previsous boundary, whether my culture’s boudary or my own, or both.

Seeing this progression has helped me identify when I’m being satisfied with too little. It’s not about trying to achieve transcendence. It’s about being in whatever our best state is.

However, as it fell like a lead balloon, let’s shelve it. If anyone wishes to return to it later, I’ll be most interested.

[ Edited: 02 March 2008 01:13 PM by PLaClair ]
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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 02 March 2008 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 243 ]
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A main distinction in the model is the Faith State / Faith as a Continuum.

I posted some examples of Faith in post 214, and some examples of not-Faith in post 215.

It was at the point of posting this distinction that we made some observations in previous groups.

1. Unquestioning Faith is not practical. It would be lovely if everyone and everything constantly confirmed Faith, but that is not the case.

2. Just the same, there is an attitude associated with Faith: an attitude of optimism. Living with Faith does not require us to believe that the half-empty glass will naturally fill itself (not wise to do), but we must be able to envision a full glass.

So the question is: how do we fill the glass. The question assumes that a full glass is what we want. If you want an empty glass, then the question is how to empty it. And if you want your glass half-full, the question is how to achieve that state, or perhaps maintain it.

3. Third observation: if Faith is a mere hope, then it is powerless. Faith is effective only if it operates in the present.

Then the question is: how do we make it happen.

To answer Brennen’s question in post 230, learning and/or practicing this model is not a necessary predicate to transforming experiences, or to living a meaningful life. Many people have had such experiences, and surely have lived meaningful lives without it. (Men built bridges before they learned the science of bridge-building.) However, I believe all of those experiences fit within the model’s framework. It is the best systematic exploration of what is going on with those experiences, and so far as I know the only complete one.

More to Brennen’s point, perhaps, I would not wish to forego such an experience if it is available to me. There is no useful insight that I don’t want to have if I can have it. Sorry I missed your question, Brennen.

Please, if this isn’t for you, don’t force it. I appreciate everyone’s participation, and whether everyone here sees it or not, a considerable amount of Faith has already been expressed. I’ll be delighted if we can move on and finish the project, but if not I appreciate everyone’s interest and contribution.

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Posted: 03 March 2008 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 244 ]
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Well I have been following this thread and have some questions here.

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

Brennen and Vanessa, you’re right. The levels aren’t necessary. I’ll post something tomorrow or later today, and we’ll see where it goes if anywhere.

They may not be necessary but I see no reason not to have some sort of hierarchy that reflects differing actualisation of human capacities. However I suspect for others, but this is certainly in my case, that these levels are yet again bundling in a value system that you have never made clear.

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

Level 0 (bad): I’m engaging in self-destructive behavior.

Is it only self-destructive behaviour that is bad? How do we know it is self-destructive - many who we think operate this way deny that it is self-destructive.

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

Level 1 (not-bad): Restraint. I’m no longer engaging in self-destructive behavior, which is clearly a step forward, but I’m not really doing much of anything positive either.

So could positive mean self-constructive behaviour here?

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

Level 2 (good): Responsibility. Oh good, now I’m being affirmatively responsible. We’re making progress.

Why is responsibility good? One can be a responsible assassin. Is that good?

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

Level 3 (excellent): Generosity. I’m beyond mere responsibility. My life isn’t just a collection of contract-like responsibilities any more. I’m making the most of every moment, doing every positive thing I can with every available opportunity.

Generosity but not superogatory.  I am not a contractarian still not sure how does one know one is “doing every positive thing I can with every available opportunity.” what does positive mean here?

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

Level 4 (transcendent): for example, courage. This is also generosity, but it’s outside some previsous boundary, whether my culture’s boudary or my own, or both.

This is superogatory I think - actions above and beyond the call of duty.  Do not know why it needs to be called transcendence necessarily although I can see how you are now trying to define this specifically, but if so, why have you not done this for the previous levels or have I missed something in your previous posts - I have read them?

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

Seeing this progression has helped me identify when I’m being satisfied with too little. It’s not about trying to achieve transcendence. It’s about being in whatever our best state is.

Again how do you know what your best state is?

PLaClair - 02 March 2008 12:32 PM

However, as it fell like a lead balloon, let’s shelve it. If anyone wishes to return to it later, I’ll be most interested.

Ironically I found this approach quite interesting as it breaks down the problem in a way that makes sense to me. downer

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Posted: 03 March 2008 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 245 ]
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PLaClair - 26 February 2008 04:47 PM

The difference is qualitative, and it’s a sea change in its effects but not necessarily in outward appearance to the casual observer. What’s hanging me up trying to respond to you is that the use of words on both sides may not fully convey our respective intents. I look at what you wrote, think about my own born-again experience, and think “yes, that’s exactly what happened.” I was still on my own ground. It was just a better model.

This is what I draw issue at. I understand the “born-again” process both intellectually and experientially.  However such an experience itself cannot answer or make go away the questions that I asked previously. What I often see claimed is that such “born-again” experiences lead one to see something one could not see before - a “eureka” moment - as I have often heard as a supposedly compelling analogy. However these are distinct experiences and indeed I would argue that a born-again experience only provides the illusion of a eureka moment and actually prevents them occuring in the future.

PLaClair - 26 February 2008 04:47 PM

In fact, it was probably something quite a few people understood. One thing changed, and it made all the difference. It completely changed my life and way of Being with others and even with myself. For me, it was transcendent. It was as though the person who had been was no more, and a new and improved version of me was present - depending on how I looked at it. Much of this is attitude. Yet there’s no denying the difference in made in my personal relationships, and it was immediate and has persisted.

I understand what you are claiming here but this is simply the wrong basis to assert or claim anything about the world and it definitely should not be encouraged, which is what you are trying to imply here. The problem is that however “positive” your experience actually is, in general these can be used to get people to agree to nearly much anything and especially to think they are doing good when they are doing bad. If we need to rely on born-again experiences to be humanists we are in a lot of trouble.

PLaClair - 26 February 2008 04:47 PM

As a suggestion, give it a day or two and try out a couple Level 4s; or wait a few days for me to post my conception of the Level 4s. Or better still, since that could easily fall flat given the inadequacy of words to express this, read some of the first-hand accounts from William James’ book The Varieties of Religious Experience.

A good book but nothing in it alters what I have said here. As I suggested before you should check out Bill Sargent’s “Battle for the Mind” which is far more relevant to the claims here.

PLaClair - 26 February 2008 04:47 PM

The best suggestion, though, may be to think of it not as Einstein versus Newton, but as Einstein versus all the other superb physicists of his day who weren’t geniuses.

There were plenty of other geniuses in Einstein’s time, that is why physics moved so quickly then.

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Posted: 03 March 2008 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 246 ]
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The model assumes a commitment to human worth and dignity, a universal respect for and honoring of the human person. All the values in the model must be seen in that light.

I’m not sure that there is such a thing as our best in the way faithless seems to be using the term. “I might have done better, but I did the best I could.” Despite outward appearances, these two statements are not mutually inconsistent, illustrating yet again that life is not lived only in the cerebral cortex or on paper, but in the nitty-gritty world.

I do not believe I ever claimed that everyone who undertakes this project will undergo a born-again experience, or that such an experience is necessary to benefit from the model. On the contrary, in the groups in which I participated nearly, every participant benefited without having such an experience. I had such an experience, which has re-shaped my life, but that was a function of where I was starting (I needed it!), the quality of the mentoring and group interactions, and what I put into the project.

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