Getting out of the circular reasoning trap

Every religion, psychological approach and general world-view impacts on our experience of life and on everything we do.

For example Frankl believed in the inherent goodness of human nature, and this colored his whole psychotherapeutic approach called logotherapy. In other words if you think that human nature is good at the core your therapeutic approach will be towards accessing and evoking that core.

The circular reasoning trap of divine providence post brought an example of what can happen when a person thinks divine intervention is involved in every detail of life. The problem with this way of thinking is that religion insists on taking responsibility, and the person in that example is taking no personal responsibility. This leads to the absurd inescapable conclusion that religious belief mitigates against religious values!

One solution to this internal contradiction is to say that there are two different kinds of belief in divine intervention. One approach is the one that says God is involved in every detail. The other approach is the one that says God is involved sometimes but not in every detail of every person’s life.

It would be easy to say one approach is right and the other approach is wrong. The proof is in the pudding. However, being a synthesizer rather than an analyzer, I prefer to find a way that the person who takes the “every detail” approach would be likely to lead a responsible life just as much as the person who believes God is not always involved.

How can the person in our example get out of the circular reasoning trap? I realize that this is a huge question and I’m in the process of exploring it. I’m not giving any answers here, but only opening up the question.

In your experience, in which ways have your beliefs impacted your attitudes and behaviors?

Batya Yaniger

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