All Or Nothing

People treat too much stuff as all or nothing. Some stuff really is, but lots isn't.

Suppose you hear some reasons Christianity is bad. Does that mean you have to either decide to accept Christianity anyway, or reject all of it? No! Christianity is a huge thing with tons of parts. Some of it's dumb and some makes sense.

The right general approach is to make changes to solve problems. If something isn't causing a problem, you can leave it alone for now.

Make changes a step at a time in response to actual issues you want to address. Then check if your change solved that issue or not. Then keep it, or try again. And once you get a solution, then you have a new situation. In your new situation, maybe you can find another issue to improve.

For example, you might decide to think about sin differently than the Bible. You could make a change about that while still celebrating Easter or still attending Church.

When there's a lot of complexity and different parts, look for ways to make step-by-step progress. Don't try to change everything at once.

When you're dealing with an important principle, then violating it never helps. Like being a little bit superstitious or unscientific is no good. But if you're superstitious or unscientific, it still makes sense to do step-by-step improvements.

Does a superstitious person really know it's better to reject all superstition? No. If he knew that, in full, he'd do it already. Some people have told him that superstition is bad. He should have the attitude that it's an idea worth considering and investigating, and he should try some initial steps that make sense to him now. The superstitious person shouldn't try to assume what conclusion his truth-seeking process will reach at the end.

When people try to make a big change all at once, it often goes wrong. They don't actually know enough about how this distant other thing will work. It's not something they're familiar with.

Then when people's big all-at-once changes fail, sometimes they get pessimistic and give up. Then they settle for no progress, for nothing.

By Elliot Temple, Dec 2015 |

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