Consensus of Definition
As someone who was raised in the social sciences with a hefty dose of the physical as influence, this is a mantra of mine when trying to engage with others in discourse. Most seem to agree that establishing some basic common definitions of the topic to be discussed is vital, if not rather important... then, there are those who refuse.
Most of those who refuse to find these base agreed-upon-points-that-are-to-be-used-to-develop-an-argument tend to fall on the side of our more nubilous intellectual pursuits. I mean that the topics are often about God, various aspects of religions (most usually western though I have had this happen in discussing eastern ones as well), and philosophy.
I realized today that many people take this whole area and come to it from faith and faith alone (or perhaps I should write Faith and Faith alone).
I really don't have a problem with Faith.
However, it is really hard to talk to people about Faith when they come to it from faith (and I don't, in the same fashion anyway).
I come to Faith from my background in science, and I must admit that there are really not a lot of us out there that come to that place through this means... but what it creates is an absolute problem when trying to discuss things like the idea of God as Being.
I am very intellectually happy where I am, in terms of where my place is in the world and how I fit in to a divine cosmos....but, I find it terribly frustrating to talk to those who seems to find it ridiculous that my mostly rudimentary understanding of biology, physics, microbiology and such are all things that bring me to Faith.
I think, though, that what surprises me the most is that once I arrive at the end... what I tend to worry about most is that the way I understand God is so completely off, that those others who believe and who also come to God somehow find me lacking.
Why do I care?
Because, I suppose I just want to feel like I can officially belong to a cohort that ends up in the same place as I do, and do so in a manner that does not make me feel judged. And also, because I am so humbled by the things that bring me to God, and that I find them so incredibly magnificent and fabulously amazing that I want to be able to share them, and one can't when one is considered a heretic at the start of a conversation.