Study Religious Systems:
Religions can be Inspiration, or Industry and Empire.
For Some, Religion Supplants Constituent-Obligation.
Study your candidate's belief system.
Is something happening here? * Who is holding him up.
Systems that lean too far require odd supports
Vetting belief systems is essential in a pluralist society. Some religious claims smack of empire, a tool for profiteering, usurping a balance of interests. What happened to all the rocks of ages on the way to the bank. See Religious Exemptions for Piety and Profit, by Brian McFadden, NYT.
Rotary has a nice test:
- Is it true,
- Is it fair,
- Is it conducive to positive relationships,
- Is it beneficial to all concerned.
Religious beliefs may well impact on political positions. Know your candidate. See Lauren Sandler's article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-sandler/in-the-last-days-of-the-e_b_137787.html. If we elect her, or any candidate, we get the system undergirding that person's decisions.
1. Why the need for a firm belief system at all?
A. Some people's attraction to belief systems may be hard-wired.
The difference in people, in who is attracted to which end of the political spectrum, looks like an example of a news article: "Study Finds Left-Wing Brain, Right-Wing Brain." Los Angeles Times 9/10/07, at http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,5982337.story/. There are basic thought-process differences among us, that we may well not be able to bridge, beyond having respect.
That would mean, if so, that nobody gets converted except through force if their mindset is to the flexible; see the progression of Roman Catholicism especially after the Great Schism of 1054, see Salvation or Marketing: Timeline of Doctrine, Italy Road Ways. Forced conversions over time get accommodated, but if left to voluntariness, we remain in our religion and politics somewhere on the line of left-leaning brain people, or right-leaning brain people. Is that close? There are gray areas and overlaps among individuals, but this basic dichotomy emerged.
B. A role for neurobiology in ambiguity tolerance
The Study, see another overview at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1012/10122301, suggests that some people tolerate ambiguity and conflict, while others not so much; some people are more structured in framing their experience, and more persistent in judgments previously arrived at. Once decided, that's it.
Other people are "open to new experiences."
That is seen as flip-flopping by those who value commitment-once-decided upon; and as flexibility in response, by those who value options in response to change. Some people are single-minded in their commitment, once arrived at, regardless of new information.
Guess: Liberal, Conservative. The study suggests that the predisposition is hard-wired. People just think differently. Different kinds of wiring leads to different orientations. Ask Bill Maher and his "Religulous" film. Is the deepest faith the least dogmatic?
This Polloi had never read about end times and wondered what people were talking about - refuges, anti-Christ, and numbers - 777 went the stockmarket and 666 turned red? I vetted, looking up each alleged "translation" of some idea in "end times" in old sources, and found many differences. The role of unconfirmed visions is extraordinary.
For End Times, as a specific topic, we moved the research into the dedicated vetting site, Vetting Roots.