Learning and Trust LO13490

Mnr AM de Lange (AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za)
Tue, 6 May 1997 13:33:45 GMT+2

Replying to LO13449 --

Dear organlearners,

Peter Fullerton wrote on 3 May in LO13449

> I am presuming that Thomas, and others, mean western biblical God in their
> messages. Many people do not believe in your god, but in their own. Many
> do not believe in a god at all. We are not all christians; and we are not
> all religious. I am struck by how religiously infused is the LO
> (predominantly American) discourse.

Peter, what you write about the different kinds of people with respect to
religion, is real. But we have to face this reality. For example, in
every organisation, except for religious organisations, all these kinds of
people may be represented. The recent history of South Africa has shown
once again how wrong it is to exclude some people from an organisation
simply because thay are different.

Variety is an essentiality of creativity. Should we exclude the religious
dimension from dialogues on this forum, we will impair our creativity
considerably. If we restrict the religious dimension, on what grounds can
we resist any restiction on for example the moral or rational dimensions?
What we rather need, is the full variety in the religious dimension, as
well as the full variety of all other dimensions in the realm of human

For example, Islam is one of the five (?) major religious forces in this
world. Few of us really understand what is going on in the Islamic world.
Few of us understand how the Islamic world influence the changes in our
own worlds. Many businesses, for example, act as if Islam will never
become a major force to reckon with in their part of the world. So called
schollars think that the Islamic view on learning, trust and humanity in
general is besides the point. Why should they care that Islam is the
primary Afro-Arabic religion? I do not want to speak for Islam simply
because I am an outsider, despite my studies. But I think that it is very
important to have them participating in our dialogues.

What we have to do, is to make our own position very clear. (This
clearness, just as variety, is another essentiality of creativity.) When I
began this thread on Learning and Trust, I said that it was very difficult
for me to bring this topic to discussion. I said clearly why - it was
impossible for me to discuss this topic without referring to the my faith
in the God of the Bible. I also showed in later replies why - questioning
trust had been an immense creative force in my own life. We are different
- each of us has particular creative forces acting in our lives. But we
are also the same - each of us require entropy producing force-flux pairs
to become creative.

We should look at the creative course of time (past, present and future)
of this world from different viewpoints. Probably the most important
viewpoint on time is that it has a creative course! Humankind is certainly
a part of that course. With respect to human creativity, I now see clearly
three distinct eras in the scripted record of humankind.

1 The era up to 400 BC - creating like children,
2 The era 400 BC to 2000 AC - creating like adoloscents,
3 The era beyond 2000 AC - creating like adults.

The reason why I mention this creative course of time in terms of human
creativity, is as follows. We all know that with power comes the
possibility of corruption - the greater the power, the greater the
possible corruption. Blind trust in a power is an invitation for that
power to become corrupted. As a person becomes more learned, the more
powerful such a person becomes. In other words, learning increases the
possible corruption of the power emerging through learning. What is true
for a person, is also true for humanity. In the new era (age) which it is
now about to enter, humanity will gain immense power, foreshadowed by its
discovery of nuclear power. Should we not study the role of trust in
learning, we are simply inviting the corruption of the power to be gained
through creative learning. When such a corrupted power takes control of
religion, a catastrophe will erupt, whether we believe in different gods
or even no god at all.

Before I end, be assured that when I do write about my religion and faith
because it cannot then be done otherwise, I will not try to force it upon
any of you or to try and take control of your lives by means of it. If I
act otherwise, do with me what you like. Jesus said to His believers that
they should tell the world about the good message and babtise those people
who have become believers of this message. The only problem is that many
believers did not take Him as the prime example how they should do it.

Best wishes


At de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education University of Pretoria Pretoria, South Africa email: amdelange@gold.up.ac.za

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