September 08, 2009

Sincerity is Overrated?

Eve's anti-sincerism posts sincerely fascinate me. She packs a lot in a little when she says,
"I note that 'safe, sane, and consensual' is an extraordinarily sincerist credo; its assumptions about our ability to know ourselves, and its assumption that self-knowledge and self-ownership form the core of morality, are basically my exact problems with the sincerist ideal. Not to mention that s/s/c = three things vocation isn't."
Calling vocation not consensual reminds me of that seminarian blogger who titled his blog, "You Duped Me, Lord!". (He later changed his title, presumably because he really wasn't being duped.)

I wonder if Eve's thoughts are applicable to other things. It's a Catholic credo that the Bible is not self-interpreting and that it should be read in the mind of the Church. Could we say of sola scriptura the same things Eve said were problems of sincerism? Namely:
* It's a genre which thinks it's the whole of art; it's a perspective which won't acknowledge its contingency.

[i.e. the Bible came out of the Church...]

* It's the privilege of those whose beliefs are basically mainstream to think that "realism" and sincerity are good ways of conveying the truth. Only those whose experiences and interpretations line up with mainstream culture can be guaranteed that their sincere heart-baring tales will be believed.

[i.e. sola scriptura seems a good way of conveying the truth to those in communities where sola scriptura is already the standard.]
She also links to someone who writes:
Journaling about some difficult family memories last year, I wrote, "I became a poet so that I could tell the truth without being understood." I hadn't ever realized this until I wrote it down; apparently, transparency is a privilege I don't always grant to myself, let alone other people.


Roz said...

You're right that Eve's thoughts pack into a little.

I frequently have a little voice in my head (don't worry, it's non-delusional) translating Catholic expressions into concepts understood by mainline Protestants, because I believe misunderstanding is one core aspect of the hostility that can arise.

Which is a too-wordy way of transitioning into my thanks that you took the thought to the realm of sola scriptura.

Enbrethiliel said...


Eve's views on sincerism totally reflect my own views on WWJD!