Monday, August 16, 2010

Belief Drives Action

I wanted to post on this last week and try to be a little more current, oh well. This article contains some bizarre statements. Consider this:

"(T)he unethical part (was) applying your own personal beliefs and values on other people and not truly accepting that others can have different beliefs and values that are equally valid as your own."
This (a) begs the question: how does one know that all beliefs are equally valid?  and (b) are we seriously suppose to believe something and "value" it but not let it actually shape the way we interact? Does the person's belief that all beliefs are "equally valid" not drive the way one interacts?

Consider this:
Keeton also told fellow student Justin C. Earnest that she would tell gay clients "their behavior is morally wrong and then help the client change that behavior," according to an affidavit by Earnest included in the school's filing...
But university officials said if they exempted Keeton from counseling homosexual clients, they would also have to exempt those opposed to war from counseling soldiers.
"The same curriculum would require an atheist student counselor to competently counsel a deeply religious client," the filing said. "A staunch feminist student counselor is required to competently counsel clients from male dominated cultures ... the common thread being that all counselors are required to keep separate their own belief system from the counseling relationship."
The analogy to war doesn't seem to be one-to-one. This issue isn't excepting some from counseling per se but forcing someone to speak the party line in counseling rather than speaking from a position of their moral beliefs. So would it be wrong to counsel someone who had a horrific experience in war from the position that "we should be in war"? What if the counselee's experience wants them to go on a anarchic rampage because they believe in war? Would the counselor say "war is wrong"?

Here's another thought experiment. Can we seriously believe that if a 'staunch feminist' was counseling someone who was from a male-dominated culture--that she would ignore what she believes are symptoms from that culture. So a woman comes with deep depression because someone in her "male-dominated culture" berates her, abuse her and suppresses her human rights in a manner that is totally consistent with the "male-dominated culture"--the counselor cannot address any aspects on that culture because after all "all beliefs are equally valid"? Really? I mean, REALLY? 

What about a person in a religious cult who beliefs that intimate relations with minor is acceptable and even part of true religious faith? Will the counselor stand back so as not to attack someone's religious beliefs? Of course not. Even if the counselor's beliefs are based upon empirical evidence of the psychological harm that will be done to minor exposed to such assaults--the counselor will seek to 'impose' their beliefs on the counselee.  

Regardless of how we reach a belief--which is a valid question--belief drives action. We cannot have action without having beliefs and worldviews that drive such behavior. Don't most counselors, secular or not, try to work on the thought process and the cognitive thinking of a person so that their behavior will change. The naivety shows the glaring double standard here. What those quoted in the article pretend to want is functionally impossible to carry out in any consistent manner.

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"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...