Originally published more than 9 years ago. Thank you web.archive.org!
Which would you accept?
A doctrine that explains the world in simple and dualistic terms. That eases and limits one’s thought process by explaining how things are and how things should be. That sets in concrete the rules in which you should live your life. That enforces morality through fear and intimidation.
Or a philosophy that encourages the questioning of authority. That requires an open mind to all ideas, but enforces scrutiny. That attempts to guide you spiritually, but does not attempt to explain the world to you. That acknowledges suffering and attempts to cease it through introspection.
The former is easier to follow and might allow you to live a life that is void of confusion. There is heaven and there is hell. You do this, you go to heaven. You do that, you go to hell. Don’t question certain things because the doctrine says that they are in a certain way. If you accept these as absolute truths then life becomes easy.
The latter is extremely difficult to follow. It requires constant thought and self realization until you get to a certain epiphany that makes it all clear to you. You might live half your life in confusion searching for the truth. You might find it, but you might not.
Would you rather live your whole life searching for the truth (more challenging and time consuming), or would you accept a doctrine as a truth at face value (easier, but might not be true) ?
What would a pragmatist do?
I don’t know.