The Context Toolbox

In considering the six questions of context, question 5 (general context) was left relatively undeveloped. Here, we return to the issue with a series of tool-box questions, which both help us develop some crucial context points, and help us to identify the weak points of claims, in a neat and systematic way.

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The Role and Value of Religion

While modernity has made secularism a familiar notion – especially in academia – religion has provided the primary context of human events since before written history. When religion and religious concepts are examined critically, they can yield a great wealth of useful and interesting ideas, or at least useful warnings about what ideas lead to dead-ends and escalating problems.

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On Drawing from Diverse Sources

Focusing on our own ethnic, cultural, and historical context makes sense and is a good thing. Doing so to the exclusion of other contexts is a problem – because our context is a tiny percentage of the total available. By critically examining diverse sources, we access a far broader field of thousands of years of theories, practice, and trial and error.

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Decontextualization

Context lets us read charitably. Reading charitably keeps us from becoming trolls, through decontextualization. We consider three examples of decontextualization, dealing with history, science, and cyber security – and how simple knowledge of context discredits the claims entirely.

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