On Sen's "The Knower as Servant"


Buffalo Bill's Wild West, The Scout Giclee Print by Paul Frenzeny

These are some of my thoughts while reading Sen's "The knower as servant."

"However when I think of the needy, whom knowledge can help, it is not the merely ignorant, but rather the conflicted, that I have in mind."

A lot of my work on the Internet has been driven by concerns for people who might be confused, distracted or demoralized by Baha'i feuds.

"I think that the role of the servant is a better model for the learned Bahai than that of a scout, because the scout explores where he wants to go, while the servant helps people where they are."

In my understanding, it is not a part of the definition of "scout" that she explores where she wants to go. In fact it seems clear to me from the context of Mr. Lample's paper that he's talking about the kind of scout who explores where her community might go, as a service to the community.

{josquote} If the intent here is to promote using theology only for "ministering to the faithful," that sounds very unhealthy to me.{/josquote}

I see scouting and pastoral work as two possible ways of serving. I don't see scouting as inherently any more self-centered than pastoral work. It depends entirely on the spirit and manner in which it is done. Helping people in distress is notorious for its possibilities as an excuse for cruelty, violence and other ugliness. It's also notorious for its use as a way of recruiting people to serve some other people's economic and political interests. That includes economic and political interests masquerading as religious pursuits.

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