Centered Set Thinking Problems – So, we are not really supposed to view others as “others”, but they are simply closer or farther from any particular point than we are. This is not a bad goal in and of itself, however, in reality there truly are people who have views that are so far apart that any meaningful discussion is impossible. When you take this view to the extreme, what we are left with is humanity that has NO convictions, we have negated them or blurred all the lines so that no one really believes in anything, just some generalized “what is best for humanity” belief. Examples of this are the Ecumenical Councils on Inter-Faith dialog. Sounds good, except that the only way you can truly have this discussion is to discard some of your beliefs in order to have dialog. I speak of this from experience – when I attended the ELCA Seminary in Chicago we went to a Mosque to have an inter-faith dialog. We not only talked but were able to take part in a worship service. We were asked to participate which meant bowing down toward Mecca and saying or listening to the leader say that their god was the only god and there is no other. Most of the people did this, but I did not. This would be a direct violation of my beliefs.
Centered Set Thinking would say that it is not wrong because they are simply farther from my beliefs, but in Bounded Set Thinking they are apart from me. This is the downfall of taking a Centered Set Thinking approach to philosophy and religion, unless you are a Universalists that believes we are all going to heaven irregardless of what we believe or do.
I also believe that the only way Centered Set Thinking actually works intellectually, is you must start with a belief that there are not absolute right and wrong or good and evil. If so, then we are truly just so many dots of faith and belief on an endless and meaningless medium that has no cosmic or moral compass. If you walk far enough west in the United States you will eventually walk off the continent and will no longer be a point in the US. The same holds true for faith. If you walk far enough away you are no longer within the Bounded Set of Orthodoxy of any faith.