Questions and Answers

Answers - Page 2


the Basica




If you have questions you'd like to ask about the Basica, Basicans, and Basicanism, please let me know. I'll do my best to provide you with answers as soon as I can. Thanks!



Does Basicanism have restrictions regarding things like food and clothing?

  All Basicans are welcome, but not required, to wear or otherwise display the Basican Compass. Consecrated Basicans may also have additional items mentioned in the Basica. Beyond that, specific dietary matters, dress code, and similar matters are left to the individual practitioner, as personal circumstances, needs, faith, and expression dictate or allow. The only bearing Basicanism would have on these things as a general rule would be in the same way all other matters of life and faith are affected.



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Can someone be a Basican and belong to another religion at the same time?

  There are religions that have either doctrine that speaks against belonging to any other tradition or at least followers that oppose it. Basicanism, however, does not forbid it as long as the practitioner in question is not genuinely prohibited by the other path and can reasonably and responsibly reconcile any differences between the two. If there is a real prohibition in the other religion, or if the perception of irresolvable differences persists, the person must eventually choose. But, the Basica does not judge that choice and demand that Basicanism must always be selected. Instead, it allows that, for some, another way may be best.

  While the Basica, doesn't specifically mention marriage, the idea of mixed couples can easily be taken in this same spirit.



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Basicanism hasn't been around all that long. Is it a cult?

  Cults, as the word is commonly used in modern times, are generally recognized in one of two ways. One is that they co-opt an existing religion's sacred texts, beliefs, and practices, bending or distorting them for their own purposes. The other is that they cause their members, by force, trickery, or manipulation, to relinquish their free will and worldly goods to the cult organization and its one or more leaders. Cults often enough do both.

  A commonality of teachings amongst different faiths is recognized by Basicanism. But it's not a variation on any previously existing religion, either overtly or covertly. There's also no official body or individual leader with the authority to dictate to others on matters of faith or doctrine. Such an arrangement is expressly forbidden in the Basican Guide. Furthermore, wayshelters and copies of the Basica are not intended to generate profit. Instead, an effort has been made to offer both without any cost whenever possible. Therefore, Basicanism meets neither definition for a cult.



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What does Basicanism say about abortion?

  Nothing in the Basica tells anyone when to think life begins. It doesn't directly declare whether or not women should ever abort their pregnancies or tell anyone how to feel about someone else having an abortion. It doesn't say if it should be legal or what the state should do if the government's laws oppose it and someone has one anyway.

  What it does tell us is to be conscientious in all our actions. This not only includes our decisions about our own lives but how we treat others who have made decisions about theirs. From this, we make the most responsible choices we can and deal with others as kindly and respectfully as we're able. It means we're honest and stand up for what we believe in, regardless of which side we're on in any debate. It also reminds us to treat decently those who take opposing viewpoints.



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How does Basicanism view homosexuality and gender issues?

  In reading the Basica, one finds no specific mention of homosexuality or gender issues at all. The Guide talks about how to treat people in general. The book cannot list all the ways in which either something is a real danger or harmless people are unjustly discriminated against, because there are simply too many and because people are so creative in coming up with new reasons and ways to do wrong or develop unfounded prejudice that it's probably not possible for any book to anticipate them all.

  As for commentary outside the book that anyone might make, including anything I might say, nobody giving personal opinion has any right to impose it on others as though it were official Basican doctrine. Therefore, it's up to each Basican to take responsibility for deciding the details of when to be accepting of others and when to consider something a legitimate threat which must be opposed - bearing human law in mind, of course. It's also up to individual Basicans to honestly determine whether or not their own behavior is in conflict with their values or any commitments they've made.



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What does Basicanism expressly forbid?

  It is forbidden, in clear language, to engage in religious tyranny, oppression, or persecution, either overtly or covertly, within Basicanism or on the part of Basicans toward others. The book is very clear and goes into further detail on this matter.



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Why are there Basican shelterkeeps and wayshelters?

  Basicans are, in many ways, independent and unbound on their road. But they need not be isolated or unsupported because of this.

  There's no specific provision made anywhere in the Basica for shelterkeeps and wayshelters. They're simply an outgrowth of belief and practice, offered as an additional help and hearth for Basicans looking for somewhere to connect. They're allowed because they have nothing to do with any controlling institution of religious authority, and whether or not to take advantage of this connection is purely an individual's choice.

  To learn more about wayshelters and shelterkeeps, please read the information provided on the homepage of this site at http://wayshelter.com.



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How does someone become a Basican?

  There's no official process for "converting" to Basicanism. If you're meant to be a Basican, you simply recognize the appropriateness of it, based on what you've read in the Basica and what you believe. Making a further commitment, however, is another matter. The book also explains how that comes about.



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What is the Basican Approach to Skepticism?

  A skeptic is not a denier but an inquirer. One person can be as dogmatic in denial of a belief as another is in insistence on that belief. Rather than being a dogmatist in either direction, a skeptic asks questions and investigates possibilities. When a definitive answer cannot be found and proven, however, a skeptic is not held hostage by indecision and rendered immobile. Such a person, while willing to concede that proof is elusive and that equally valid opinions may differ widely, is also able to function very practically, given what is known so far and what seems reasonable to believe. What is reasonable to believe may depend on multiple, diverse factors; and quite rational, intelligent people may sometimes find themselves in disagreement

  A person of faith has more than belief. Such a person also has trust and commitment, having arrived at a point at which this is found to be warranted for that individual. But a faith that asks no questions and issues no challenges is an unthinking faith. A strong faith accommodates very well both doubt and inquiry. Basicanism is suited best for thinkers - those inclined to take responsibility for their own minds (and hearts). The Basican Guide does not frown upon doubt in the midst of faith; it points to trust and commitment as elements of faith (as described by the second of the Spiritual Principles) while upholding freedom and the search for truth (as one finds in reading the second of the Categories of Essential Influence).

  Whether consecrated or not, a Basican is not imprisoned by the dictates of belief but is instead encouraged to engage in learning and discovery while relying on a reasonable foundation. Alternate possibilities are allowed for, with regard to any belief; but the canvas of our belief is not left blank simply because those alternate possibilities exist. Any evidence, one way or the other, may be carefully considered as it's uncovered, while the stability of the foundation is utilized to increase each individual's ability to reach, stretch, and explore.



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