Challenges are simply challenges and choices are simply choices. They cannot possibly be good or bad. Whether they are good or bad depends on how we view it afterwards.
The history of syncretism is really vast planet wide. Shall we look at contemporary syncretism?
With the brain initiative, as well as previous shifts in thinking in both spiritual groups as well as nominally secular schools of thought, we are beginning to test and examine traditional beliefs as they manifest in day to day down to earth human nature. Seeking to understand what really makes people believe as they believe and seek to continue traditional ritual practices. As much as anti-theists insist otherwise, there is strong evidence of practical value behind religious and spiritual practices.
Swearing an oath on a Bible makes it harder to break that oath. That by itself is empty though it does have an impact on many people anyway. It creates a general sense of vigilance/anxiety even in professing atheists. So yes, it really affects everybody. Social ritual.
Lying in court is bad even without making the oath so why do they bother with that? Can you swear to not tell the truth? Many religious beliefs are present in your unconscious mind anyway. Neuropsychiatry is testing and substantiating the extent of this impact. As nonsensical as these old rituals seem, it still triggers an instinctive unconscious response they still find valuable and there is a scientific reason behind continuing to preserve that social trigger. There is a reason we still say, “OMG!”
Lying still feels awkward even if it is necessary. Lying by itself does not trigger the same response. Anything that is suggestive of communal values bears more weight than just simple anxiety over lying.
One example, psychopaths. They show very little difficulty lying even to the point of having it not register, even under advanced scientific testing, but they are still affected by psycho-sociological / theological argument. What it all comes down to is everyone if affected by deep seated stories. The more universal the story, the more broadly present and useful the impact.
The work of Joseph Campbell and others speaks to this in a profound way. They have even proven that the structure of the brain itself follows a universal pattern of metaphor right down to your body language and sense of proprioception. Your experience of any sort of pain will be shaped by the metaphors you have around it. Right wing conservative Christians would experience more pain in child birth than, say, Buddhists would.
I do legally have the status of minister with a group that has as its core belief the formation of a syncretic philosophy. The synthesis of peoples beliefs with the discoveries of the modern scientific worldview. But you may find this interesting… There is a pop culture example of syncretism that everyone is familiar with. The Jedi from the Star Wars saga. In their cannon, Jedi arose from an group that sought to understand the common experience of their various cultures.
Next, I can discuss Jedi spirituality.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.