Not Cease from Exploration

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Science "vs" Faith

I received an invitation to attend one of the NEPA Freethought Society's meeting, and while it sounds intriguing, I will respectfully take a pass at attending.  Why?  Well two reasons mainly:

  1. I don't especially like parties & mass socializing.  Being an extreme introvert, having a lot of people around me creates so much pressure that it becomes more "work" than "play".  Now this has nothing to do with the freethoughers, who I am sure are a great group of folks.  Instead, this has everything to do with my psychosis de-jour.
  2. I don't do "Sciences vs. Faith" discussions.
To point #2, I am absolutely convinced that people at extreme ends of the atheistic and religious spectrum simply don't get it. What is "it"?  Well it is the very notion that faith, by its very nature, almost has to preclude proof.  Look to the Gospels where it talk about the disciple Thomas to see what I mean.  Religious folks that try their best to find proof for their faith in the natural world will almost always come up short, as it simply IS possible to explain HOW many things happen in natural systems.

On the other side of the coin, the atheistic crowd may be able to explain how certain things happen...for example, sub-atomic particles form atoms, atoms come together to form molecules, molecules come together to form complex systems...but at the end of the day they simply can not answer the very basic question of WHY things happen in the natural world.  In my humble opinion, the notion of faith helps to answer the "why" question...or at least helps to frame the "why" question.

I don't want or need "proof" to justify what faith I possess.  That's not to say that my personal faith is completely void of markers in life that tell me I am something greater than basically a collection of organic molecules held in a water bag, because there have been situations, happenings, "things" in my life that point to something more.  I have not seen the Virgin Mary is pasta, I have not been spoken to by a burning bush and I don't need a book that proves that it is the divinely inspired word of God by saying that it is the divinely inspired word of God (circles anyone?) as justification for my personal faith.  My faith is a result of my knowledge, experience and some "other" factor that tells me I am not fully capable of understanding and explaining it all.

At the end of the day, I firmly believe that the existence we all enjoy has to more than just the result of some cosmic burp in a stellar nursery.  The fact that we can even have this discussion lends credence to this point.  The ability to reason...to question...to try and understand...these have to be more than just biological processes.

One final point:  in the past I found that when I prayed for something I almost never given what I asked for in prayer.  As I've grown older and had some difficult experiences (particularly over this past year), I've discovered something that has, more than anything else, enhanced by faith...namely that I am not given what I want, but I am given what I need.  When I do pray now...something I do with some degree of regularity at certain situations...I basically just ask for guidance and for what I need, even if it isn't what I want in a particular situation.  That, to me, is faith.

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