Ian Guthridge.com

Tag: belief


by Ian on Apr.11, 2009, under Rants

“How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, ‘This is better than we thought! The universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed.’ Instead they say, ‘No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.’”

-Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision Of The Human Future In Space

I apologize in advance for the often tangental nature of my ranting.

I have come to the sad realization that I would not struggle with my acceptance of Christianity if it was not for other “Christians”.  (This is really about religion and beliefs in general, I just specify Christianity because that is the belief set I most closely associate myself with.)

I have always felt that one’s beliefs were a personal issue and one should not attempt to impose them on others.  This behavior has often caused people who do not know me well to assume that I hold some set of beliefs, or lack thereof, often attributed to a group I belong to.  This is prejudice.  When one makes an judgement purely on past experience without acquiring new, more accurate data; that person is a bigot.  I make this assertion not to claim that I have ever been discriminated against, but to merely state that people often make biased judgements of other people without even realizing it.  In short, my omission of my beliefs does not mean that I do not have them, just that I do not feel that you need to know them.

I say this because I am tired of people telling me that I am going to hell because I support some scientific theory X.  I am tired of people accusing me of being closed minded, or not considering the possibility of something because I want evidence.  I am tired of people claiming something is “only a theory”, that X is true “only as far as we know”, or that “scientists could be wrong”.  Yes, science is not absolute.  Yes, science does change.  Yes, scientists often are wrong.  No, I do not believe I know everything.  I believe I have a reasonable layman’s understanding  (I can make it through a fairly technical paper on most subjects given enough time) of currently accepted scientific theory (and the corresponding evidence) and can therefore make fairly confident assertions that the science is correct unless overwhelming evidence to the contrary is presented.  Why?  Because science consists of long term experiments that produce striking results.  Because science repeatedly tests concepts that are “common knowledge”, and these “silly” experiments sometimes demonstrate a massive misconception about the world.  THAT is why I place “faith” in the scientific process.  THAT is why I am “close minded”. THAT is why I believe that God created a universe that relies on underlying, immutable physical laws and that modern scientific theory is our best approximation of those laws.  I DO accept that there is a LOT science has yet to explain.  Based on all my observations thus far, it is far more likely that an unexplained event has a physical explanation rather than a paranormal one.  The physical explanation may be very counter-intuitive and unconventional, but I believe it exists and any explanation that does not account for known physical laws is. complete. bullcrap.  

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