August 22, 2006

When Faith Sacrifices Our Life For Its Own

Posted in culture, philosophy of religion, science, scripture at 6:43 am by Jerry

ANYONE can declare ANYTHING to be the will of a Supreme Being…

…but if we want to change someone’s mind on something, we are gonna have to provide good reasons. And these good reasons will have to be logical, ethical, and practical.

“What happened to obedience?” a fundamentalist might say. I say, “Let’s make better use of it!” Let’s obey what’s ethical, logical, practical. Make obedience into an informed obedience, not blind obedience. Knowledge is our friend, not our enemy. IGNORANCE IS OUR ENEMY.

Someone once told me “God is not logical to us.” I responded, “But is God logical to God’s self?” My answer is “Yes!” Otherwise God is all chaos. So, if God works within logic why shouldn’t we try to do the same?

Another person quoted Genesis, and said to me, “Knowledge is bad because Adam and Eve took from the Tree of Knowledge.” I said, “Whether the biblical writers meant to or not, I think the emphasis should be on the word ‘and’ instead of the word ‘knowledge’. It’s the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” (I take whatever life I can out of scriptures, and leave the rest.)

I’ve been warned a number of times when pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies that I should not let higher education destroy my faith. But what kind of faith is it when it is an opponent of knowledge?

Faith, in my understanding, is not anti-intellectual. Faith is a temporary tool we use to find more truths, to take our hope for more understanding into fruition. Faith in anything is meant to be a means to its own annihilation, not an end in itself. Making faith an end in itself is making faith an end to learning, a barrier to knowing.

Many scientists use temporary faith as a tool to focus their energy on the theories they are currently exploring. And exploring is the key word here. What is our spiritual life made of if it lacks the aspect of exploration? Why squash our innate spiritual thirst?

If there is no exploration in our spiritual lives, then whatever faith we have is killing us. If our spirits are not learning, they’re not growing. And if they’re not growing, our spirits are dying.


1 Comment »

  1. […] I use dogma to test rules or principles because I believe that rules were made for us, instead of us being made for rules (reminds me of Jesus when he referred to the use of the Sabbath). This, as I’ve referred to in a previous post, is my act of temporary faith, or scientific faith. It is a faith that must include a certain amount of doubt as well. It is a faith for the purpose of greater understanding, rather than an avoidance of understanding. […]

  2. […] I say “forever” above, because I see validity in keeping certain knowledge from ourselves until we think we are ready for it. It may seem, at times, knowledge and language can be mirrors that don’t always reveal the best of life, including ourselves. But this shouldn’t make knowledge and language our enemies. I know meaning can often get buried in so-called knowledge and convoluted wordiness. It doesn’t have to. Knowledge and language can reveal meanings, create clarity, and help us understand their limits. These are not characteristics of an enemy, but instead, a friend. […]

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