Disclaimer (as suggested): I am not writing on sides – I am not writing for faith or for religion, but simply to highlight its difference.
I do not intend to re-define this conventional topic in my own way, nor am I trying to solve it and write something genius that would outshine the works of professionals in the field. No, what I intend to do, is to express how we have all been taking this subject in a completely flawed perspective. So perhaps a better title for my post would be ‘Science and Faith’, and not ‘Science vs Faith’, because I am not pitting two different things against each other, but I am simply suggesting that we need not differentiate them.
It would be good if you had a general idea of the development of this topic in the world before reading this, because I am not about to highlight every single significant development in this area of studies in my post; it would be unreadable. I’m sure most of us would be familiar with the theories of Darwin, and the works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer – atheists who have unyielding-ly attempted to expose the flaws of religion, the non-existence of god, and the senselessness of faith.
A recent article that I have read states how the more scientifically inclined people tend to be less faithful and less responsive to religion. And while this is a sad truth, I think that this is also a fault in the ways people are going in pursuing something so.. broad.
1. Science is not proportionate to faith
Throughout the century, the constant usage of ‘Science vs Faith’ by individuals to address their pressingly ‘critical’ opinions on the subject has somewhat created a distinctive difference between them. It is as if every aspect of these core subjects are identical opposites of each other, but it is not.
What is the opposite of old? Young.
What is the opposite of white? Black.
What is the opposite of male? Female.
What then, is the opposite of light? Darkness.
And what is the opposite of hot? Cold?
We have grown to believe that things come in pair, and they do. For every positive, there is a negative, and for every give, there is a take. But the opposite of light is not darkness. There is no such thing as darkness. Similarly, there is no such thing as cold. “We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, just the absence of it.”
And similarly, light is measurable. We can have dim, slightly bright, bright, and glaringly bright, but can we have dark, very dark, extremely dark? Some of you would begin to think about pitch darkness, or normal darkness in the night, but in the presence of these normal darkness we are accustom to, light is still present. So if light is completely absent, and we have nothing – we call it darkness, don’t we? In reality, darkness isn’t even valid. Because how can we make darkness any darker? How can we further deprive the absence of light?
What then is the opposite of life? Death? Even in all states of life: coma, brain dead, barely alive, unconscious, possessed, whatever, you can put a scale as to how alive a person is – you can describe life. It is once again, definitive. But can you put a condition to death? Death is simply the absence of life. To think that death is the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist substantively.
In most of our studies, our minds work on the premises of duality – opposites. There have been plenty of publications on Science vs Faith, and many more publications on why the analytically minded tend to have their faith ‘eroded’ or ‘diminished’. But in most of these articles, the intelligent writers ALWAYS relate faith to religion, that faith is to have trust in divine intuition. And this is our intellectual impasse. In this situation, most people relate to faith as ‘believing in a divine power’.
“According to one theory of human thinking, the brain processes information using two systems. The first relies on mental shortcuts by using intuitive responses — a gut instinct, if you will — to quickly arrive at a conclusion. The other employs deliberative analysis, which uses reason to arrive at a conclusion.
Both systems are useful, and they can run in parallel, the theory goes. But when called upon, analytic thinking can override intuition.
For example, students were asked this question: “A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” The intuitive answer — 10 cents — would be wrong. A little math on the fly reveals that the correct answer would be 5 cents.
After answering three of these questions, the students were asked to rate a series of statements on belief, including, “In my life I feel the presence of the Divine,” and “I just don’t understand religion.” Students who answered the three questions correctly — and presumably did a better job of engaging their analytical skills — were more likely to score lower on the belief.”
The fault and the immense amount of disgust and hate that I have for this article and all similar articles, is how everything is once again written in the concept of duality.
If there is duality, surely a decision is required, and a choice must be made. Are you a person of faith, or are you a person of science? Are you a good person, or are you a bad person?
Now, I am not headed where you think I might be heading with this – I understand that you can be both at the same time. But even then, say you are a good person because you’ve done more good than bad – this is a concept and a view in totality. Because you have had to do evil before, but that does not make you evil. So we move further down to the act itself, the processing in the head where you weigh the consequences of both sides in your head and you come across this difference – whether you should follow your gut, or be analytic. The ‘right’ way, is the way you would eventually decide and it could be either. It could be the ‘gut’ way, or the ‘analytic’ way.
And science makes use of it – in fact it abuses it. Science is but a tool – a tool to comprehend, explore, seek, and understand. It is the means of our minds to make theories and explanations of all that is within sight. What then do we make of religious faith? Science beats on faith because it is said to be the most powerful delusion that fuels the validity of faith. And it is invalid, because it cannot be explained, observed, tested or seen.
But isn’t science itself invalid? We say this world is made from atoms, but what creates atoms? We can separate and join atoms, we can learn how it behaves, and we know it’s characteristics, but do we know how it comes to exist? Science pats itself with the delusion that they have ventured far forward, when in actual fact they haven’t moved very far. Society hasn’t, too.
And so, if evolution theorists (or evolutionists) try to prove their facts – and they have done so very well and assumes an iron grip on the minds of other analytically minded, let me ask you – has anyone lived long enough to witness evolution? Isn’t the presentation the idea then, preaching? A preaching of your own beliefs? And how then do you know you are right when you’ve never witnessed it?
Ultimately, the fact that we constantly misunderstand is how our minds work. Our minds create truth and support for our thoughts and beliefs. It is a self-organizing and self-supporting system that only changes consciously. If you ‘feel’ it is right, your mind will work it’s way around it to support and comprehend the logic of your decision.
If you take a step back now, to look at it’s totality: how is science proportionate to faith? Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. And what makes you think that science is right? Have you witnessed it for yourself? No one has ever observed the process of evolution – it is only a theory with probably a few practical experiments here and there to prove it. But the validity of it can be challenged with what we know of our mind – that it creates what we want it to create, and it can create truth to support an idea. But whether or not that truth is true – we don’t know, because we see what we want to see.
So what makes us think that using the analytic system is more right than the gut, or vice versa? It’s just inside us, isn’t it? It just ‘feels’ right to be analytic because it is more accurate or it ‘feels’ right to follow our intuition because that’s what our mind tells us.
Can we describe what ‘feel’ is? Can science describe it? We cannot; no one can.
Isn’t that faith, then?