05 October 2005

Faith vs Proof

Since no-one has told me I'm an idiot yet, I'm going for the big one, you know, keep lining them up and knocking them down. And trying to get crushed only some of the time.

Making a huge generalisation, there are two main types of blogs; those trying to sell things, and those about Jesus. Since this blog is neither, I can poke fun at either. And Jesus1 is up first.

There are two main schools of thought about how the universe came to be; benevolent, omnipotent entity against statistical probability. The benevolent, omnipotent entity school is supported (or followed) by those who belong to an organised religion. The statistical probability school is supported by those of a scientific bent who, by the nature of their work, need to prove that it works. And if Proof denies Faith, you can't have both.

The vast majority (I believe its over 95%) of people on this planet are "affiliated" with one of the major religions. Chances are there is an overlap in the two schools; those of a scientific mindset who practice a religion. This would imply that you can have both, or that these people are either bad engineers / scientist, or lapsed religious types.

Organised Religion has, in my humble opinion, a chequered past in that it goes to great lengths to foist its beliefs on others. Most notably in South America, where thousands of indigenous peoples have been forced to embrace Christianity, or be "purified"; read as "shot" 2.

Scientists too attempt to foist their beliefs / findings / proofs on others, in an attempt to ratify their life's work. I suppose, in a small way, each scientist is the leader of their own little religion, trying to bring others to their cause, except they use evidence and reasoning, instead of relying on blind faith and the sword.
Being objective, science hasn't been around as long as religion, so The Sword as a means to an end isn't really an option for Science. I'm sure some scientists are pretty cut-throat in their dealings as well.

Religion, in the same way as Planning, is Man's attempt to impose order on the chaotic universe, in an attempt to understand it. But so is Science. So Science and Religion appear to be two disciplines with the same goal and differing methods.

But Religion requires that you accept that the universe and its wondrous variety is the work of the omnipotent being, and not worry about the How, which isn't a mechanism for understanding the universe, merely with being comfortable with how it is.

Science, on the other hand, very much wants to know How, as Human beings are generally an inquisitive lot. If we accept the omnipotent creator, why would He/She/They/It create a being, one of whose defning characteristics is curiosity, who would attempt to identify their origins, if such an act is heretical?

1 Was he really Puerto Rican? We'll never know.
2 You may be able to tell that I don't have a great deal of time for organised religion, but I'm trying to be objective here. If not, it gives your religious people a get out clause.

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