Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Science of Faith

I haven't been blogging for a while which has been unfortunate. I like writing but I have been distracted lately. I have been trying to focus on work. I have been starting and finishing a new blog about a hobby of mine. I have been trying to create some resemblance to a social life and hopefully dating life (unsuccessfully I might add). In short, I have been making myself busy. Even when these periods of my life tend to happen, I can always make time to appreciate things that are a priority to me, like my faith. The most recent conversation about it surprisingly wasn't at work but on social media and so I hoped to share it.

One of my friends recently had been going through similar struggles as myself in terms of dating. She had been really connecting with someone and then when they discussed her faith and her standards, that special someone disappeared. Frustrating - I know. So her friends responded to her post by asking two distinct questions:
  • Would you date people outside of your religion? If so, under what (if any) circumstances?
  • Don't you have to marry someone who shares your faith?
Great questions. So my friend responded to the first question of course and I decided to help her out and respond to the second question. I said:
"The keyword is 'should' simply because in marriage if you decide to have a family, it's easier to raise kids with a single standard or belief system instead of multiple. Also, you can get married in a LDS temple which is cool."
This is where my conversation started. One of her other friends (we all have that one friend that can't leave well enough alone...) continued to go back and forth about this subject with me and for simplicity sake I am simply going to copy and paste the dialogue, as follows:
"What about raising children who decide what it is they believe on their own? The stigma is more of Christianity in general, and even greater for the LDS church."
I respond...
"My parents did that and that's actually what our faith promotes us to do... We believe in personal revelation and fostering an individual relationship with both God and Christ. 
"My comment was more directed at the idea that beforehand it is helpful to have some kind of foundation or starting point. Socially, psychologically and religiously, I'd think that it's beneficial for anyone, but especially children, to start with some sort of foundation instead of simply pushing them into the deep end of the pool and saying figure it out by yourself because mommy and daddy don't know either - we disagree.

"I feel personally that doesn't inspire either faith or hope when I think there is an opportunity for a lot of both in this world."
 He rebuttles...
"But right there you mention Christ, and as a Jew, it is important for me that my children don't grow up with my input or parental input about Christ, or any other proclaimed deity, as a deity. I grew up in this way and have come to disagree. It took years to shake. All because I accepted it as truth because my mother told me it as the truth, when it is actually just a belief. It cannot be proven or disproven. Teaching a child that he should believe a certain way, and that Christ is most certainly God, is inherently wrong and destructive.
"But I respect that you believe that Jesus is Christ. Like I disagree but respect its you disagree with my helix but that's cool. But we have to respect each other's beliefs as beliefs and not as facts. Christian churches as have not developed a reputation of doing so."
 Back pedaling to avoid filling my friend's wall with a personal conversation... 
"Please don't misunderstand me. I didn't say that parents aught to tell their children they should believe or worship in a specific way and only that way is correct. I said that they aught to promote faith, hope, and that there is a higher power.

"I believe in God. I believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. My parents pointed me in a direction but they didn't force or push. They simply invited and then allowed me to explore. I feel that everyone has that right and in so doing has the right to disagree as well. For a family and in terms of dating with the hopes of marriage, shared beliefs simply make the process more smooth."
He responds...
"I agree with that. It makes it easier if parents share faith, but to me it's equal if parents agree on how to raise a child." 
I wasn't a huge fan of his "facts" comment so I responded...

"And what is a 'fact' really? Science is made up of 'facts' but facts change. Reality hasn't changed just the amount of information we now have or in the way our perspective or viewpoints have altered.

"For you, your perspective defines the 'facts' that make up your VIEW of reality... As do mine. Hence the reason, why political and religious conversations are so much fun.
"It's nighttime and that's a fact... Where I'm at. But somewhere else it is daytime. In either place, the sun still exists and burns as brightly but our perspectives alter our view of it."
He tries to come back at me one last time...
"Well a fact is true whether you believe it or not. It can be shown and observed through experience or record. Jesus simply lacks science. I have my own Personal view on the Bible, God, Jesus etc. Your helix is just as personal.
"Ya that's not really the same thing."
And I finish it up by simply bearing testimony...

"Facts and truth are not the same -science is a clear example of it actually.

"Through observation and experience, scientific facts pointed to a variety of different models for the structure of an atom or the nature of our solar system. It continues to change even today with new technology that is invented all the time that continue to expand our perspective and ability to see new things. So all those 'facts' and 'science' are actually theories or models of how we can rationalize or explain things until our vision can be further expanded.

"Interesting though that in that practical definition of science - a series of theories or models of how we can rationalize or explain things until our vision can be further expanded - sounds a lot more like religion than most people are willing to admit. Both allow greater insight as an individual continues to study it and question it. Blind belief does no one any good.

"I am a big believer in science. I have a background in mechanical and biomedical engineering. The human body and many other aspects of science do nothing more than deepen and strengthen my faith in my God, the more I study it and learn about how it works and functions. Divine design is all around you. The probability alone of all these interconnected parts that sustain life is miraculous in its very nature."

The point I am trying to make is that God is not new. God is truth. Whether you call Him by the name of Jehovah, Elohim, Allah, The All, or any other conception of a Supreme Being, there is a higher power. We have the opportunity to come to know Him. In fact, we have the ability to become like Him. He is our Father in Heaven so as we learn more about Him, we are also learning more about ourselves. Science is a little slow but it will eventually catch up to the truth.

Think about what an atheist is describing when they refer to the Big Bang Theory... All matter and all "creation" came from a single explosion or expansion of matter. It is simply another perspective on the same event we are describing during the Creation. All matter was organized during an event (or series of events) caused by a single force (or entity - which is God). We all use different lingo and fight over vernacular but in all reality, we are all talking about the same thing.

Faith and science are truly the same as they are the search for the ultimate truth.