Losing my faith because of science?
A friend posted a scientific article on Facebook about what happens in the brain to make us feel like God is real. One of my smart friends commented on that post about how reasons like the ones presented in this article were partly what led to him to leave his faith (in his case, Mormonism). And then not too long later I clicked on a random Ted talk in which the speaker had investigated 75 paranormal reports and debunked all of them with science. (Although she still hopes she’ll find one that proves to be true.)
This sort of stuff just pulls me back to the side of my pendulum that doubts. Am I losing my faith? It would be very easy, with my type of mind, to jump off the pendulum at this side, like a kid on the swings, and leave Christianity for good, like my Mormon friend.
But a couple things keep me here, and help me not get stressed out when this happens anymore.
What keeps me here
First, I always fall back on this line of reasoning: Both options, atheism and the Christian God, are viable options. We cannot prove which one is true, so if we will put our feet down in any direction we must choose which to pursue. And I ask myself, would I like to believe in a scientific world that has no purpose nor plan nor intrinsic love behind it, fighting a losing battle with entropy, or a world just as scientific but orchestrated with purpose and a plan out of love for each of us. And I like the latter option better. Plus, as long as we don’t get too “religious” it should be better for the world anyway, because it calls us to love our neighbor and our planet. So my first argument to myself is this. It’s a choice.
Second, if we were placed directly into a place (heaven) where we were certain of God, our faith could not be exercised. So, why does God not show himself to us obviously? Because maybe God knows we must exercise our faith in order to build it up in us. Like a muscle we must work. A muscle that would atrophy and not develop if nothing would call it to stand up and try. By its very definition, God must not show us the answer, or our faith would be nullified. This would also explain why God had to put on this world instead of just start us in heaven. We have some things to learn.
How doubt can be good
So when these really difficult rebuttals to God present themselves, that is like putting an extra plate on the barbell. We can choose to throw up our hands and let faith wither within us, or sit down and take a few pumps at it.
We can take a shot at this, ninjas. We’ll get stronger in something that we didn’t have before either way. Another tool in your tool belt. Another aspect of depth to your person.
Then, when you believe in both faith and science, and play with some creativity when it seems like they contradict, you realize they each can make the other way cooler. (check out these three posts about how faith makes science cooler 1, 2, and 3).
And when you read an article (like the one above) that says it’s just a part of our brain that has evolved to believe in God, perhaps that is because God wanted to give us the tools we need to believe in him.
And when smart friends leave the faith, remember it is a personal choice for each person.
And when a scientific investigator cannot find scientific evidence for a spiritual world, realize that it may just be showing that the spiritual world is dealing with more than law of nature which can be proved. It suggests what Christianity already proposes, that it is made up of spirits with personalities, that are commanded not to be pinned down or proved, because God has told them this people must remain uncertain about the afterlife, because otherwise the purpose of the world, to grow our faith, would be nullified.
Let's step under the heavy bar and take a shot at lifting some heavy faith weights. We ninjas will be powerful sumos some day.
Raw Spoon, 4-2-17 (I think I’m going to start releasing blogs on Sunday nights now! Then Tuesday, and post an old one for Throwback Thursdays.)