Thanks for your response Susan! I really appreciate hearing your perspective.
I couldn’t feel more differently.
An aside: I notice you’ve inserted the word “faith”. Do you see any difference between belief and faith?
I see belief as a far more visceral process. If I become aware of evidence which supports a point of view, I may become convinced that it is true, and then I will believe it. I don’t see how a decision is involved in the process, for me. I’ll either be convinced or I won’t. A decision seems like it would be an extra conscious step, almost like an announcement of what I already have decided I believe at a deeper level.
That’s my perspective, and I think the difference is a very interesting one. I think it’s totally possible that such differences in mind set or predisposition could have a great effect on what people ultimately believe.
Believing in God requires faith. Believing in science requires faith too. Science can be proven to be true or false for the most part, but the population does not have access to a lab through which they can prove scientific laws or test theories so people have to choose to believe the scientists or not believe them.
I wouldn’t call this kind of “belief in science” “faith”–but I’ll ask for your definition of “faith” again. There are many ways in which the results demonstrated through science can be shown and have been proven to be factual, in some cases with practically no reasonable possibility of doubt, in other cases more tentatively. I don’t think this is an analogous situation–at all.
We make those choices all the time without even thinking about them. I will admit though, that faith is God is a bit different than faith in science in that much of the evidence is experiential, from which one only derives benefit by choosing to believe.
To reiterate, I would say it’s totally different.
My experience through prayer and walking with God’s guidance through life has given me experiences which have served to reinforce my faith in God. If I had chosen 27 years ago to need more proof before I committed myself to a path of faith in God, I likely would not have the same perspective.
Indeed. If 35 years or so I had had a different mindset, and continued to accept the ideas behind the Catholic faith I was brought up in, I’m sure things could be very different as well. Then again, perhaps something about me ensured I would reach certain conclusions when I came of age, which are still reflected in my worldview today.
I am a biologist by profession, I work with plants and insects with predictable outcomes all day long. I also choose to believe in a God for which there is no hard physical proof of existence, it is a path that I have chosen to take - and one that has benefitted me a great deal. It is a literal choice that I have made, so yes it can be done.
To be clear, I’m not denying the possibility of that choice being made, or denigrating or rejecting the possibility of belief in God. I can only say that in my perception, my mind doesn’t work that way.
The point though, is that like Adam and Eve, the choice is there for us to make and either path will lead to a different experience, even if it is just in your perspective on life.
Thanks for this explanation. Purely to make clear where I’m coming from, and I recognize that the story holds great value for many, very little about it sheds light on anything to my way of thinking, which is about where I’ve been since high school. I get that they chose to eat the apple in spite of the instruction. As far as that choice is concerned, I’m not aware of having made any such choice. When I outgrew what I would objectively call a Catholic indoctrination–not without a good deal of valuable assistance from the Jesuit priests in my high school–valuable, that is, to the development of either a religious or non-religious point of view–and began to think about things from a more detached perspective, I simply realized that the things I had been taught didn’t add up. At that point I no longer believed. I never chose to begin and I didn’t choose to stop.