Monday, 25 May 2015
Science And Faith
"'I think the soul, God, the purpose and meaning of existence, will always be matters of faith.'" (p. 403)
Paradox: if it is proved, then it is not faith, and, if it is faith, then it is not proved. Fortunately, religion can be based on practice and experience instead of on faith.
Today, I attended a large gathering in Lancaster (see recent post). My purpose as usual was mainly to meet people that I know. This time, I met a woman who is beginning five years of training in Wicca. She expects to experience rituals more deeply after her first initiation. I also met a man who, when he read the New Testament, believed that Jesus was the Truth, speaking to him.
I try to make sense of that man's experience in the light of my understanding of the texts. What I accept from the Gospels is that Jesus was a powerful healer who preached the imminence of divine rule on Earth. Thus, I do not accept the other miracles or a physical Resurrection. The Gospels have at least one feature in common with myths, legends and popular fiction: different versions of a common story. They are neither historical biography nor historical fiction but propaganda for a belief about Jesus. But, like some Hindu and Buddhist texts, they function as "scripture," i.e., some readers experience their relationship to the eternal while reading these words.