science vs. faith from “Storm” by Tim Minchin

This quote (and the whole poem if I’m honest) has been occupying my mind a lot lately. I have been listening to it almost every day. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around how I feel about this simple breakdown of the difference between those two things, science and faith.

I agree with the semantics of what he says here. I think they are both accurate and well crafted descriptions of how faith and science approach the world. But when it is applied to me personally I balk at this definition of faith.

I grew up hearing (and saying) that “faith is the belief in things that cannot be proved.” Now that sounds nice! It sounds lovely, like having a nap on a Saturday morning followed by a leisurely cup of coffee while I check facebook. It sounds like something that one could consider a positive trait or attribute.

The idea that I might have been closing my eyes to the evidence that the world is presenting me is discouraging. It makes me feel bad. Like, sleeping in on a Wednesday and missing a meeting I was supposed to lead- on purpose. It’s as though practicing the faith I had been brought up in was a character flaw, or a failing. Ouch Tim.

But even with all that… just because something is uncomfortable doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And if I agree that the statement is accurate, then I am only disapproving of it because it would apply to me… and that’s just lying to myself, that’s just fake. And hypocrisy. So… do I agree with Tim Minchin? Am I ready to admit that I was, for a time, blind; and more than that, choosing blindness?

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