just me?

I desperately wish I knew more. I am learning everything I can about physics and evolution and natural selection, and I love it. It’s fascinating when I have time to plow through it. But philosophy? Gag me with spoon. It is quite a conundrum to be exploring my questions about gods and faiths and the universe, and I am avoiding philosophical arguments like the freaking plague. I just really don’t like philosophy. I never have. 

Also- side note, could some please organize the internet better. I am having trouble finding the good information.

Morals… and finals

Morals... and finals

I haven’t posted in a while due to being buried in research and assignments and papers and expectations of myself. But I ran across this picture on facebook and I can’t get it out of my head. As someone involved in social work, the word “empathy” is huge important word for me. Having empathy for your clients is essential to the process, whether you provide counseling, case management, or manage programs.

Religion however, doesn’t play into that. My religion is not a matter for discussion, dissection, or influence over my work. My work is based on clear cut guidelines provided by scientific research and a code of ethics set forward by the NASW. And yes, I know ethics and morals are different. And no, I don’t want to discuss whether or not religion has a good moral base. That’s too much for my tired brain right now.

But for some reason people think that without religion, you have no moral base. I disagree, STRONGLY. But then where do the morals come from? They certainly aren’t instinctual… are they? I have no idea about the science around that, that will have to wait till after graduation. Dawkins is starting to address this in a book I am reading, but I haven’t gotten far enough to get to his point yet. So I like this picture. It is short, to the point, and probably as accurate as any other existential explanation or the basis of morality. Simple and straight to the point. Just how I like it.

Origins? Effort? Blah.

I am being bombarded by evolution! I have been reading a Christian book, Finding Faith, that was written to help answer the questions of those who have doubts about faith or are seeking answers. One of the first things they address is the creation of the universe.

I was trying to do homework and watching a Firefly marathon on the Science channel (nerd alert) and Morgan Freeman was asking, “did God create evolution?” to advertise Through the Wormhole. And I just don’t know.

I really think most reasonable people can agree that evolution is real and our species evolved just like every other species on the planet. But did God set it all in motion? (insert shrug here) Wouldn’t it be easier if I could just go back and not have questions? (shrug again) I don’t want to, but I remember hearing about “child-like faith” and how that was so great and that we should all aspire to this simple, unquestioning, easy view of God and faith. Seems pretty alluring right now. 

Instead of considering all of this I guess I will drink more coffee, watch Firefly, and research human trafficking as planned for tonight. And maybe take the night off from asking these questions. I have homework to do.

God of the Gaps

Let me preface this post. I do not really know what I believe right now. I am questioning everything. I can’t fully say that I am Christian, but I can’t say I am not. I can’t say I am sure there is a god, but I can’t say I am not. This is just me exploring ideas and the belief structure that I was taught, hoping to make sense of it all.

Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is brilliant, he is funny, he is brilliant, he is the kids of guy I want to hang out and watch old Star Trek episodes with. And maybe Firefly too. Hell, we could just have a sci-fi weekend and nerd it up big time! This is an old video, but it was sent to me after a discussion with my sister about my current view of God.

I know it must be irritating to some people to read this and watch me rail against certain aspects of Christianity and then say, “oh I am just questioning things.” But unfortunately that is the truth. The more I find out, the more I see these holes in religion and in my belief structure. I think I am close to saying that I feel like religion is not a good thing, and not for me. Close, not quite, but close. That is a big statement and I can’t fully commit to it. I have commitment issues. Commitment-phobe.

Religion is a man-made structure though, and my bigger question is about God. I think you can let go of religion and still believe in a god and have faith. But my current view of God is so confused.

Is he a big massive authority figure that dabbles in lives as he wishes and yet avoids major social justice needs for change (the micro-manager)? Is he more of a omnipresent, hands-off, distant figure that spun the universe into motion and now just watches the action (deism?)?

I don’t know. Frankly, neither of those are particularly appealing. But what Tyson says in this video struck me. It is an additional question. As I seek information and answers, as I examine my world and my beliefs, is my God going to get smaller and small to just cover the gaps in knowledge? Is that all God is for? To cover the gaps of those things we cannot explain? Have I spent my life believing in a God of the Gaps?

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?