We all leap . . .
Keeping in mind the previous blog posts I Am Wrong and What I Do Know, I would like to elucidate upon the fact that we all leap.
Eventually, the data we rely upon to form our worldview comes to an end and we have no choice but to make a leap of faith. We all do it because we are all wrong and no one of us is The Self-existent Cause – the primary source of knowledge. We rely on, or have faith in others, every day simply by turning on the news or reading a Facebook post. We exercise faith simply by sitting in a classroom. We believe things to varying degrees all the time. We take in information about events we were not present for and believe the witnesses to varying degrees. We believe the conclusions of intelligent people regarding data gathered by other intelligent people through experiments neither we nor the ones teaching us actually conducted ourselves - the whole time thinking science has nothing to do with faith.
I’m not making the point that you can’t believe everything you see on the internet (while certainly you should not), nor am I diminishing the scientific method. Quite the opposite. I am saying that the term faith has somehow become a dirty word, shunned by many . . . yet, intelligent as they are, they exercise it all the same while denying its very presence in their worldviews.
I once watched a debate with very intelligent people on both sides which had as its central question to be debated, Does science disprove God? The absurdity of the question itself did not seem to occur to anyone, on either side? Asking that question is like asking, what does the color three taste like? Color, number, and taste are concepts that do not share the same category of existence. Three is a number, not a color and you cannot taste either numbers or colors! In the same way, The Self-existent Cause is in the category of the un-caused and beyond the realm of matter, energy and time, which are in the category of the caused.
I love the scientific method. In addition to being an author, I have had a twenty-year career in structural design engineering. If not for the scientific method, many of the structures I have designed over the years would have collapsed, killing many people. So far, that has not happened (to my knowledge), and I have the scientific method to thank but . . . the scientific method is not the be all end all! There are those who will have you believe that the scientific method is sufficient for explaining everything. That is simply not true. The scientific method operates only in the realm of predicable, repeatable realities. It does not follow that if something is not predicable and/or not repeatable, then it is also not a reality.
The little known secret is that academia and the media have been swapping philosophy in for science for decades now, when it suits them. The whole time asking us to believe them while ironically denying the necessity of faith. Like the slight-of-hand perpetrated by a good illusionist, they swap the two back and forth, never telling us this is what they’re doing. Unlike the illusionist, after generations of operating this way, some of them don’t even realize they’re doing it. I am not bashing philosophy or science. I’m saying, they are not the same thing.
Philosophy operates in the realm of thought, not in the physical realm. It is where conclusions are drawn. It is where our worldview resides. The scientific method gives us data. Intelligent, thoughtful people often draw different conclusions while looking at the exact same data, even when they have developed similar worldviews. How much more when their worldviews differ greatly?
It is true that the term faith has been tainted in western thought by the baggage of religious dogma over the centuries. This is no reason to deny its importance and it’s certainly no reason to deny its very existence in one’s worldview. I think we've covered, quite extensively in this blog, the reality that we are all deficient in our knowledge of reality and that neither you nor I are the primary source of knowledge. It follows that faith is a given in our philosophy of existence. We believe things because we have no other choice and we choose to believe certain things over other things because of the worldview we have developed over a lifetime.
When we wind existence back to the singularity in the thought experiment of our philosophical worldview and the data comes to an end, there is an inevitable leap of faith. Some choose to leap to nothing. I do not happen to see that as the logical choice.
Those who live life according to their purpose recognize the necessity of faith in The Self-existent Cause.