Monday, January 10, 2005

"What do you believe that you cannot prove?"

A very intriguing question from my favorite online magazine, Edge.
Great minds can sometimes guess the truth before they have either the evidence or arguments for it (Diderot called it having the "esprit de divination"). What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?

Among the thinkers asked this question are Freeman Dyson, Esther Dyson, Marc Hauser, Margaret Wertheim, Steven Pinker, Martin Seligman, Ray Kurzweil, and Michael Shermer.

Edge asks a different question at the beginning of every year. Some examples: "What Questions Are You Asking Yourself?"; "What Is The Most Important Invention In The Past Two Thousand Years?"; "What Questions Have Disappeared?".

Check 'em out, and the regular articles, too, which run the gamut from Physics to Biology to Psychology to Culture. It's a great resource.


Anonymous said...

Dear bls,
I recently read the discussion you had about Christianity and Homosexuality on Ex Nilio. You really touched my heart so I followed you to Topmost Apple to read more of your thoughts and found you had closed down. So here I am at this site. I don't know why I feel so strongly that I have to reach out to you but I do. I just had to tell you that my heart goes out to you. I understand your frustrations and total exhaustion. I understand wanting to give up on the church. What I want to tell you is to not give up on Jesus. As much pain as has been caused by people who call themselves His followers He is still the only hope this crazy world has. Most of the time I just have to hold on to the Jesus of my childhood. I often sing the song I learned as a child. "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak but He is STRONG" Jesus said we have to become as little children and, even though I am a grown woman and long past childhood, the only way I can get through all the pain and confusion is to try to just have the simple faith of a child. All the other things just get too complicated and confusing to handle. I still struggle with my faith daily.
Well, I will go now. I guess I just wanted you to know that someone out here feels your pain and understands.
God bless you and keep you, God make His face shine upon you and give you PEACE.

bls said...

Dear jm:

Thank you so much for this beautiful post. What you say here makes everything else worthwhile, really. I wish our Bishops could do this simple thing - just talk to each other (and to us!) across whatever imaginary lines in the sand everyone has drawn - but I suppose they all have their own ideas about what they must do.

The problem was that I fell in love with my Church, and probably I shouldn't have because it's only an earthly thing, without permanence, like all other things of this world. And like all human endeavors, it has feet of clay (or is that "foundations of clay"?); it isn't perfect and will never be. It can't be for me what I had wanted from it.

I don't have the strength to fight so many people over this anymore - so I'm going to stop fighting. I guess that means I can't allow myself to be attached to the Church anymore; I'm not really sure. I definitely can't keep arguing over this issue; I've been doing it for so long and I'm just totally exhausted. I have to give up now. Maybe that was the solution all along.

But you are right that I won't give up my faith. The two things are different, even if they do cross paths at times. I won't do that and I can't do that.

Thanks for coming here and thanks for writing what you did. It really made me feel good.