Religion & Faith

Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. Religion believes in miracles, but these aren’t compatible with science. I’m an atheist.
~Stephen Hawking~

I read this quote a few days ago in the news. It has the classic mistake that many people make when they use the word “religion” in relation to God. When most people think about religion, they think of the following: a specific and institutionalized set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects; for example, the Christian religion, Buddhism, Judaism, the Muslim religion, etc.

Faith on the other hand is a belief that is not based on proof. In science when they don’t have a proof they call it a hypothesis or theory. Stephen Hawking has proposed many theories during his lifetime. So in reality he is not an atheist, but has put his faith in science.

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
~Jesus~

The only sin God cannot forgive is the sin of unbelief in His son Jesus. By then it is too late.

8 thoughts on “Religion & Faith

  1. Scientific theories are different than what people casually call theories. A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing. I don’t think faith has any part in a scientific theory.

    Like

    1. But there are also many scientific theories that have yet to be proven based on those observation. The Island of Stability is one such theory. The Transuranic elements to support this theory can only be created in accelerators. These man made elements decay extremely fast limiting the time to make observations to allow the next step in the search.

      Like

  2. I normally stay away from commenting on religious/faith-based posts because I don’t really want to impose my views any anyone else, but in this case I want to chime in. 🙂

    Your comment, “When most people think about religion, they think of the following: a specific and institutionalized set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects; for example, the Christian religion, Buddhism, Judaism, the Muslim religion, etc.” resonated for me. Yes, that is exactly what I think of when I think of religion.

    But then, following your explanation of faith versus religion you say, “The only sin God cannot forgive is the sin of unbelief in His son Jesus. By then it is too late.” Which may be very true in the Christian religion (faith), but would have no bearing on the beliefs of a Buddhist, Jew, Muslim… So I guess I’m confused. (And incidentally, one of my biggest complaints about religion in general…if that which you (the broader you, not you specifically Patrick) believe in is the truth, then what about what the guy down the street believes in so wholeheartedly? Is he wrong in his beliefs because his God isn’t the exact image of your God?

    I like the idea of faith versus religion, but even based on this post, I fear the two are ultimately forever tied to one another.

    Like

    1. Nancy,

      You succeeded in making me think deeper about what I posted.

      Judaism and Islam both have the same man, Abraham, as the founder of the religion. Christianity is a fulfillment of the teachings of Judaism. Messianic Jews have accepted Jesus Christ (which really means Yeshua is the Messiah) as God’s fulfillment of His promise to provided a redeemer.

      Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama.

      Science is fact and theory and it too can become a religion for some.

      We all have a predisposition to wonder why we exist. In our quest to answer this question we each choose to follow whatever belief system that make the most sense to us. I personally have chosen to follow the Bible (Hebrew and Christian text). Others choose the Koran. Some, like Stephen Hawking, choose science. Then there are those simply just choose not to decided. Each of these can be based on faith or can become a religion. I simply choose to have faith.

      Since I am a Christian, my posts will always be slanted in that direction.

      Patrick

      Like

      1. It’s so fascinating to me to have conversations with people who have deep faith in one specific doctrine. Years ago, I was on a business trip in Western Canada, traveling with a colleague who is a Mormon. He was so deeply convicted in his beliefs that there was zero room for consideration of anything that fell outside the Book of Mormon. Finally, I just asked him, flat out, but Malcolm, if your beliefs are right and true, what about the beliefs of those of other faiths? Are they wrong? How will we ever have assurance of who is right/true in all of this? His response, “Nancy, I have the answer to your question. It’s in a book. I’ll be happy to share that book with you.” <– spoiler alert: his answer-providing book was…The Book of Mormon. 🙂
        I declined his offer.

        Anyway, enough of my diatribe. I am simply fascinated how so many opposing views can be SO SURE that theirs is the truth. I often wish I could have that much blind faith. I don't. And that's okay (for me).

        Like

        1. In my “Who Am I”, the two gentlemen were Mormons. “And that’s all I’m going to say about that” (Forrester Gump).

          The Middle East is in complete turmoil due to religion. ISIS fanatics (Sunni) are killing everyone including fellow Muslims (Shia). As far ISIS is concerned, the US. is a continuation of the Christian Crusaders.

          Only in the western culture is religion not a part of politics.

          Whose faith is correct all depends on who you believe is truth.

          Like

Leave a Reply to Patrick Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s