Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Nature of Faith

We spend a lot of time these days arguing about the relationship between science and religion, without a lot of thinking about what those words mean. Many of us in the science biz think of "faith" as belief in something for which we have no evidence, but there are other ways to think of it. Claude Scales has a thoughtful contemplation on the nature of faith on his always excellent blog.


Kevin Clark said...

Interesting post over at the other blog. Pope Benedict XVI's recent encyclical Spe Salvi (On Hope) goes over some of the same things. Benedict points out that in the New Testament, hope and faith are used almost interchangeably. He says that hope and faith are both transformative habits of the soul. In other words, what you believe and what you hope for are not merely future events, but change your life in the present. Whatever it is that people believe in and hope for, that is what they work towards, and so it becomes ever-present in their lives.

Everyone believes in something. Everyone can say, "I believe that (insert word here) is the most important thing in my life." Each person's life is defined by that belief, and it largely makes them what they are, and helps determine what they will become.

Archaeopteryx said...

You're right, Kev, and I think that's what Claude was saying, too. Faith as "ultimate concern" has more meaning than a (some would say) rootless belief in something than cannot be seen.