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We Require Faith

Cover Image for We Require Faith
Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly

I have been listening to stories people are sharing with me around Corona, around mental health issues, around life struggles.

Often I listen to a faith-based, nearly evangelical prosthelizing around a necessary belief in Science. Like, capital-S Science. Unquestioning acceptance of something larger than ourselves. It reminds me how deeply we humans need to believe in something.

Faith Alone

It feels a bit like we need to rest our faith on something external, a force bigger than ourselves, on things unseen, unknowable.

And, almost as a counter to that, we admonish ourselves to believe in ourselves, too. In what feels like cheerleader-level enthusiasm, we are cajoled to believe the we can do anything with the correct mindset.

Science

I am not a conspiracy-lover. I am not an anti-vaxxer. I am not a science-denier.

I am old, though.

I am old enough to remember a time when science had a small "s". Science was a discipline, an ever changing, ever evolving understanding of the world around us and how it works. Science was curious, humble, disciplined, open, and audacious.

I wonder if we as a society could come up with a more refined, more emotionally mature reaction to people when they try to enter scientific conversation without the required curiosity, discipline, and humility? Perhaps, when people who have never diligently carried out research or who have never done a proper literature review want to enter the arena, we could compose ourselves with a level of compassion, care, and genuine interest in wanting to hear their voice — while also letting them know that they do need to work quietly on their own for awhile, gathering information and synthesizing it, before they enter the conversation.

I would also like to gently open you, dear reader, to the possibility that you also may want to retreat a bit, read a bit more, consider a bit more before sharing your opinion?

Confidence

If you feel confident, it should be because you have earned it. You have done a lot of work, quietly, on your own. If you feel confident because your friends are bolstering you, or because your opinion is popular, you likely ought to get quiet and sit awhile in contemplation.

And, my friend, that is where the two might meet. Faith and Science.

Cultivating faithfulness is necessary for a quiet confidence. It is separate to scientific discipline but necessary for the confidence required for mature dialogue.

I'm obviously biased toward my Christian faith. That doesn't mean that I don't respect other faiths. Quite the contrary. But I will say that a faith based in Science is false. Your faith ought to come from reading wisdom books, from studying philosophy, from deep contemplation and prayer.

From a deep faith can come the maturity, wisdom, and quiet confidence that an intelligent, respectful dialogue around scientific principles and discoveries might flourish.