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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Are Faith and Reason Incompatible?

Watched this video (warning, it's long) which is a conversation about "helping people overcome their faith."  Socratic method.  The "faith virus." 

I find this stuff fascinating, because it always seems to me there is a fundamental approach problem in these discussions.  At many levels, science and reason are not at odds with the basics of faith.  There are natural laws, just as there are imposed laws in religion.  There is a direction in evolution (not towards superiority, but towards specialized collaboration) just as there's a "plan" in religion. If you strip away the language of both spheres and get down to the intent, there's a common, almost intuitive starting point that loses it's rapture the more clearly it's understood.

To me, faith isn't an illogical belief in something that does not exist; it's a trigger that helps us connect with a reality that is beyond simple comprehension and empowers us to become a whole that's more than the sum of its parts.  It's not a claim, it's a sensation.  As such, religion as a structural manifestation of that sensation can't fall - because it's biological.

What Dr Peter Boghossian is describing in his "lose faith through the Socratic method" approach is actually about cognitive behavioural therapy - which, in itself, has a lot in common with prayer.

Boghossian and Molyneux might want to dig a bit deeper into the concept of "know yourself to know the world" - if they really explore the neuroscience behind why there is faith, they'd see why it's not such a bad thing after all.  

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