Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sorting Out Belief, Faith, and Religion

“Beliefs are unprovable propositions about reality; faith is trusting that those beliefs are true, and religion is a system of communal behavior designed to enforce and reinforce faith in the correctness of those beliefs.

“Beliefs should not be confused with facts or hypotheses. Facts and hypotheses are testable; beliefs are not. That is why you need to have faith in God but not in gravity. Because beliefs are not testable, they need not change. Beliefs only change when experience makes faith in them indefensible.

“When scientists demand that myth conform to physics, and religionists demand that physics conform to myth, we get silly religions and bad science. We needn't choose between science and religion, we only have to insist that each be true to its calling.”

Rabbi Rami Shapiro in Spirituality and Health / Sept, Oct, 2008

1 comment:

Ruth said...

These are some really interesting quotes. Especially the last one, in light of the whole science and religion debate that is getting so much attention these days. I think that it would be good if each was not only true to its calling, but also attempted somehow to bridge the gap so that choosing one over the other becomes unnecessary. There's a good book coming out in October, Healing the Rift by Leo Kim, that tackles the subject from the point of view that our world is a blending of mind and spirit.