Friday, May 11, 2012


Nearly all knowledge is partially an act of faith. When we read something or listen to someone speak, we take their words as truth depending on our set credibility of that person and their sources. But true knowledge is cumulative and self-reinforcing. Known facts and concepts about the world are continually revisited and improved over time.
Generally then, today's picture of our world and the universe we live in is an improved view of what we had fifty years ago. When I was a child, pictures of galaxies and comets were in black and white and without much detail. There were race riots, segregation and bigotry. There was unbridled pollution and exploitation of natural resources - like the supply was endless, and the Earth would take our abuse without consequence. How wrong, or at the very least, how incomplete our knowledge was.
It was generally accepted that most people went to church every Sunday, and that this Christian nation had God on our side; that Jesus is the true Son of God; that He would return someday soon; and that all other religions were sadly in error in their doctrine.
Knowledge in these areas has increased; even in the areas of how we might regard religious belief, superstition, the occult, the supernatural, spirituality. We are now more aware of how the mind creates, reinforces, and distributes conflicting belief systems. The preacher's words are just another voice in the cacophony of information we sift through every day.
We cannot go back to the 1950's. Too much has changed. Too many real answers have been found. Too many more questions have been asked. It is literally a different world than that of my childhood. There's no going back.
I was taught that all languages came about because the Babylonians tried to build a tower up to heaven and God caused the builders to all speak different languages so they couldn't complete the project. Each language-speaking group moved away to their own country so they could all speak their own language together. The Italian-speakers moved to Italy, the Chinese speakers moved all the way to China, etc.(Genesis 11:6-9)
It has taken a long time, but I have begun to replace my childhoon learning with evidence-based knowledge. I have faith that evidence and reason will point the way toward better and truer truths.

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