Posted on 19 July 2010.
In my last post I discussed the difference between belief, trust and faith, but before I go on, I would like to dive deeper into the subject.
We now know that belief encompasses anything that we accept as true – yet it doesn’t follow that before we arrive at a certain belief system we accept it without any evidence. As I have already said, not all beliefs are categorized as “faith”.
To illustrate this, maybe you guys have any idea on those people who are into NWO or “New World Order”. Conspiracy theorists believe on things like secret societies, that the September 11 attacks in 2001 were either intentionally allowed to happen, or that the moon landing never happened, but they believe such things not on faith but on what they believe as evidences. They have “reason” to believe. Their “evidences” are: big, contemporary newsworthy events which may suit their “theory”; some so-called “anomalies; and of course big organizations. But whatever wacky ideas that come to their mind, it is still “evidence”.
Evidence is anything that increases the estimate of the probability of the truthfulness of the proposition.
I believe that the Sun is going to rise in the East and will set in the West tomorrow and that there is an “invisible” thing we called wind. Is that faith?
Nah…Knowing these things rely on evidence. We use data to predict an outcome of something – like the rising or setting of the Sun for example. Unless something beyond natural event happened tomorrow, we expect the Sun to rise in the East and set in the West based on and limited by repeatable, objective experience.
Pastor Vince: That’s right, you cannot see it. But you can see other things being moved by it. You can see the clouds being pushed by it, etc… But the question is, can you see the wind? Molecules??? You felt the matter, but not the molecules my friend.
In the issue of the wind for example, we can feel it but we can’t see it. But again, that is not faith. The reason that we can “feel” the wind is a proof that it exists. When we talk about feeling in an empirical context, we don’t assume its existence because we have the “conviction” it exists…nope, we’re not talking about being euphoric.
We don’t see air because the molecules that make up air (nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, argon) just don’t happen to absorb light in the wavelengths our eyes can see.
Oh and molecules don’t exist?
Actually you can see a molecule. Since molecules move too fast and our eye can only see around 100 frames per second, if you saw a molecule it would be just a blur, maybe a sphere. But thanks to specialized microscopes, we can even see atoms. Also there is this device called scanning tunneling microscope (STM) that can be used to see a molecule (neat stuff eh?).
There are other evidences of the existence on molecules. Just pick up your physics and chemistry text book (do you have a copy Pastor Vince?).
If you hit a crystal with a beam of rays, the rays diffract into patterns which can be used to tell exactly where the atoms in the crystal are located. This technique, which was proposed by Sir William Bragg in the late 1800’s, only works if matter is made of atoms.
Botanist Robert Brown noticed that tiny objects like pollen grains shook and moved erratically when viewed under a microscope. Nearly seventy years later, Albert Einstein explained this “Brownian motion” as the result of bombardment by molecules. Einstein found his main clue to the size of molecules: how far the suspended particles move should depend on the number of molecules it takes to make one “mole”. Each time a fluid molecule bounced into a suspended particle, the particle would be moved a little, so after many bounces the particle might wind up in a quite different place. Einstein found that, if one mole equals so many molecules, the suspended particles would wander, on average, so far in one minute. If a mole only equals one fourth as many molecules so that each fluid molecule is four times as massive, the fluid molecules would hit hard enough for the suspended particles to wander, overall, twice as far in one minute.
Avogadro’s number is the number of molecules in one mole of any compound. There are dozens of different experimental methods for measuring Avogadro’s number. All give the same result. The fact that Avogadro’s number seems to be independent of any particular method implies that it actually has meaning- and so is strong circumstantial evidence that molecules actually exist.
Pastor Vince seems to forget, because of science, we can now see the wind.
Pascal’s Bad Bet
Pastor Vince: As for me, I would rather believe in God. For if I die and then there is no God, I will lose nothing. But if I believe that there is no God, then when I die I found out that there is God, then I lose everything.
Let’s talk about Pascal’s Wager.
Now, isn’t it funny that Christian evangelists like Pastor Vince always use Pascal’s Wager? Doesn’t he know Pascal’s wager was intended for Roman Catholic use? (Come on…give me something original.)
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) lived in a time when religious belief in Europe was simple; whether you’re a Roman Catholic or a non-believer. There were only two choices. In today’s Christianity for example, the wager can’t be that useful…let me explain.
How many dogma and doctrines does Christianity have today? Some Christians believe in the trinity while others don’t. Some believe in a human Christ, Biblical inerrancy, additional gospels (from the Gnostics)…whatever! Now what if Roman Catholicism turns out to be right and Born-Again Christianity is wrong. What will happen? What if “Sorianistas” are right or the Iglesia Ni Cristo is right? This is becoming a very bad bet.
Speaking of which, I’m just wondering…why would an omni-being punish those who don’t believe its existence? Does non-belief suck the very life-force of this “God being”? Does lack of worship weaken this “God”? It is really quite odd for a perfect, omni-being to require a need of worshippers and believers.
It seems this so-called “God” will wither and dry-out if people stop believing in its existence. So! It appears this God needs me that I need Him.
Enjoy it till it lasts
Pastor Vince: Do you think your life is wasted when you enjoy something doing it? Do you believe that your life is wasted for trying to prove that there is no God? I am pretty sure that you will answer that your life is not wasted for you have already judged my life that I already have wasted it.
But then again, going back to my question. Do you think your life is wasted when you enjoy the things you are doing and that it is with a purpose?
So according to Pastor Vince, if a person enjoys something, that won’t waste his life. Hmmmm…eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die eh?
Let me tell you a story of a person who enjoyed his youthful life going to sleazy bars and “beer houses” to have fun. Sure, don’t tell me he’s not enjoying every minute of it. Drinking all night long to drown his problems and his mundane existence with whiskey and beer.
Now that he’s 75 years old…what happened? What did he achieve?
The same reason can be heard on kids who waste their time “enjoying” leisure with their friends instead of going to school…(Have you heard the Nonoy Zuniga song “Sa Panaginip Lang”?)
Pastor Vince: Well, as a Christian myself, I don’t think that it is a waste of life to believe in God, just as you believe that there is no GOd. I enjoy exercising my faith with a purpose and with the hope of second life while you enjoy searching and reasoning that there is no GOd with the hope that there is no second life. What life have been wasted then? I simply believe that I have made a better preparation of what it is to come or “if there will be no second life at all.” It’s not a waste of life my friend.
Drug addiction also has the same effect. You enjoy being a “junkie”. You enjoy all the euphoria while speed-balling or injecting or snuffing Methamphetamine on your system. Something like belief in a so-called “promise of an after-life in heaven” can do. So, to say that it is not a waste of time to prepare for an after-life with God is the same excuse a blotter user would say when he’s “high”.