Science is defined as; a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
Religion is defined as; a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
He questions and theorizes more than most adults I know, and while I’ve always taken this as opportunity to share my own thoughts and beliefs with him, I’ve always made it clear that before reaching any type of conclusion, he gather the facts, weigh the variables and listen to his inner voice, which each of us has been gifted with for a reason.
He met me on the porch when I arrived home the other day, happy to see me, and clearly in need of clarifying conversation. Seems he’d learned something in Science class that day that completely went against his knowledge of Religion. And I specifically use the term ‘knowledge,’ because while his grandfather is a God fearing preacher man, his father a spiritual man of faith, his mama does not conform to the ideology that organized religion would have us believe, though he has always been provided the necessary tools and guidance to draw his own conclusions on which to form his base of beliefs.
I didn’t panic and search my mind for a suitable, passable answer, though I did silently muse, at reaching this inevitable stage at such an early age. Instead, I told him what my mother once told me, when years ago I’d asked a similar question. She said simply this, “I would rather have faith and believe and find out that I was wrong and it was all just a lie, than to live my life not believing, only to find out it was the truth and I was wrong.”
I was probably in my late twenties at the time, and I remember that being the most profound thing I’d ever heard, and so it would be, the decision made, which in reality was no decision at all. He immediately smiled and I saw the same relieved expression in his eyes that I too felt; and that’s when I took it a step further and asked him simply, “if you whittle that down, to the bare essence of the statement, what have you really got?” He thought about it for a minute, his expression completely changed, his eyes met mine and just as I knew he would, answered quite simply, “Fear.”
None of us are born with the knowledge of God, it’s a set of beliefs taught by man; and what purpose and means of such teaching, depends solely on the one doing the teaching.
As Dostoevsky once said, “If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.”
Just something to think about…
©2011 Jill Terry