Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Derrick Lumsden's Take on Believing Things That Can't Be Proven by Science

Ben Barnett has a blog called Create Cognitive Dissonance where he writes about the problems he sees with dangerous and destructive religious dogmas. The sad thing, in my opinion, is that he dismisses all religious beliefs as potentially harmful dogmas because they cannot be verified by science.

To his credit, Ben has invited people—particularly religious leaders—to write guest posts on his blog about what they believe. Rev. Derrick Lumsden, assistant pastor for the Westville New Church, has taken him up on it and written a guest post titled, “How Do You Prove What You See Clearly”, in which he argues for the validity and value of believing in things that cannot be verified through the five senses.

I recommend reading the post and the comments following it. Here's part of the post:
I accept my premise “not everything worth knowing can be known by the five senses or evidenced to them” because in my experience there is internal knowledge and internal senses–some way of knowing that comes from within. To have this sense is beyond anything that can be proven by the scientific method or shown conclusively to the senses.
And here's part of Derrick's follow-up comments:
If you are interested in the balance I have between the science, religion, and free thinking I will gladly tell you. Science teaches me about the physical world and religion teaches me about the spirit world. I trust science (as long as I am given the evidence to see it for myself) to tell me all about how this world works. I trust religion to tell me about how my soul works, what feeds it, and what harms it, just as I trust science to tell me the same about my body. And free thinking runs through out....
UPDATE: If this is interesting to you check out the comments on this post for further things to read.


Anonymous said...

I hope everyone who read this post DOES come to www.createcognitivedissonance.wordpress.com. I think you'll find the article, the commentary and the debate very worthwhile, no matter your opinion.


Ben Barnett

Malcolm said...

I also recommend that people read Thor Odhner's post, "My Subjective Experiences Can’t Disprove Yours, But, If You’ll Allow, They May Help You Reconsider Some of Your Assumptions" and the follow up comments. His is an interesting and thought-provoking story and his thoughts, as usual, are carefully and clearly articulated.

The tone of the post and the comments on it is refreshingly human and non-combative. What's more they do a good job of bringing up what is at stake—meaning, love, etc.—and what choices everyone makes in deciding what they believe.

I also particularly appreciated Cathy Schnarr's comments. Here's an excerpt:

"I value feelings and emotion more than truth seeking. Like, I like the idea of truth seeking only as much as it can help in my relationships with other people. (alright, that’s an overstatement. I am a Cole after all. I love sitting around the table late into the night and throwing around ideas.) But the bottom line is, if I had to choose, I like the stuff that goes on in my heart more than the stuff that goes on in my head."

Malcolm said...

So I've been doing some more reading on this blog. Another post you might find useful to read is Owen Schnarr's guest post, "Why I Believe in God". I have mixed feelings about this post and the follow up comments. The tone, unfortunately, gets grumpy and defensive for a while.

Where it gets good, in my opinion, is when Brian Smith chimes in and he and Thor Odhner have a back and forth.

Warning: If you get into reading this it may take a lot of the time you were planning to spend accomplishing things.

Anonymous said...

Since you might be clicking through to CCD, I'd suggest going to the 'New To CCD?" category down the right sidebar. In this category folder, you'll find some of the most talked about topics and some interesting posts that will give you a general 'thematic feel' for the site.



Anonymous said...

Hello Folks,

A new post has been entered by Brian Smith regarding homosexuality. Check it out at www.createcognitivedissonance.wordpress.com!