Lance Foster (hengruh) wrote,
Lance Foster
hengruh

Conflicts in Belief Systems

As a child, I was taught the same belief system based on the Bible, with God the Creator making the earth and all the creatures upon it, and with a special creation called the human being that has a soul and a special connection to God. That is a belief system rooted in the traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Middle East, blending the Semitic tribal desert peoples (like the children of Abraham, the Hebrews and Arabs) and others like the Egyptians, Hittites, Sumerians, Babylonians, and Persians. So I can relate to that.

As a child, I was also taught another belief system where God the creator made this earth and all the creatures upon it. Yet in this belief system, all of creation has spirits, animals, plants, mountains, wind, and all of it, not just human beings. We are all related, all connected in our flesh, blood and spirits, to the animals and the rest of creation. That is a belief system rooted in the traditions of the indigenous peoples of the New World, similar to many among the indigenous people of the world.

Science also is a belief system, which is rooted in the philosophy and rational traditions of the ancient Greeks and Romans of the Mediterranean, who blended their belief systems with each other as well as the indigenous people in their areas (Etruscans for the Romans, and the indigenous Cretans blended with the invading Myceneans as the base of the ancient Greeks). Later on these philosopher-scientists were the basis for the Renaissance, which blended rationalism of the Greco-Roman traditions with the religious faith of the Judeo-Christians traditions.

And the continuing development of this new thing called science eventually revealed so many things based on observation and reason that did not fit into the world of religious faith of revelation and tradition, that a split began, and this became known as the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. The philosophers of the Enlightenment provided the basis for the new American Revolution, as well as the advancements in science, which drove the Industrial Revolution as well. Science and the scientific method became the hallmark of the modern age.

With all these different layers and sources, there was bound to be conflict between the various ideas, and this is so today.

There are extremes of science, where some scientists ridicule anything that is not based in empiricism and material reality, and some people disallow even the existence of the spiritual world, of the Creator. If they can't touch it and measure it, it doesn't exist to them.

There are also extremes of faith, where parents do not allow their children to be operated on, not even to save their lives, but rely solely on the power of prayer to heal their children. Unfortunately, this often does not work, and they blame themselves (or someone else) for having too little faith, or they blame God. Or other extremes of faith, where other people believe if they sacrifice their own lives for their religion through war, they will go to heaven.

Most people however find their own balance between the two extremes, based on their own choices and understanding. Some scientists do believe in God and the evidence of evolution.

So there are many, many layers of historical events and cultures to draw from, and make your own choices, according to your own standards...your own free will.

For me, and this is just my own personal experience, understanding and accepting the evidence for evolution and our physical origins in apes, didn't destroy my religious beliefs.

The physical evidence is pretty solid. For me, science explains the physical side of existence the best.

The spiritual side is explained most satisfactorily for me personally through religious beliefs and traditions that I was raised in, my Christian and my Native American beliefs.

How a person wants to look at it all, is something you have to decide for yourself. It may be a lifetime adventure. It has been that way for me.
Tags: religion
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