69 million page views

Faith and Inner Needs

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: lhc etc

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jun 3, 2015 at 21:26

Hi, Waz

I'll skip right to your summary, to make sure I don't miss it:

"It's almost funny how so many people eagerly flock so mindlessly from the last 'next best thing' to the latest one - without taking any consideration for where they're likely going or what they want to achieve. Few seem to ask - what can Mr. X or Ms Y do fundamentally for who I am - how I relate to myself?"

My main objection to the Large Haldron Collider was that it is not cost effective: It costs a whole heap, at a time when... well, when we could be using it for better things, like quality single-payer universal health care, or start-up money for inventors and entrepreneurs, or grant money for chemists and biologists. Meanwhile, what are the benefits? To discover the latest "next best thing", as you say? The Bible rightly says,

1 Corinthans 12:
[20] Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
[21] For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
[22] For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
[23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
[24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
[25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Paul also noted,

1 Corinthians 1:
[20] Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
[21] For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
[22] For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
[23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
[24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
[25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Paul was a confessor of Jesus as Messiah, and "The Preacher" of Ecclesiastes said nothing of such matters; but they were in agreement in their opposition to the endless pursuit of knowledge. That quest can never be satisfied; for mankind (especially the "Greeks", or "Westerners", according to Paul) are continually thirsting after the "latest new thing", even before cutting-edge discoveries find their way to publication. Yet they remain discontented, because their real needs are not being met: the need to know, as you say,

who I am - how I relate to myself.

In Ecclesiastes, "the Preacher" (probably Solomon) spared no effort in his quest to self-discovery. His conclusion was that self-discovery isn't as important as he had imagined; the important matter was that a man be in good standing with God on the day of Judgment; because that would decide his eternal fate.

Paul considered Jesus' crucifixion to be the most important matter. Jesus laid down his life on earth, along with the human pursuit of being admired and making a name for one's self, in exchange for a certain place in the Day of Judgment.

Like Solomon, Jesus was interested in Eternity -- the place beyond our universe and its physics. This, according to one scientist you quoted here, is the realm of "consciousness", something that is not subject to, and cannot be explained by, the laws of physics. The universe, along with the laws that govern and define it, is finite. Consciousness, on the other hand is -- according to Christian teaching , but also according to some scientists -- infinite.

Somehow, our brains are connected to our consciousness, while we are in these mortal bodies. Christian hope, is that a new universe awaits us after death, wherein our personal consciousness will be connected to a body, much as it is in this world:

2 Corinthians 5:
[1] For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
[2] For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
[3] If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
[4] For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Notice that I have simply used scripture to explain the common "hope" of those who trust in the resurrection. There can be no positive scientific proof of these things; because "science" is confined to our present, limited, perishable universe, and we are talking here of things beyond it. Some have presumed to "know" about these matters scientifically, but they are out of their league. As you said,

(Hawking's) 'edge' is his maths and theories and probably finds it hard to give them up and adopt a totally new paradigm. It must be that certain things are unknowable to the human intellect. Things so vast and awesome that it is impossible for us to understand.

We therefore walk by faith -- a faith which, should it ultimately prove true, answers our deepest needs in a way that scientific speculation cannot. For a Christian, that faith is helped by the fact that Jesus' body has never been found, though it was buried, sealed and well guarded. For the Jews, the situation is more difficult; for many of them trust in some form of a resurrection, but it is based largely on what we might call philosophical grounds. Those grounds are not to be belittled, though, because, after all, Jesus himself faced the cross boldly on those same grounds alone. Also, Jesus's resurrection is of no value to one who doesn't trust in it: God must give a person the seed of faith, for him to build upon.

The wife is back, with groceries for me to unload. gottarun.

PS Ardent Muslims also live by faith, even boldly facing death because of it. Their faith, however, does not give them inner peace: quite the contrary, it seems. Their faith, of course, is based on a different hope from that of Christians and Jews.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Faith and Inner Needs by Michael S

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)