Monday, September 14, 2009

I Keep Going Back

Through a powerful message series at church, the story of a man named Richard Stearns, and some of the thoughts penned in this blog; I am being pulled back to the notion that "science explains how we got here, and faith explains why we are here."

This line of thought extends beyond what some would see as "preaching" because our core beliefs - the very foundations of our thoughts and the cornerstones of our reasoning - influence how we see the world around us and ultimately decide what we believe is RIGHT and WRONG.

Acknowledging that our world views trickle down to affect our actions, choices and convictions is a vital step in coming to the simple realization that people around us believe different things than we do. We cannot understand another world view, until we understand our own.

Science tells us how we got here, at least that is the intent. I think when you get down to it, most scientists will admit that they have no proof behind their findings, but do find some theory is much more likely than other theories to explain a situation. If we revisit Creation vs. Evolution, both sides must admit that they have seen a body of evidence...facts...and that based on their observations, they have determined the most likely cause. There is no denying that the earth is round (roughly), it rains sometimes, there is a large canyon in Arizona called the Grand Canyon, we have rivers and streams, humans breath air, there are some places on earth covered in ice and others covered in sand, etc., etc... These are facts.

I see three different approaches to determining our world view:
1) We can look at the physical world around us, trying to determine the chain of events that causes everything to work as it does.
2) We can look at the historical evidence that was left to us by our ancestors.
3) We can take the philosophical approach and determine why we are here, which would necessarily lead us to how we got here.

Before you even know the question, one of these "approaches to your world view" will be used to guide your thoughts on the matter. [Of course, I might be missing something, so please enlighten me if you have thoughts.] If posed with the question, "how were you created?", you would answer this differently depending on your world view.

No approach is more valid than another. This concept could be difficult for some people to accept. Evidence from one perspective might conflict with evidence from another, but that does not invalidate the perspective. Does it?

We can see a sunset and know why the sun gets lower on the horizon, but can we explain why it is beautiful? Why don't other species like dogs line up every night and watch the sun set? If creation is a series of random acts, can we have thoughts that are ordered and logical? If we are told stories about historical events, are we simply to dismiss them because they don't seem possible at first? Imagine what some tribe thought when they saw the sun blotted out in the sky due to an eclipse...impossible they might say.

I understand why some people compartmentalize their views, but what if the why, how, what, and when agreed with each other?

I think we all face the challenge of reconciling the world views around us, and determining which one we fit into. What assumptions are we taking into a situation?

Back to Politics...

Understanding these thoughts is critical when we get to the social and political topics of the day. When evaluating freedom, liberty, happiness, and responsibility, our world view will affect what we believe. In most cases, we will find that those we disagree with have a different starting point...a different view of the world.

The ironic part of the equation is that because we live in a society that is built on freedom and liberty, many views are shared and discussed in the public arena, yet many want to take away the freedoms and liberties that allow the debate. The reason is always noble and good in the eyes of the beholder; but as we begin giving away part of our freedom, we will ultimately give away all our freedom. Our founders understood this, and gave us all the power to control our own destiny. Let's use that power wisely.

We are told by some that by taking from the rich and giving to the poor, we are doing the right thing. We need to understand what determines RIGHT from WRONG, and realize that what constitutes right in our eyes may be very different than right in someone else's eyes. This is where our world views come into play.

Our founders understood that our basic rights came from a higher power. Conservatism is about protecting our basic rights. Where the progressive movement might think they are building equality, they are most often creating division and inequality. Conservatism is about protecting the system, so that it doesn't destroy itself, and allows all men to have the same opportunities and protections within it.

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