Michael Battalio


Sunday, September 20, 2009

This I Believe (18)

This is part eighteen of my “This I Believe” series. I have had trouble over the last several years defining exactly what it is I prescribe to as a worldview. I hope to figure some of what I believe here.
Here I want to comment on two concepts: faith and hope.

Faith, in the simplest sense I can think of, is believing in something, a thought, a person, a worldview, when you have no proof for the correctness of your belief. Faith also requires knowing that your belief is true regardless of a lack of evidence supporting that belief. I think that faith without doubt is not faith. Faith without some doubt is acceptance.

I am a follower of Kierkegaard in this sense. There will never be sufficient evidence to demand belief, but faith alone will be enough to demand belief. Doubt is the rational part of the brain telling you that what faith demands is nonsense. But by its own nature faith flies in the face of that and is meaningless without the doubt without which it is simply credulousness.

Hope, on the other hand, is wanting something when you have no proof for the correctness of your belief yet also not knowing or being sure how correct that belief is. Hope is wanting but doubting.

Hope is wishing something will happen, but faith is believing something will happen.

To make sense of this I picture an isosceles triangle where the two legs of the triangle are hope and credulousness, and the pinnacle of the triangle is faith. Faith requires some of both hope and credulousness to exist, but faith is not either of those two.

Friday, September 04, 2009

This I Believe (17)

This is part seventeen of my “This I Believe” series. I have had trouble over the last several years defining exactly what it is I prescribe to as a worldview. I hope to figure some of what I believe here.
This post poses an interesting question regarding original sin.

        Here’s an interesting thought: God created the world in six days. Some time afterward Adam and Eve committed the original sin. From then on, all humans would have original sin that would have had to be cleansed via the Resurrection. If then it only took seven days to create the universe, why not just start over again? God is omniscient. He knew that from the original sin onward that everyone would be tarnished and would suffer. Why go though with the trouble on continuing with a sinful people? (Because He loves us and couldn’t destroy the future of everyone because of two people.) Why then did He let us continue for however long until He gets fed up with us and floods the Earth (the Noah story) and kills every human except for one family, who because of Adam and Eve all still have original sin and will then repopulate the Earth with people who will still have original sin. Why not just stop it from the beginning? Wipe out the universe, start over again. It makes no sense.
        The best answer I can come up with is that because of original sin of Adam and Eve, all of His creations (even if He started over) would be stained as well. You can also call Adam and Eve a myth, an explanation of why God felt compelled to give us free will, a reason I find more believable. The problem is, if Adam and Eve is a myth, what else is? Possibly everything.
 
2003-2016 Michael Battalio (michael[at]battalio.com)