Belief comes in two flavours

9 09 2007

I’ve become interested in the debate of science and religion and their relationship.  The ultimate goal of my quest is to find arguments why people believe.  For this, I’am looking for answers at two different levels.

The first level may be a rather ‘personalised’ level: people may start to believe in god because it intrinsically gives you a (well organised – i.e. through bible study and the structure of communities or churches) way to look for and find support and comfort in daily life. The fact that god/religion is solely used here to overcome difficult moments in life (like the issue of injustice and suffering) or is used as a guide to help you stick to accepted behaviour, suffices.  The believer is not necessarily seeking ‘the Truth’ as such.  People that also count on god to look for ‘the Truth’, attract attention of scientists, and these people must be encouraged, (must be willing) to go into debate with science.  This discipline (in normal conditions) shall not take the ‘because-I-believe-it’ answer as an argument that is obtained through scientific methodology.

I also want to look for my answers in the domain of evolution.  I have become fascinated in the problem of how and when and why the human kind invented/created/discovered (?) the factor ‘belief’. I was advised to start reading several philosophers that have published work on this issue. The first I’ am currently tackling is the book of Daniel Dennett: Darwins Dangerous Idea; Evolution and the Meanings of Life.  I have chosen this work as a first step towards other readings like: The God Delusion (by Dawkins) and Freedom evolves (also by Dennett). I will keep you informed on the first book.