Feb. 10, 2019

Faith at different points and times

Here is a summary of Thomas Kuhn's book, giving you general understanding about Paradigm shift. 

Everyone has its own belief or faith; some called religion some does not. A recent event occurred Paris shows two approaches to resolve the difference. CH uses satirical, comic drawing to ridicule others, mostly on religions. Islamic extremists gun down CH cartoonist and staff because they ridiculed their Prophet. More context on that attack is here.

Here is the thing. Calling your faith as a religion is not to guarantee the religion to be untouched and immune to criticism. People have to fight and die to protect their faith and often, as shown above, killing others because those people disagree or not conform the religion. Scientist has their faith, normally called prediction or hypothesis. In scientific arena, it is OK or just fine to have a wrong prediction or an unworkable hypothesis. Scientists have to learn what went wrong and mainly based on that learning, proposed a new hypothesis – a belief or even faith if that is a career-long belief. Will your call Einstein’s relativity theory a faith or a fact as the time it was proposed? So, it is ok if your belief is to be questioned and ridiculed. Your job is to prove that your belief is right – not to kill other so they have to shut up. Religion is a special case of human belief. It is just hard and unlikely to validate events occurred in those doctrines. Believers (of a religion) have been known to be prone when the events in the book are being asked and even there is a teaching that you is never asked just listen, remember and practice. Of course, since you propose that your belief is correct and better, it is natural if someone questions your belief and asks for evidence. This is a normal process to substantiate your stand. People usually leave religion out of debate because it is known and shown that believers can become sensitive and extreme when their belief is being questioned. Here is a small question: how strong and solid your belief is when you are rattled and provocative because others do not believe. This is your belief why you are care so much on what others’ disbelief?

People are different. I have my belief and you have yours. If, every time, we keep our belief untouched, unquestioned, so could you imagine if ever we can agree on anything, since you can simply cite your belief? That, simply, does not work as a society.

Giving benefit of the doubt is helpful because you then examine your belief by other people lens. You can take it or leave it. There is no obligation to take people disbelief on yours and renounce your belief. You can actually improve and solidify your belief if your belief is true, evidently.

In a larger context, Western civilization has achieved many milestones – most of that is to work together, to listen and discuss the difference, and improve the solution. Chinese discovered dynamite but Alfred Nobel made millions on it. You can call solution as a belief if you have no proof that it will eventually work.

The right to speak and freedom of expression is essential to communicate and show opinions. Certain culture is conservative and always takes strong measures against the freedom of expression. No one likes to be criticized or questioned and mocked. Everyone, intuitively, is discomfort or immediately condemn others because they dare to question your belief. Other people learn to listen and examine the argument and civilly take it or leave it. That makes a huge difference. That tolerance and open is not born but learn and earn. Do you love your car because it is so tolerant and adaptive to your environment? What if the car does not run because it “believes” that your are not the right driver or the road condition is not suitable? Do you hate different electric voltages because they dictates you to conform and no way to you can tell them a voltage you want? Being open to change and tolerant with difference is always positive attitude to have. Of course, a car can be anything that believes a job can be done or keep the way it is without be interfered by outsiders -- a true believer, voltage is an example of a dictator – one way communication.

To this end, listen and examine the difference; question the similarity then take it or leave it is the better way to live one life – in a sense to improve. Again, you can take or leave it, but take something good and has potential for improvement, even it is not easy to listen, even you have to challenge your entire hypothesis.

Written sometimes in Jan 2015

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