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Religion Must Not Cling to What We Know Isn't True

Religion Must Not Cling to What We Know Isn’t True

Rabbi Rami explores the difference between faith and belief, and explains why modern religion must remain grounded in what science has revealed: “If science can disprove some aspect of Judaism, then to hold on to it makes me, I guess, a loyal Jew, but a stupid human being… If my religion says that the world is flat, and I can show a photograph that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world is round, but as a faithful person I’m going to hold onto the flatness of things, then yea, I’m a faithful idiot.”

This is why I have hope for both reformed Judaism and Buddhism: Both have acknowledged that faith must be subordinate to science. It’s a big step in the right direction.


Comments (3 comments)

vjack / June 16th, 2007, 8:51 am / #1

Yes, that really is a big step in the right direction. I wonder how far they will get before being condemned by the true believers.

Dennis Fisher / June 16th, 2007, 10:14 am / #2

hope is like faith

BlackSun / June 16th, 2007, 11:33 am / #3

Vjack, that’s certainly a problem, but if a Rabbi is saying it, it puts other reformed Rabbis on notice. I like to think that good information and critical thinking will push bad ways of thought out of circulation, especially when what he’s saying is so obviously true.

Dennis, my hope is based on concrete evidence, such as the statement made by the Rabbi above. Then there’s this one, by the Dalai Lama:

I am speaking of what I call ‘secular ethics’ that embrace the key ethical principles, such as compassion, tolerance, a sense of caring, consideration of others, and the responsible use of knowledge and power — principles that transcend the barriers between religious believers and nonbelievers, and followers of this religion or that religion,” –Washington Post

He is basically declaring himself a secular humanist. Also, the Dalai Lama said:

If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.

So Dennis, my hope is that the leadership in these two belief systems may be in the process of transforming them into workable humanistic traditions which will enhance rather than tear down the status of knowledge and free inquiry. You should know by now that when an atheist uses words like “hope” it is a colloquialism for “reasoned extrapolation based on current information,” rather than in the sense of “faith, hope, and charity.”

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