Friday, January 28, 2011


Or, if you prefer, you may choose to consider the title of this post, "How?"

I believe that by questioning what we assume to be true, we engage in the chance to move forward. This started when I was challenged in what I believe by sound scientific evidence pointing against what I believed to be true. Now, that is the thing about questioning what you assume, it usually comes out of being challenged, or from some force opposing what you are striving towards. I believe we grow by being challenged. By being challenged in what I believed, I was so moved as to do more research and read a few books. Now, I am very glad that challenge took place, because I feel like I have grown from where I once was. It was only after what I believed was put into question that I decided I should have a real reason for what I believed, besides tradition and whatnot.
The reason I have thought about this is reading about the 'clash' between Galileo and the church of his time. The Church (and with a capital 'C' I refer to Church Fathers, Elders, Cardinals, etc.) opposed Galileo's findings about the solar system/universe and the earth's place in it. Galileo was confident in the scientific observations he had made, and found them to make sense in the Copernican system. The Church, however, firmly believed in the traditional interpretation of the Scriptures saying that the earth was the center of the universe/solar system, and all the other heavenly bodies revolved around it. The Church pointed out passages such as the one in Joshua where he asks God to make the sun stand still. Why would he ask to have the sun stand still if the sun was constant in the center of the solar system? Also, there are other passages that talk about the heavens being place above the earth and the stars being drawn like a curtain. The Church believed in the literal interpretation that the earlier Fathers had come to. Galileo suggested that it was wrong. He challenged them.
But the Church resisted, even to the point of threatening Galileo with torture, so that he would keep quiet about his findings and so that the tradition would follow on. (At the time, tradition was considered to be the 'Unwritten Word of God' and therefore was quite significant.)

So, what does that mean for us, for me and you? (you and me, technically)
Well, it means that when I challenge you, it is because I want you to grow. I want you to be sure of what you know, and I want you to be sure of why you believe what you believe. I also appreciate being challenged, because I know that from it I can grow. If it upsets you that I ask you all sorts of questions that do not have easy answers, let me know. On the contrary, if you want me to ask you those types of questions more often, I would be happy to do so, and I would also appreciate you doing the same for/to me :)

I would appreciate your questions, comments, and so on. Like I said, feel free to challenge me ;)