Sunday, 26 December 2010

Discovering Science

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Julia Sweeney discusses her personal journey to question her beliefs, in an animated and comical way in her talk “letting go of God” 1. The story flows from growing up as a Catholic, she then plays with the idea of Buddhism but then finds Atheism. It’s an insightful story, highlighting some of the parts of the bible that are often skipped over in conventional teachings and media, and exposes the real stories and makes you question why so many people follow Christianity and its ‘teachings’ and yet have not read the Bible and fully understand what they claim to believe. Obviously, it’s a book which was written in a very different era, and so some of the messages need to be ‘open to interpretation’. But when you get down to it, many of the passages are conflicting, worrying or just plain non-senseical. Julia point out the fact that people today are far more ‘moral’ and humanitarian than the role models in the bible, but the whole topic is approached in a light hearted and humorous way.

What is interesting is that at first she felt science was intimidating and “unable to deal with uncertainty”, however, the more she explores science in order to better understand the world around her and back up her beliefs, this in fact causes her to question those very beliefs and she comes to the conclusion that science seems to better explain her questions and the more she asks questions the more fulfilling answers she receives from science. Her talk emphasizes the feelings of reward and fascination at suddenly having answers and theories to so many things in the world around us, and is far more fulfilling that just blind unquestioning faith. Her journey leads her to the realization of having to “except what is true over what I wished was true” and the importance “that everything we now know about the world is not blatantly ignored” in favor of ignorance. 

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