Monday, November 17, 2014

Twining all-embracing faith

Twining all-embracing faith
Honeysuckle along the Merrimack
CC Jean Stimmell: 11/12/14
“Faith is the willingness to give ourselves over, at times, to things we do not fully understand… the full engagement with this strange and shimmering world.”

This profound quote comes from The Accidental Universe written by the physicist, Alan Lightman.  His definition of faith is truly ecumenical: as applicable to religious folks as it is to scientists. He does, however, go on to make a critical distinction between the nature of science and the nature of humanity:

By the experimental nature of what they do, scientists must pose their questions very carefully: in order to prove or disprove a hypothesis, they must frame their questions in such a manner that they will have a definite answer.

“But artists and humanists often don’t care what the answer is because definite answers don’t exist to all interesting and important questions. Ideas in a novel or emotion in a symphony are complicated with the intrinsic ambiguity of human nature. … For many artists and humanists, the question is more important than the answer*”

* Physicist Alan Lightman from his acclaimed book The Accidental Universe, as quoted in
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