definition: par•a•digm (pār'ə-dīm', -dĭm')

3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this blog is four-fold:
to recognize that every person functions within a basic paradigm, which affects how all information is processed;
(2) to understand the paradigms of others;
(3) to discuss, in particular, paradigms which are related to science, religion, and philosophy.

(4) to reveal the paradigm shifts in my own life, a process that has completely changed the direction and purpose of my existence.

The purpose of this blog is NOT to convince anyone that their paradigms or beliefs are correct or incorrect. I am hoping for an honest dialog, but the discussions must remain respectful of others, even if there is profound disagreement. If any comments are not respectful, they will be removed.
(Revised 1/13/09)

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Paradigm Problem that Keeps Resurfacing

I have been on both sides of this issue, so I understand both sides. Each approach is a paradigm that hold its subscibers in a tight grip. The resolution is troublesome, simply because I do understand both sides. Here they are:

I. "God gave us a brain and intended us to use it. How could God expect us to believe certain aspects of fundamentalist "faith" when they make no sense, based on all that science, our powers of observation, and our intellect tell us?"

II. "God would not be God if all of His nature was within our understanding. He expects us to trust Him and to trust that He can see and can control things that we cannot possibly understand. The reason we have the Bible and the reason that believing Christians have the Holy Spirit is to guide us in our faith and in our understanding of the ways of God."

Scripture says (of God):
8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
9 “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. "
(Isaiah 55:8,9 NKJV)


FishHawk said...

Our Heavenly Father gives us the ability and the freedom to reason in order to give us the ability to freely have faith in what is naturally unreasonable; and the most naturally unreasonable thing of all is our existence. For in the eyes of this world: nothing exists that is not needed in some way or another. Whereas: we are not "needed" by our Creator. We are, however, oh so very much "wanted" by Him; and that is beyond the natural comprehension of us all.

Soul and Substance said...

I particularly like your point that "the most naturally unreasonable thing of all is our existence." It really makes no logical sense for us to be here, on earth, with so much beauty surrounding us and, yes, so much that is NOT beautiful. How remarkable that we even care!

FishHawk said...

Rather than just repeat what has been already posted (I am rather lazy at times): a link unto a previous post should help to encourage us to want to believe that there really is a reason for why everything is as it naturally is in this world. For it begins a little off topic; but the rest addresses what is generally considered as being the true "meaning of life": be assured.

soulandsubstance said...

Fishhawk--I thought it was an interesting post from the very beginning. Correct me if I am misinterpreting your meaning, but I think it says that the reason that we have brains and natural intelligence is to be able to choose, of our own free will, to love God.
The apostle Paul says, of faith, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.... By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." (Hebrews 11:1,3 NKJV)

FishHawk said...

You are most correct. For He could have, just as easily, created us without any choice whatsoever; but of what true and lasting satisfaction could any of us have ever been unto Him if He had of done so???

Perhaps it would be helpful to look at in robotic terms, which would not be all that bad of a thing unto someone as naturally pathetic as myself. For I could see myself spending all of eternity with an android who looked like Kathy Ireland and adored everything about me (my wife better not ever see this); but it would not be "real".

Now, as far as "faith" goes: be assured that it has never been meant to be "blind", nor "deaf". For evidence of our Heavenly Father's existence can be visibly seen all around us {Romans 1:18-20}; and He has never been nearly as silent as what far too many have been led to believe {Job 33:14-30}.

No, this is not at all to say that faith is not really the substance of things hoped for, nor the evidence of things not seen {Hebrews 11:1 KJV}. For in the same way as one must have faith in another before they can believe that what they are being told is the truth: so is also with our Heavenly Father; and that very same principle will remain in place for all of eternity, which is just the way He wants it to be. For it truly is as it is written: And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. {Hebrews 11:6 NAS}

Russell Miller said...

I think it does make logical sense for us to be here. I that perhaps one of the reasons we exist is that we are an aspect of the earth's system for regulating itself.

I think people who make that argument have already decided what makes logical sense and are forming their arguments around what they've already decided.

soulandsubstance said...

That's probably true. Logic is pretty circular. At some point, though, you almost have to get back to something that is ultimately unprovable, like the concept of infinity, the beginning of time, or the origin of matter. Of course, quantum physicists are doing a great job of shaking up a lot of our assumptions of reality, but I don't think even they can cope with infinity. (Here's a great site on quantum mechanic/quantum physics, written for the layman: