Two Big Questions

  1. If a person believes in religion, then events are subject to supernatural interventions.  How then can one deny voodoo, black magic, reading of minds, evil curses, and the like?
  2. Since science explains everything by cause and effect, how can believers in science accept any explanations involving free will?

More on 1. Religion. There are many things I have no idea how they came into being, like the beginning of the universe, the start of time, but I haven’t noticed any god figure interfering or guiding day-to-day life.  So I believe in a power that surpasses my understanding, but that’s no proof that power is interested or intervenes (supernaturally) in daily life.

More on 2. Science. I believe in both free will and cause-and-effect.  Can they be true simultaneously?  Can it be that cause and effect is true, but that randomness is inherent in the universe, leaving sufficient looseness that’s filled by free will?  Or are they contradictory – the source of earthquakes and volcanoes in my emotional responses to situations which overlie the crunching of continental crusts of personal free will and materialistic science?  If we don’t have free will, how can we have personal responsibility?  Is randomness actual or a limitation of our current understanding (possibly our inherent limit in understanding)?

Neither answer is completely satisfactory IMO, yet I still have my beliefs—Deism, free will, and science.  I don’t drop my beliefs.  I continue to hold them but I need to acknowledge they can’t be justified completely.  It also means that I am less dogmatic in rejecting arguments that counter my beliefs.


Religion image. Fair use of Clash of Titan image, Lawrence Olivier as “Zeus”
Science image. Public domain, William Blake’s “Newton”

Thinking in Daily Life