Science And Faith… It Only Takes A Moment – By Marc

The following post is inspired by the current Chabad course I am taking, The Secret Language Of The Soul. Thanks to Rabbi Avi Rabin.

Having true faith seems to be a battle for some. There are days and times it is easy… When we just believe, fully and without doubt.

Other times, it is a struggle, a questioning, a tossing and turning, whether asleep or awake.

Judaism does not shy away from this. After all, the very name “Israel” came after Jacob wrestled with G-d, or at least an Angel of G-d.

Any good Rabbi will celebrate those who question and want to discuss things, especially when the intentions are good. If the intention is to understand and build and connect, that is every different than if it is to destroy and break down. Hopefully the reason we want to know… need to know… is for the higher purpose… for making ourselves better and more elevated.

This does not mean we approach things in a happy and positive attitude all the time. This struggle can come with a full range of emotions, even anger and frustration. But if the desire is to truly understand… to gain insight… and to hopefully come close to G-d, then it is a noble and imperative pursuit.

Faith takes work, and Judaism is far from blind faith. G-d’s relationship with us is a constantly evolving thing, a work in progress… a partnership.

And yet, ironically, to have faith takes only a second… a moment. Perhaps even more ironically, is that science actually PROVES faith!

It seems that one of the central arguments to argue AGAINST faith and religion is science, but let’s disprove that right now.

There are so many things we take for granted. But if we look a little deeper and use the very laws of science as a starting point, we realize that there are miracles in everything. Science talks about atoms… then goes smaller into neutrons, protons and electrons. The very size and speed of each is a mind-blowing concept, as evidenced in this great TED Video.

And yes, the above photo is that of an actual atom!!! Logical… scientific… and yet, there is an unknown factor… a miracle, if you will, that keeps all of these things spinning and together and doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing.

Contemplate a table. To us it seems and is solid, and yet there is so much going on, so much movement and energy, and yet miraculously it stays together.

Contemplate the human body. It is a machine that needs specific parts to be working… We breathe in air… take in oxygen… The heart pumps that oxygen into our blood, which is carried to every part of our body. Miraculous. But what makes the human body and human beings truly miraculous… is the SOUL!

If we would just stop at least once a day, and contemplate the very miracle that is us… that is who we are and how we work… it would be almost impossible NOT to have faith in a higher being… Hashem… G-d.

In order for these things… a table, a human being, for ANY thing to exist, there needs to be energy. Energy can never be destroyed… it always exists… it transfers from one thing to another…

Just as a candle needs wax or oil, our bodies need fuel, and so we feed them food and water. Our souls are the wicks… and the light, the flame, the fire is G-d. Hashem ignites the souls of everything…

The soul of man is G‑d’s candle.” (Proverbs 20:27)

“A candle is a commandment and Torah is light.” (Proverbs 6/23)

Our souls are eternal. They survive long after our physical bodies are gone. This contemplation and understanding is specifically human… and of course G-dly. It is what bonds and binds us together.

There are things we know, and things we don’t. But do not allow a lack of understanding to cast a doubt. Celebrate what you cannot comprehend, what you cannot understand or fathom, embrace the unknown, and realize this is where miracles live… this is where faith lives… and it only takes a moment.

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4 responses to “Science And Faith… It Only Takes A Moment – By Marc

  1. Hey, brother. Sorry, but I have to take a contrary position here. As an atheist, clearly I do not share your belief. But I never fault anyone for their belief as long as it’s constructive (e.g. “making ourselves better and more elevated…”) rather than destructive. But when I see stuff like “science proves faith,” I feel compelled to chime in. First, science never “proves” anything, mathematics does that. Science helps us discover useful models that are the “best explanation” for how things work based on evidence and predictive value… until a better explanation comes along. Every scientific model/theory is falsifiable. G-d is not falsifiable, therefore science is indifferent to His existence. I have enormous appreciation for the complex “symphony” that is nature. It is amazing to me and there is so much that I cannot comprehend. But my lack of ability to understand does not compel me to accept the claim that there’s a timeless, spaceless, conscious entity that’s controlling everything (and for some reason cares a great deal about what I do with my foreskin). It simply does not prove anything. You say, “do not allow a lack of understanding to cast a doubt.” I would say, do not allow a lack of understanding to cause you to believe things that are likely not true. Anyway, my two cents, offered with respect to help you understand a different perspective.

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    • Thanks for the articulate response. You are correct on the science, as we used to believe in a Steady State theory that eventually gave way to the Big Bang Theory. Science evolves and grows and new tools and breakthroughs give us greater access and understanding. I guess I could have said that FOR ME, and for many who believe in G-d, that science does not disprove G-d or faith. For me, science co-exists with my faith. The pieces I write are from my perspective and thoughts, many of which are relatively new for me. But they are coming out of study and understanding on many fronts. I love science and trying to find the facts and truth, and amaze and revel in how much we just don’t know… and may never know… how miraculous things are. I agree that mathematics are more definitive, but I also believe that even within them, miracles and an element of the unknown can exist side by side. What faith and belief does prove for me is a better way to live and comprehend and deal with life. It is a personal choice, as is yours. There are days I have no doubts, and days I struggle… but not knowing does not scare me off like it used to… I try to embrace the unknown and give myself into and up to it… and that understanding has taken me from doubt to believing that G-d is true. Am I at 100%? No, but closer than I have been. Are you at 100%? I would also love to know where you are with the whole “Soul” discussion… another thing I am currently studying and fascinated by. I think ultimately we both want the same things… to be a good person… to have a fulfilled and meaningful life… to live ethically and morally… How we get there is what makes us different and as long as our beliefs empower us and make us better and help us grow, then that is what it is all about. While I love to debate the issues, I do not ever question anyone who lives a good life and always strives to be better… We all make our individual choices and do not have the right to force opinions on others… or even say one way is better than the other… at least for me. This is all how I feel based on what I am learning… where I am at… and how I am growing as a human being. My statement was not meant to be a definitive, blanket statement… but a personal statement of what I believe. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond, my brother!

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  2. TLDR

    Just kidding. Thanks for the thoughtful response. This is such a deep, deep subject and it is absolutely fascinating to me. But comment threads are such a horrible place to discuss it. I don’t have many opportunities to get into it face to face, unfortunately. In the rare occasion the topic is able to be discussed, I’m either preaching to the choir or summarily dismissed by someone who is unwilling to explore their beliefs. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and intellectual curiosity, though. So, if you’re willing, next time I’m in LA let’s see if we can carve out an evening of beers and uncovering the secrets of the universe. Ok? (We’ll try to get Flanik there for comic relief. )

    But to address your questions, I cannot be intellectually honest and be 100% sure there is no G-d. But I’m as certain about that as I am that I’m not just a brain in a jar somewhere or that we’re living in The Matrix. As far as the “soul” goes, I don’t have reason to believe there is anything more to me than my physical body and my brain activity. However, I do have great appreciation for the enormous “ripple effect” we all have on each other. My choices affect thousands of other people directly and millions or billions indirectly. To me the soul is nothing more than brain activity and the impact an individual has on others – which is much greater than we imagine. So, basically, my philosophy can be summed up in the last 30 minutes of It’s a Wonderful Life.

    Well that’s my 2 cents. Thanks for listening. I’ll let you know next time I’m in LA.

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