Velvet Elvis pgs. 80-83, “Logos”

My complaint here is that there is the implied assumption that just because a theory is accepted as likely to be true, or a set of facts is interpreted through a theory in order to confirm that theory, it is true. 

Of course, I’m sure Bell is writing against hardcore Fundamentalists who insist on literal interpretation of the Scriptures and that the world/universe is 5000 years old, give or take a few centuries.  But in trying to combat such a limited view of the intention of the Bible, it’s easy to slide off to the other extreme.

I know that the theory of evolution is commonly accepted in most of Western culture.  In fact, in Europe, it’s becoming illegal to challenge this ‘theory’.  It’s becoming accepted as fact, even though it’s still just labeled a theory.  This theory is bolstered by certain ‘facts’.  But facts are interpreted, just as the Bible is interpreted.  And someone coming from a certain mindset is going to interpret data through that mindset. 

Ultimately, I’m distrustful of the tools that we use and our level of understanding about what we’re looking at.  I know that science has done a great deal of good and I benefit daily from those benefits and am grateful for them.  But given the overall scope of human history and scientific discovery, the odds that carbon dating or our understanding of atomic properties and interactions have been completely understood and properly understood in the few brief decades that we’ve been able to study them are not very promising. 

Maybe that’s my particular issue.  Just because someone tells me that the earth must be 5 billion years old or whatever the current figure is, doesn’t mean that it’s true.  Just like when a Fundamentalist insists that the earth is only a few thousand years old, it isn’t necessarily true. Both are interpreting different sets of information in light of presuppositions and understandings.  All of which could be flawed or flat out wrong.

And on page 83, if you follow something because you believe that it leads you to the deepest levels of reality, then you *are* following it because you believe it’s the best religion.  Otherwise, you’d follow something/someone else.  While I don’t care for the blanket term ‘religion’ in general, it serves a limited purpose.  At some point, all belief systems make the claim that their interpretations are correct, and that others, necessarily, are incorrect.  Even a system that claims to accept all systems is making the claim that systems that don’t accept other systems are incorrect, at least insofar as the nonacceptance is concerned.  We’re so concerned about inclusiveness and such crap today, that we have forgotten that man has lived throughout history on the basis of firmly held convictions.  To pretend that we haven’t, shouldn’t, or don’t is self-destructive and the highest level of intellectual and moral dishonesty.

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