Faith as Tacit Knowledge
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is seeing the invisible or is it seeing the unseen? One day I was riding with my son in law who is an avid hunter. As we were riding along he kept saying “Look, do you see the deer?” My usual reply was, “Where?” Then he would point to a spot in the woods and say“There!” However, often even after he pointed out the spot I could not see the deer.
This leads me to the question why. Why could he see the deer, and I could not? I concluded that there were only four possible answers. 1. He had more practice than me. You know the old saying ‘practice makes perfect.’ 2. That he and others have a gift of seeing, i.e. they’re wired differently than other people. 3. It was a combination of both one and two. 4. He was delusional and there were no deer there.
The following is based on my thinking about the above experiences. My first observation is that the more you know about a thing the easier it is to find it and see it. My son in law knows a lot about deer, so he knows what to look for and where to look. I do not. His knowledge has come from years of his personal experience of hunting deer. His knowledge of deer is twofold, it is both objective and tacit. By tacit I mean intuitive. He has a gift of seeing and picking the deer out of the background environment. He does not have the gift because he loves to hunt; he loves to hunt because he has the gift.
My second observation was that people see what they expect to see; what they are looking for and what they want to see. This means that sometimes the knowledge of something and believing it’s there helps you to see. If you do not believe something might be there, you will not even be looking for it. Therefore, unbelief tends to close your eyes and your mind to seeing and believing.
I hike often with a friend who climbs a small mountain on a daily basis. Often he climbs it twice in one day and is on his way down the first time before I start climbing up. My friend prides himself on his awareness so I decided to put his ability to the test to see how much of his surroundings he was actually aware of. So, I began to hide from him to see how long it would take for him notice me. I began by hiding behind large obstacles like trees and rocks, but as the experiment when on I made myself more and more obvious. It finally reach the point that I simply squatted down in the middle of the trail. I was simply amazed at how close he got to me before seeing me. Of course, my last experiment was done on a steeper part of the trail where one is prone to be watching where they are stepping.
My experience lent support to the theory that you tend to see what you are looking for and fail to see what you are not looking for, even if it is self-evident. In other words, you see what you expect to see and you see what you are looking for. Also being intensely focused on one thing causes you not to see or notice other things. We could infer from this that specialization causes people to be blind to other things and to even be ignorant of their own blindness.
There are hidden clues which point to the fact that there is more than meets the eye. Ancient seers who had the ability to see the clues of the unseen labeled them as “faith or revelation”. In this, faith is the product of revelation or God lifting the veil that humans can see the clues to his existence. In this, there is nothing strange with some men seeing God better than others. In fact, it is the norm. The idea that God must show himself equal to all men comes from a Democratic ideology more than sound reason. From this, we can gather, that there is a good reason to follow some men’s opinion on spiritual things. One of the ways you can tell who to follow is laid down by Jesus when he said, by their fruits you shall know them.
A Letter to a Young atheist
You asked if I had read any books written by atheists. I’ve read a number of the books written by the four Horsemen and many other atheists. After reading them, I still think atheism is a mental disorder that shows up at the end of any declining civilization. Even if every religion throughout the world is wrong that doesn’t make atheism right.
You argument that the division in the religion world is a proof that there is no God demonstrates a shallow understand of the human condition. In fact, if there is an all powerful being you would expect finite creatures like humans to be divided concerning their belief about it. So, what you point out to be an inconsistency is very much consistent with a belief in an all-knowing God. Disunity of belief is the very thing you should expect to find when a finite creature believes in an all-powerful God.
Your quibbles about there being no proofs for the existence of God border on the hysterical. First, there is an enormous difference between evidence and proof. A huge percentage of human knowledge has little to no proof of its own accuracy. The majority of human knowledge believed is based on the authority of a teacher, and to have faith in that teacher. Very few people ever see the evidence or proof for numerous beliefs. These beliefs range from Darwinian evolution, to theories of the multi-verse. If you believe these things, it’s because someone told you to believe it and you accepted it by faith and you accepted it as logical because they framed the evidence in a world view that you had already accepted. When talking about evidence we are using the language of science, when you start talking about proofs you are using the language of philosophy not science. Science cannot possibly prove or disapprove the idea of God. Science recognizes its limitations. Why can’t you atheists? The truth is that you don’t understand science any better than you do religion.
However, science can offer evidence that seems at least to support the idea of a supreme consciousness that created all things. The apparent design that we see in the universe is one of these things and the other is the fact that the universe had a beginning. Both scientific theories support the idea of consciousness more than a belief that the world and the universe were just cobbled together by a mindless force. However, it does not proof it be on a shadow of a doubt.
If you’re looking for proofs in philosophy, you can forget it. Philosophically, it would be hard to prove that you even exist, much more than proving the nonexistence of a god. Human beings are small ignorant creatures whose existence is based pretty much on faith in many presuppositions, which cannot be proven. Our ambiguous position in the universe tends to cause insecurity so we gravitate towards seeking certitude (proofs) of our beliefs. In this religion is actually more honest than secular people when it says that we walk by faith and not by sight.
The new atheists are small-minded people who have an over-inflated view of themselves and their intelligence. As a result they are fundamentalist in their thinking and they still live in a world of proofs. This alone is an unbelievable paradox because of their belief system, or their lack of beliefs. For in their belief system of materialism there couldn’t be such a thing as truth for truth is a concept that belongs in a religious framework that believes in an Ultimate Authority as a foundation of human knowledge. The atheist appeal to truth demonstrates that they are still thinking in a religious framework and in essence, for many their lack of belief has become a religion.
 The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: ‘Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.” Taken from “Who made God?, a searching For a Theory Of Everything” by Fay Weldon.
 In a materialistic worldview there cannot be a traditional moralistic truth. Atheism will always lead to relativism where truth is what a person believes.
A Letter to a Christian Science Teacher
Your Zionist interpretation of the Bible seems to align with those that you dislike; i.e. fundamentalist’s, and your defense of science seems to contradict your statement, that it is not a religion. However, you defend it as though it was your religion. Furthermore, the way you defend it seems to be a little over the top. If you view it simply as a method of finding the truth; i.e. the scientific method, then why the big fuss? No one disagrees with the scientific method. The question is do scientists really follow it? I personal think not. The scientific method is used pretty much to make the scientific community respectable and they keep it as law about as well as the Jews kept the Law of Moses.
I think it is self-evident that in most people’s minds science has become a metaphysical concept, which goes way beyond people in white jackets applying the scientific method to their research. Science has become the authority that people appeal to in a secular atheistic culture and for many, science has evolved into a new religion. It used to be that people would appeal to the Bible or the church. They would say “Because the Bible says so” or “Because the church says so”. Now it is nothing but “science says”. For many in our culture the only knowledge that has not been debunked and found useless is called science. This is nonsense; however it is fostered by many in the scientific community. To me there is far more truth in a good work of art than in most scientific theories, or more power in a song than in all of the science in the world. Science has given us many toys and made life easier in some ways, but I think it hasn’t given many people meaning, peace of mind, joy or love. In fact, many scientists are arrogant jackasses. “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up”. Science does not teach this, the Bible does. The false god (idol) of science has taken us to the very edge of the abyss. It has given evil men the power to take away our humanity and turn us into machines. The state is already using it to manipulate the herd in any direction it wishes. Science is now the handmaid of the state, just as religion was a century ago. I personally, value my freedom more than comfort, ease and pleasure. To me science is like religion, it is human and therefore needs to be criticized and critiqued often. The power that it has attained is equal to that of religion and is one of the powers that the Bible speaks about. Remember that our battle is not with flesh and blood but rather with the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Those heavenly powers have their counterpart on this earth. What do you thinks stands behind the metaphysical concept of science?
Science is the false god of many worldly people. It promises them salvation if they will give it their money and commitment. It promises health and wealth to all that follow it. It claims to be able to predict the future (global warming). Something the Bible says only God can do. Not only does it claim to know the future, it also claims it can control it. It also boasts of its miracles of healing and its signs and wonders. To me this sounds a little like the antichrist in the book of Thessalonians and surely sounds like religion. I think science is what you make of it, but for many they have made it their faith and religion.
 Science is a concept that does not existence in reality. If it does where is it? Can I see it, smell it, taste it or touch it? I can do all these things to the people that practice it but I cannot do it to it. In this manner, it resembles religion.
 ” The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (2 Thess 2:8-12).
God and Einstein
There has been much debate about the religious beliefs and faith of Albert Einstein. Both the atheist community and the believing community have claimed him as one of their own. However, I believe it can be demonstrated that Einstein was somewhat of a mystic and would not be overly comfortable in either group.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. This insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms — this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men.”
Rudolf Otto wrote a book entitled, ‘The Ideal Of The Holy’ in which he attempts to explain the spiritual experience that Einstein describes and what Otto goes on to refer to as the numinous which he believes is a sign which points to the deity and could be likened to the voice of God that beckons man to his true center.
The sub-title to Otto’s book, ‘The Idea of the Holy’ is ‘An inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational’. In the book Otto points out that numinous is not rational or reasonable but it’s not irrational or unreasonable, it is simply outside of those categories. You might call it super-rational.
It is this numinous experience that the atheist lacks. Because he has not experienced it, it is impossible for him to understand someone who has experienced it like Einstein. Einstein had experienced the Totally Other which lied beyond his explanatory powers to communicate it to those who had not experienced it, those that he referred to as dead or blind. Otto’s book is the best attempted I have seen to put the experience into words. You can get a PDF copy at the below address.