“Lose” your faith, gain your life?

Richard Dawkins and Michael Aus discuss The Clergy Project.

I look up to people who change their beliefs when the evidence warrants it. It’s just so easy to invent arguments protecting unwarranted belief. So I have a soft spot for honest sceptics and contrarians.

Even more so I admire people who change a (previously held) ideological outlook in the face of evidence. Particularly if this results in a drop of income, loss of a profession, destruction of friendships and loss of emotional security.

Just imagine devoting one’s life to a political cause, even being employed as a political party activist, because of a strong and genuine belief in one’s youth. Then later in life deciding you had been wrong. Do you stick with it – become cynical, continue to perform your expected role. Or do you front up, admit your changes in belief, look for a new job, ride out the hostility of your former ideological friends, etc.

I think this dilemma must be common with religious ministers, priests, Imams, and so on. If only because there are far more of those around than there are paid political party activists. Surely a significant proportion of these people must “lose” their faith. What should they do?

The above interview is of one such minister. Reverend Michael Aus came out as a non-believer on US national television on March 25th 2012. He was helped in his brave decision by the Clergy Project. This project was initiated by Daniel Dennett‘s research into the phenomena of atheist ministers of religion. It provides moral support and practical help and advice to people like Michael Aus.

I know of a few priests and ministers in New Zealand who have “lost” their faith, fronted up and so lost their job. These cases illustrate to me what a huge emotional and moral leap is involved. Quite apart from all the practical issues some of these people, Catholic priests in particular, have been thoroughly institutionalised by their Church. Their decision involves more than a change of job and friends.

I wonder if there is scope for a “Clergy project” in New Zealand.

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One response to ““Lose” your faith, gain your life?

  1. If your God is dead, try mine.
    =.
    God as an Atheist.
    God as a Scientist : Ten Scientific Commandments.
    ===.
    Can a Rational Individual believe in God ?
    In other words:
    Can God be atheist, governed by scientific laws?
    Of course
    Because if God exists, He/She/It would necessarily
    to work in an Absolute Reference Frame and had set of
    physical and mathematical laws to create everything
    in the Universe.
    If we find and understand this Absolute God’s House then
    is possible step by step to find and understand God’s Physics
    Laws, which Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Maxwell, Planck,
    Einstein and many others scientists discovered.
    #
    Has God known the formula: E=Mc^2 ?
    If God has known the formula why HE / SHE /IT
    didn’t write it in His Bible?
    =========..
    The people created a God.
    No one knows what the external characteristics
    of this God are, a God who made himself known
    with the name ” I am who I am “.
    Is it enough for us in the XXIc ?
    Why wasn’t the formula E=Mc^2 written in the Bible?
    ===============. .
    Each religion uses a system of symbols
    (images, metaphors, ancient myths and legends ,
    beautiful stories) to explain its truth.
    But Bernard Shaw wisely remarked :
    “ There is only one religion,
    although there are a hundred versions of it.”
    It means that the source of all religion is one.
    And I try to prove this idea with the formulas and laws of
    physics. I don’t invent new formulas. I use simple formulas
    which ,maybe, every man knows from school.
    Is it possible? Is it enough?
    Yes. Because the evolution goes from simple to the complex.
    So, in the beginning we can use simple formulas and laws.
    For this purpose I explain what the first law of Universe is,
    and second law is and ………..etc.
    Step by step I create a logical system of the Universe.
    ============= . .
    How can God be Scientist?
    Scheme,
    Fundamental Theory of Existence: Ten Scientific Commandments.
    1 The infinite Vacuum T=0K, E= ∞ ,p= 0, t=∞ .
    2 The particle: C/D = pi, R/N= k, E = Mc^2 = kc^2, h = 0, c=0, i^2= -1
    3 The spins: h =E/t , h =kb, h* = h/2pi
    4 The photon, the inertia: h=1, c=1
    5 The electron: e^2 = h*ca, E = h*f , c>1 electromagnetic field
    6 The gravitation, the star, the time and space: h*f = kTlogW
    7 The Proton: (p)
    8
    The Evolution of interaction between Electron and Proton
    a) electromagnetic
    b) nuclear
    c) biological
    9
    The Laws
    a) The Law of conservation and transformation energy/mass
    b) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle / Law
    c) The Pauli Exclusion Principle/ Law
    10
    The test.
    Every theory must be tested logically ( theoretical ) and practically
    a) Theory of brain: Dualism of Consciousness.
    b) Practice : Parapsychology. Meditation.
    ========.
    Best wishes
    Israel Sadovnik Socratus
    ============.
    #
    “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
    It means:
    The secret of God and Existence is hidden
    in the ‘ Theory of Vacuum and Light Quanta ‘.
    #
    I want to know how God created this world
    I am not interested in this or that phenomenon,
    in the spectrum of this or that element
    I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details
    / Einstein /
    ==========.

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