When I was a child

.

.

I used to think there was science – all the hard-fact stuff.  And then there was belief – all the other non-fact stuff.

And now I don’t. 

.

.

Now I think belief is like breathing – part of all of us – and everything we do – no matter what we think believe (sic!).

Because if I think believe that science is “hard facts” then I don’t know science.  Science dreams in spreadsheets: “What if … ?”  And – just like spreadsheets – change a condition or two and the conclusion changes too.  It is called modelling.

It seems to me that if we accepted we all live by belief modelling – and that those beliefs models change as we learn more – this world would be a gentler kinder place.

.

.

Our wee grandson loves planes.  At the sound of one he scans the skies.  His fascination now includes the sound of builders and the whine of “building work” – he immediately  scans the skies.   AND he now waves the planes “goodbye”.  One of us did that and now we all do.  AND soon he won’t do that.  Soon he will differentiate between building work and planes. Between birds and planes. AND probably find something else takes his interest.  Soon won’t even “hear” planes go by.

.

.

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

God Jesus said that.  And one of us wrote it down.  And that might have been immediately it was uttered or a long time afterwards.  And the original writing-down might have been exactly this translation or something else.  But we teach this was uttered “as is”  – that the bible is inerrant and infallible – or (worst case) inspired by God through one of us.  Except it might not be.  It depends what – and who – you believe.

.

.

Music has a different issue. The “who sang it first” problem – or “plagiarism” as lawyers call it.  The intentional (even if unintentional) lifting of another ideas.  I think it was the Beatles who traced their musical influences back to the great classical composers.  Which is okay if they’re all dead.  It is the living who complain.

Or that long-running tv programme: QI  – a quiz/panel/comedy show – whose researchers checked all the “scientifically proven” right/wrong answers that, in the years since, had been “scientifically proven” to be the other way around.  One of the panellists had several thousand points added to his “score” that week.  All those wrong answers we all laughed at for their stupidity-comic-content now proven to be correct.

.

.

This is not an argument in defence of the bible as a complete and inerrant body of work.

This is a plea for sanity.

.

.

A plea that we ALL accept that we ALL live in a world of belief – whatever we call it.

That we ALL live in a world where what was wrong years ago CAN be right today AND vice versa … AND that a lot of what I actually liked to believe years ago I now like to believe was naive and childlike … that divorce does happen … love can be discarded … people do “do each other over” …   And who really knows why computers work … car engines don’t … train timetables don’t … air control does … why public service seems to be anything but … AND who really has all the odd socks in this world … AND why no one ever seems to appreciate my true worth … All that stuff we don’t have answers to (yet) running around our heads.

Yet we accept all of that and get on with our everyday living.

AND …

Have you ever bumped into someone who COULD explain all of that (usually in extreme and time-consuming detail) … AND reported the conversation to a friend …. AND usually in “and then it all went “yawwwwwnnnnnn … ” terms …?

.

.

We like to think we operate on facts but we don’t usually.

We usually operate on belief.

.

.

And that is why I believe in kindness.

.