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Faith

by

Mieke Mosmuller

29-04-2020 15 comments Print!

An elderly gentleman came to the surgery in The Hague more often, and we had the opportunity to have reflections on life. He was a real estate agent by profession, was a lot older than I was, and he said: The world has become a warehouse without an emergency exit. He probably found that emergency exit by now. The question is whether that was an exit or an end point for him. Many people think the point of death is an end point. And they think you're delusional when you think otherwise. They are the enlightened ones among us and have long since passed that stage that they were stupid enough to believe in something beyond what is immediately visible and imaginable.

Meanwhile, it's getting harder and harder to endure on this planet. But now we don't have to say it's a warehouse without an emergency exit. It's become a lie house without an emergency exit. The emergency exit was still that there were multiple opinions, that there was discussion and that you could always search with your rational thinking, your common sense, for something to hold on to. To the extent that you found a sensible handhold, you could also put your faith in the contents communicated.

Meanwhile it has become almost impossible to find something to hold on to. In Saturday's NRC, the same newspaper stated that the WHO warns of the great risk when countries relax their measures because there is still insufficient immunity. Doesn't this immediately raise the question: How should this immunity come about when there is no contact with people?

Anyway, the WHO says: there is insufficient immunity.

On the other hand, the WHO also says: the presence of antibodies is not a proven guarantee that you have become insensitive to the infection with COVID-19. In short, there is no emergency exit: you don't get the opportunity to build up immunity, but that is necessary to be able to relax the measures. But because the immunity is insufficient, the measures must be enforced. Only, having a certain immunity is no proven guarantee that the illness won't occur. Then we should think: then vaccination doesn't make sense either!

I'm looking in the newspapers, in the media, for something to hold on to. For content in which rational thinking can go along with more than a syllable and a half. I can't find it. No emergency exit. Of course, I have enough in myself to hold on to. But that's not the point now.

I'm amazed at the faithfulness of the people of the whole world. Faith in God is for the foolish, faith in life before and after death is for spiritual fantasists, but faith in science is very common and also required, even when that science makes completely contradictory statements. The phrase is: proven is ... research has proven ... scientists have established ... the boss of this or that institute has communicated ... the prime minister has made a statement ... One of these phrases is sufficient to awaken faith in the truth of those statements in the people.

That led me to reconsider the theme of faith, which is well known to me. What is it, anyway?

In the late Middle Ages there were fierce discussions about the phenomenon of faith, especially within scholasticism. There was the great controversy about the question: Is faith the acceptance of the unbelievable, of that which is absurd to the mind? Or is faith based on the understanding of certain correlations through which you say: Yes, so it is!

However, those reasonable correlations were much broader than what we understand in our time. In those days they understood that which is known from revelation and which can be reasonably related and compared to each other.

It was the strong force of Thomas Aquinas that, although he kept the science of nature and theology strictly separated, and in that sense also kept faith and science strictly separated, he nevertheless understood faith as being based on the rational comprehension of correlations. The opponent of that view was, among others, Siger of Brabant. Siger of Brabant, among others, was opposed to this view because he believed that faith consists precisely in the assumption of non-rational contents and then to hold them to be true.

As a modern human being, educated at a gymnasium and then further educated at the medical school, I learned to accept what is offered in the lessons, to believe in it in a certain sense and to let the work be based on it.

But in the course of life and practical experience there prove to be many different possibilities. For example, literature research shows that one medical examination carried out entirely according to the rules produces certain results that are at odds with the results of another medical examination that was also carried out according to the rules of the art.

One might say that this is an initial breach of faith. One then notices that one becomes aware of a certain reticence regarding 'research'. It also becomes clear that what is accepted as proven in a certain period of time takes on other forms in a later period of time. For example, in 1970 we learned that a blood pressure of 100 plus the age and an underpressure of under 100 could be regarded as healthy. Nowadays a blood pressure of 170 is in any case too high and above 100 is not seen as bad. In the past, the standards were proven, now they have been proven too.

"Science has moved on, that's why the modern standards are more reliable than the old ones." That's the answer you'll get.

When one accepts it without question, one believes in what is being said, one stops at a certain point to judge for oneself because that is actually not allowed because one has to stick to what has been proven. One begins to believe what has been proven.

This is not only the case in the medical sector, but it has penetrated into popular science, has penetrated into the public, and that makes that when a World Health Organization now makes certain statements, or 'scientists have established that', this becomes an unshakable dogma. No Pope of Rome is needed for that. Here and there someone insists on questioning such dogmas, but in this so-called pandemic the unanimity all over the earth is an extraordinary miraculous unanimity, and although one longs for it with all one’s heart — that there is unanimity on earth — it is now a nightmare.

You can also have a look at a text from 2014 about belief:  
https://www.miekemosmuller.com/en/blog/belief

Mieke Mosmuller

Faith by Mieke Mosmuller

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Comments
  • From Gerard @
    Ik heb zelf meer dan 10 jaar gewerkt in gerenommeerde wetenschappelijke instituten. Ik ben zelf al snel tegen de beperkingen van "het is wetenschappelijk bewezen" aangelopen. Het is uiterst belangrijk te kijken hoe een experiment is uitgevoerd. En dan zie je dat nogal wat onderzoek aan veel kanten rammelt. Je kunt er van uitgaan dat de gemelde feiten kloppen (alhoewel een volgend experiment onder dezelfde condities vaak andere, zelfs tegengestelde feiten op kan leveren), maar de conclusies die op grond van die feiten worden getrokken hebben mij vaak verbaasd. Dan heb ik het wel vooral over onderzoek waar niet alleen dode materie bij betrokken is. Ook is er een hele belangenverstrengeling in zogenaamd objectief onderzoek. Ik weet nog goed dat ik zelf ooit te verstaan kreeg dat er niets uit een bepaald onderzoek mocht komen. Ik en mijn collega waarmee ik het desbetreffende onderzoek zou gaan uitvoeren keken elkaar toen aan en wij hadden meteen de verstandhouding dat wij het onderzoek eerlijk zouden uitvoeren. Ik praat hier over persoonlijke ervaringen die ik heb opgedaan. Ik heb van collega's verhalen gehoord die nog veel verder gaan dan het betrekkelijk onschuldige wat ik hier noem. Ik heb wel gemerkt dat er heel wat onderzoekers zijn die ook twijfel hebben bij de term "het is wetenschappelijk bewezen". Helaas wil deze onder veel onderzoekers levende twijfel niet zo doordringen in de publieke opinie en onder de bevolking. Je vraagt je af hoe je mensen wakker schudt en hun uit hun desinteresse haalt. Dat laatste lijkt mij het grootste probleem te zijn.
  • From Eva Tombs-Heirman @
    It is indeed a puzzle - How do people acquire natural immunity when they aren't alowed to mingle, aren't permitted to come into contact with the virus? Perhaps we have reached the point where medical interventions have reached its zenith....people's immune systems have now become so damaged by drugs and supression that the only way out for the 'damaged' is "up".
    • From @
      Laten we eens kijken hoe de lockdown procedures en processen zich in diverse Europese landen de komende tijd zullen voltrekken. Oostenrijk valt wat dat betreft zeker ook op. Had Nederland direct een weg moeten volgen die Zweden ging? Daar heb ik vraagtekens bij. Zie mijn blog Tegenbeweging of alternatief? (Weekjournaal Bewustzijnsziel, 28 april 2020).
      Internetadres:
      https://weblog.bewustzijnsziel.nl/2020/04/28/tegenbeweging-of-alternatief/

      En ja geloof... en gevoeligheid voor (uiterlijke) autoriteit tegenwoordig. Inderdaad is het van belang dat men zelfstandig blijft denken.
  • From Jan Boudolf @
    O, maakbare mens,
    Hoe onzeker is uw lot.
    Naar verlossing, hunkert gij,
    Van uw boeien, zelf gesmeed.
    De nieuwe norm :
    Hou afstand, gedraag u als robot,,
    Denk vooral niet na,
    Wij denken voor u,
    Wees gedisciplineerd,
    Dan komt alles weer goed....

    Wie grijnst daar achter de schermen van de wereld?
  • From Chris Scurbecq @
    Deze tirannie van eensgezindheid zagen/zien we ook bij de klimaatreligie. Er is een zgn. eensgezindheid onder de wetenschappers en degenen die weerwerk bieden werden en worden verketterd. Mensen die zich kritisch uitlieten, verloren zelfs hun baan of werden geschorst.
    Een van de grote problemen met wetenschap, met studie, met onderwijs, met media en met al wat gerelateerd is aan het vormen van ideëen is dat het zgn. geestesleven, het geestelijk-cultureel leven, niet in een VRIJ levensgebied kan opereren. Het geestesleven is inmiddels opgeslorpt door het economisch leven en het politiek leven. Dat geeft niks anders dan sociale ellende, meer en meer. Machtsontplooiing is een van de symptomen. In het geestesleven moet men naar vrijheid kunnen streven, i.e. zonder beïnvloeding van de twee andere levensgebieden. Het masker die mensen moeten dragen in deze coronaperiode is vanuit die kant bekeken symbool geworden voor het monddood maken van het vrije woord, het vrije denken, het vrije bewegen alleszins. De censuurmachine draait op volle toeren.Communisme en Kapitalisme hand-in-hand, wie had dat ooit gedacht.
    Rudolf Steiner heeft voor dit alles alover zijn sociale driegeleding duidelijk gewaarschuwd, als we het sociale vraagstuk niet adekwaat structureel aanpakken. Als men vandaag de dag praat over sociale driegeleding - het is natuurlijk niet op 1-2-3 uitgelegd - wordt men vaak aanzien als een utopist of surrealist. Maar zie hoe surreëel de situatie nu mondiaal is. Hoe chaotisch. Blijkbaar kan men een ganse wereldbevolking kneden als makke schaapjes - als men ze maar angstig genoeg maakt.
    • From Friedemann Mütze @
      Liebe Frau Moosmüller, DANKE für Ihre Texte. Wir sind froh, dies jede Woche lesen zu dürfen. Diese Texte sind für uns eine wichtige Anregung. Friedemann und Anke
  • From Luuk Humblet @
    Zo'n 125 jaar geleden GELOOFDE men nog dat het zinloos was als een vrouw aan de universiteit bijvoorbeeld natuurwetenschappen ging studeren, omdat vrouwelijke hersenen voor wetenschappelijk werk ongeschikt waren. Er zijn enkele uitzonderlijk dappere jonge vrouwen voor nodig geweest om dit geloof te doorbreken.

    Ik heb inmiddels sterk de indruk gekregen dat zich bij heel veel mensen in het begin van de corona-'crisis' ook zo'n soort geloofssysteem heeft ontwikkeld. Het is gevuld met inhoud uit de media en stevig vastgezet met paniek en angst, zodat er nu nauwelijks nog aan te tornen valt. Alles wat er nadien is gebeurd, wordt gezien door de bril van dat geloofssysteem.

    Een interessant en relevant gesprek met verschillende Duitse kritische artsen vond ik op https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UZswl1BHG0 (tien dagen oud).

    Luuk Humblet

  • From Mimi Goacher @
    Perfectly healthy people are dying from Covid-19. Some older people in their eighties are making a recovery while thousand more in nursing homes are dying. Whatever age getting this virus is a risk. There is no such thing as a
    'Good Age' . These are very early days for sound research and insights into how to treat this disease. Knowledge will come. In the meantime those of us who are at risk must take precautions, live sensibly and take sacrifices.
    By protecting ourselves we are also protecting others so it is not an unobtainable sacrifice but a contribution to society for the greater good for a period of time. We honour those on the front line who gave their lives treating patients.
    • From @
      I believe too there will come knowledge, but the question is,
      what kind of knowledge?
    • From @
      " [...] Knowledge will come. [...] "

      It is good not to exclude advancing insight. Also regarding the causes of this virus outbreak.
    • From @
      And when it comes to assessing the quality of advancing insights, it is good to make a distinction in the knowledge process between (1) influencing public opinion, (2) using common sense, and the scope of (3) natural science and (4) initiation science.
  • From Michael Hall @

    Faith

    There is, for me, a heartbreaking misunderstanding about faith. Faith is only one thing, it is not many. It is not “faiths”, and it is not your faith and my faith. It is not a belief system, one among many, competing or feuding or reconciling with another belief system. Some people identify their faith as their religion; others identify their faith as science. But Faith is not a belief system. It is certainly not a dogmatic assertion, or even a creed – though one may try to express one's faith in some sort of creed. But creeds, too, become belief systems. Faith is much deeper, much simpler, than any belief system.

    Faith is what you see in your baby as it begins to explore the world around it. Faith is what lies behind standing upright, letting go of a prop, taking a first step without holding on to anything, learning to walk and to run and to skip rope. Faith is trust in (and despite) the unknown. St. Paul's definition, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” is a lot closer to the mark. But I still would prefer the definition of a one-year-old. That definition is not in words, it is in deeds. And faith is useless or false if we do not put it into deeds. Deeds that reveal us growing.

    My faith does not separate me from you. One person may have more (or less) faith than another, it seems, but one person does not have a different faith than another. “O ye of little faith” - the phrase of Jesus – does not mean “O you who believe a different creed.”

    The reason I call this a heartbreaking misunderstanding is because it seems that the whole world has bought into the idea that organized religion (in the sense of a belief system with its attendant culture) is synonymous with faith. Faith is not something I should kill for, nor is it something I should tolerate in another person if theirs is “different from my own”. Faith is what we have in common, to the degree that we have it at all. I may kill because I lack faith; I do not kill because I have faith.

    Faith is not about religion in the ordinary, institutional sense. Scientists often cast aspersions on religion, and they are sometimes right to do so, because creeds and dogmas and belief systems and customs do in fact tend to hamper the uncensored and independent search for truth. But a scientist who does not have faith – faith that the search for truth is meaningful, faith that the scientific method is a reliable means for discovering the truth – such a scientist without faith should change his occupation. Maybe he should sell snake oil instead. A dogmatic science is no better than – and fundamentally no different from – dogmatic religion.

    It is certainly possible to be “very religious” and yet have very little faith. Isn't that what some fundamentalists do (including fundamentalist scientists), actually? How in the world has it come about that a scientist in search of truth could “determine” or decide (assume) that only what is visible, measurable, material counts as reality? Certainly not through any scientific proof. Thoughts are unreal? Feelings are unreal? Intentions are unreal? Consciousness is not real? Life itself is unreal? Reality is only dead things (inorganic things, machines) that can be weighed and measured? The more we insist on the literal (that is, my literal) understanding or interpretation of words, the less we are true to the spirit of a teaching, probably – and that includes the teachings of science. If we have faith, the words are not so important. Our minds are broad enough to go on searching patiently for the right word, and flexible enough to listen to the words of others.

    To take just one example, Tao may be another word for God. For some, the word God is no longer useful or helpful. It has lost its meaning – or, in the words of Nietzsche, [that] God is dead. But the Tao does not die. Within the Tao we are born and we die (and may even be born again and die again). The Tao (or God, if that name is still living for some) lives on, and is the “ground of our being” (that's Tillich, I believe).
  • From @
    Liebe Frau Mosmuller
    Könnten ich Sie bitten mich eine Email zu schreiben für eine private Angelegenheit?
  • From Franz Herzog @
    Liebe Mieke! Dieser Text ist eine so gelungene Analyse! Du beschreibst die derzeit "aktuellen Wege der Gedanken", wie ich sie sowohl bei mir erlebe (wenn ich nur von außen "nehme" ohne "das Selbst als Gegengewicht zu halten") als auch von vielen Menschen höre. Du bringst Licht und Klarheit mit diesem Text und gibst auch Hinweise, dass ein anderer Umgang mit unserem Denken Halt gibt, im Gegensatz zu diesem oben beschriebenen sehr verlockenden Irrweg. Danke dafür und alles Liebe aus Wien!
  • From @
    Kijk uit naar een nieuw blog van je over dit onderwerp, Mieke. En ik zou me kunnen voorstellen dat je daarmee wacht totdat Rutte vandaag 'een routekaart naar een nieuwe samenleving' heeft gepresenteerd.