In Science and Religion class the other night, we quickly looked at the question about whether faith can be good for you. We skipped pretty quickly over the idea that for a given individual, a life of faith and religion certainly can provide a framework of ethics and happy existence; it would be hard to argue that no one has ever benefited from that. Likewise, a system of blind faith can sometimes lead people down the wrong path.
We didn’t get into whether faith has, on the whole, been a positive or negative thing for humanity. We only have one 2-hour class on this.
We did examine in a bit of detail the Gaia hypothesis. This isn’t the hippy-dippy “we’re all one” New Age idea, but the unproven and controversial idea that the earth’s ecosystem is in fact regulated by the living things within it. One consequence of this theory is that it’s not just right to be environmentally responsible, but that it migth be essential for the survival of the entire earth ecosystem to do so. We did this, I guess, as an example of how faith – even of a non-religious type – might result in a system of ethical behaviour that is beneficial for you.
I’m not sure I buy that, but it was an interesting class.