“Your paradigm is so intrinsic to your mental process that you are hardly aware of its existence, until you try to communicate with someone with a different paradigm.” Donella Meadows
PARADIGMS are the framework of ideas and beliefs by which we interpret the world around us and interact with it. When we are unable to see things from the other side’s perspective we suffer from paradigm blindness. It is not necessary to agree with the other view, but we should be able to but ourselves into their shoes to be able to discuss sensibly.
All religions, even Atheism, operate from religious paradigms.
Science, the atheist’s religion, is not about faith and religious beliefs. The sphere of science does not go beyond this material world. Beyond that is philosophy, theology and spirituality. No scientist is competent to make an authoritative statement in the name of science in these subjects. So the atheist believing that science has all the answers has a blind irrational belief.
An interesting example of an atheist showing himself to be a hypocrite by saying science has all the answers is Richard Dawkins, the atheists’ high priest, in this interview with Ben Stein. He publicly mocks people who believe in God or Intelligent Design, as being primitive and superstitious, yet he believes life began on Earth by another life form, but more evolved than we are today, somehow seeded Earth with life. No proof is needed as this is what some scientists apparently believe.
Personally I will believe in God and not in little green men as the creator of life.
All our ideas and beliefs must be anchored in some paradigm to have meaning. The source, from which the paradigm is subsequently built, is the first principle. The first principle is a basic, foundational assumption that cannot be deduced from any other statement. It is totally taken for granted.
If first principles are necessary for thinking then the axioms cannot be proven.
If first principles can be proven i.e. if axioms are conclusions of prior arguments, then they are not first principles.
In other words, not everything can be proved.
First principles are the basis for all proof. They are not themselves proven. Therefore the demand that everything must be proven is an irrational demand.
The demand that the Jew, Christian, or Muslim (in chronological order) has to prove all he or she asserts is an irrational demand.
The atheist, or someone who states that science has proven that we do not ‘need’ God, has a belief grounded in the axiom that all that exists and all truth can be perceived through our senses, and reasoning. Life, the mind, and consciousness are all by-products of molecular processes.
Yet these people, intelligent like Richard Dawkins, are as blind to the errors of their own reasoning, and that ‘reasoning’ is their god.
It is called paradigm blindness.
The person with Faith ought to know what he or she ought to prove, what this proof is and what statement or statements he or she is not required to prove. The Believer should also be aware of what the antagonist is required to prove and what the antagonist cannot be asked to prove.
The assumption that the material world is all there is that exists cannot be proved. It is impossible to go back beyond the Big Bang. Even if physicists get to the first milliseconds after the Big Bang, the reality at that point is outside of space and time. The explanations for how it happened are so mind bogglingly far fetched, that the God centred people can only shake their heads in disbelief.
Atheists, saying that a belief in God is irrational, push the boundaries of incredulity. Claiming to be rational, they come with various explanations to avoid God. For example, there are millions of other dimensions, of which we are only one; the Big Bang happened when two ‘branes’ (a term used in Physics and string theory, it is a dimensional hyper surface embedded in a higher dimensional bulk) touched, and other weird and wonderful stories.
For anything to appear out of nothing, not even time or space requires a very strong belief in nothing. This belief is irrational and goes against the basic laws of thermodynamics, yet the atheist appears oblivious of this fact.
Compared to these exotic hypotheses, the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim concept of our Creator God is very rational. Atheism is really a religion with man's reason as ‘god’.
What distinguish philosophies are their presuppositions. These have always blended in with belief.
Thomas Aquinas, who was one of the most influential theologians, reasoned out of a decidedly Aristotelian paradigm. Aristotle featured more in Aquinas's work than the Bible. Aquinas said, ‘All our knowledge originates from our senses’.
Since all science operates out of paradigms, the research method and the resulting data is unconsciously selectively chosen from the basis of the researchers’ paradigms. The data is then unconsciously interpreted in a way that reinforces their paradigms.
Science cannot be the only arbitrator of truth:
The choices of methods in laboratory procedures are determined by our paradigms.
Our senses are not consistent.
We are susceptible to the fallacy of induction (inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances)
Paradigms are intrinsic to how we perceive and interpret the world around us. All belief is ultimately based on an axiom of faith. Even Atheism is a belief, only it is based on blind faith.