Noted scientist and best-selling novelist Alan Lightman, a Memphis native, asks what are the boundaries between science and religion, the two greatest forces that have shaped human civilization. What are the different kinds of knowledge in science and in religion? And how do we come by those different kinds of knowledge? Members of the Faith in Memphis panel respond.
I would not call the content of faith “knowledge”. Rather, to me, faith is composed of affirmations and commitments that are outside the realm of proof. My belief in the capacity of human beings to be good or evil, my faith in the capacity of human beings to make a difference in the world, my belief that certain kinds of behavior are demanded of us and make us holy — these are not “knowledge” in the sense that, given the evidence, any reasonable person must agree. Knowledge as understood in science is public truth; faith is personal truth.