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OpryLeigh's avatar

A question to the religious: do your heart and head work together when it comes to your faith?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25251points) December 29th, 2009

Firstly I want to beg you all not to turn this into a theist vs atheist arguement.

Secondly, and more to the point of my question, for the religious or believers in a higher being of some sort do you ever find that your heart and your head differ in opinion on this subject? I will happily admit that I believe in a higher being, my heart is comfortable with this. However, my head and my mind is fascinated with the science behind the earth and everything that lives and thrives on earth. I don’t believe in creationism in the way that I have heard most Christians teach it but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that a God or higher being had something to do with why we are here. To be honest, despite the fact that I know I believe in something I can’t claim to have all the answers here!

Are your heart and head at one with each other when it comes to your beliefs or do they differ a little like mine? How does this mke you feel about your faith?

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20 Answers

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

My heart and mind are in one accord with my religion. Science and my faith are not mutually exclusive; they compliment each other very well. That things work is God’s doing, science comes along to explain how.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Ghost_in_the_system That makes sense to me actually!

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I often find that there are gaps that my brain can’t overcome.. but I’m willing to admit to myself that I don’t have all the answers.. and that there are answers…

Everyone laughs and says how silly it was that anyone thought the world was flat at one time but.. who’s to say we’re not in an advanced version of “world-is-flat” syndrome right now?! I think that as time progresses and our technologies improve.. the answers will come.. at least some of them.. and eventually I think we’ll all know for sure.

Val123's avatar

hhhhhhhhhhhjjjjhgkjhhhhhhhhhhh (Sorry…I was wiping big Mac dressing off of my key board….)

Yes, they work together. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive either. It’s only humans who say they are, but without very convincing arguments. I mean, how would the fact that I accept the arguments for evolution mean I’m going to Hell?!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Val123 It’s gone half past midnight here and now I want a big Mac, that can’t be a good thing!

Val123's avatar

@Leanne1986 LOL! You know….I’m NOT a big fan of fast food, and when I do eat FF, I try to stick with Subway or a decent chicken sandwich…but there are times when nothing but a Big Mac will do! It was good!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Val123 I’m a firm believer of a treat here and there! Enjoy! :)

CaptainHarley's avatar

Some people seem to think that if you have faith, you therefore aren’t logical or scientific in your approach to life. Nothing SHOULD be further from the truth. Science is the process whereby we study and define the universe. Faith is the process whereby we establish belief in our place in this universe. If science proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that something some of the people of faith have never believed is in fact true, then it is incumbent upon people of faith to question whether they have misinterpreted or misunderstood that particular thing.

Let’s take evolution as an example. There is absoultely no reason why God could not choose evolution as the means for allowing life to flurish and grow. In this view, Genesis is allegorical instead of literal, but God is still God.

I realize that this is difficult for some to accept, but it works for me. : )

gemiwing's avatar

My mind strengthens my heart. God gave me free will and free thought. My brain likes this.

My heart strengthens my mind. I have faith that I am loved, blessed and not forgotten. That gives me the freedom to put my mind to other tasks.

Gossamer's avatar

I think thats the whole test of religion…to get the two to operate in sync!

fundevogel's avatar

For the record it wouldn’t be a matter of your heart and head being in conflict. It would be a conflict between the rational problem solving part of the brain and the emotion processing part of the brain. The idea that the figurative heart has some mystical insight is absurd. The emotions you feel are a product of your brain, just as the reasoned thought out opinions, questions and doubts come from your brain.

And if it comes from your brain it is subject to all the quirks, short comings and discrepancies associated with normal brain function.

Apologies for the tangent, carry on.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@fundevogel I’m sure what you say is correct but I used the “heart and head” cliche because it is a figure of speech that has a nicer ring to it than “does the rational, problem solving part of your brain work togther with the emotional processing part of your brain” also I do not like to use the word “rational” when it comes to discussions about religion because that’s when the arguements start!

fundevogel's avatar

@Leanne1986 That’s understandable. I just wanted to point it out since I think there is a significant distinction between conflict between persepectives coming from fundamentally different origins and conflict that occurs between perspectives that come from the same basic mechanism. It’s not really the conversation you were having. But I thought it was significant enough to point out.

As far as the word rational goes you can’t really avoid it when you mention religious doubt. Doubt is nothing more than a question and inquiry is the foundation of reason. But I understand that you wanting to avoid spawning a Christian vs atheist debate, I’m not sure it will work though. It’s one of those things that doesn’t take much to start.

but enough of my off topic banter

Cruiser's avatar

My head and heart are finally in sync. All that I have ever believed in along with all that I have learned, felt and experienced have meshed into a true belief in the spiritual world we all live in. I will leave it at that.

Judi's avatar

If we had all the answers then we could be our own gods. The mystery of how it all connects , in the big broad spectrum of things is how my head knows my heart is right. Even if us humans, a mere speck in the vastness of this universe, let alone any others that may be out there could grasp all its wonders and understand all its workings, that alone would be miraculous enough for me to believe.
Knowing how insignificant I am from a scientific perspective, then realizing how truly significant my creator thinks I am from a heavenly perspective is overwhelming. It is Grace.

Janka's avatar

I am sorry if this takes is to the theist/atheist debate that you did not want to go to, but I feel I want to add this: for me, it would be impossible to believe in a benevolent Creator who gave me a mind and reason and then discouraged me from using them. If a God exists and if he is good (which I think is the basis of the “faith of heart” religious people speak of), then it cannot, in my mind, be true that our best attempts at honest understanding of how the world works would be misleading. Why would a good God play such a trick on us? Why would he give you a heart that spoke true, and a mind that lied to you?

CaptainHarley's avatar


That is not the God I love. I believe there is no essential contradiction between science and spirituality. It only remains for those of us who believe to accept science as one way for humans to understand God’s universe.

Val123's avatar

@Janka That concept of “Just accept, don’t think,” is a human construct. I don’t believe for one minute that God doesn’t want us to use our brains to the fullest, or not to question! What does he have to be worried about if people start asking questions? Nothing!

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