Religion, or more properly the practice of one’s faith, endures largely because of reason. More specifically, the nature of faith is the desire of reason to seek the answers to three profoundly human questions:
- Who am I?
- Why am I?
- How then shall I live?
The secular intellect is not equipped to answer these questions. Of course, science can explain, in the most exquisite detail, the workings of the material world. But no matter how detailed, science is limited to the questions “what is it?” and “how does it work?”. Purpose and meaning are beyond its reach — except perhaps in the most superficial, material sense — for example:
- Zebras exist so that lions can eat.
- Lions must eat that they may flourish and create more lions.
- Therefore, zebras are the lions’ way of making more lions.
The chief Rabbi of England, Lord Jonathan Sacks wrote an article some months ago titled “The Limits of Secularism“. I highly recommend that thoughtful people — whose reflections often turn to the great questions of life to take this article to heart.