Faith vs. Science from a Conservative

July 22, 2022

One of our members received the following letter from Leslyn Lewis and thought the ideas would be worth discussing on this forum. Are Leslie’s ideas as presented here compatible with humanism?

Dear Gleb,

Are you a person of faith?

Or are you a person of science?

Or maybe like me, you feel like those words don’t mean what they used to anymore.

Faith has been popularly defined as “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” This definition which is based on faith and a belief in God, has now been adopted by governments to get people to buy into policies.

In some cases when we are confronted with catastrophes, plagues or even a pandemic, we have to put our trust in a solution that may not have been fully tested or explained  — that’s faith.

Faith has often been confused with science. I am a social scientist, and stay away from making pronouncements in the area of natural science. But it isn’t hard to recognize that natural science has turned to beliefs that are also based on faith.

Claims like “trust the science” are actually displays of faith rather than confidence in the scientific method. The scientific method requires a hypothesis and rigorous testing. Science is not trusted, it is tested.

The past two years have been frustrating for those among us who like to ask questions in order to have a better understanding about what is going on around them. Questions were mocked, ridiculed, demonized and people were out-right silenced for asking simple questions about COVID or even vaccines. In my training as a lawyer whenever I encountered an aggressive, bullying person my instincts told me they were hiding something. Coercion always put me on alert that something wasn’t right.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we were all happy to “get vaccinated” in order to protect our neighbours, grandparents, and the vulnerable in society. Any scientist who spoke the truth that the COVID vaccine is a tool to reduce hospital burden by minimizing the symptoms – but it would not completely prevent contracting or spreading COVID – was vilified, de-platformed and ostracized as a dangerous  conspiracy theorist.

Canadians turned against their family members refusing to see them by falsely believing that vaccinated people were immune from getting COVID. Friends and coworkers yelled at colleagues to “GET VACCINATED”.  People threw down one of the major tenets of our medical system – privacy, and started divulging their vaccination status, even peer pressured into posting pictures of themselves getting vaccinated on social media. When you met someone for the first time, they often told you their vaccination status before they told you their name. And people like me were punished for insisting that we can be safe without violating the foundations of our democracy including the right to medical privacy and free and informed consent.

I accepted my punishment by not receiving a critic/shadow cabinet position even though all I had to do was simply disclose my vaccination status. I refused because I believe that my principles were worth more to me than any position. And as I watched the illogical madness around me, I refused to be dragged into a system headed for segregation and erosion of our fundamental values. I said “I will stand for my convictions — cost it what it may!”

The past few years have been based on faith, not in any deity, but in government. So many people never questioning information presented by both elected and unelected officials.

Government has seen how well this blind allegiance to faith works with policy. Now we must ask ourselves whether we will remain silent while our government:

  • implements environmental policies that have little or no connection with reducing emissions;
  • enters into international agreements that diminish our sovereignty, reduce farming capacity, and curtail the development of our natural resources; or
  • implements health and vaccine passes that could easily be programmed to integrate with other aspects of our lives and encroach on things that we once thought personal.

We need to end this style of government where politicians demand absolute trust and blind faith to their policies – while they demonize those who ask questions. We need to wake up and recognize that every time a politician labels something a conspiracy theory it’s often to avoid answering your question; and unfortunately, it’s often to hide the fact that they are outright lying to you!

It’s time we had politicians who showed a little faith in the people they are supposed to serve, and that requires that we end this era of intellectual darkness and blind faith and allegiance to the politicians and bureaucrats who underestimate our intelligence.

Lloyd Robertson