Believing Is Seeing: A Physicist Explains How Science Shattered His Atheism and Revealed the Necessity of Faith
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Simply being heard, valued and acknowledged can generate a willingness to compromise one’s own needs in a collaborative attempt to acknowledge and address the needs of others and the health, wellbeing and resilience of the system as a whole. Knowing this, I can’t help wondering if “Believing Is Seeing” is the first installment in a three-volume attempt to make sense of the relationship between the documentarian, the documented and the truth.
Morris begins his first chapter with a quotation from Sontag regarding Fenton’s photograph(s) The Valley of the Shadow of Death (1855). The biggest is that, despite his emphasis on spiritual insight (as distinct from intelligence and reason), Dr. If you read this book to to confirm your preconceived beliefs or to ridicule the beliefs of others (no matter what side of the subject matter you are on) then you will miss the point and worth of the book. The inclusion of a few personal revelatory spiritual experiences was an interesting deviation from the largely academic discussion and was a highlight of the book for me.Only in the middle of Believing Is Seeing does Morris ask a series of questions that have been foundational to historiographic and theoretical debates about photography: “While the technology may have changed, the underlying issues remain constant. Not only do many of today’s young people equate opinion with fact, but they also believe that opinions and feelings are more important than facts and that faith is like an ugly four-letter word. This author is actively trying to convert people while desperately clutching at straws to prove that his decades long involvement in science won’t keep him out of his Christian heaven. It should be noted that the King James version is considered blasphemous because it was edited and rewritten by King James. Each of its six chapters originally appeared, in different form, in the Opinionator blog of The New York Times, and each centers on a photo or photo set: two slightly different pictures taken by Roger Fenton during the Crimean War; the infamous Abu Ghraib images, over two chapters; Depression-era photographs by Walker Evans and Arthur Rothstein; pictures of children’s toys lying in the rubble after Israeli airstrikes on southern Lebanon in 2006; and an ambrotype of three young children that was found clutched in the hand of a dead Union soldier at Gettysburg in 1863.
What I would say is this book must be read with an open mind whatever your stance or belief on the subject of god and/or science. Or is it possible that reality can be perceived most clearly with the eyes of faith—and that truth is bigger than proof? Synopsis: Scientist Michael Guillen outlines the formation of his worldview, highlighting the ways that science informed and intersected with his developing faith.The same excerpt is also published in Hackernoon on Medium but I did not have editing access and wanted to change the picture, so here it is again. The real miracle would be the Spirit opening his heart to the translogical truths that God doesn’t make mistakes, She isn’t limited by flesh, and She loves Her children exactly as She made them: in Her image, trans and all.
While we don't have full-blown, irrefutable evidence of God's existence in this book or anywhere else to my knowledge, we do have hints about the universe that describe how vast and incomprehensible it is to human senses of logic. One appeals to the religious, the other to physicists, of which I’m both, so I feel like I can say with some confidence that while he does, on occasion, actually achieve his lofty goal of marrying science and religion in a translogical union, he usually falls flat on his face.It turns out that Morris has been instructing us in a method: getting us accustomed, on the benign turf of the past, to “thinking about some of the most vexing issues in photography — about posing, about the intentions of the photographer, about the nature of photographic evidence — about the relationship between photographs and reality. Thus thirty pages on from the questions cited above, in the chapter on the staging of FSA documentary photography, Morris again is left querying: “These photographs function on so many different levels and mean so many different things to different people. When I started this book I was reminded of Pascal's wager in which the noted mathematician argued that even if he did not believe in God that it was a better bet to hold that belief (Pascal argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. Although I feel certain ideas were oversimplified or misrepresented, I thought this book did an excellent job comparing patterns of thought in science and and worldview formation.