Debates with My Dad

Currently on an e-mail debate with my dad (because things get really heated up when we are trying to make each other see our points, and also just because we both think better when we write it out). In the email, I sent him my views regarding what I really want from my faith journey (as in this post), and he gave his replies, definitely not falling short of my expectations of him (being a physics teacher, he is VERY questioning).

Some of his points (won’t paste out everything here though)

1) When I said that being Catholic fits me like an oversized boot, he says, “The oversized boot gives you the space to find out more about why you believe in what you believe. Otherwise there is no more room for you to discover and grow. Faith is not given to us for us to sit on it. It must grow.”

What I said in reply,”For me, the boot is the foundation of my faith. After wearing the boot, I still have to WALK to discover and grow with this boot of foundation. An oversized boot can’t even allow me to walk. When my faith is well founded with a good boot size, only then can I get up and start walking. And I need all the above, plus understanding of the ‘trival technicalities’, in order for me get up and go.

2) And after all being a physics teacher, he referred to physics concepts to explain the Trinity, “I would like to end this by proposing to draw a parallel between a scientific theory with the three persons in the Trinity: The wave-particle duality model in physics. A particle (e.g. an electron) can be thought of as a particle (with mass and charge). It can also be considered as a wave ( like electromagnetic waves). How is it possible for a particle to have two different nature ? It depends on the observer’s perspective. Also, interesting, physicist in the 1950s also have discovered that the protons and neutrons are not a solid particle. They are each made up of quarks. And if I read correctly, there are three types of quarks in each of these particles Is this God’s fingerprint ? My faith tells me it is since He created everything in this Universe.”

Ho ho ho, physics huh? (Sidetrack: I always loved how my dad gave me super challenging secondary physics questions to do when I was 11, one of my fondest memories actually). My response,”Yes, God had laid His fingerprints through every miracle, every messenger, every Prophet in the world since the beginning of time. All these have been done by God, so all praise goes to Him alone. These are the quarks, and the different natures of God. So instead of limiting it to just 3 quarks, why not recognise it all by praising the Creator of these quarks? If God created the Trinity, then why can’t we just praise Him for creating the Trinity?”

Then I gave him another analogy, this time to Mathematics.

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In a Venn diagram, there is a finite collection of sets (U) to represent the people who pray to God our Father, the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Each set has slightly different teachings and beliefs, but there are intersections to represent certain commonalities in teachings and beliefs. Set A represents the Catholic and Christian Faith, outside of the intersection. As for me, I am in the absolute complement of A in U (meaning everything except A, because my beliefs simply cannot fall into A, try as I might. Because the Trinity is the essence of Christian belief, and my belief simply is just that God is One and Only One). I won’t know what area I’d fall into as I search because it will now come down to the teachings and beliefs of each set that I discover similar to what I have, but I can only belong to one set. But after everything,
  1. There are after all still some similarities in beliefs and teachings, even if the label is A or B or C.
  2. All fall under the same U, and I will not fall out of this U (ie. I will not believe in any other Gods but the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus.)
  3. I can never go back to Set A.
Pardon me if I got some concepts wrong here and there, but essentially I just wanted to tell him that hey, sorry but I will never be able to backtrack to what I once was. I have never had the courage to face up to this and instead shelved my questions for years. My parents have kept saying there is this change in me, but this is happening not because I have changed my beliefs, but because I am finally on my way to seek for myself my own true faith. Nothing will change other than the fact that I will definitely emerge as truly a fervent and religious daughter of God.

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