Mushroom Faith

ChantrelleThis may be my last post.  For yet again, I am going to take a step of faith in my life.  I just snapped this photo of wild mushrooms a friend picked for me this weekend.  I will cook and eat them tonight after my workout at the gym.  If things take a spin for the worse, I want to go out feeling strong.

My friend is a physician, an avid fly fisherman and has picked wild mushrooms for decades — or so he tells me.  I have worked with him now for about 6 months.  He has met my wife and kids.  He tells me has eaten lots of mushrooms and over the last few months and he has given me mini-discourses on both picking and cultivating mushrooms.  Seems trustworthy to me !

So sure, I have lots of reasons to trust him.  But it is still just trust — it is only faith.  For he might well be exaggerating (or lying) about his mushrooms experience and he could have easily faked some of the knowledge because I, myself, have not read up on mushrooms in order to check him.  And heck, he could have made a mistake.  Further, just because he is a good surgeon doesn’t mean he’s good at mushrooming.   Besides, I have not really seen him make moral decisions — I don’t know how careful he is at protecting others.  But, nonetheless, I am going to trust him — I am going to make a leap of faith.

Of course my faith will be based on some level of evidence, albeit far from perfect evidence.  But really calling it “evidence” is sort of odd — as if the word “evidence” is clearly defined.  For even anecdotal evidence counts for something when it is all you have.  The concept of levels of evidence helps us weighing evidence.  But, as in medicine, for some types of information, low-levels of evidence is the best you can get.

A common pitfall for atheists is “reason-stupor” — some atheists are so enamored with their own reasoning ability to naively feel they don’t act on faith and that faith is the antithesis of reason.  They feel that they only believe things based on evidence and they deny that they hold any knowledge based on faith.  OK, after a beer or two, they may confess some level of trust in sources,  but they naively believe that the sources base their knowledge on evidence.    Tonight I want to clearly demonstrate that even secular evidence-weak leaps of faith can succeed.   I risk my life to the furthering of dialogue between atheists and theists !  Oh, how noble !

Though I have good insurance, my wife is still a little worried because she just watched a movie called “Into the Wild” where a man goes to Alaska to live by himself off the land and dies eating wild plants.  So, please pray for my naturalistic soul!  And btw, in case I don’t make it, the physician’s name is M……………

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Notes:  These are suppose to be “Chanterelle” mushrooms, which are suppose to be in season.  But of course they belong to the a Chanterelle look-alike is the Jack o’Lantern mushroom which is poisonous.

Addendum:  I may not object to “faith” per se, but I do object to misused faith.  Let me illustrate:
Let’s say a believer has faith that Jesus/Mohammed/Krishna/Siddhartha or some other distant religious figure  performed miracles.  Well, if it was true, it is known because someone witnessed the miracle and passed that on to someone else and so on.  Additionally, you may have possible confirmatory observations.  But now the questioning begins:  You have to question how accurate those observations are.  This is anecdotal evidence — which can be useful.  But it is hindered not only by distance in time but by likelihood. Since we don’t really see miracles today, it is hard to imagine in a reasonable way they happened back then. So indeed, though the belief is based on trusting (faith) stories of others, those stories are not sensible, thus problematic. So it is not “faith” I have problems with, but it is having faith in the highly improbable and/or unreasonable information and then treating it sacredly that I have problems.  Treating something sacred means throwing the cloak of sanctity over it so others feel taboo in questioning.

9 Comments

Filed under Personal

9 responses to “Mushroom Faith

  1. Janus Grayden

    There is no such thing as being without faith. Theists may like to monopolize the word, but faith is part of the human experience. Even trusting in our own abilities is a show faith in ourselves.

    I trust that the gas I put in my car is regulated and won’t ruin my engine. I have faith that the food that I eat has passed some quality control. I believe in the goodness if my friends and family.

    But at the end of the day, I trust that this is all true because of observable evidence. If I hear reports of contaminated food, I’ll use recipes that don’t call for the ingredient in question. If a loved one betrays me or hurts me deeply, my faith in them is shattered.

    It’s human to trust. It’s just as human to be skeptical. Anything that demands my unconditional faith is either trying to sell me something or use me. People who are genuine know that trust is earned by observable, demonstrable acts.

  2. If you see Jesus or Vishnu (Either in your ascension to Heaven or your shroomy trip), tell them to send down some better instructions!!!

    Awww, who am I kidding. Tell the guy with pitchfork I’ll see him in a few years!

  3. Amy

    You could have made your doctor friend eat some of them first. Of course maybe he built up a resistance to them over the years, like Wesley to the iocane powder in “The Princess Bride.”

    Hope this guy didn’t have a grudge against you…

  4. Good post Sabio! Hope the mushrooms tasted good – as least you get to die happy in that case.

  5. If this is it, please ask your wife to make one final post on your behalf.

  6. Kelly

    Just an update (from Sabio’s wife). Sabio lived. He had a very floaty, glassy eyed look about him about 30 minutes after eating them though. He told me he hopes he can get more! Real soon!!

  7. No fair, I actually saw G-d after eating some shrooms………………

  8. Earnest

    Hey why wasn’t I invited to the mushroom party!

  9. I don’t want someone to confuse me with some Kool-Aid drinking cult.

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