Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where Are You, Sam Neil? or Dinos, Cigarettes, and God: Belief and Doubt in Samoa

At some point before these two years are up, I really hope Sam Neil pops out of the jungle being chased by a T-Rex. No joke. Parts of Samoa look like they come straight out of "Jurassic Park." I'm just waiting to get sneezed on by a brontosaurus.

Which brings me to today's topic: Belief and Doubt in Samoa. One would be hardpressed to find a Samoan who said they didn't believe in God. Maybe you'd find someone who doesn't like to go to church, but I'm not sure anyone doubts the existence of God. He simply is, no questions asked. Samoans (and here comes an overgeneralization which I am well aware of) believe in God without needing empirical proof of his existence. It's as simple as that.

Oddly enough, we once ran into a few Samoans who asked if we believed in dinosaurs. Well, um, yes.

One of the boys, while smoking from a pack of cigarettes with a picture of a rotted lung on it, was asked, "Do you believe in that? That cigarettes can do that?" His response was, "It's not a matter of belief. That's science."

I've drawn no conclusions here, but it's interesting that the existence of dinosaurs and the deleterious affects of cigarettes, which have been scientifically proven, can be doubted, while the existence of God is believed in, unquestioned.

Is belief a choice? Or is "belief" a fancy euphemism from "indoctrinated maxim"?

1 comment:

  1. When you drop a rock, why do you believe that it will go down and not up? Because it happened everytime before? Gravity, like evolution and the shape of the Earth are all theories. Really really really good theories but just because of past experience you believe a rock will fall. Much like a smoker hasnt died from the last thousand cigarettes they smoked, why would the next one? I dont have a point here either, just that when something is not to our liking we tend to find ways to justify its existence, and when that well runs dry we pick solutions that are hardly sound but at least indisproveable. I think i got that explaination from an episode of House. Great blog btw, i am so signing up for one of the Pacific Islands for my next term as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

    PCV M20 Mongolia.