‘FAITH’: WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?

Faith: an unquestioned belief

‘Faith’ makes a poor start since it is a ‘belief’, in other words, just a choice. But then it goes on down! Unquestioned? Would you decide even a trivial thing like whether to put sugar in your coffee by the toss of a coin and not question it? It’s like betting on a horse by sticking a pin in the list of runners! Little else in life is determined so casually. It’s gambling on god!

Sorry, I can’t recommend unquestioning. It’s saying, ‘I prefer to remain ignorant!’  Why would you do that?

Unquestioned belief led to the notion that an afterlife with twenty seven celestial virgins would be the prize for the men who piloted the planes into the New York World Trade Centre towers on ‘9/11’.

It was failing to question their leaders that enabled the Treblinka camp guards to ‘guiltlessly’ follow orders and gas 800,000 Jews.

Unquestioning, as a principle, has absolutely nothing to recommend it! Please don’t stop questioning!  Unquestioning is only going to give you no answers. Would you take untested medicines? Beware of words that begin ‘un’; they are not going to deliver - I have 364 unbirthdays every year!

Never being subjected to questioning frees faith from the need to be based on evidence. This is probably why members of a faith are not prepared to question it - they might risk finding out that it has no supporting evidence thereby exposing themselves to the discomfort of doubt.  How much other nonsense would we be believing in if no evidence is required? The tooth fairy? Maybe! Not being based on evidence puts faiths on a par with ‘old wives' tales’.

Have you heard of OCD? Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder includes symptoms such as repetitive hand washing despite the lack of dirt. Doesn’t that sound like worship - persisting in doing something for which there is no evidence? One in fifty adults is reckoned to have OCD in the US and it has been associated with particular religious beliefs.

I wouldn’t object to faith if it was harmless but it’s not. Faith divides humanity into supporters of different religions - there are about 1,000 different Christian sects alone See here . Different is normally fine but when it is conservative and intolerant, which most religions are, then it becomes bad. It’s so bad that the followers of one faith frequently kill those of another. Christians have recently been throwing Muslims down wells in Northern India, for example. See: Page: In the Name of the Lord

What makes that particularly poignant is they are killing in the name of their own god who almost certainly does not exist. Why do people think that a conviction in a proposition, unsupported by evidence, is worth naming and worshipping, let alone worth killing for?

What value should be given to something that has no supporting evidence and that does not permit questioning?

If faith had been recognised as being responsible for one fatality it should have been outlawed; in fact it has been implicated in the death of millions.

 

“Faith means not wanting to know what is true.”

 

“Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?”

 

Friedrich Nietzsche

(1844-1900)

German Philosopher

 

 

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A question for the Pope, Your Holiness, what do you think you would be now if you had been born in Arabia?”

Click here for worksheet on this page

 

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”

 

Benjamin Frankland

 

 

Unfortunately, many religious people have their faith locked in  a strong box in their heads and they have lost the key, so it is unassailable!

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