“Faith, not religion, is the enemy.”

—opined the atheist. To which I replied:

Faith is unavoidable, for everyone is forced at points to posit unsubstantiated claims, even if only as stopgaps to gloss the transit from A to B. Now, being unable to modify these assumptions (or beliefs), that is a sign of mental or emotional calcification, which is caused by laziness, stubbornness, or in response to a perceived threat (for obstinacy is a form of armor).

I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but to discount the human capacity to have faith in what is not immediately graspable overlooks the role this capacity has in how we develop our lives, both personally and in the historic context.

Only experience can verify faith or knowledge. This hurdle seems to mock theists and atheists without particular prejudice.

About Benjamin

I mostly write. Songs, too: soundcloud.com/benjaminb View all posts by Benjamin

5 responses to ““Faith, not religion, is the enemy.”

  • Grundy

    Are hypotheses and guesses points of faith? It’s nice when we can test our guesses to see if we are right and revise our position when we are wrong, but I know this isn’t always possible. To me, faith implies sticking to a belief not in the absence of evidence, but regardless of it. That kind of faith is the enemy.

  • danielwalldammit

    The above comment and your response come close to my own response. I would add that one ougt to distinguish heuristics from putatively factual claims. Some postulates may have less to do with what’s out there than how one wishes to organize the information. This poses a different kind of challenge than those raising questions susceptible to evidence.

    • benartboy

      Interpretation, filtration and organization of information are certainly the most essential factors of belief— which leads me to question what truly motivates a chosen stance.

  • Jim

    At the beginning of all arguments is the assumption that what we perceive to be real is … real. Cogito Ergo Sum, was DesCartes’ answer to this predicament, but it is still a leap of faith nonetheless. Try to prove that you’re not a brain in a jar being fed stimuli. You can’t.

    Further, any creature with the ability to create language must as a prerequisite have the ability to form an “Ideal” of a thing in one’s head. That is, I believe, why we have the tendency to form hypotheses. Abstract thinkers just do it.

    But the key is exactly what Grundy said: being able to modify our thinking hypothesis in the face of contradictory evidence. People who don’t do that are essentially fundamentalists, and a blight upon society.

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