We Do Have To Take Some Things On Faith

I would say yes. We take all kinds of things on faith because we have to. Things that seem obvious but are essentially unprovable. Just to take one example, I believe in a world external to my mind, populated by real people, not figments of my imagination. I can't prove it, but I take it on faith. ''

Another thing I take on faith is that I can trust causality to be regular. To be sure, there are occasions when causality seems to fail, but I assume that there are explanations vindicating causality. If I assume causality is really irregular, then there's no reason to be logical, is there?

The difference between that kind of faith is that it doesn't form the basis for baseless toxic activities. It doesn't lead me to discriminate against or kill people who don't share my beliefs. In fact, it has no real consequences at all other than to help me live day-to-day.

Believing on faith that there is an all knowing, all powerful, very judgmental, king-like being looming above everything can be used to discriminate falsely between good and bad people with punishments ranging from shunning to eternal hellfire.

Load Previous Replies
  • up

    kris feenstra

    Hypothetically, I would say no. There is probably a methodology to verify almost anything given enough time and resources. Agnosticism is also an option.

    In practical terms? I don't see how we could get by without it. Sometimes 'faith' is taken to mean belief with no evidence or even against evidence. Some people treat it as virtuous to maintain faith against all odds, evidence and reason. I'd say that's pretty f'd up for the most part.

    In less dramatic terms, however, 'faith' is just a degree of confidence in the face of an unknown. There are hundreds, if not thousands of unknowns in my daily life.

    For example, the psychological states of the numerous people I pass on the street, or at the grocery store, or interact with at work all represent unknowns. I can look for some signs of distress or abnormalities, but for the most part I cannot verify everyone's mental condition. I lack the time and resources to do so. Yet I can't stay locked up at home hiding from everyone because someone might behave in a potentially harmful and extremely difficult to predict manner. I have faith that pretty much everyone will behave within a certain set of average behaviour, and that the exceptions are not likely to be overly harmful. This sort of faith is an expedient for navigating life. I think it is pretty much a necessity.

  • up

    Tom Sarbeck

    First, choose a dictionary and trust its definition.

    NOAD's (New Oxford American's) first definition is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. (Its remaining definitions refer to religion so I will ignore them.)

    I will try another dictionary; NOAD's first definition persuades me that faith is dangerous and/or foolish.

    • up

      James Cox

      I just assume that things are stable, till they are not, then I test my expectations. Most of the timeĀ things are running smoothly, no worries, but there are the outlyers that can cause me to pause and revisit my understanding of how things 'work'. I just figure I am almost always in catchup mode with reality.