"What About Faith?" by Paul W. Smith


fāTH, noun
  • Complete trust or confidence in someone or something:
synonyms:  trust, belief, confidence, conviction, optimism, hopefulness, hope
"This restores one's faith in politicians."
  • Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

synonyms:  religion, church, sect, denomination, (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief, ideology, creed, teaching, doctrine
"She gave her life for her faith.

Everyone with a pulse has faith.

My atheist friends have "complete trust or confidence" in the fact that (1) there is no God, (2) we are all nothing but a serendipitously assembled sack of chemicals and (3) much like the lithium batteries that power our high-tech devices, we will eventually run down and no longer be capable of holding a charge.

My ultra-pragmatic scientific colleagues mostly fall under the spell of Blaise Pascal, whose famous wager nicely summarizes their risk-reward decision matrix:

"If you erroneously believe in God, you lose nothing (assuming that death is the absolute end), whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss). But if you correctly disbelieve in God,   you  gain nothing (death ends all), whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything  (eternal damnation)."

In summary, believing in God is a win-win situation for the practical crowd.

Finally, my  spiritual cohorts can live with knowing that all is not known.   They are perfectly comfortable with the fact that science hasn't formulated neat rules for everything, and that "I don't know" is an acceptable answer in this amazing, miraculous world where we dwell.  They have found a good story, and they're sticking with it.

Love them all, and savor the dialogue about this curious thing called "faith" that we all have in common.

"Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking" - Khalil Gibran

Comments

  1. 100 days into the new presidency and I still have faith (however minisculous). Unfortunately, things will get a lot worse before they get better, but eventually it will get better. As they say in the old country, "Keep right on to the end of the road." That's my faith.

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  2. "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

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  3. Can we still call it a profession when it is so obviously overrun by amateurs?

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