Interesting points on both ends, gentlemen. And don't worry Katataban, there are no beatings administered here. I generally save that for my roleplays hehe. That being said, it seems that both of you are attributing the word faith as the belief in some higher being or force than themselves. I would agree that is probably how most people think about faith. That is not, however, exactly the point I was trying to make when I wrote this.
What I was trying to say is that my idea of faith is the belief that no matter how bad things get, you can always work to better yourself.
For some people, the motivation to do this comes from their belief in God or a higher power. I do believe that there is something more to this world than we can see, but I don't believe for a second that belief in the supernatural is a requirement of faith. Many of the most moral, hardworking and faithful people I know have no belief in any higher power. They simply have a set of values that they stick to no matter what. Conversely, many of the most immoral people I've come across have been devout Christians who are more than happy to throw their entire set of values out the window when things get tough.
but what I think is important is that we agree to believe there is more out there.
First, I want to be clear: I am NOT
trying to criticize anyone's beliefs. However, I gotta say that I do have some reservations about this sentiment. Why is it important for people to agree that there's something more than this life? Why can't a decent person simply be a decent person, regardless of their religious or non-religious beliefs? In my opinion a person's actions and integrity are far more important than any ideology they may or may not follow.
Now, I'm probably going to take a beating over this, but in essence faith is lack of understanding.
I also have to voice my disagreement to this as well. If I believe that stealing is wrong, and even though everyone else around me is doing it I refuse to do it, I made a decision to remain faithful to my values. I didn't choose not to steal because I failed to understand that I was part of a group or culture where stealing is acceptable. I chose to not do it because I don't believe it to be acceptable, understanding full well the dynamics of the situation around me. Now perhaps part of the reason that stealing is against my values is because I have been stolen from in the past, whereas perhaps the members of my given group or culture have not. If this is the case, then it could be argued that I have a greater understanding of the situation than they do, which contributes to my faith.
That being said, I will agree that having any kind of belief system that refuses to allow you to think about things rationally, or see things from another person's point of view is extremely dangerous. You don't have to be swayed by everyone else's opinion, but you should never be afraid to leave yourself open to the idea that you can learn from other people.