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Author Topic: Faith  (Read 1990 times)

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Online AthosTopic starter

Faith
« on: December 13, 2011, 02:48:09 AM »
Let me tell you about my faith. Faith isn’t simply something you learn as a child, sitting in the front pew with your Mom and Dad. It isn’t solely the province of God or religion. In fact, neither of them even has to be a factor. Faith is about you. Faith is about believing in something and making the choice to give it everything you have. Faith is about looking at the thing that scares you most and refusing to look away. Faith is about bending almost to the point of breaking, and then being willing to bend a little more. Faith is knowing full well that the world can hurt you, defeat you, beat you down and abuse you, but it can never break you. To me, faith is the coalescence of the indomitable human spirit. It is the singular truth that at the end of the day no matter what mistakes we’ve made or who we’ve hurt, we can always choose to make things better.

Offline Modern Fairy Tale

Re: Faith
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2011, 11:43:24 AM »
I like what you are saying.  I think we could use more faith in our society... we are losing something of what it means to be human.  When everything turns to science and logic and nothing is left to feel mystery or place faith in, we lose an important part of who we are.

I have to say to me, faith is the belief there is more to the universe than what you are looking at right then.  Science and society like to give you lots of answers, but logically, who could have all the answers.  We are ants crawling around on some mudball.  Can we ever know everything... or even really know enough to answer the really interesting questions of life?  I think its pure hubris to think we can wrap our mind around the cosmos and present it in a textbook.  There is more to the universe than the sum of its parts we know.  We can only see some ten percent of the universe.  Pick up a science textbook and imagine... this is all we know and its only ten percent of whats out there.  Would you judge someones guilt on ten percent of thier case?  Would you start a complex experiement with only ten percent of the procedure worked out?  Why is there scientists trying to tell us how everything works and acting like your crazy unless you fall in line.

Faith says "Yeah, I know theres more.  I can almost feel it out there."  Now Im not going to plug my own beliefs (which are personal), but what I think is important is that we agree to believe there is more out there.  I personally feel God has come down and spoken to many peoples across the earth, but that all of us are a bit culturally biased back then and so we interpreted things in different ways.  God is a big subject.  Maybe no one of us can know Him completely like germs trying to sketch a human body.  Perhaps a lot of what we are talking about... angles or deva or spirit guides... are all about the same thing.  For example, did you know the name the plains indians give thier Great Spirit and the name of the Jahova God of the Isrealites have a name that is literally almost spelled and pronounced the same way.  Opposite sides of the earth, I swear. 

We foster faith and tolerance.  When we look into the eyes of our fellow men, we are looking at an image of our God.  For we are all created by His hand and bear His image.  True Faith doesnt lead to suicide bombings or bloody crusades or intolerance.  Faith restores our humanity to us.  What the struggle for survival or feelings of hatred or fear of scarcity have led us to do, imagine faith as the opposite.  Man can be panicy and cruel and short sighted, even with our culture and our science.  Imagine if something worse than AIDS broke out, how much fear and righteous anger would we see?  Faith is that part that preserves even in such forces.  Faith is what the church and medical workers have when they go to care for those dying and sick people.

Faith helps preserve us.  Faith answers questions there are no other answers to.  Faith keeps us intact in a world that seems to be flying apart around us sometimes.  It is this belief that what we do matters on a broader scale and that there is a benevolent force out there helping guide us.  To me, things make more sense with faith.  Without it the world is a very scarry and random place without purpose or clear origin.

Sorry to talk your ear off.  So few people want to talk about faith, but it is important to me.  I hate when people let textbooks do all the thinking for them.  Its a big world... a lot bigger than we can possibly imagine or even put into a book.  I feel that part of the truth is in how we feel about things or more importantly how we make our decisions.  This is where faith lies.  That Nth principal that makes all the rest of it flexible enough to work.

Hope maybe this bit of drivel might help someone someday.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Faith
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2011, 06:04:45 PM »
Now, I'm probably going to take a beating over this, but in essence faith is lack of understanding. If someone doesn't understand how something works, they attribute it to something beyond themselves.

When ancient cavemen saw lightning in the sky, they imagined some great monster threw down lights, and thunder was the hooves of this monster riding the clouds. This evolved in different cultures into gods throwing thunderbolts, or hitting the clouds with big hammers, and through the work of angels it took humanity thousands of years to find out it was charged ions causing it.

Now am I saying faith is a bad thing? No. faith is very helpful to many people, but when people become so attached to this faith that they ignore other explanations that's when things go wrong.
And believe me, the same thing is true for those who have faith in science. Faith is good, but always remember that faith is based on not knowing. So be prepared to modify your belief structure as you experience new things.

Online AthosTopic starter

Re: Faith
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 10:30:27 PM »
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.


Online MasterMischief

Re: Faith
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 05:16:43 PM »
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.

I would not call this faith.  Faith is already a loaded word as it is.  I would agree with you that we can always work to improve.  I also agree that humanity does not have all the answers.  However, for me, just because we do not have all the answers is not a good enough reason to dismiss science.

Finally, I agree that we can learn from others.  I will go one further, I think we can learn more from those who disagree with us.  What do we really learn from someone who thinks the same as we do?  To really broaden our world, we need to venture into those areas that frighten us.  To explore things from a new perspective which means to consider the possiblity we are wrong.  To me, faith is the exact opposite of this.  It is closing our mind and not considering other possibilities.  That is why I would not consider your first definition appropriate for faith.

Offline ZenFranklin

Re: Faith
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 01:51:17 AM »
I agree that we can learn from others.  I will go one further, I think we can learn more from those who disagree with us.  What do we really learn from someone who thinks the same as we do?  To really broaden our world, we need to venture into those areas that frighten us.  To explore things from a new perspective which means to consider the possiblity we are wrong.  To me, faith is the exact opposite of this.  It is closing our mind and not considering other possibilities.  That is why I would not consider your first definition appropriate for faith.

Online AthosTopic starter

Re: Faith
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 05:32:26 AM »
To explore things from a new perspective which means to consider the possiblity we are wrong.  To me, faith is the exact opposite of this.  It is closing our mind and not considering other possibilities.  That is why I would not consider your first definition appropriate for faith.

Interesting perspective, but at the risk of sounding like I'm closing my mind to other possibilities I'm afraid that we'll have to agree to disagree. Webster's Dictionary definitions aside, this is how I've always thought of faith and it's how I practice it. I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong, or make a mistake, but there are certain ideals that I believe to be correct and I do my best to live my life in accordance to those ideals.


Online MasterMischief

Re: Faith
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2012, 10:45:40 AM »
Interesting perspective, but at the risk of sounding like I'm closing my mind to other possibilities I'm afraid that we'll have to agree to disagree. Webster's Dictionary definitions aside, this is how I've always thought of faith and it's how I practice it. I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong, or make a mistake, but there are certain ideals that I believe to be correct and I do my best to live my life in accordance to those ideals.

If we all believed the same things, the world would be a very boring place.   ;D

Online AthosTopic starter

Re: Faith
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 06:06:12 PM »
If we all believed the same things, the world would be a very boring place.   ;D

Very true. :D

Offline colerie1974

Re: Faith
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 10:43:01 PM »
 I have come to believe that the only reason that I am still alive today is because of the faith I have inside of me to never give up and to never compromise on my own values/morals/beliefs. This really has nothing to do with a belief in a higher power but in a belief that I am strong enough to never lose my spirit regardless of what is thrown at me. I have hit rock bottom and managed to put my life back in order. I truly believe that, if not for my faith, I would still be the broken and beaten soul that I once was. When it came time for me to save myself I did so by holding on to my faith in my own spirit to never surrender. Just thought I would share that with everybody! Thanks for such an interesting reading! :)

Online AthosTopic starter

Re: Faith
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 10:41:03 AM »
Thanks for your comment colerie! I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who views faith in this way. Thanks again and good luck on your approval!

Offline Hurricane

Re: Faith
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 04:09:23 PM »
To me, faith is the exact opposite of this.  It is closing our mind and not considering other possibilities.  That is why I would not consider your first definition appropriate for faith.

If by "faith" we're discussing the concept of "religious faith" then this is the kind of sentiment that aptly demonstrates just how bigoted a supposedly modern 'progressive' mindset can be.

Religious faith is not about closing the mind. It's about accepting the idea that there are principles that one should adhere to, and that those principles are greater than the sum of Human understanding. Some people of religious faith choose to strictly adhere to those principles, others are more lax. But underlying the entire spectrum is the simple idea that there are universal principles that should drive how people behave towards each other.

In popular culture today there is this idea that a belief in religious faith means that a person is "stupid" or "closeminded". That's just as absurd and bigoted as the most intolerant religious zealot ever was.

How about coming at the issue with respect, instead of that kind of bigoted closemindedness?

Online AthosTopic starter

Re: Faith
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 05:53:37 PM »
How about coming at the issue with respect, instead of that kind of bigoted closemindedness?

Far be it for me to speak for MasterMischief, but I don't believe he was speaking disrespectfully at all. He was simply stating his opinion, as anyone is welcome to do here, including you. That being said, I do not appreciate the accusation that anyone who's posted here is a 'bigot'. Just because someone says something you disagree with does not automatically make them prejudiced.

Offline colerie1974

Re: Faith
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2012, 12:03:56 AM »
You are very welcome Athos! I am very happy that I have been approved and I can't wait to read more from you in the future!

Online MasterMischief

Re: Faith
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2012, 02:19:17 PM »
Quote from: Athos
Far be it for me to speak for MasterMischief, but I don't believe he was speaking disrespectfully at all

I have been guilty of that in the past so I accept the accusation.

Quote from: Hurricane
It's about accepting the idea that there are principles that one should adhere to, and that those principles are greater than the sum of Human understanding.

That has never been my understanding of religious faith.  I agree there are principles that we should adhere to.  I question the practicality of principles beyond our understanding.  My problem with faith in those 'unknowable' principles is how can we be sure they are the 'right' ones?  Not all religions share the same principles.  Faith, to me, suggest belief without proof.  How can you be open to other possibilities if you remain steadfast in your faith?