Faith By Nature

By its very nature, faith is something that is accepted – taken as read – without there being any “hard” evidence to support it. A belief in something one can see, or hear, even directly see the effects of in action, is not faith. The very word itself implies trust in the truth of a belief without anything external to back it up at all and the expression “blind faith” is simple tautology because faith by its very nature blindly follows an idea.

I, as I’ve mentioned before, am not religious, but I do respect those that are and there are times when I (almost) envy those that have faith. In fact, some of the nicest, funniest, most open-minded and well balanced people I know, or have come into contact with on the internet, are religious. An example of one such is the delightful PJ and you can see her blog here. My favourite quote of hers is, “I don’t understand why humanity can’t play nice and share.” To me that says it all really!

How, then, does it come about that some of the worst and what I would regard as downright evil people are also apparently extremely devout in their beliefs?

Personally, I think that the best thing about Christianity and many other religions too is the tolerance they preach. The worst thing about them is their acquisitive nature – the insistence that their disciples should go out and “convert” the rest of us to their particular beliefs. That, of course, is the standard methodology used by all large sales organisations to whip up incentive and motivate their sales teams. “Go get ’em. What we have is the best in the world. Everyone needs it whether they know it or not!” is the theme used to get the best out of sales representatives the world over. It has a second function too and that is to “bind” the group together; to make them feel part of a “family”. The secondary result in turn of that is to increase the “them and us” feelings of the group – “us” against the rest.

In my view, that belief in the group is often what seems to initially drive the evangelical brigade and it then translates into a need for the individual to justify to him or her self their continued adhesion to the cause and which some part of them that they will not admit to even to themselves, probably rejects their faith. Consequently, any dissention or alternative opinion is regarded as a threat to their “family”; to their beliefs; to their faith; to what has become their raison d’être.

Beware the superficially faithful who are apparently fanatical in their beliefs for, without any real independent depth to their own personalities to fall back on, their biggest fear is becoming faithless.

Lovely people like PJ on the other hand are, I think, simply confident and happy in what they believe themselves and don’t give a darn what other people think of that – and good for them!

What do you guys think?

3 Responses to “Faith By Nature”

  1. Thank you for the compliment. You’re too kind and I was uncomfortable enough with it to laugh out loud.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Prosletyzing is something that makes me squirm and downright suspicious – always. I’m editing a book for someone right now and one of the chapters talks about old-fashioned door-to-door sales, ‘persistence wearing down resistance’ and Dr. Seuss’ , ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ as a ‘bible’ of sorts for that type of selling. Using this methodology to ‘convert’ someone is equal parts annoying and comedic to me. The same with old-fashioned ‘bible thumping’ that took or takes place at revivals. I’m not drinking that Kool-Aid!

    While I sometimes write about faith, I don’t write about any specific religion or religious practice. If I’m going to share MY faith with someone, it will be by example….and let me tell you, I’m as irreverent as I am reverent and I make no excuses for myself.

    I actually had to post about faith today, along with four other words I received from Joanna Jenkins. This is, therefore, a coincidence….if you believe in coincidences! 🙂

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and understand what I’m banging on about. I agree with you entirely and it is that very irreverence that is so endearing to the reader and I’m sure to those who know you.

      I, of course, don’t know you, but I feel I at least know something of you from your blog and I meant every word I said about you. We do come at things from diametrically opposite directions, but that doesn’t stop us agreeing on a lot of things and that, above all else, makes me think that there are perhaps a few people left in the world that might provide some hope at least for the future of mankind.

      Shit! (sorry) that’s a bit serious isn’t it? Still, I’ve said it now 😉

    • PS: Yes I’ve read your post that includes the part about faith – interesting and in places enlightening too.

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