- Education and Science
Trust, Belief, and Faith
At home, the parents show their children the trust that they will do their best to care for them, instill into their children the belief that the family is the safest place to be when they are in distress, and teach their children to have faith in their ability to make tomorrow a better day. In school, the teacher shows their students the trust that whatever they teach is worthy of learning, instill into their students that the knowledge is essential not just to survive but to live a meaningful and purposeful existence, and teach their students to have faith that the good will always prevail the evil in the long run. In the man-made world, we learn to be cautious with our trust to the other people to avoid being taking advantage of, our belief has changed from the Almighty controlling our destiny to we are the master of our destiny, and we rely more on logic and reason than faith to face and solve our problems.
The parents are the first persons whom we put our trust in. After we are born, we have no choice but to rely on our parents to look after our well beings. Fortunately, most of the parents perform the duty with tender loving care. As we are growing up, we never second guess this trust and have taken this trust between people for granted. As we are old enough to venture out the house, our parents have to remind us constantly not to trust strangers; those whom we are not acquainted with. But, with trust, we learn to make friend in the neighborhoods and latter in school where we can share our private feelings and personal stories without inhibitions. As we mature and enter the workplace, we encounter people from all walks of life with the primary objective of earning a living the best ways they know how. We soon find that very few people can be trusted and fewer people are willing to trust the others. We rely on rules and regulations, and legislative laws to ensure a peaceful and productive society.
Since we no longer live day to day just to survive, we want to find purpose and meaning to justify our existence. We want to believe that there is a higher intelligence:
Overlooking our every move,
Giving us the ability to understand right from wrong, good from evil, etc.,
Filling us with emotions to love and hate, to be happy and sad, etc.,
Endowing us a brain that never stops wondering, pondering, and meddling, etc.
We want to believe that life is not a one way street and our consciousness lives on after death. Most of the people are able to find their belief in religions that were established at the dawn of our civilization. These religions are well organized and run by devoted disciples. All these are backed by writings that document in great details its origin, teachings, and practices. As we come to know more about ourselves (from DNA, biology, to psychology), to understand the world we live in (from atom, chemicals, to the solar system), and to develop technological advancements (from car, airplane, to computer), our belief has began to shift more emphasis on ourselves than the invisible and the mysterious Supreme Being. We still seek out religion for our spiritual guidance. But, when it comes to our physical needs, our belief is to follow our instincts to greater material comforts.
We have come a long way when we live our life mostly on faith. We started by worshipping various deities then a single supreme being faithfully for protection, absolution, and salvation. Most importantly, we seek:
To be free from constantly worrying about our precarious existence,
To be able to live with ourselves with the mistakes and sinful acts we committed and are capable of committing,
To know that after passing from this world, there is going to be a place for us in the heaven instead of hell.
Today, we are no longer at the mercy of the changing and hostile environment. We make our living in temperature-controlled enclosures. Food is easily available at the local supermarkets and fast food restaurants. From schools, TVs, and PCs, we are informed about what/when/how things happen around the world and in Nature. We learn to use logic and reason to minimize mistakes and emotion-induced sinful acts. We still put a lot of emphases on our afterlife rituals when our time on Earth has expired. But, history tells us that heaven and hell can just be either imaginary places or where reality can be totally different from that on Earth.
Body and Soul
Our men-made world is built on the knowledge of our understanding of how Nature works. From road, railway, to freeway; from house, bridge, to high-rise; from television, computer, to Internet; from car, train, to airplane; from hydro, solar, to nuclear powers, etc., none of them is possible without comprehending the atomic structure, the property of the chemical elements, gravitational force, electromagnetism, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, etc. But, without trust, belief, and faith, our man-made world would have fallen apart long time ago. The man-made world has brought unprecedented material comfort and satisfaction to our physical urges. But, spiritually, we are left to fend for ourselves. We need to seek the trust from the other peoples to share our inner feelings and to know that we are not alone when sickness and misfortunes strike. We need to have the belief that there are meaning and purpose behind the good and the evil, the happiness and the suffering, the privileged and the damned, etc. Then, we need to have the faith to know that the good will outlast the evil, that when we try our best things will turn out fine, and that well intentions will dissolve misunderstanding.