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Why would you need faith if you had no doubt?

Updated on April 12, 2008

This is a general spiritual response, and it's not meant to be Orthodox-anything... although I think people of most religions would probably agree with a lot of it anyway.

Faith is the belief in Divinity, whatever you believe that to be, despite not having any external evidence to back that up at the time. I think you're right, faith is only relevant when you have some reason to doubt. Otherwise it would be knowledge, if you had proof of it. For example, trying to reconcile Religion and Science. If they proved it, it wouldn't be Religion anymore. It would be Science. Faith in a non-spiritual sense would be the faith we have that our significant other loves us very much, even if they don't say it. On second thought, that's probably spiritual after all.

Let's consider what a lot of people believe their Divinity to be. They believe it to be a Perfect, Benevolent, All-Powerful Creator. And the world in which we live gives us a lot of experiences that seem to contradict that notion. Suffering, lovelessness, greed, hypocrisy, environmental damage, species extinction. The experience that we as a world value money as being more important than people, and so a few of us have loaded bank accounts while many more experience poverty and death. All of these things seem to be evidence against the existence of that kind of Divinity. Just being on the planet will cause people to encounter an ongoing barrage of life-experiences that seem to disprove that concept of a Creator who is Perfect, Benevolent, and All-Powerful. Just being here, we encounter one big argument against the existence of that kind of Divine being, and it wears us down. Personally, I think that's the whole underlying purpose of this world - to make an argument for lovelessness despite what we truly are, and to hide the truth where it can. That isn't much of a purpose, I grant you. But then, this isn't much of a world, either.

There's another way of looking at it. My secret is that since this world and my faith clash and there's no resolving them, I discard my belief that this world is real. I didn't have much invested in it anyway. Lots of mystics have said throughout the ages that Space and Time are illusions. Dreams. From what I've seen, I believe them. At that point, none of this absurdity really matters, and the only thing left is to abide in Love.

And that's kind of the whole point anyway.


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    • Satori profile image

      Satori 6 years ago from California

      I phrased my description to of faith to make sense to those who do not have it - which are most likely to be those reading the Hub, Mortaryan.

      While you're quite correct that faith is empirical for the observer, it remains necessarily subjective in the context the world uses. It's difficult to prove in a lab, in other words.

      This world exists as a manifestation of the Choice for sin, and it's the largest manifestation of a rejection of the perfection of Creation that we're familiar with. Never mind that it's not wholly real; it seems real to those who encounter it and remain unaware of larger Creation.

      To assist people who have no memory of encountering it, one must speak in their language or something they can relate to and identify with. This is the purpose of religion, to bring a knowledge of the greater to people who are used to a lesser world.

      While your definition is correct, please be aware that consideration for the viewpoint of your audience is quite assistive in conveying an understanding to them, and giving them wisdom.

      Thank you for your readership, and your comment.

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      Mortaryan 6 years ago

      Your understanding of faith, is inaccurate, it is a pop counter cultural straw man definition...just as the notion that there is no God because the world is evil.

      Faith is not a belief (let alone a belief in Divinity), it is an empirical apprehension of the operating existence of unseen is not a is empirical for the observer.

      And the world is evil, as well as the notion there is no God because of it, is denial, denial of humanity to take responsibility for their creative ability, themselves (in the sense of their thoughts, words and deeds)and their responsibility in the creation of the world as it manifests.

      They might as well blame the deity (or their parents) for being born.

      Suicidal narcissism is the dis-ease of the human condition, and it infects everything.

    • Satori profile image

      Satori 9 years ago from California

      Growing up, both my parents were Jehovah's Witnesses. When I reached adolescence, I noticed for myself that if my fundamental beliefs about spirituality were only present because they were handed down to me by my parents - if they were only there by default and not because I examined them for myself and came to my own reasons for accepting or rejecting them - then they weren't worth very much as my belief system. That's when some real learning started on my part. I looked around at Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism, and for a couple of months I even got into Satanism. It was actually a healthy thing for me - it encouraged me to think for myself, and yet I found it so limited and unneccessarily contrary as a religion that I moved out of it (into Paganism) rather quickly.

      Like you, pgrundy, I don't have any one religion. I think most religions try - or tried, when they started - to express and embody spiritual fundamentals that are basically true for all people everywhere. By locking oneself into a specific religion and filtering out those valid ideas about spirituality because they come from another source, I think people often miss getting a more robust comprehension of spirituality, metaphysics and Divinity. Like the generations of British royalty who have found themselves with a very inbred, weak genetic bloodline, getting and processing ideas from all kinds of sources - checking the information against your conscience, always - leads to a heartier, healthier sense of what's what. If you only get your news from one source, you're far more likely to fall victim to errors and inaccuracies from that source.

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      pgrundy 9 years ago

      I agree with what you are saying here--I have this discusssion all the time--faith and religion are not the same thing. If you have a dognmatic belief drummed into you and you accept it as true, there is no faith involved. You don't have to have religion to have faith. I describe myself this way when pushed to the wall by some well-meaning zealot--I don't have a specific religion but I have faith.

    • Satori profile image

      Satori 9 years ago from California

      I appreciate the feedback! Thanks! =)

      You may also be interested in a more comprehensive explanation I just wrote about this. It's good for religious conversations in coffee shops, that sort of thing. It's here:

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      sandra rinck 9 years ago

      Wow. I like the way you think. thanks for answering this.