Re: What is Faith?

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Posted by Vincent ( on May 29, 2002 at 06:01:13:

In Reply to: What is Faith? posted by Bret on May 27, 2002 at 20:38:42:

You seem to be saying that faith cannot exist without the possibility of doubt, otherwise it becomes blind belief. And that the highest form of doubt would be systematic, scientific in nature. And that on the other hand, faith obviously divides us, since many (or all) of us have faith in things which are illusory. So "doubt" (or more precisely, a unification of faith and doubt) is actually capable of unifying us, by taking us past these illusions to the unchangeable reality underlying them. Do I understand you correctly?

My off-the-cuff response is, what is the practical effect of faith or doubt? Obviously there are many kinds of each. Faith for example is often associated with religion, whose most immediate effect is a reshuffling of political power from the faithful to the custodians of their faith. On the other hand every human society has some sort of religion, so it is probably a healthy (if not unavoidable) thing for us to participate in this to some extent.

Is faith really a question about what the universe is really like? Suppose there was a question as to who was more powerful, God or the devil. Would that fact about the universe make a difference as to which one you would worship? I hope not. This suggests faith as in inward rather than outward search--or perhaps the two are connected.

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