Do we need faith?

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
-Khalil Gibran

Notice that I did not say “do we need religion?” before you get your panties all wadded up; but I might touch on that too. So before you go any further let me explain something about faith.

Many words have tons of meanings that can be defined and interpreted differently. Take for example a color, while it is something that can be defined and classified it is a lot more than that. Blue can be your favorite t-shirt, team, car. Words carry a lot of meaning and faith, like the word love is one of the heavy ones.

How necessary is faith though? Do we need it in our lives? Is it an innate thing or something we learn?

I respect and often times admire people of faith. Some of the happiest people are those with strong faith. Then there are those that make me want to give up on faith as an idea, see “Tim Tebow” sport antics and wanting to push his agenda for Christianity and God helping him score 316 touchdowns!

Our society is losing the sense of honor and heroes. We call lots of people’s heroes, but who do we really follow or put our faith into?

Celebrity culture is yet another form of worship that some even find a mental disease associated with compulsive behavior. Yet you look at the definition for it and in some ways believing in a Kardashian (no I am not looking up if that is the correct spelling) seems no different than believing in Jesus. Same infatuation with a fabricated thing.

Yet I love Christianity in so many ways, I still feel comforted by praying “our father.”

Faith helps people get through life. It gives them energy to keep going, it gives them that sense of companionship when we feel all alone. Some would not be able to get up every day without it. So is there something wrong with those that don’t have it all?

Do we always need someone or something to worship? is it just part of the human makeup?

This topic does have more questions than answer I am afraid. One of the most important lessons I have come across in life is that to really learn you have to question. If you have faith in something, it is ok to question it… if you don’t it might not be that strong after all.

6 Responses to Do we need faith?

  1. Xavier Onassis

    You and I have discussed this many times and you know where I stand. My answer is some people need it, some don’t. I’m one of the ones that don’t.

    The purest definition of “faith” is “belief without evidence”. I think that can be a very dangerous thing in our world.

    Personally, I do not want any of our leaders or law makers making decisions that affect me based on their “faith” about something for which their is no real evidence.

    I think that laws and decisions about foreign policy, reproductiion, privacy, taxation, etc. should all, always be based on actual evidence, not a gut feeling.

    But as for personal matters, I see no real harm in faith, although I think it can lead to self delusions about reality. But if it helps you get through the day, far be it from me to kick the crutch out from underneath you.

    Faith is not something I need or rely on. I understand that it’s a big, random universe where things DON’T always happen for a reason. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and somethimes good things happen to bad people. I’m OK with all that.

    Miss you brother!

  2. Rather, I think there is mostly questions and no answer. But then again you’re good at writing a lot but saying absolutely nothing. Perhaps it’s simply because a blog post is completely one-sided where you cannot bounce an idea off of someone and make an appropriate retort. I think our personal discussion on faith, however, borders on the side of genius. I urge you to focus your writing instead of making it a general idea for a larger audience. It’s better to weed out those in your audience that simply do not comprehend rather than to miss the opportunity to hook one of us that will deploy an arsenal of wit.

    In any case, as a lifelong atheist (by definition a true atheist per the nature vs nurture theory being I was never exposed to religion, thus not damaged goods as a result) it is hard for me to categorize faith into something that I can grasp any more than it is for a blind person to describe their experience with sight. To me faith cannot be categorized as something logical because there is none behind it. Is it faith for me to step off a ladder and assume the ground is beneath my foot? Or is that purely circumstantial physics? Is it faith that if I fall backwards that you will catch me? Or is it simply the odds being in my favor because we have a trusting friendship? Perhaps faith is knowing that the dollar bill in my wallet is worth a dollar of my labor to both me as well as anyone that I trade it with? Our economics is considered faith-based, but what does that really mean? Faith is not something that ever enters my mind nor ever is used as a means for me to make one decision over another. To me faith is another form of control, albeit like the Matrix in a sense. But ultimately, no matter what it is, I believe faith exists in other people and I would never do anything to take that away. In response to atheism, a wise man once said, “If your intent is to make someone who believes instead believe nothing at all, you have gained nothing in your endeavor.” Spoken wisely by noneother than myself. It’s one of my favorite personal quotes.

  3. XO! I will see you soon my friend.

    Travis,

    Our friendship is something that not many people will understand and even though at times I think I should take the time to explain it, I figure it is an oxymoron to begin with. To say you know me better than most people is probably a good compliment to that friendship… we are so opposite, yet so alike. So I am going to leave the shinny hook alone for now and open up a little window into why our relationship works.

    We know more about each other at first because of circumstance, we did almost die together in a car; and then simply because we don’t assume what the other knows or thinks. We ask and challenge. I want to know what is going on in that head of your and what most see as calloused or jaded I see as an honest point of view.

    Beyond that, people think that I am overly agreeable and to a certain degree I can be. I do tolerate others. I do however don’t really care what others think about me all that much, let alone wanting people to like me or actively seeking it. Maybe that is why people do like me, because I don’t have to try… I just am.

    So all of that said, I have always had faith in our friendship! and like always, I win!

  4. If I didn’t let you win, you wouldn’t want to keep playing. Kind of like what happens when people play me in Mario Kart. I never get tired of winning, yet somehow people stop playing after awhile. :-D

    Love ya brother.

  5. Sam Harris has done extensive research into this exact subject, and I believe his studies have shown that there is a part of the brain that “craves” / needs this feeling of faith and understanding of our world and surroundings.

  6. Ah Faith.

    Once upon a time I was asked to give a sermon while our paster was on vacation. I has a high school sophomore and very active in the church. I based my sermon on a debate of faith I had read. Basically I expressed to the congregation that their was a difference between faith in the world we live in (the ground WILL be there when I step down) and Faith in something intangible (God in this case).

    I broke down faith into head vs heart, knowledge vs hope. At the end I summed up how faith in the Lord was what would get you thru the hardest times because it was a personal connection between an individual and the almighty. The congregation loved the sermon and right up to the day I left for boot camp there were people who assumed I was going to go into seminary and then the clergy.

    The thing is while I told those nice people what they wanted, maybe even needed, to hear I had no Faith myself. I still stand by the assertation that Faith in the divine will get a lot of people thru some real shit. As for me I am more agnostic probably than athiest. I have faith in my friends & family but not in religion or politics.

    Then there is the perversion of faith and it’s use as a blunt object on anybody different. That’s a topic for another day.

    N}:-

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