It is not my intention to prove or disprove any article of faith that another may have. Only if the other persons faith interferes with my personal liberty, health and happiness, would I consider challenging that faith. What another thinks and believes is usually “None of my Business”. So what is faith anyways?
The Dark Side of Faith
You see a bottle of poison on the table. You are afraid to touch it. Fear keeps you from drinking the poison. If you would have drank the poison you would have died. What saved your life was fear. Fear in this instance was a positive thing.
Now your trusted friend comes along and tells you that it is OK to drink the poison. He says that nothing will happen. You believe him and have faith in him. You drink and you die. What killed you. Was it the poison, or was it the faith you had in your friend.
Faith can overcome fear. It can either be a good thing, or, as above, a bad thing. Living by faith and faith alone is risky business thou. In the absence of certainty most of us live by faith in one way or the other.
Faith is a understanding or belief that something is True, without any proof. Faith is the absence of Absolute certainty
In the absence of absolute certainty I rely on faith. How can anyone be 100% sure of anything? There is always the possibility that I can be wrong about things, and yes I am often wrong. So I do run on some degree of faith most of the time.
Faith involves risk
Millions of people fly on airplanes every day. The chances of crashing are, lets say 10 million to one. Can I go on that flight with absolute certainty that nothing will happen? Only if I was unaware of the possible danger (a fool). But I can put my faith in the odds of surviving. 10million in favor vs 1 against. Its a good chance I will arrive at my destination, But still, there is a very small risk involves. 9,999,000 does not = 10,000,000.
Faith is actually Gambling
What of religious faith? Many put great store into their faith. Should not be a problem for most. But what if someone believes that by blowing themselves up and killing people around them, they will get into heaven? That would interfere with my health and happiness for sure. This is where some others faith will cause me harm.
I can not live on this world with blind faith that I will be safe all the time. There are predators and dangers all around every day. Cancer and disease are possible. Car wrecks and dog bites are all possible. Having faith in ‘god’ to me means having a healthy FEAR of what can happen.
Old Ideas on Faith
I was 35 before I seriously looked at the word faith for the first time. I asked myself what it meant. My head filled with images of churches and priests and masses of believers with their Bibles. It brought up images of cults and masses of mindless followers, each one sworn by oath to keep the faith, or die trying.
That was a rather limited understanding of the word FAITH. No one has a monopoly on faith, not even religions. Everyone has faith of some kind. The question is faith in “what”? And second, if faith is absolute acceptance without proof, how can the faithful be so sure that they are not wrong? I don’t think they can. Faith without works is dead, and the proof that ones faith was “solid and unquestionable truth” will be proven by the end result. Sometimes this proof is immediate, and other times it may take years, or even the end of life, to prove right or wrong.
Depending on what is at stake, am I willing to risk it all with nothing more than faith to guide me. Would I sell everything and bet on a horse at the races, just because I had faith the horse will win? Well, If I’m prepared to loose it all, then I guess so. But what of the rewards if I am right. Yes that is a lure in itself. 100 to 1 on a 10,000 bet = lots of money.
I live by faith every day. In the absence of absolute certainty, I am left to rely on Faith. It means I just don’t know for sure. Its a bit of a gamble. I probably will win , but I cannot be certain that I will not loose. Can I afford to be wrong?