Faith is a confidence or trust one places in a person or thing or idea, that is not based upon proof that such confidence is warranted. Faith is an important ingredient in religion, since we cannot see God, nor do we normally have proof of God’s existence. We may also have faith in another person, trusting a person’s friendship or fidelity.
We may even have faith in a thing, such as a car, trusting that it is designed and constructed by skilled workers so that it will perform safely and efficiently for a reasonable amount of time.
There is also such a thing as “blind faith,” which is the kind of trust that we place that harbors no doubt, that asks no questions, but blindly follows without wanting or needing any evidence that such trust is warranted.
The question then becomes, to the outside observer, is such blind faith a wise or healthy approach, or does it become merely a defensive mechanism which can help justify belief in almost anything, even that which is untrue, or even evil? Such obstinacy may be a detriment to the true building of faith.
Faith is Not Afraid of Questions
Fundamentalism relies upon blind faith. The person who straps explosives on his body and blows himself up along with everyone around him and believes he will be rewarded in heaven by such an act is proceeding on blind faith.
There is no questioning, but a total reliance upon what he reads in a book or what somebody else told him. In order for faith to be strengthened, the healthy rational mind seeks some kind of evidence that its faith is justified. Blind faith is never justified. It just is.
I submit that to be proud of one’s blind faith is proof of nothing except ignorance. The way blind faith is instilled is to shame the believer if he seeks evidence. He is told, “You have no faith if you need proof.” But know this; the truth is not afraid of questions.
Faith is Built and is Tested
True faith has two components or two sides, it is built and it is tested. Faith is something that one does not necessarily start with. Faith grows with experience and with testing, by asking questions and satisfying the rational mind. Blind faith does not.
To shame another with accusations of infidelity without at least a basis of rational substance is anathema to the building of faith. I’m not talking about scientific proof, for there is no scientific proof for certain ideas. And this is why faith is important and useful.
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Faith is a necessary component on our journey to find the truth, to negotiate the unfathomable, to explore the supernatural, which we may find to be quite natural. Have faith, but watch out for the pride of ignorance. Instead, look for evidence to help build your faith.