Monday, September 24, 2012

Misunderstanding faith.

What is faith, exactly?

Using the Potter Stewart method, you’ll know what it is when you see/feel it.  That may work for a legal/moral issue, but for a word so fundamental to our lives if not our vocabularies, it seems lacking.

Let’s start somewhat psychotically by going into what it’s not – but more specifically what it’s often confused to be.
  • Faith is not simply doubt about doubt. 
  • Faith is not a sense of ambiguousness mixed with hope.
  • Faith is not an abdication of making a choice or a decision.
  • Faith is not belief; no portion of it is grounded in empirical evidence.
  • Faith is not wishing something to be different than the evidence would indicate it is.
And thus, we’re back to Potter Stewart and yet not good enough and language is an impediment.
  • Faith is an awareness that something is right or true in the absence of proof.
  • Faith is a sense that points toward justice without explaining why.
Maybe its both those things.   Years of trying to articulate it have come to this and yet, still a feeling of inadequacy lingers.

Maybe defining it is unnecessary because talking about it is unnecessary.  One person’s faith is another’s lunacy/heresy.

Here's to lunacy/heresy.  What would the world be without lunatic/heretics?

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