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Re: faith

Posted by alexandra_k on October 14, 2004, at 0:04:56

In reply to Re: faith alexandra_k, posted by rayww on October 13, 2004, at 10:27:06

>I'm glad bob allowed this discussion to work its way through.

Me too. I was starting to think that I should just leave the faith board alone!

> I wonder if people such as myself, and others who have conscientiously chosen to follow a religious path are still considered to be brainwashed, mind bent, dogmatized, or blindly deceived.

I know that some people think that which particular religion one chooses is due to social and cultural factors rather than one hitting apon the 'right' or 'true' religion. That what religion one chooses is more a matter of socialisation - which perhaps means that ones religion, like perhaps ones morals aren't so much a 'conscious choice' but are rather accepted becuase one doesn't know any different. This is supposed to be supported by the finding that what religion people are tends to have more to do with what others in the region believe. There are 'clusters' of different religious faiths around the globe, rather than everyone converging on a single one (which some expect would happen if there was one true religion) or the different religions being randomly distributed if everyone made a conscious choice.

I do not think that this follows, however. We do not just blindly follow our parents morals, and we do not just blindly follow our parents faiths. If they do not do it for us, we are likely to choose an alternative path, but if we find them satisfying then why not just consider it a choice that we have made?

If we could somehow get through to the masses that both sides to faith are acceptable, and as you say, realize that everyone has freedom to choose their own path.

I hear you :-)

> If something works for you, then you should embrace it with your whole heart. If it is not working, then have the faith to abolish the pride that keeps you hung up on it, and take courage to try a new path. But, keep searching till you find a path that works for you.

Yes indeed.

> My concern is that far too many people give up before they have thoroughly investigated the options, then turn to drugs or other false stimulants, rather than face their own reality. Reality can be the most painful dwelling, but through faith, all pain can be used to our best good. I would add to faith, hope and charity.

I think that religion can become an escape from reality in much the same way that drugs etc can be. Both can be used to assist, and both can be used to ones detriment. I do hear you, though, that some people seem to choose a path that is likely to lead to pain and suffering. We must simply conclude (like Socrates) that they know not what they do as nobody would choose bad willingly.

> Charity is love received from God and given to others. I wonder if we can truly love without charity, and if we can possess charity without faith, or faith without hope.

I guess I would like to say that charity doesn't have to be received from god (seeing as I am an athiest), as if I didn't say that I would be left having to conclude that there is no charity! Maybe reflecting on ones concept of god results in a certain kind of charity, however.

> Would the measure of your faith be your works?
> Would the measure be found in the "why" you do what you do, and in the motivation, and in your thoughts?

I would have to say both of the above. I would say that the measure of faith and the measure of belief are ones practices and activities. (Including the verbal activities of reporting on what one believes and / or has faith in). Morality seems to have a lot to do with ones intentions: if I do something 'good' for evil purposes then it seems that we should indeed take intention into account with respect to deciding what is moral.

> I hope you aren't offended when I share my scripture definitions of ideas and theory.

Of course not!

> My point in drawing this all together under the umbrella of faith, is to make the connection between faith, hope, and charity with how we treat our fellow men. Good works is charity defined, if your motivation for doing things is love.

That sounds really good.

> A person who does not know or love God can certainly know and love people and their community and their world.

I love you too.
Thankyou for sharing your thoughts, faiths, and beliefs. And thankyou for accepting my atheism without complaining to Dr. Bob and getting me banished from the faith board. I do not mean to offend - only to deepen our understanding. You have helped me deepen mine. Thankyou.




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