This blog will explore the concept of “Faith” in its broadest sense. The question I want to address is why human beings, throughout their existence, have virtually all felt the need to create an entity, or entities, that are imaginary. Historically, they called them gods, and there are as many different interpretations of that word as there have been human groupings.
Today, I would expand the concept to try and explain the inexplicable by including instances where obvious logic and evidence is totally at odds with what some people believe and promote. Faith, almost by definition, means belief without proof or evidence.
For example, “I have faith that Jesus Christ will save me if I build a personal relationship with him.” I have to ask how it is possible to have a personal relationship with someone who has been dead for 2,000 years?
In another example, “I have total faith in Donald Trump’s contention that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him by a fraudulent vote counting process.”
Perhaps bizarrely, that latter example is a case of faith in something that not only has no rational basis, it has multitudinous logic and evidence against it.
I exclude from this discussion the opportunistic politicians who see “faith” in Donald Trump as an easy way of getting elected. The question of whether they actually believe his lies is moot.
Evangelical Christian pastors, in particular TV evangelists, are another blatant example of believing in something that, in this case, is total money-making fraud. Yet, thousands of people go to their “churches” and give them their money every week.
I’ve always thought that the quickest and easiest way of making a fortune is to start a religion. I have the bullshit ability, but my problem would be keeping a straight face.
Why are people, in general, so willingly gullible? Intelligence, in an academic sense, seems to have no bearing on whether a person is that gullible or not. I am reminded of a case I read about many years ago. A couple, who were both research scientists with the best education money could buy, watched their only child die because their religious beliefs would not allow them to approve a blood transfusion. Education is obviously no qualifier for, or determinant of, faith.
I go back to my basic question. What drives the human impulse to create a faith in something for which there is no evidence, or logic, of its existence? In fact, in my example of faith in Donald Trump’s ridiculous claims of election fraud, there is not only no logic or evidence to support it, there is more than ample evidence to repudiate it, as I said above. AND THEY STILL BELIEVE!
Is it a basic human flaw that may lead to our extinction as a species? I certainly don’t have the answer to that but the way we seem to be going, that appears to be a distinct possibility.
Do we need to create something to blame, other than ourselves, for all the things that go wrong in our lives. That’s one explanation for the historical creation of gods. The other historical reason could be to explain incomprehensible events like volcanic eruptions, disastrous storms or just bad weather that destroys the current year’s food crop. In some ways, these historical creations do have an element of sense whereas faith in the right to bear arms, or faith in need for Donald Trump’s return to the White House, have no sense whatsoever associated with them.
I said at the beginning of this blog that this was a topic to be explored. I don’t expect to find an answer. Those that have an answer, will say they have faith. Those that don’t have an answer, will say the concept of faith makes no sense on any level. AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET.
Faith has almost certainly been at the center of more wars, killings, prejudice and general conflict than any other concept developed by humans. AND IT IS A PURELY HUMAN-DEVELOPED CONCEPT.
Is it our ultimate self-destructive nemesis?