The question of faith
I’ve been an anti-theist for quite some time. It seemed cool; to question spirituality at the altar of science, to challenge elders to prove the rationale behind rituals, and to revel in the halo of modernity. It felt intellectual.
Was it? My beliefs have changed over time.
When do we need to push through? In times of clarity or confusion? And how do you keep going when nothing seems to be working? When you’re going through hell, you need to move quickly. How do you do that, then?
Faith helps make sense of suffering. It helps to acknowledge the existence of a higher entity that might be testing you for a greater reward. It turns tragedy into a challenge and despondence into hope. Factuality is irrelevant concerning personal faith; the insistence that intellectual correctness superseded individual beliefs is morally wrong.
Skepticism attracts only until the hardships come knocking.
The manifestation of faith interests me more. Virtues like courage, tolerance, self-control, and justice have universal appeal. Some find it helpful to summon this virtue by praying to a meditating deity sitting atop tiger skin amidst the mountains, with a serpent around his neck and a crescent moon in his locks—an efficient and effective practice.
The question is whether the significance of the prayer is dependent on factual correctness. Is it wise to question the scientific validity of faith if it helps the masses through adversity? What are the gains? The truth, I suppose? So, does the quest for truth overpower the search for meaning? Which is the greater virtue, intelligence or empathy?
Argumentation is good; this very article is constructed from arguments. But arguments on personal beliefs must conform not just to the ideals of logic but also to the pertinence of intent. Correct statements aren’t noble unless they’re made for the right reasons.
This article is an exercise in understanding. It attempts to contextualize the relevance of faith as an entity independent of cold logic within its domain. That’s not to question the importance of calculative thinking. But to examine the application of the practice in every human domain and to check whether some subjects are independent of it.
It is a complex exercise and naturally lacks a universally acceptable answer. But even then, it makes for good thinking.
Thanks for reading. Cheers.