About faith

The faith of a human is the individual set of his or her beliefs and convictions. It is a more or less stable and immutable part of their personality, but it can evolve, grow or eventually experience fundamental changes.

faith

The individual set of beliefs and convictions of a human.

inner voice

The “voice” within you that tells you intuitively how to decide in a given situation.

faith question

A question for which there is no scientifically valid answer and which therefore can have controversial answers.

culture

A set of traditions, conventions and habits shared by a given group of humans. Any given culture implies and cultivates a given set of values and convictions.

A set of ideals that makes a group of humans cooperate efficiently by creating “artificial instincts”, which accustome individuals “to think in certain ways, to behave in accordance with certain standards, to want certain things, and to observe certain rules”. – adapted from Harari, Sapiens, p.163

faith culture

A culture based on a given vision of the world and on a given set of answers to a set of faith questions. This can be a formal religion or a less formal culture.

Your faith is more than your inner voice. Your inner voice might be wrong because your are not perfect.2.

Christians also use the word faith to designate faith in the Gospel. A faithful is a human who “understood” the Good News and decided to believe in it.3

Of course there no scientific evidence for the assumption that the Good News is true. But there isn’t any scientific evidence against it, either. That’s why every human can freely decide whether to believe in it or not.

I disagree with people who say that religions are obsolete. Atheism and agnosticism are as much a faith culture as any religious culture. Atheists and agnostics “believe” in the teachings propagated by their culture as much as Christians believe in the Good News.

Don’t mix up “knowing” and “believing”. Mixing up these two can lead to idolatry, which is “always an attempt to establish certainty where it is both unwarranted and unearned”1.

to know

To assume correctness of a statement because it is scientifically proven.

to believe

To assume correctness of a statement despite the lack of scientific evidence.

“I believe in this” means “I know that I don’t know whether it’s true, but I do as if it was.”

You can say “I know that my leg is hurting” or “I know that Earth is a planet in a solar system” or “I know that this car is too expensive for me” because these statements can be verified using some variant of the scientific method.

But you cannot (validly) say “I know that we must raise the wages in educational sector” or “I know that God exists” because these statements cannot be verified using scientific method.

To believe is more than to assume. To believe in God is more than to assume he exists. It is a conscious decision to educate and to train my spirit so that I trust in God. To believe is a lifelong learning process.

Football is a culture but not a religion because it does not embrace all aspects of life and has no holy scripture.

religion

A collection of teachings expressing a coherent view of the world and stored in a Holy Scripture.

A comprehensive worldview defined by a set of holy scriptures.

Buddhism is a religion because it is comprehensive and has holy scriptures. Capitalism is a comprehensive worldview but has no holy scripture.

Holy Scripture

A document that is used by a religion as a foundation for their teachings without discussing its reliability.

Footnotes

1

Idolatry and Abortion by Vance Morgan on Patheos, 2020-02-02).

2

That’s why in case of conflict between your inner voice and that of other people, your should rather “die” (give in) than hurt these other people. Of course that’s just theory; reality shows that we can fail to give in when we should, or that we hurt other people because we didn’t care enough.

3

“Faith is a decision, a judgment that is fully and deliberately taken in the light of a truth that cannot be proven–it is not merely the acceptance of a decision that has been made by somebody else.” Thomas Merton (1915-1968)