Having faith is more useful to mankind than logical thinking
Published: Monday, February 28, 2011
Updated: Monday, February 28, 2011 22:02
Strict rationalists mock the notion of faith. What reason do we have to trust anything that requires us to believe it … to believe it? Circular reasoning practically defines the concept.
Hypocrites clutch logic as a security blanket for controversial views and follow their feelings in private.
The honest person realizes people grow only with faith, for one must approach every new idea with a blind trust that it is something worth his time.
The Greeks have four words for love - agape, eros, philia and storge.
Eros defines the deep, passionate love one feels in romantic relationships.
Young teenagers have no concept whatsoever of this kind of love, but no one calls them illogical for believing in it.
Common wisdom says love requires trust. Why? Because being right is not as important as being happy.
Any romantic alive would trade a lifetime of logic for what the poet Silvia Plath calls the "fierce brief fusion, which dreamers call real, and realists, illusion."
I have faith in heartfelt music, lose myself in fantasy novels and believe in connections with strangers who may not feel the same way.
I have faith in my imagination, which takes me down more roads to joy and creativity than science ever will. And I do not argue for light imagination akin to children's games, but for radically liberated imagination.
David Bowie had the right idea in wholly immersing himself in imagined personalities.
Soldiers and mythical heroes are deemed noble for following their duty without hesitation.
Where would Harry Potter be if he constantly halted his crusade to reexamine evidence? His unjustified impulse both saved his friends' lives and made his own far more interesting.
Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins ridicules faith as "the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence."
He finds the virtue of faith fundamentally dangerous, but I find the demand for evidence unrealistically forbidding. Evidence-based decisions are the ultimate authoritarian telling people what to do, for they must adhere to the truth of the universe.
This Orwellian approach to behavior is both undesirable and unworkable. It denies beautiful characteristics of human nature such as rebellion and autonomy.
People need to spend the majority of their lives under the illusion of independence.
Evidence happens to exist showing many of the risks in life as worth taking, but no one considers this evidence before making decisions. People simply have faith in the imagined future they want. Militant rationalists mistakenly target this faith as the culprit for religious violence and scientific retardation.
Dogmatism and disregard for evidence cause these problems, not faith alone. Religious people do not cause problems for society.
Dogmatists who arrogantly impose their beliefs on others, with claims of universal knowledge unavailable to most of humanity, cause disasters like the Sept. 11 attacks.
In the same vein, those who refuse to consider evidence that challenges their beliefs should not argue for the well-being of the public.
Their selfish, protective agendas impede scientific curricula in schools and tether rational thought in children.
People can reconcile faith with public opinion by willingly exposing themselves to objective evidence, for then their religions will not deny the Earth's orbit around the Sun or the evolutionary history of modern species.
One can demonstrate most unjustified beliefs to be impossible or unlikely.
So far I have not made any major life-changing decisions about faith.
I certainly revere the right to do so, though, because impulsive dreams make life worth living.
Faith may be illogical at times, but it is not wrong.