5/23/07

Is "faith" an evil moral tenant?

Is "faith" an evil moral tenant? Is it the core DNA of mankind's most malignent thought virus?

We as a society are constantly admonishing skeptics to "have faith", but do we really know what we're saying? When asked to "have faith", you're really being asked to believe something without evidence. There is, in my opinion, no thought-concept more decaying, more subversive and dangerous than that. Websters Dictionary defines faith as: "(1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof " . That may seem benign enough, especially when thought about in the traditional use: have faith in god, in family, in love...but put it to work in a more nefarious use: "have faith that I love you even though I beat you sometimes, that you have job security for your sacrifice, that things will work out somehow". Even more vitriolic and dangerous: "have faith that honey dipped virgins await you in heaven for suicidal sacrifice".

It's all connected.

How can we fault the obvious logical errors of others if we ourselves submit to faith? How can someone's faithful misguided attempt at salvation and freedom from a miserable life on earth, by taking a leap of faith, be so condemnable when we, many of us vastly more fortunate, error in the same color, just on a smaller less impactful scale?

Would innocence of a similar transgression require absolute proof for every decision we make? No. But what about trading faith for "confidence"? Confidence isn't absolute belief, it's relative belief.

I can't help but have confidence in the likelihood that a person, a family, a country and world, would live much more at fluid-peace and greater happiness if the standard of belief (for who we love, what religion we do or don't choose, what the moral "right way is) were raised from proofless faith, to provable confidence.