No disrespect to Christians but evidently (like how heavy processing in this picture is evident), the prediction fell from grace. About a week ago, I left a comment on my polytechnic mentor’s status update. Just to digress, I wished I had done better for my final year project; the failure to conclude the experiment when the results were staring at us was appalling. Anyway, here is the extract:
Freethinkers reject faith as a valid tool of knowledge. Faith is the opposite of reason because reason imposes very strict limits on what can be true, and faith has no limits at all. A Great Escape into faith is no retreat to safety. It is nothing less than surrender. [Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith]. Dan served as a Christian preacher and musician for 19 years but left Christianity in 1984.
Me: faith, fundamental to life, no matter the inclination or position on the continuum. I would like to think it provides a stable sense of reality, mitigating dissonance. Religion as the opiate of the people – marx
Dr. L: Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits. [Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith]…Dan was no simpleton, run-of-the-mill preacher you sometimes get a dozen a dime here…his christian musical pieces are still sung in churches throughout the world; he holds a string of divinity degrees few cab match; his loss of faith was a result of a honest, sincere inward journey of self-discovery…he has no quarrels with those who still profess their faiths…but he is against using faith to steamroll all arguments and persuade the gullible to accept assertions on the absolute truth of any one religion…he is just a freethinker after quitting his christianity in 1984
Me: It is well cited. I am not a man of god, although I’m more than willing to share my inclination (on science) to people who want to listen; I’ll draw a distinction from steamrolling. faith however arbitrary, appears to pervasive amongst our species. it is on the notion of a supposed ‘faith’, that we see great divides and possibly terrorism, people willing to go to the means of an end for seemingly irrational causes, governed by faith alone. I’m afraid his stand against the collective steamroller appears futile. I’m not too sure if I understood the gist of the citation, but thanks for going easy on me! I’ll pick up this book soon.
I wasn’t sure if I should engage a PhD in a debate but the conversation ended curtly like that, and I wonder if it is due to the immaturity of my point of view. Sharing the same sentiments with the author, I am against using faith to steamroll all arguments and persuade the gullible to accept assertions on the absolute truth of any one religion. A good example would be the soothsayer responsible for causing significant panic. Or we could cite the Pope. These are people in positions of significant power, capable of swaying masses, aligning the masses to one supposed unequivocal truth. They speak like they reside on the upper echelons of divinity.
Such musings of mine, are likely meaningless. The same species is uniquely diverse; however we continue to shed blood and lives over ideological and religious differences. Flip the dusty pages of history and you will find dust still unsettled on issues still pervasive today. Consider the follies and vagaries throughout the entire existence of mankind, it is clear that the only way forward is together (not seen in lobbying against financial reforms, bickering over carbon taxes and emissions). If I may audaciously cite terrorism, it isn’t intrinsically different; the notion of a holy war is preached to willing listeners as an absolute truth and the means to an end.
Ideological and religious differences are then, an innate characteristic unique to our species, the source of our strengths and consequently the bane of our collective existence.