What do you hold dear? Really, I’m just asking you what you believe.
Have I mentioned that I love words? Today’s word is belief, which is derived from the German word glauben, meaning to hold dear, love. A lot of emotion is tied up in belief, but faith without thought isn’t faith worth writing home about.
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
— Richard Dawkins
Don’t let Dawkins be referring to you. Faith doesn’t have to be that way. Proper faith doesn’t evade thinking; it requires it. Thoughtful faith isn’t belief in spite of the lack of evidence; that would be foolish. Thoughtful faith is belief in spite of the lack of proof.
A belief isn’t an opinion. A belief is a matter of fact. Either it’s true, or it isn’t. It just cannot be proved or disproved by data currently available. For example, “Sasquatch stole the radishes out of my garden” isn’t an opinion. Either he did, or he didn’t. I just can’t prove it. (But I do live in the Pacific Northwest, and the radishes are gone, and I did get this photo of him in my garden, and he does look a bit peckish.)
But, seriously … If you think deeply about what you hold dear, you’ll end up either throwing it out or holding it even closer. Are you willing to take that risk?
This blog series is intended to prompt you to think through your faith, so that whatever faith you end up with is a thoughtful one. I’ll pose one question in each post and give you time to ponder the ponderables. If you’d like to share any of your thoughts, feel free to add a reply below. Be sure to subscribe to the blog to receive future posts in the series.
I hope you have more evidence for your faith than I have that Sasquatch stole my radishes. Ready? Let’s go!
Why do you believe what you believe? Why did you believe it in the first place, and why do you believe it today?