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A view of what faith is

(81 Posts)
Lilygran Tue 23-Dec-14 22:41:34

I thought this was an interesting approach to defining what faith is. For people who keep asking what it is, exactly.

Galen Tue 23-Dec-14 23:30:07

All I can say, along with 'doubting Thomas'
Is 'Lord ibelieve, help thou my unbelief'
I don't usually state my Christianity, as I find that it is unnecessary to daily life, and of no interest to other people.
Personally, I find that my actions as a result of my faith are no different from those of any right thinking or charitable religion!
In fact, I can find no difference between 'religious' people or any people who adhere to a moral and humanistic tolerant way of life!
I do not support extremist opinions or actions on behalf of any religion or viewpoint.
Tolerance to all should be the rule!

Grannyknot Wed 24-Dec-14 07:19:35

" attentively every day". I like that. Thanks for posting, I was just yesterday trying to explain to my - new, we're just getting to know each other - SIL what I mean when I say "You gotta have faith".

thatbags Wed 24-Dec-14 08:14:01

Interesting article, written from the heart. My take is that I feel all those things (samples below) without religious faith. If 'faithful' people think atheism lacks all this, it's no wonder they seem afraid of atheism.
When I told my parish priest I was no longer a christian (i.e. had no religious faith), he said I was "taking the easy way out". He could not have been more wrong. Having no religous faith has not made my life less rich in the kind of feelings described in the article.

"elusive experience of wonder and mystery"

"[Have you] never felt overwhelmed by, and in some way inadequate to, an experience in your life, have never felt something in yourself staking a claim beyond yourself, some wordless mystery straining through word to reach you?"

(not sure what he means by "straining through word"; I can guess, but...)

"moments of wonder and clearest consciousness, which suggested a dimension of existence beyond the everyday"

(I just don't call that dimension god)

"Religion is what you do with these moments of over-mastery in your life"

(Same could be said of scientific enquiry)

"[Faith is] a state of motivation, a desire to reunite with that glimpsed moral beauty and incorporate it into everyday living."

(Moral beauty is equally available to atheists, as is trying to incorporate it into everyday life).

Grannyknot Wed 24-Dec-14 09:30:31

bags so you must practice "faith-based atheism" smile

I struggle to explain - or understand really - where my faith comes from, because I don't think I'm an atheist and I'm not religious either. I just am. Like Pooh.

Confused but happy from Tunbridge Wells. grin

soontobe Wed 24-Dec-14 09:36:34

There is even more to it than that.
God can be a rock.
God can be assurance.
God can be a real help in trouble.
God can protect us if He chooses.

And a whole lot more.

We would like as many people as possible to experience that.

And it doesnt really stop there.
It can secure eternity.
It can make us a lot less scared of dying.

whenim64 Wed 24-Dec-14 10:04:38


I, and many others who don't believe in a god, take responsibility for identifying our rocks, our assurances, and who can help in trouble. As for protecting us, if he chooses, the less said about that in this troubled world, the better.

Perhaps you would like as many people as possible to experience that, but it isn't your choice.

Where is your evidence that it can secure eternity? And what would secured eternity mean for you or me? It has no relevance for me as an individual who is just here for a short time and will then become stardust again.

I'm not scared of dying and I won't be railroaded into being religious just in case!

Mishap Wed 24-Dec-14 10:05:05

"God can protect us if He chooses." - can't imagine why he would ever not choose to do so - that simply seems perverse - but there are countless examples where (if you believe the original statement) he chooses not to do so. Gives me the shudders.

I respect others' faith without understanding what it is where it comes from.

Moral behaviour (or aspiring to it) is not the sole province of those with faith (as others have rightly pointed out) - so I am not sure it matters at all for human happiness and the smooth running of society. Whatever your impetus to behave kindly and with decency, all that matters is that you do so.

Eternity is the province of those who follow on from us. I am not afraid of death - as far as I am concerned my atoms will return to the stardust and I will be as I was before I was born.

whenim64 Wed 24-Dec-14 10:06:42

Crossed posts, mishap! smile

soontobe Wed 24-Dec-14 10:08:02

I am not sure that anyone wants me to talk about Heaven and Hell.

Elegran Wed 24-Dec-14 10:10:23

Best discussed with your spiritual advisor.

GillT57 Wed 24-Dec-14 10:31:26

Mishap I love your comments about atoms returning to stardust. sunshine. I am a non -believer, and happy to be so, and also happy for those who have religious belief.

soontobe Wed 24-Dec-14 10:33:13

A lot of christians can do it themselves by reading their bibles.
Spiritual advisors are an add on.

thatbags Wed 24-Dec-14 11:03:58

Interesting, gknot... your phrase "faith-based atheism". I haven't heard that before and I'm not sure what I have faith in — Life probably, or Nature, or The Universe. You may be right but I'm not sure I'd call it faith because what I think changes when the evidence based on human observations changes.

Woteva smile

Grannyknot Wed 24-Dec-14 12:01:36

Hehe bags that's because I just made it up (the phrase). I like it too... [tchchristmas]

Grannyknot Wed 24-Dec-14 12:02:05

tchchristmas! I've completely lost the plot now tchgrin

Ariadne Wed 24-Dec-14 13:13:58

You can talk about heaven and hell as much as you like, soontobe (if you think it is relevant) but that is just what you believe to be the truth.

What is being discussed here is the nature of faith, which needn't, of course, be in a Christian God or, indeed, in any God at all. "Faith" is a wide reaching term, and not confined to any specific set of beliefs. God is not the topic, necessarily.

"Faith based atheism" eh? Interesting concept, GK ( have you found the plot or is it lurking under the mince pies?)

soontobe Wed 24-Dec-14 13:28:40

Heaven exists.
Hell exists.

No one will want to go to hell, but some will be there[not at all talking about anyone on earth specifically]
We will all get judged.

Most of us will have died. Although we sleep we do not turn into stardust.
When we are judged by Jesus, some will go to Heaven, and some to Hell.
Some of the people who go to Hell will never say sorry for anything they have done wrong in their lives.

Heaven goes on for eternity.
Hell goes on for eternity.

This post is unpalatable for many.
I myself dont like writing it, but even churches water down the message. I myself, do not think it does people any favours.
Because if they dont know, how can people make their own personal choices.

thatbags Wed 24-Dec-14 13:39:58

Is your hell for everyone who isn't a christian, soon?

Elegran Wed 24-Dec-14 13:56:29

Even for non-Christians who have devoted their lives to serving others?

Is salvation only for those who make much of how much they love and worship god, but not for those like Abou Ben Adhem.

When the recording angel tells him that he is making a list of those who love the Lord -

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

soontobe Wed 24-Dec-14 14:02:13

Becoming a christian requires two things.

Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God raised him from the dead.

After that, there are things that God would like christians to do.
But if a person becomes a christians moments before they die, they will still go to Heaven.

whenim64 Wed 24-Dec-14 14:08:11

Er.......isn't there something about Gransnet not permitting sermonizing? I won't preach at you, soon but please could you do your preaching somewhere else? Before we know it, it'll be coming from every direction. hmm

whenim64 Wed 24-Dec-14 14:10:28

Here it is - under Netiquette:

Religion & Spirituality

We have a forum for this and we welcome posts on all religions and none. We are, though, a discussion forum, not a site for sermons.

thatbags Wed 24-Dec-14 14:11:13

Answer my question, please, soon? Yes or no?

thatbags Wed 24-Dec-14 14:12:11

Thanks, when. It is getting a bit much, isn't it?