Question 19.2

FAITH is humanity, unencumbered.

It is existential theory, it is religion, and it is philosophy.

FAITH is a box of toothpicks, and it is necessary.

We believe what we see, what can be proven, and what has been passed down.

The rest of life, death, and the universe is understood through belief structures that

(1) are passed down (religion, superstition, covenants),

(2) created en mass (cults, new age beliefs, politics), or

(3) via the individual (ideologies, choices, meditation).

This is done to bring us comfort, and a sense of understanding of the 'unknown' factors that exist in our world. We are driven by both fear and tradition to FAITH, and in some cases these ideas are needs.

These wants, urges, and needs become the beliefs that hold up our inner worlds. Toothpicks.
They are the stilts upon which we build our homes, with our foundations and our families firmly settled upon them, where we expect them to remain strong, and unwavering.

Toothpicks. Both as frail and as strong as they are necessary, and universal.

And with the Gods of others, many will pick their teeth.

Question 19.1

The culmination of all the definitions for "faith" I could find = “to trust or believe without reason”.

I have a tough time separating faith from reason. I have faith in reason. I also have reason in faith. I have reason to have faith. Remove reason from faith and you have an ignorant child, remove faith from reason and you have an ignorant adult.

I believe that “faith” and “reason” are different, yet interlocking, parallel and equivalent ways of knowing.

Everybody has faith in one form or another and to differing degrees - whether they admit it or not [faith in their spouse, their drugs, their alarm clock, their deity, their insurance, themselves, etc.]. This gives evidence that we are not hard-wired to have tunnel vision to make decisions simply based on tangibles and reason alone. We use faith to trust, to a degree, those things which are out of our immediate control. Faith is part of the checks and balances of one’s internal government. Reason is that faculty of mind that is able to judge things whether they be true or not. You cannot reason with an unreasonable person and it is unfair to have a war of wits with an unarmed person. Reason has become a prejudice for the ignorant, the worst form of prejudice because reason is the only instrument for liberation from prejudice. To believe that we are to have faith and not reason is to have a theology of ignorance. The fact is that reason and faith validate each other.

Most associate faith with spiritual or religious beliefs that extend beyond this life and world.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" -- Hebrews 11:1

Faith in an unseen noun or verb can be construed as a comfort and a gift – or dismissed as a placebo meant to lend a false sense of well-being or illogical consolation. Either way, faith exists for the benefit of the faithful, just as a judgment occurs for the benefit of the judged.

“We look not at things seen, but things unseen; for things seen are temporary, but things unseen are eternal.” -- 2 Corinthians 4:18

Regarding faith as it relates to belief in God, some have it, some don’t. I possess it. I have faith in many things, but the biggest avenue of faith that I have is in the love of God and the Truth of the eventual universal salvation of all.

"The Father has given ALL things into the Son's hands" (John 3:35) and so "ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God" -- Luke 3:6

Faith is one of the many internal compasses that help steer people’s decisions and disposition in life. The power and size of the compass depends on the individual and their thoughts and experiences as is the state of faith being gained, maintained, or lost.

I have many reasons for why I have my faith and how my faith has evolved.

I think a role of faith should be to use reason to ask more questions in order to enhance both our reason and our faith, to seek inner chambers within ourselves that are in need of occupancy and to attempt to make a greater connection to that which is known but unseen.

"In the end there are three things that will last: faith, hope, and love…and the greatest of these is love." --1 Corinthians 13:13

My Faith Sherpa is on my right, my Reason Sherpa is on my left. One without the other is a tough climb.

Question 19

What is the role of faith?

Question 18.5

Mere Existence

Obliges Us

To Nothing

Except Maybe
To Attempt to Survive

Obligation comes not from existence
But a sense of self and who you are.

I feel obliged to have some self respect then follow the golden that order, otherwise you'd hate for me to do unto you if I think shit of myself.

Question 18.4

Given that I am, I am obligated to preform two simple duties:

  1. Recognizing my own mortality I find it my responsibility to procreate and keep my line within this existence.
  2. I must strive to leave to world in better condition than I have found it. I need to pass this along to those I bring forth (from my loins as it is) and instill in them the skills and talents to continue my program and mission.

Although my obligations, as they appear above, seem simple on the surface, their execution requires a complex set of actions, thoughts, and connections.

Question 18.3

To be or not.... well, I am. To not, though, is part of being. Death is a natural part of life. In this way, our finite venture here has created a sense of urgency about our being. We only have so much time... what shall we do with it? For most, this time is spent selfishly, and this is not always a negative thing. It is your time to do with what you choose.

However, all those people doing what they choose require a code of ethics to govern behavior, so that one person's bliss does not create another's hell. In a loose sense, laws try to do this, but I think this question begs a deeper meaning, and while I cannot speak for others, I will do what I can to explain what that responsibility is and how it works in regard to our existence.

1. The golden rule is always a good one. But beyond kindness and respect, there should also be a withholding of judgement, and a deeper sense of empathy. Yes, that person can be a bully, but why do they behave that way? What is it inside of them that is hurt or broken that requires them to lash out in such a way? We are nothing so much as we are severely human. And we should consider, when acting with others, that pain is at the root of almost all negative behavior, and I believe we should all try to be more sympathetic to one another for that reason. We all have pain, and we are all capable of forgiveness. This simple concept could change the world.

Kindness, after all, is being nice to someone who doesn't deserve it. That moment of respect may be the thing to change the course of their day, or even their life. Our responsibility as humans is to be kind, respectful, honest, and fair, whenever possible.

2. I try to help whenever I can. I wish I did more, but my selfishness is great, and our culture makes it difficult to do more than work, sleep and consume. It really takes a concentrated effort to do your part to improve the world, and I truly respect those who do. Volunteering, protesting, recycling, using enviro friendly cleaners, whatever you can do, must be done.

3. We should take care of one another, and the planet. We spend so much time in social gridlock that we forget to take time to really connect to one another, and without that strength of connection, the relationship suffers. All relationships contain love, but many could be much deeper, fulfilling, forgiving, and powerful. One such powerful relationship can change your life and you should spend your time seeking these masterpieces of human interaction.

4. I believe we should Choose. Live with purpose. Do not waste the choices and opportunities given to you, but spend your time accumulating experiences, exploring who you are, seeking to understand the motivations and behaviors of others, and moving through life with our eyes up, on the prize, and not down, at our map.

5. Live forward. The past may have built us, and it may hurt, but learning to forgive yourself and others can be the most powerful thing we can learn. So get on it, and get help if you need it, but life should be experienced as unencumbered as possible. Live forward.

6. Support human rights. Abuse of power is rampant, and should be punishable by Guantanamo standards--especially when it comes to politics and foreign policy. Use your politics to make the world a better place. It isn't a perfect system, but it is all we have, an your voice should be heard-- unless you are a fundy or a republican. Then you don't count on the grounds that your IQ is lower than a carrot. These carrots can be executed in Texas. Case in point.