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Can Skeptics Have Faith?

Can Skeptics Have Faith?

Iíve never really had much faith, even as a young child. I guess itís because Iíve never really felt faith, known it.

What exactly is faith? What does it feel like to know faith? How do people find it? Iíve heard of people finding religion, maybe a spiritual path. Iíve heard tales of Aha! moments, epiphanies, awakenings, enlightenment, and truth. Are those the breadcrumbs along the path of faith? Or is faith the breadcrumb along the path toward these equally elusive states of being?

More importantly, why does faith seem to exist somewhere above and beyond my natural capabilities to think and reason? And why canít I get there? Actually, why wonít I go there?

Sure, I understand the basic definitions of the word faith, straight from Oxfordóhaving complete trust or confidence in someone or something, or strong belief in God or in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Complete trust? Do people really experience complete trust? Whatís that like?

Spiritual apprehension? In this case, I take apprehension to mean understanding and not fear, although fear seems to be a common factor among many religionsóitís a common factor among humans, isnít it?

These definitions merely add to my state of wonderment about faith.

The skeptic in me wonders, Do I have complete trust in anyone or anything? Even myself? I honestly canít answer that right now. I donít think so, though.

You see, the world is an ever-changing place, especially its inhabitants, actually its people, including me. My life among them is ever-changing as well. My mind changes constantly, sometimes instantly. In fact, I am a temporary being. How do I know that what I think I believe today, Iíll actually know to be true tomorrow? Iím reasoning on a daily, moment-to-moment basis. I am a new, and hopefully improved, being each moment.

But I see what faith does for people, the peace of just knowing, without the heavy burden of evidence and reason, that it brings, and I think, Iíd like to know a little of that. Sometimes I would. Really. But I canít just make myself understand and know faithómy mind, despite my daily practice in training it, is what it isóand itís not so easily managed or calmed. It thinks, sometimes over thinks, and reasons.

Faith? Let me think, even reason, it over.

You know, come to think of it, there is one little something in which I have a great amount of faithóitís called love. And the evidence that love exists, that itís real and true, is kindness.

Now, I could look up the Oxford definitions of love and kindness, but I donít want to because I already understand and know love, and Iíve seen and experienced kindness. I have. Havenít you?

In my everyday little moments, call them what you want, I have found faith in love and kindness.

Iíd venture to say that Iíve reasoned my way toward understanding and knowing faith, simply through witnessing acts of loving kindness. I have given and I have received. In loving kindness, I have complete trust. I have faith. I know it.

In whom or what do you have faith? And what are your reasons?

Read more: Guidance, Inspiration, Life, Peace, Self-Help, Spirit, , , , ,

by Midge Greentree, Contributor to PsychoSpiritual on AllThingsHealing.com

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Dr. Neala Peake, selected from AllThingsHealing.com

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90 comments

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11:01AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

I do not have faith in science, information in research can be biased to support the opinions of the people who pay, or if they want to let out the data or not. Government controls what is studied and if they want to put it out there or suppress the person or information. Love, hate, jealousy exists, but try to define it or measure it or prove it is there. Kindness and love are usually conditional and most of the people cannot give it unless certain criteria are met. I have faith because I feel it, I do not have to justify it or convince others. Not something you can talk yourself into, more like an experience and growing into. Life will give you opportunities to see, keep observing and have some faith in faith.

10:37AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Very insightful, thank you for sharing. I too struggle with the balance of logic, vs the want to believe.

2:49AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Thank you

12:54AM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Age old debate. Actually, even brains differ in some subtle ways when people are having these experiences. However, faith is really the result of having a conviction on or about something you cannot prove to others in any conventional way. The extraordinary experiences or sensations can occur with or without faith. Depending on that you attribute a cause to them. If you believe only in Science, then you can explain away much of the phenomena with petit mal seizure or something along that line. Thanks.

9:14AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

i can certainly identify...i'm not sure how much faith i have in much of anything.

5:54PM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

Hello, Care2 Community,

Thanks again for reading my post and sharing your own ideas about faith and your beliefs, or your lack of faith and non-beliefs. I appreciate all of the kind comments, especially since my lack of faith, my skepticism has in the past been met with unkind words and actions.

The connection we've made here at Care2 has been wondrous indeed. Thank you.

Smiles!
Midge

7:25PM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

I only have faith in tangible things, like my friends or that things will work out eventually. I don't have faith in supernatural things.

11:52AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

so very interesting to read the personal reflections of the words faith, tolerance, experience, compatibility, and all the other words -

i observe great hope in our humanity
inclusive and drawn to a positive outcome

11:08AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

I am a Christian a member of the Seventh day Adventist church. Not because I was born into it or not because I have always believed in GOD. In fact as a teenager to a young adult I doubted the existence of GOD and was very sure but not absolutely convinced that GOD did not exist. I needed to have reasons to believe and needed evidence that I could accept before I would believe in GOD.

While in college I found the reasons along with evidence and did come to believe in GOD. Not because I abandoned reason and logic. But because by objections were answered and I actually studied for two years before deciding that I could believe in GOD. Did I abandon Science? No. I still love and read Discover magazine and watch many Science shows on Cable. I just believe Science does not have all the answers.
Do I ever have doubts? Yes. But then I review the evidence pro and con and see that belief in GOD is justifiable and compatible with both reason and logic. I have recently read parts of Dawkins book about no god and other proatheist authors, mostly when I was studying to see if I could believe in GOD. They did not answer my doubt about their position. It seems to me that Atheist actually examines their beliefs less than many Christians do. But maybe it is just the ones I read here and the ones I have meet.
Live Long and Prosper.

10:27AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Some things I have faith in because they cannot be seen, only felt and experienced. Other things, like human assesment of unseen realities and various explainations { like God did it} I am skeptacal of. So it's not an either or thing. It's more like a path that says, 'that way, not so much' but that way, yes' If I have a vision for the kind of world I'd like to see, I have to rely on my inner impulses to guild me in the actions to take, even tho they may not make sense at the time, but I've come to have 'faith' in the process.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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