Faith, belief, traditions, and spirituality are the principal concepts of religion and they help us understand how different aspects of human emotions interact with our lives. Many people know there is a lot of debate within the multi-faceted field of religion. Although we may not all agree on everything, this doesn’t mean we can’t learn from one another. This article outlines some aspects of faith and reason. Also, it emphasizes on the need to find the balance and how they apply to contemporary society and culture.
Read more on what is spiritual awareness.
What is Faith?
Faith is the trust that something is true even though you do not have proof. In the modern era, we do not accept such values because they seem unreasonable and irrelevant to us. Consequentially, whenever we have to choose between faith and reason, we always choose the latter. Also, we cannot let go of our cultural values because we do not understand why they were practical for our ancestors, and if they hold some mystery to them. The fact is that we must base faith on provable truth or at least sound logic.
Understanding belief is necessary because you can’t have faith in something you don’t know exists. It comes from either experience or logical proof. For example, if you believe the Earth is flat, you can have faith in this belief, but you will always wonder what is on the other side of the flat surface and will eventually doubt your faith. However, if you know what is on the other side, you will have firm faith in your belief.
How do Faith and Belief play together?
People believe in things they can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste. However, if a priest or a scientist tells them about a fact of the universe they cannot fathom, they may not believe, yet develop faith in their teacher and accept the idea as truth. It is how the old society worked. A high priest would claim that he had a revelation about God and would declare that he was speaking the truth. Other priests would argue and validate his truth by debating the philosophy. While the masses would accept that idea with little arguing.
In the modern world, science has taken the place of religion. So, when a scientist writes an academic paper, other scientists check for its validity. But even today, people accept the truth with little research. So faith has always been about believing in the priest, the scientist, or the teacher.
Faith and Reason in the modern adolescent world
The ‘Modern Era’ is puzzled by questions like, should we believe in the spiritual or the material? Should we pray to a god or is logic everything? Is there anything beyond the scientific facts and are we real? It is because we have witnessed a scientific revolution and all the old books make no sense anymore. Similarly, our teachers have radicalized and what was right yesterday is wrong today. The effect is that faith staggers while the people struggle with confusion.
We believe in change and have ignored the fact that some things don’t change and won’t change until the very end. Even though we know that evolution takes millions of years to change things, the child in us is convinced that we have evolved. We believe that somehow we differ from the people a hundred or a thousand years before. So, we drive our societies in a way that has nothing borrowed from the past. Ultimately, we have given up the possibility that faith and reason can go together.
As a result, we are in an age set to wrong the past generations. Like a child in the bloom of adolescence, we try to negate everything older generations believed. We have developed habits of not accepting many things. For example, we do not believe in God, higher power, or orthodox rituals. Neither do we believe in traditions, superstitions, or religion, and the list keeps increasing. The trick here is that we cannot have faith in something we do not believe.
The Need for a Natural Balance
Every person feels inside that there is something in them they cannot explain with the help of math, logic, or language. This feeling becomes the spiritual inquiry. This inquiry, combined with the capacity for rationality, helps in the satisfaction and contentment of a human mind. However, the confusion between the two and depression of the spiritual mind becomes the prime cause of pain and dissatisfaction. It is when we sit and wonder why our grandparents were so content with their mediocre lives.
On the other side, the system of factual knowledge makes religion divisive. People feel strongly about certain religious traditions and use them to make assumptions about others. It is important to remember that faith is the creation of the mind, and there is no ‘correct’ way to practice any faith tradition. One size does not fit all, and we must respect the unique perspectives and individualities of others, including those we may disagree with, especially with religion.
In summary, the solution is to have faith in a belief which should be permanent; something we can hold on to. Only then can we have faith in what we believe and develop the confidence to fight our demons or be at peace in life. It is utmost important to find something permanent in which we can have faith. In the modern age, we need new ways to practice faith and follow reason. Alos, we must make them work together. Ultimately, we need to create choices where we do not have to suppress any of the two.
Finally, it does not matter if science and logic can explain that permanent factor after discovering everything possible about the universe. But till we are not all-knowing, just for the sake of our sanity and peace, we should not discourage all the old thoughts and rob a person of their standing belief.
Read more on how meditation and self-reflection help in self-awareness.