I agree that faith is necessary. Starting the post off with judgments like "stupid" is just that - (the mirror).
Faith is something that all of us have to some extent. Faith is usually associated with a religion and thus there are different faiths around the world. There are a lot of unknowns, different cultures, unique surroundings, social influences and conditioning, and the list goes on.
Think about how faith is formed. As a baby we don't know a thing and then we meet our parents and then we are fed and conditioned much in the same way you'd train a dog. Everything we learn or believe or have 'faith' in has come to us via our surroundings and influences. As we grow we develop a faith in parents, siblings, friends, roommates, our preacher and basically faith in other people. All the input you or I receive while evolving or aging takes a bit of faith and influences our perception of all other faiths.
We then get to an age or mind where we desire to know more or are uncomfortable with the 'family faith', we look into others faiths or religions or anything for answers in our outside, physical world. Whether born in a preachers home or a bum on the street, each and every one of our external and worldly experiences shapes the views, perceptions and faiths we have. We ultimately embrace or lean towards the strongest faith that we've been subject too all our lives.
The stupidity in all this is not seeing the larger picture and the division among people various faiths and the surrendering of the desire to understand know versus having faith. However, it's not really stupidity because it only looks stupid, or is perceived to be stupid by some not ALL.
In religions, people have faith because they have to. There's no way to verify a lot of these writings and claims so faith is what is necessary and if you think about it, it's an easy sell because we usually have faith and are conditioned to have faith in many things. If you're a prisoner in a cell, you have faith they are bringing you 3 meals a day and faith that they will be on time. If you're working at your job, you have faith that you will get a paycheck on Friday or whatever day you get paid. The longer and more effective in coming through, the faith strengthens. The more examples of a certain faith you are shown, the stronger the faith becomes. The more you are surrounded by believers in any faith, the stronger the faith becomes and thus influences decisions like the jury....
... Each juror will rely upon their past and their faiths, (which are tied to their beliefs which are tied to their social conditioning) to come to a conclusion, each being unique and different to certain degrees. But what else are they to rely on? It's how we make decisions everyday.
The OP had faith that when he posted this thread, it was going to be posted on a forum and that he would most likely get a reply or many replies. There's also an element of faith that the forum isn't going to disappear tomorrow and he or she will be able to respond. Faith to a certain extent is trust because in having faith, we have to sorta trust the information we're receiving and decipher what we'll believe and trust in and what we wont. It's part of our nature.
The Problem with Faith
Faith, in many ways also leaves us blind to truth. When we know, there is no need for faith but our knowing is based upon these social conditionings and all the other factors that take us from innocent baby through childhood and into adulthood. This becomes a problem because there are so many faiths and we need faith to believe because science, biology and investigation just give more questions than answers. If we settle in a faith without digging deep, without learning more, without opening our eyes and seeing the world and society from a birds-eye-view and seeing ourselves within it. Faith can also be a way of selling oneself short and settling for that warm fuzzy feeling or whatever we perceive of this world to best fit our own conditioning. This is why there are so many faiths and this is also why we argue, fight, and war over it.
Faith is not stupid at all. If anything it simply provides the blinders on the side of our faces so that we can only see in the direction of our faith. Ignorant much of the time, yes... stupid, No.
Personally, I've struggled with faith for a long time in family life because of how I was raised and my social conditioning. Where my family became charismatic Christians, I couldn't settle on that faith and just believe or trust in our pastor. It simply didn't resonate with my thought pattern, intellect, or my desire to understand why people do follow each other blindly. After careful investigation of their faith, I often said the same thing, 'These people are just stupid'. This is a judgment which leads to resentment and condemnation and these thoughts harm the carrier not the target of these thoughts.
With faith, with the real giving of oneself up and ones life up in a faith, there becomes judgment. Strong people of faith are usually also the first to judge someone that doesn't follow their faith. This is a problem within our society that spreads like cancer. So when the faithful judge and condemn others not fitting their ideology, it begins to spread around.
At this point in our world we have a lot of faiths. Each faith being uniquely different or with a twist. As faith and trust grow stronger, so usually does the judgment and condemnation. Faith in many ways has divided people and causes great pain, many deaths, and discontentment across the entire world. Take a look around the world and see it from a different perspective and you'll see that faith, while heavily in use, it's not as productive as we'd like to think because faiths differ. If not for faith, what would we have to argue about?
The thing I'd like to see is people not surrendering themselves to the faith of another. When the white flag of faith is raised, the chase is over. The desire to have an open mind lessens and becomes clouded because of it. Introspection becomes obsolete because faith provides enough smoke between us that we cannot see into the mirror or see our reflection in it. Surrending to a faith means we'd give our lives because of it. If we are faithful, we would die by the sword to defend and promote our faith. Faith is a very strong word and it's uses are like a double edged knife. People had faith in Hitler, look what that did. People have faith in the minister that is molesting children on the side... look where these faiths bring us.
Faith, much of it relies upon having faith in people. Most of the people are so blinded and detached themselves.. yet we have faith in what we're being told and faith that what another man says is actually truth. We have faith in history we have faith in the roman empire, we have faith in the sanskrit, we have faith in the bible.... faith faith faith but ultimately it comes down to having faith in people of this world. We follow each other around being manipulated by each other allowing others to form our own faith. Then at some point, faith stands in the way of progress - look at today. Look out at our world. Is faith standing in the way of love, balance, and progress?
I could keep writing on and on about faith but I'm not so sure it would make any difference. My faith in people is not strong enough, nor do I want it to be.
I think in order to truly understand it, we're going to have to seek answers not in each other but within ourselves. If we settle for one faith, the seek sorta ends and become a channel of another man's faith. We surrender our lives based upon what we've found suitable in the world to our own ideas and perspectives.
Also, I'd like to add that in many ways faith removes us from the here and now because faith looks forward into the future which is non-existent right here and right now. Faith removes us from the present with anticipation of a future event. Faith also leaves us crippled in many other ways... so may ways a book could be written on it. You wouldn't believe how many of us have faith in our government and haven't got a clue as to what our governments are doing. We're allowing ourselves to be herded around like cattle when it comes to faith. While it doesn't happen exactly like that, it's the same thing.
So, what does faith really do? I've made some bullet points on what faith is and does:
- Faith to a certain extent is a blind. It blinds us from seeking answers within the divine energy that flows throughout every living thing.
- Faith needs information that is of this world, not just in it.
- Faith relies on people. Many of which don't understand it themselves.
- Faith provides a basis of judgment. The faithful are usually also the judgmental. When we slash the sword of judgment it hurts both the faithful and unfaithful.
- Faith provides the smoke for which separates us and doesn't allow us to see the mirror we are reflecting into, hence we cannot see the reflection.
- Faith is a following and is easier sold to those who follow. There are leaders ad followers and in order to embrace a faith, one must settle with being a follower of a leader.
- Faith is great for money. It generates all kinds of it.
- Faith manipulates people. Once accepted, our faith manipulates the way we look at life and what we think or do.
- Faith is believing in a future event or a future life and takes our thinking out of the here-and-now which is all we really have right here, right now.
- Faith is needed because investigation leaves too many questions and provides answers leading us away from our faith.
- Faith swallows people whole. To the point where they won't even look in another direction because that in-and-of-itself would seem unfaithful.
- Faith leads people into war.
- Faith leaves us blind to truth.
- Faith divides the world and the people in it.
- Faith eliminates the need for love and balance, (depending on the faith one has)
- Faith in many ways is more destructive than any other thing.
- Faith is like placing a brass cup over the flame of a candle, diminishing the light.
- Faith feeds us from the world, not from the divine nature of ourselves.
- Faith needs defense.
- Faith needs people to defend it.
I'm sure there are a lot of other points one could make. Faith also does positive things but with all the negatives it provides the postives do not exactly bring it into balance.
The above is how I see faith. Right wrong or indifferent, I agree with the OP but I disagree with the delivery of his content and the condemnation, or resentment used. However, I understand because for much of my life I felt as though I were surrounded by absolute morons and sometimes still struggle with that thought. This is just as judgmental as the faithful judging others of different faiths and it only harms the carrier, not the faith or the others.
That's my rambling on this subject. Happy New Year to you all!
May love and balance
begin to take the place of blind faith in this new year!