I believe in God the Father Almighty – Maker of Heaven and Earth and in all things visible, and invisible … apologies to my non-Christian readers, but this is a sentence that just came to mind for me from my early religious training. Here is another example in reference to the ‘No Such Thing as Hypnosis‘ blog – if there is no such thing as hypnosis then why am I standing in church week after week repeating this – oh, that’s right I am just restating my belief, but there’s a lie in belief and I’m from Missouri so show me … (New England really, but I like colloquialisms).
Well that’s not the point, if you want to belong to the group, we are told that we should just believe. So what’s the difference between belief and faith*. And why believe when you can know. Well that’s a loaded question! But it’s an important one so let’s give it a try.
Why does anyone believe anyone about anything, the simplest answer is that it’s easier than checking it out for yourself. Especially in the earliest societies, people where far too busy just trying to stay alive to worry about where God lived, and what he wanted them to do, so they (the common folk) let the interested parties, the ones who seemed ‘adept’ at the study and observation of things, formulate the answers for them and they just believed what they were told, and were taught, and that all worked very well for a very long time.
EXCEPT – the ‘Adepts’ got more and more self serving as the eons rolled by, and little by little they started taking better care of themselves, and the people who gave them their power became secondary, became servants – although they were told they became ‘Servants of God’ (for a more modern example look at the way labor unions, and union reps have evolved). And if someone caught on, and objected, well you were just branded a heretic, and a quick trip out the fire pit controlled dissent rather well.
And on, and on … now I know this all sounds too simple, but take a good look around you, and listen to yourself next time you are in church, or reciting anything you were taught as a child, pledges, creeds, whatever, and ask yourself is this something I made a conscious decision to accept, do I really know what I am saying or do I just believe it? I especially liked the one in the churches of my youth where we repeated week after week “I am a poor miserable sinner” well shut me down and shoot me straight to hell, if that’s all I am ever going to be then why not have a good time here !!! And I KNOW a lot of kids who did that, and still do …
Damn, so what’s the alternative … well there are things like Romance. There are things like Science; There’s even Heresy, since the burnings at the stake are not so popular anymore, but that’s for next time … have a great weekend, and maybe just listen to yourself in Church, this Sunday and take a moment to ask; What do I know is truth and what do I believe?
*Faith is the knowledge of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
– Hebrews 11:1