The Practical Value Of Faith
September 14, 2010 9:29pm CST
Let me start this entry with a curiosum. As far as I know, and I was born and raised in Germany, I am, in fact, a German, there is no exact equivalent to the English word “faith”, or indeed the Spanish word “fé” in the German language. I have elsewhere written about the pitfalls of translation, but here it is clear, “faith” and “fé” mean exactly the same, mainly the evidence of things not seen. And that paradigm, that concept does not exist in the German psyche. Unless I just haven’t come across it, which I find hard to believe. Whatever, this entry is about the kind of faith even an atheist or agnostic can have. We tend to associate faith mainly with one or another religion, a deity, you name it. But it is basically an inner attitude of hope and believe, a certainty that things will turn out all-right. And of course, that inner attitude lends itself readily when associated with belief in God, a life thereafter, etc. I personally have been a disciple/practitioner of various religions over the years, but faith has eluded me. But I’m working hard on getting it. Why? Because it hit me kind of recently, and it’s very simple: people with faith are having a better time! I don’t want to fall into clichés like ‘cup half empty or cup half full’ and stuff like that. That was pretty cool in the nineties, but it has kind of worn itself out. But at this stage of my life I have come to realize that it absolutely doesn’t matter how I see the future. Things happen the way they happen, good and bad, bingo, it’s called life. And I have to invest the same emotional energie for expecting good things to happen or bad. And since it doesn’t make a difference, I might as well go for the good stuff – at least I’m having a better time on the trip.
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15 Sep 10
Peace be upon all, As a Muslim I would like to share my thoughts here. I agree with you. People that have faith are having better time compared to those that do not have faith at all. In my opinion, faith is not simply an expectation or hope, but something that drives us to work on those expectation and hope. A quotation from our holy book said, "God will never change things if we do not make a change." It means, God has given us a portion of his power to determine our future. Although faith itself, according to Islam, has been written, but it will not, or will happen depend on our act. For example, money will never freely come to us if we do not work. "I will die at the age of 40," said my faith, but because God has given me a little portion of his power, perhaps I can die early by killing myself (I won't do that, of course), or take care of my health so I can stay longer.
15 Sep 10
That's really interesting, Ramaditya, particularly the point that "Faith has been written"? Is this to mean that our lifes have been pre-destined? There is a blue-print, and it would depend on our actions whether we follow that blue-print? I'm surprised, positively, it's the first time that I hear this. Hinduism has a lot of aspects in this direction, Karma basically being the blue-print, having been earned in previous lifes. But they seem to be more fatalistic about it, there a blue-print is a blue-print, no matter what you do. Could you please elaborate on that point.
15 Sep 10
Absolutely! Well, let me put a simple analogy, and use my own life as an example! Let's look upon the pre-destined faith that we call "blue print" as an basic operating system (such as DOS, Windows, or Linux). It contains basic information, task, ability, limitation, and so on. For example, Ramaditya's operating system contains this information; Ramaditya would be born as a person with visual handicap (yes I am blind), will have white skin, nice voice, have high capability to be a rich and famous (supposed that my parents are rich and they are celebrities), die at age 250. OK, those above are the basic specs of my operating system (pre-destined faith). As we know that we can install many software and program to enhance the capability of that operating system, or be infected by virus or trojan that will cripple the operating system. It will happen based on our choice of action (do you want to install useful software or harmful virus). It also happens to my life. Basically I am blind (weakness of my operating system) so I can choose to study hard and do my best, or give up and stay in darkness. I've got white skin and good voice, then I can enhance it by practice singing or tease beautiful lady, or make my skin black, or whatever. Even though my parents are rich and famous, if I do not act on it then it will be useless, because I do not follow what the operating system should do. Supposed that I give up, then even though the operating system can stay for 250 years, if I choose to kill myself, then it will be over. Well, that's what I can explain so far. Sorry for horrible illustration anyway.