About faith.(No grumpy atheists or agnostics please. :) )

Do you benefit from faith?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • I’m not sure

0 voters

Let me tell you first what inspired this post.

I read a brief post from Namahottie recently and I happened to be a bit down(but faking otherwise) at the time. It was something about faith and Jesus fulfilling her life in a way that made life easier, better. She worded it in a way that it almost seemed believeable…Then I realised that for a long time now I’ve been pondering on the concept of faith.

What I’d like to hear about is simple… or is it? What is faith? What does it bring to your life? How do you benefit from it? Any religions welcome. Personnal religions-beliefs(as in friendly atheist and agnostics) are also welcome.

I hear people talking about the benefits of holding on strongly to some beliefs. Many say they gain better control over their lives and a higher level of satisfaction in general.

That’s not something I dismiss so easily. It just doesn’t do it for me though, even if I try to believe. Am I lost according to your religion?

Sometimes I find life is hard enough and I honestly wonder if it’s because I lack faith. I don’t think life would be that much easier but does faith really make a difference?

Those are serious questions, and this is a serious thread.


I have made miracles happen just by having faith that they would.

No religion. No philosophy. Just good, honest, genuine, heartfelt faith. I can do anything using it, and have done on many occasions.

Now I have faith that I will wake up on time to pick up all the animals for the AsiaWorld event tomorrow. :wink:

Yes, I think faith, especially religious faith, can be enormously rewarding.

Some evidence: seven years ago I lived in a small town in Kansas, USA. My doctor, a general practice doctor, probably served 500 or so of the citizens of this small town, population about 13,000. Ex-army, athlete, a guy whose middle name might be Steady, he’s an excellent m.d. I happened to get a physical exam during a time when I was also getting divorced, and to get the general drift of my overall health he prefaced the bendover activities with these questions:
[ul]Do you use alcohol or drugs?
How is your marriage?
Do you regularly attend church?[/ul]
Church? -I asked, wtf? Well, he said, yes. In his practice he felt he could clearly show that active participation in organized religion definitely boosted mental health. Further, he claimed he could provide evidence that this behavior also extended lifetimes. In other words, religion boosts mental and physical health.

IMO, nurturing your spirituality, especially openly and in the presence of like-minded adults, is definitely beneficial. Christ can be one of the very best ways, imo.

By the way, I lived even though I was ofer on that damn test. :laughing:

dig up george washington’s farewell address and read his opinion on such.

for those of you too busy i’ll give you the gist: good social order cannot be maintained without faith, faith is the bedrock of civil society

Logic: Aristotle

Common sense: Confucius

Thousands of philosophers and scientists since those two, have been working to figure out the universe, without relying on the crutch of “faith” (which, defined, is belief in something that you cannot prove and ultimately cannot be proved). Faith is another word for Guess.

To answer (not) Skeptic, China is proof that social order can be maintained without Faith. So was the Roman Empire - a pantheistic, decadent, extremely multicultural, religiously tolerant society that lasted for over 1,000 years. How long has the American Empire lasted? A mere 200 or so years? And you have the arrogance to claim that faith is the bedrock of civil society - for a country founded on religious freedom, not the religious conformity you’d like us to conform to? Most of America’s founding fathers were Deists and agnostics, not fundamentalists.

Flike - organized participation in ANY organization will boost mental health. Discipline is discipline. It doesn’t matter what it’s discipline for. You’re confusing the means with the ends. You could worship tree roots and tea leaves and it’ll be the same as worshipping an abstract old man in the sky hurling thunderbolts at sinners. It doesn’t matter what people believe in, as long as they believe in something. This is the Existentialist, not the Christian, philosophy. Your doctor was, unconsciously or not, following the philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre more than of Jesus Christ.

Quentin, :bravo:

I know you said no grumpy athiests, but I am actually going to contribute something other than “grrrr, god is dead” or whatnot.
I have kept up many of my religious (cultural) practices since becoming an athiest. For one, I stayed kosher for almost 3 years after realizing that I thought everything said at church was hoohoo. I still pray. Mainly to say grace. (God, thank you for) This is a good practice for anyone. To thank the air, to thank anything, to thank themselves, whatever. Because it leaves them meditated on what is going well in thier lives.
I also still pray for things I want. Mostly to meditate on what I need and want (meditating on goals is SO healthy).
I have spent this week using the serentity prayer a lot. And spendin a lot of time asking myself to find the strength to maintain my pacifistic views when viewing people like Al Queda and Bush.
I think that the THINGS PEOPLE DO BECAUSE OF FAITH are VERY important. Prayer is a form of focussed meditation. Highly religious people like my family get up in the morning and meditate for hours before they start their days. As a family. How is this NOT healthy? Getting up and meditating AS A FAMILY. Even if it is aimed towards a diety that I believe does not exist.
I also feel that, even though it does teach a lot of bad things and hatred, the bible teaches a LOT of VERY good things. Thou shalt not judge. Love your neighbor. Thou shalt not covet. Respect your elders. Ect.

So, yeah. I think I am well effected by faith. But not a faith in any god. I think the rituals of religion and faith in myself and in my ability to cope and faith in my mother’s ability to give me golden advice that can solve just about any problem are as good as faith in any god.

Forgive me. Early morning. Only one cup of coffee.

Edited to add:
I also feel, however, that I am much happier since losing religion. I find that now I do thngs because I feel that I should. I do things because I feel they need to be done. Not beacuse “He is watching” I do things, I think, for the right reasons now. As before I did them out of fear. I am also happier with myself because with religion I felt I had to be perfect. And I could never reach that goal. But now I understand that I am a pretty good little monkey and that I can only try to be better and to get better and better. And that I cannot be perfect ever.
I think the entire things of struggling to be like Him is just too hard. And when faced with a goal that is so unobtainable, I think anyone will fail moreso than they would before.
I would love to finish this post, But I just noticed I forgot to eat breakfast and need to figure out how rto fit that in before work.

Whether faith is a good/bad thing boils down to whether your faith prevents you from making good choices. Faith, for example, helped my brother-in-law get off drugs and live a healthy, productive existence. But faith, for my sister, turned out to be a destructive force, and she ended up being deeply wounded because she believed in something against logic and reason.

I haven

I was taught to ask him what I should do. And then to lilsten to him talking back. When I asked which one would be him, I was told it would be the one who was right.
So pretty much, throwing up my hands, asking someone else to make a descision, then meditating on the problem, thinking up multiple solutions, chosing the wisest one…

Still do it without the asking someone else part…

so far 63% of respondents state that they do not benefit from faith and yet all the posts are pro-faith after the OP stated that they didn’t want grumpy agnostics or atheists. So it’s OK to posta poll with ‘no’ as an option but then not tolerate a dissenting view? That kind of intolerance is the type of crap the ‘faithful’ have spouted forth for many years with the net result that ‘faith’ has wrought havoc, death, and destruction to millions throughout the ages. That’s all faiths by the way including the fanatical Christians.

Boo to Faith! :raspberry:

I answered the OP about faith; everyone else seems to be talking about religion.

Believing (not hoping, wishing, praying, etc.) something has happened is a fantastic way of making it happen.

Good Q.
Faith in a higher power is a bedrock for ones life.
Believing that someone or something is there to help when trouble occurs is not a weakness, its part of humanities bond with the everlasting.
And its a choice freely given. No cost attached.
It also can require a submersion of ones ego and this can be a personal problem for some.

Like Taj Mahal says…[quote]You’re gonna need somebody on your bond,
You’re gonna need somebody on your bond child.
When it’s late, 'round midnight and old man death comes slippin
into your room,
You’re gonna need somebody on your bond.[/quote]

One of the things that I have lost and am currently trying to find is my faith in God. I sure hope I find it before I die. :s :frowning:

Really. :unamused: That’s incredibly arrogant, frankly.

Tree roots, do you think? Correct me if necessary, but didn’t Christianity replace - via stealing market share - all that kind of nonsense?

In other words, even if it’s wrong, how do you account for its magic on the human soul, evidenced by its growth?

You cannot, friend, and that alone is testament to its truth - its truth to humans.

Put Christianity to the test of time, my friend. Who wins? I would argue that Christ’s ends do trump any and all means - and that’s not only the means but the ends of Christianity.

IMO, one should never be so arrogant as to replace* most of the world’s opinion of God as “an abstract old man in the sky hurling thunderbolts at sinners.” It’s merely my opinion, and of course you’re free to disagree.

Really? Belief in anything is sufficient? I doubt that, and so surely do you.

And perhaps Sartre and Christ have more in common that Sartre, certainly, figured.

Just a thought.


*–Please make this change, “replace”=“merely regard”

Thank you!

[quote=“flike”]Correct me if necessary, but didn’t Christianity replace - via stealing market share - all that kind of nonsense?

In other words, even if it’s wrong, how do you account for its magic on the human soul, evidenced by its growth? [/quote]
Charles Martel, Battle of Tours, 732 AD. That’s one thing the fundamentalist Christian right in the U.S. can thank the French for.

= =

Sure, Martel gave Christ a leg up on Allah, but how do you account for Christ’s growth since?

I think you’re going to have to come up with some kind of post-800 A.D. source now that asserts Allah’s loss was Christ’s gain - solely on the basis of Quentin’s filter: tree roots (whatever) vs. Muhammed vs. Christ.

Of course the rise of Christianity is in part due to the economic rise of the West vs. the East, but hey.

We were talking about the personal benefits of religion - if any - not the gates to economic and/or cultural success bestowed by history to any lack of.

Or do you argue, PP, that Christianity would have been wiped out in North America merely by Martel’s loss?

To answer the question about the growth of the Christian faith, it is due to the longest and most persistent prosletizing effort the world has ever seen. The only effort that comes even close was that of Islam in the centuries following its inception, which accounts for the large Islamic populations in Northern Africa.

Were Christianity to be more like, say, Judaism, Hinduism, or (most sects of) Buddhism, it would be a faith passed from generation to generation, and would likely be much smaller. This is not a commentary on the Christian faith or its appeal relative to that of other major religions. It’s just a commentary on the effectiveness and resilience of missionaries to, forceably in the past, and less so in the modern age, spread the faith.

If and when other sects crank up their prosletizing efforts, they too will grow. Simple fluid dynamics, really. :sunglasses:

Sorry, Jefferson, but: fluid dynamics my ass.

No modern religion can beat the message of Christ, surely.

If you accept Christ as the only entity who can ensure your entry into a pleasant afterlife - by local standards, whatever they may be - then your corporeal existence means nothing and your faith means everything.

How can such an existential promise be resisted, realistically?

Error. Does not compute.

Please. Tell me wtf that means to you - and me.

BTW, I am well aware that you picked the Pistons over the Spurs. So don’t fudge too much, PP, I’ve got my eye pealed, you lowly Canuck you. :laughing: