Role Of Faith Essay, Research Paper
Role of Faith
Society’s investigation for adequate evidence to sustain rational belief in God may seem unsatisfactory. Throughout history, people have been appealing to reason and looking for evidence to substantiate these beliefs. However, we have not yet taken into consideration the role of faith. Perhaps belief in God should depend on faith rather than on reason or evidence. Regardless, most would insist that faith is the basis for religious belief.
“To believe on faith is to believe without adequate evidence; and to hold that belief must be based on faith is to concede, at least implicitly, that there is no such evidence.” Having said this, without proof we have no evidential base for deciding what the object of our faith should be. In addition, we would, consequently, have no evidential basis for selecting one holy text over another as the authentic source of revelation from God. Now, what do we say to someone who claims to believe that God does not exist, based solely on faith? Without an attachment to any evidence, the “faith” is just as genuine as the purely faith-based belief that God exists.
In the absence of evidence to provide a coherent basis for determining what is objectively correct, we choose to believe, on faith, and show a readiness to accept something as truth without real, substantiated basis. Perhaps this route should strike us as a display of desperation. It appears as though society has given up on the attempts made to prove the existence of God, and have consequently adopted unproven beliefs.
Faith, then, does not comprise another route to rational belief in the existence of God. There could very well be no routes at all. Still, our considerations have not led us to the conclusion that God does not exist. God could still exist even though the evidence for this existence is lacking. And though the lack of evidence may make belief unreasonable, hope is not affected in the same way. It seems illogical to hope for what one knows is not even possible.
This brings us to a question of certainty. A person, in this given situation, cannot look for certainty. But perhaps the demand for certainty, though understandable, is itself unacceptable, given our very narrowed powers in relation to the bewildering intricacies of the world. Though certainty about God’s existence may seem monumentally important to us, a neutral objective evaluation of our human condition indicates that we must learn to live without it. We are not entitled to assume that the world was made for us and thus not permitted to assume that it is a place in which our desires can be satisfied. Our challenge is to adjust ourselves emotionally to what our best evidence indicates the world to be, rather than to persist on viewing it through eyes filled with desire.