Search Results for faith
Bad Faith (French, mauvaise foi) is a social-psychological and philosophical idea conceived by Jean-Paul Sarte where one apparently ignores the possibility of actively choosing one’s commitments. Instead, one becomes a passive pawn for external forces, or merely avoids making a decision about what to commit to.
An example could, perhaps, be the Nazi guard who arbitrarily executes ordinary people for Adolf Hitler despite inner moral attitudes decrying this behavior.
The idea of bad faith is predicated on the assumption of a “gap of nothingness.”
The “gap of nothingness” concept suggests that human beings are not mere stimulus-response machines (à la behaviorism) but possess the psychological freedom needed to make responsible decisions in response to incoming stimuli. The illustration often given in undergraduate humanities courses, rightly or wrongly, is that animals will eat whenever hungry, whereas human beings usually delay eating until a personally or socially appropriate time.
I think Sartre has a very complex connotation to the term [bad faith]. Sometimes wide, sometimes narrow. Very closely related to the concept of authenticity, he has used the term to show the shackles that man chooses despite the knowledge of freedom, at least deep within. » See in context
More examples of bad faith can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_faith_%28existentialism%29
- Tangent: Bad Faith, part 1 (lancek4.wordpress.com)
- Tangent: Bad Faith, part 2 (lancek4.wordpress.com)
- Shareholder accuses Wausau Paper CEO of ‘bad faith,’ nominates slate to board (jsonline.com)
- Sartre on Bad Faith (psychologytoday.com)
- Paul Krugman: Broccoli and Bad Faith (economistsview.typepad.com)
- The Disease (epages.wordpress.com)
- BLOG: Chinese authorities plan to take action on bad faith utility model and design patent applications (iam-magazine.com)
- Bad Faith Insurance Companies (questadj.wordpress.com)
- ECommerce company Eyemagine found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking (tldmagazine.com)
Many people see faith and reason as two approaches to life existing at opposite ends of the cognitive spectrum. It could be argued, however, that faith and reason are not always separate and (consciously or unconsciously) work together.
An example of faith and reason unconsciously working together could be found in those who make a god out of reason. These folks still come from a faith position, but their faith is placed in reason instead of God or some divine power.
On this point or, at least, on a similar point, the philosopher David Hume offered a now famous critique of causality.
Hume’s metaphysics, in particular his critique of the belief in cause and effect, remains an important challenge to our conventional way of seeing. All we can be sure of, says Hume, is that certain events occur one after another in a given region and for a certain duration.
In billiards, for instance, the white ball appears to cause the motion of other balls when impacting them on the billiard table. But here’s the radical part. Hume says that all we can truly know is that, in the past, the first ball impacted and the other balls moved. We cannot prove that the first ball’s impact will always be followed by movement of the other balls. And for Hume, there is no rational way to demonstrate a causal connection.¹
In most world religions, faith is said to be primary to reason. In Catholic theology faith is described as a supernatural virtue whereas reason is said to be a natural power. For Catholics or, indeed, anyone, both faith and reason are concerned with truth and need not conflict.
However, it seems that many insecure individuals who have been brainwashed by a cultic or even by some silly religious or scientific teaching desperately cling to a kind of misplaced faith by believing in things that are not true or, perhaps, egregiously facile.
Similarly, we find not a few self-professed thinkers who are hooked on their own faulty logic, colored by unconscious personal biases.
In their best form, faith and reason are potentially harmonious. We can live life by testing our pet hypotheses and by keeping our beliefs and theories open to revision. For many, however, faith and reason are often imperfect and discordant.
Thinkers like the Hungarian-born Arthur Koestler (1905-83) believed that clunky linkages between our human cognitive faculties (such as faith and reason) result from conflicting evolutionary additions to the human brain, additions that happened by chance instead of through any kind of grand, intelligent design. But this approach is no more subject to empirical verification than one that accepts inconsistency and inner conflict as steps toward integration and its corollary, integrity.
- David Hume (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Are Faith and Reason Compatible? (str.typepad.com)
- Faith Vs. Reason? Or Faith in Reason… Reasonable Faith..? (ryanfaulk.wordpress.com)
- By Way of Introduction (thetwowings.wordpress.com)
- Do you or do you not support reason? (verbosestoic.wordpress.com)
- Leap of Faith or Failure of Reason? (vridar.wordpress.com)
- Vatican commission affirms scripture as ‘soul of theology’ (mumbailaity.wordpress.com)
- The Reason Obama’s Faith Is Questioned (theroot.com)
- William Lane Craig discusses faith and reason with university students (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
- Accomplished by Faith… (webmasteryates.wordpress.com)
Most world religions speak of an inextricable link between faith and morals.
In the religious sense, to have faith is to try to please God and this involves making the right moral choices. At least, this is one approach to faith. Another approach is that you can do whatever you want and God will forgive you—providing, most would add, that a sincere attempt to stop doing the bad thing is made somewhere down the line.
Any discussion of faith and morals will likely include a section on laws. In the Old Testament the Jewish people are faced with a variety of laws, said to be from God and also to preserve and enhance one’s relationship with God.
In the New Testament, Jesus really only speaks of two laws—love God and love one another.
In liberal democracies today, laws are said to be based on natural reason. However, their impetus arguably is supernatural—that is, an awareness (based on faith and informed by grace) that morality is essential to the human condition.
So the supposed separation of the “supernatural” and “legal” realms could be seen as somewhat artificial. That point aside, one could also argue that this kind of distinction is not necessarily the same as the separation of “Church” and “State,” mainly because organized religions by their very nature contain not just supernatural but also political dimensions, as does any kind of social group.
- Faith (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Faith and Action (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Ethics and Respect Thrive with an Absolute Separation of Church and State (randomreflectionz.wordpress.com)
- Rick Santorum Says Separation of Church and State Makes Him Want to Vomit: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
In secular usage “faith” [Latin fidere = trust] refers to believing in something or someone. “I have faith in the system” the man or woman on the street might say when asked about societal problems.
In a non-denominational, spiritual sense it refers to believing in a loving, supernatural power or God and that things will eventually work out. That is, it’s a view of optimism.
In the general religious sense, faith in part refers to believing in a fixed set of teachings.
The Hebrew term for faith (emunah) originally meant trust in God but in the Middle Ages it came to mean believing that God exists and that the Jewish dogmas were correct.
In Hinduism faith generally means a belief that things will eventually work out and that justice will be served – for the good and the bad – as a result of the law of karma.
In Christianity, faith generally refers to the belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—a perfectly loving and good, omnipotent, omniscient eternal Being belonging to the Holy Trinity.
In Catholicism faith is understood as both an objective truth and a subjective virtue. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
Objectively, it [faith] stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church…presents to us in a brief form in her creeds, subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to those truths.¹
- Faith and Action (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Galatians 3:9&14 (gracegalatians.wordpress.com)
- Fear or Faith ??? (footsoldiers4christ.wordpress.com)
- What Is A Vigorous Faith In God? (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
- Accomplished by Faith… (webmasteryates.wordpress.com)
- You might be a hypocrite if…you turn Jesus’ message of faith and love into one of fear and hate. (god-still-speaks.com)
- Faith (briancoatney.com)
The relationship between faith and action raises some interesting questions, many of which are largely overlooked in contemporary society.
For starters, most religions advocate the necessity of action to keep faith alive. Action, in fact, is highly regarded in Western culture. But the meaning of the term ‘action’ is often loaded with cultural assumptions and, therefore, misunderstood.
We could say, for instance, that Trappist monks are more inwardly active than externally so. These monks, being one of the more contemplative sort, believe that their internal prayer life has positive effects on other people, just as the great saints believed that they interceded for other souls.
So if his beliefs are true, the Trappist monk is extremely active, but most of us don’t see it that way.
Faith-based action also takes a more worldly form, a form which everyone can easily understand and appreciate. Here I’m talking about charities and goodwill missions that serve the needy.
In most instances, it’s likely that a continuum exists between contemplative and worldly action. And it seems that those disposed to contemplation understand the good works of worldly folk but the converse is rarely true. This, perhaps, explains why in Hinduism the path of knowledge (jnana-yoga) is said to be more difficult than the path of action (karma-yoga). Active people often become hostile towards contemplatives. And sometimes they can even be abusive.
Along these lines, some orthodox and gnostic Christians, alike, interpret these words of Jesus Christ to his disciples as a warning to keep an eye out for vulgar materialists:
Mind you, no discussion of spirituality and abuse would be complete without calling attention to the opposite situation where charismatic gurus with an abundance of numinous powers swamp gullible disciples and, in so doing, are just as abusive toward individuals as vulgar materialists can be to potential saints. The abuse is different. But it’s still abuse.
In less extreme scenarios it seems reasonable to suggest that contemplatives and active individuals can keep each other in check, providing, or course, the rules of fair play are observed. By this I mean that some contemplatives can get smug, lazy, and authoritarian. And a good kick in the pants from an active person might, in some instances, actually help to realign them to their saintly calling (if not perhaps in the way that the active person envisioned it).
By the same token, the active person at times needs to be ‘toned down’ by the wisdom of the contemplative. For if a contemplative is truly focusing on God (and not some strange power), over time they should begin to accrue at least some wisdom that others could benefit from.
- Courageous faith in action through volunteering (northamptonjesuscentre.wordpress.com)
- Kentucky’s Trappist monks get shout-out in Food Network magazine (ashleeeats.com)
- Gandhi & faith in action (pathikpathak.wordpress.com)
Christian apologists say that Job’s suffering points to the mysterious ways of God and highlights the need for faithful obedience in the absence of human understanding. Critics say that it depicts God as an immature, cruel tyrant. For instance, the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung and some Jungians say that God “makes a bet” with Satan. In the story, Satan contends that Job will not remain faithful if God allows Satan to torment him.
In Jung’s Answer to Job, a short commentary about the Job’s plight, Jung says the Biblical story reveals a dark, non-integrated aspect of God. Why would a perfect God, Jung argues, allow a blameless servant to be persecuted by the devil? When Job challenges God, asking why he suffers, God answers not on Job’s terms but by completely overwhelming him. God asks if Job is able to create the stars, the oceans and a sea monster.
Jung sees this as indicating God’s immaturity. For Jung, God projects his own dark side onto Job. While this dynamic may occur in many people, to Jewish and Christian believers it’s misguided to suggest that God would behave this way (See Isaiah 55:8-9). As God implies to Job, could an allegedly immature consciousness create all of creation?
Biblical scholars debate whether the story of Job refers to an actual person or if it’s just a folktale outlining the general human problem of why do bad things happen to good people? The author of the book is not mentioned. Some traditional rabbis and early Christian theologians believed the author was Moses. Today, some scholars believe that parts of Job were written by at least one additional author.
But to return to Jung, he seems to overlook the folktale aspect by treating Job as a real person. Jung’s writings about Job have also been criticized by Fr. Victor White. White says that Jung confuses a narrative image of God with the actual God. In Jungian terms, White says Jung confuses the God-image (archetypal image) with God (archetype).
Indeed, it seems that Jung analyzes God from the perspective of his own, man-made psychological theories. In reducing God to Jung’s all too human ideas, might Jung, himself, exhibit the psychological mechanism of projection? Theological critics of Jung would certainly say that his commentary on Job suffers from presumption—that is, intellectual arrogance.
Regarding the problem of evil, many theologians would maintain that God’s ways are usually way over our heads. Along these lines, we could hypothesize that God permits evil to torment Job for a greater good which, Job, Satan and Jung couldn’t hope to understand.
Jung’s (questionable) analysis aside, the story of Job has parallels in other cultures, most notably the ancient Egyptian Protests of the Eloquent Peasant.
- Lessons from Job. (katherineannesmith.wordpress.com)
- Jung-jung (knittedart.wordpress.com)
- “Why Do the Righteous Suffer?”: Wisdom From the Book of Job (thomaslovesjesus.wordpress.com)
- Putting Satan in his place (reassuringquotes.wordpress.com)
- Nuanced Media is Proud to Present the Southern Arizona Friends of Jung Website (prweb.com)
- Murray Stein and Brigitte Egger Discuss the Power of Water and the Vital Impact it has on Earth. The Asheville Jung Center will host “Elixir of Life” on April 4th (prweb.com)
- A Love Affair With Carl Jung (jeanraffa.wordpress.com)
- Do you relate to the greatest story of suffering yet, faith? His name was job…Read on (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- When I was back there in seminary school… (mclark.wordpress.com)
A Baptist is a member of a Protestant Christian Church or denomination with roots in England and Wales from the beginning of the 17th century. In the late 19th century, Baptists quickly became an important part of the American Christian landscape.
Today’s Baptist Church is a global phenomenon, the Baptist World Alliance having been established in 1905.
Baptists generally reject infant baptism, believing that sacred scripture points to the necessity of consciously choosing to embrace Christian belief. So for Baptists, a newborn who cannot choose is not ready to accept Baptism.
However, not all Baptists agree on every theological issue as, say, Catholics seem to when professing their common faith in the Mass. In fact, Baptists belief varies considerably. And this divergence of belief isn’t just a private matter, kept under wraps for fear of repercussions or to preserve the Church’s unity. Rather, it’s public. ¹
Not surprisingly, Baptist congregations tend to be run independently. And they’re quite active in organizing missions, schools and youth camps.
- Where Have All the Choirs Gone? (Part I) (jasonklanier.com)
- Westboro Baptist Church -Hell Bound! ***messymandella*** (messymandella.com)
- Comedian Interviews Westboro Baptist Church… and Wins (patheos.com)
- Baptists: Believer’s Baptism (nonthaburichristianfellowship.wordpress.com)
- Missouri Baptist Relief Needs College Student Volunteers (prweb.com)
- Infant Baptism and the Reformation (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
- Comedian Pranks Westboro Baptist (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- 54 – Feb. 23 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST (james1948.wordpress.com)
- Tebow cancels talk at controversial Dallas church (bostonherald.com)
Bahai is a relatively recent world religion. Adherents of Bahai claim that God is progressively revealed through a sequence of teachers, including Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, and its Persian founder, Baha’u'llah (1860′s).
The religion is monotheistic, emphasizing monogamous family life, obedience to government authority, personal honesty and cleanliness. Bahai schools and media programs are flourishing.
Baha’u'llah originally went by the name Mirza Hoseyn, a Shi’ite Muslim. Hoseyn aligned himself with the Bab, head of the Babis, a Muslim sect claiming to have privileged knowledge about ultimate truth. The Bab was executed for treason by the Iranian government and Hoseyn was then exiled by orthodox Sunni Muslims.
Hoseyn went to Constantinople (Istanbul). There, in 1867, he declared himself to be the Imam Madhi (“rightly guided leader”), as foretold by the Bab.
Violence ensued and he was banished to Acre, where he developed the contemporary doctrine of Ba’hai: Universal brotherhood and the unity of all religions. Pilgrims from Iran and the USA journeyed to Acre to learn about his teachings.
- Ever Read a Book That Made You Re-think? (pukirahe.wordpress.com)
- Hanging Out With Buddha or Jesus? (pukirahe.wordpress.com)
- What Book Should I Read? (pukirahe.wordpress.com)
- OSU’s Bahá’í Campus Association (osu.uloop.com)
- First Thing You Do on Waking Up? (joyfulwayfarer.wordpress.com)
- Viewpoint: Baha’i Peace Park continues to grow in Muskegon as a place of meditation for all (mlive.com)
- Bahá’í student expelled from Iranian university ‘on grounds of religion’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Cruelty: Intolerance victims (wvgazette.com)
- Nava Na’imi, a Baha’i citizen from Esfahan arrested (zendanianesiasi.wordpress.com)
- Baha’i faithful in area hope Iranian persecution ends (vcstar.com)
Corinthians, I and II are letters written by St. Paul to the early Christian community in Corinth. Corinth was the city of Aphrodite, where temples of various Greek deities could be found.
It seems that Paul was concerned about members of the Christian community becoming too individualistic in their faith. Paul emphasizes the ‘body’ of the community, a body with many members. As such, each member has different gifts but belongs to a single body. And those gifts are meaningless if not rooted in unselfish love.
Paul stresses the importance of either unmarried celibacy or married sex, the former being more desirable. Everything else is regarded as sinful. He warns against falling back into idolatry, perhaps due to the community’s precarious location.
Toward the end of the second letter Paul defends himself, Titus and another ‘brother’ against allegations of fraud. Some in the community had voiced concerns that the collection money intended for Jerusalem would be pocketed.
On this point Mike adds:
Something you didn’t mention about 2 Corinthians is that because of the need to defend himself Paul has to describe his ministry. » See in context
- 2 Corinthians…Greetings! (promisebook.net)
- The Sheep Dip (brokenbelievers.com)
- 2 Corinthians 1…Greetings! (simplyjuliana.com)
- Sex and the Church (getreal.typepad.com)
- Pilgrimage in Medieval Corinth (mediterraneanworld.wordpress.com)
- Do Everything In Love (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com)
- Why Do We Expect More from Non-Christians Than Christians? (getreal.typepad.com)
- Modern Commentary on 1st Corinthians by Fr. G. T. Montague (jkarblog.wordpress.com)
- Picking apart the word (Day 5) (revmichaelslifejournal.wordpress.com)
- Images: A Ton of Cattle Bones (livescience.com)
Cults and Religions – What’s the difference?
Many debate the differences between religion and cults. Some say there’s no difference. In other words, religions are cults and cults are religions. But this kind of thinking arguably doesn’t do justice to the complexities of faith and the supernatural.
One difference seems to be that, in a cult, a charismatic leader is undeservedly glorified. Some say that this would make Abraham, Jesus Christ, Mohammad, Buddha and Mahavira cult leaders. But cults also display a relatively short longevity (after the leader dies, the cult dwindles away). This didn’t happen in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Jainism. So they can’t be called cults by that standard.
Another difference is that cults typically isolate new members from their families and unbelievers. Religions tend to be less drastic, with most (not all, mind you) accepting interfaith relationships.
Steven Hassan, an expert on cults, says
Since all destructive cults believe that the ends justify the means, they believe themselves to be above the law. As long as they believe that what they are doing is “right” and “just,” many of them think nothing of lying, stealing, cheating, or unethically using mind control to accomplish their ends. They violate, in the most profound and fundamental way, the civil liberties of the people they recruit. They turn unsuspecting people into slaves. ¹
Others say the difference between religions and cults is a matter of degree, especially with those religions and cults that attract, institutionally legitimize and reproduce authoritarian personality types and the legalistic beliefs and structured practices that these individuals participate in.
In these instances, religious or cultic affiliation apparently provides a convenient means for the psychologically immature to overlook unresolved emotional issues. Accordingly, some critics of religion maintain that religious affiliation provides a safe but essentially cowardly means for unleashing centuries of culturally and perhaps genetically inherited anger onto those who don’t wish to sacrifice their free will to the dictates of an institution. These critics say that most religious institutions must incorporate (or reject) new developments within the context of their limiting teachings and traditions.
This too, seems somewhat simplistic. For religious believers will often say they are fully choosing to cooperate with God’s will as progressively revealed to them within their particular religious organization. Apparently there’s a richness in their spiritual life that the secular critics just don’t get. And individuals belonging to orgqanizations seen by outsiders as cults often say the same thing. “You don’t understand…”
This can make it difficult to tell the difference between a religion and a cult. Meanwhile, many new religions are cropping up. And some say they’re nothing more than cheap covers created by creepy masterminds aiming to get tax breaks on donations made by gullible believers.
When in doubt, draw a chart
One of the definitions for “cult” in Merriam-Websters dictionary is: “a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents.”
The following chart compares some of the main beliefs and practices found within religions and cults. This is not the final word. The items in each column don’t universally apply and many of the distinctions made in this chart are debatable. In keeping with the classical sociologist Max Weber, however, this chart offers ideal types.
Ideal types are generalized constructs. They don’t provide precise definitions and they’re not comprehensive. But they are thought-provoking. And that’s their main purpose.
Above chart elaborates on many sources, including Gregg Stebben’s Everything You Need to Know About Religion (The Pocket Professor, Denis Boyles ed., New York: Pocket Books, 1999: 25-26).
¹ Steven Hassan, Combatting Cult Mind Control, Rochester: Park Street Press, 1988, p. 36.
- The beauty and the pain of fundamentalist religion (vridar.wordpress.com)
- Scientology Founder’s Great Grandson Denounces Religion As A Dangerous Cult! (perezhilton.com)
- Granddaughter Of Westboro Baptist Church Founder Defects From Hate-Cult To Speak Out (VIDEO) (addictinginfo.org)
- Scientology should NOT be protected as a religion… (girlygirl.typepad.com)
- Mexican Authorities Raid Sex Slavery Cult Led By Reincarnated Christ Figure (disinfo.com)
- Claimed By The Cult: A Mother’s Fight To Rescue Her Son-Author Recounts Experience Saving Her Son From A Religious Cult (paramuspost.com)
- Author Geneva Paulson Recounts Experience Saving Her Son from a Religious Cult in New Book (prweb.com)
- “Cathy Don’t Go”: A religious cult’s lost new-wave gem (chicagoreader.com)