Someone on Yahoo! Answers asked the following questions:
1. Why do you believe in God?
2. What’s the difference between Naive’ and Blind trust and Faith?
3. Is it possible that religion is just a way for people to deal with life
and non of it’s really even true?
4. Is there really any such thing as pure and whole truth?
I decided they seemed like interesting and sincere questions, so I answered them. Here’s what I wrote:
1. I believe in God because that term, as used by the mystics of most traditions, refers to transcendant reality. Because I am persuaded that the hints of transcendence that we perceive – beauty, meaning, interconnectedness – correspond to something real about the universe, that is what it means to be persuaded that God exists.
2. Blind faith is another way of saying gullibility. The Letter to the Hebrews says that faith is the evidence of that which is unseen. It does not say that it is evidence that the things we do see don’t really exist! Faith may be willing to stake its life on there being more to a person than a chemical analysis can ascertain, more to life than the humdrum and mundane, but that is about there being more than what is seen. If your ‘faith’ contradicts what is seen (archaeological evidence, for instance), then it is problematic.
3. Religion is indeed a way that people deal with life. Dostoevsky’s parable of the Grand Inquisitor (from The Brothers Karamazov) puts it well – and remember, he was a Christian. But many Christians don’t want the responsibility that comes with freedom and choose instead to hand over their freedom to a church, a pastor, a creed, or something else. And that’s where organized religion comes in.
4. There is indeed pure truth. The problem is when people in a small corner of history in one solar system in one galaxy in one corner of the universe claim that they know the pure and whole truth. Such claims are not merely lacking humility (which would be bad enough). They are ultimately claims to divinity, and incompatible with the Christian faith (and most others).
I’d be interested to hear comments on my answers or the answers others would give to these questions!