the hopeful expectation that future events will verify unsubstantiated beliefs |
There are many circumstances where a measure of faith is an essential ingredient.
In the secular worlds of engineering and social structures, it is needed when testing a
new prototype construction or when giving a system the chance to prove its effectiveness.
An aircraft or space shuttle doesn't fly until it flies, and a test pilot
requires a generalized type of faith in believing that it will.
A legal or economic system can only survive if sufficient individuals and groups have a faith in its
usefulness and actively support its requirements.
Faith then is the expectation that an untried construction or organization will adequately realize its intended purpose.
If it fails or falls far short of its primary objective, then a persistent faith
is a particularly useless method of attempting to correct for the deficiencies.
Having an unshakable faith in a bridge that collapses, or an spacecraft that
disintegrates, is a perversity of no pragmatic merit.
Even the most cynical of hardened pragmatic atheists are obliged to have a species of faith
more often than they might readily admit to.
They must either have sufficient faith in the banking system to put their money there, or
dig a hole at the bottom of the garden after midnight.
Every time they take a journey in a car or a plane they are demonstrating a species of faith
that the journey will end according to their expectations and not as a ball of fire.
It is certainly true that such expectations are not entirely unsubstantiated, in that evidence
has accumulated that such actions do often work, but the unpredictability of the universe
still ensures that a fragment of faith is needed to compensate for the modicum of doubt.
In religious systems on the other hand, because there is
never any verification of the beliefs of faith, the faith itself is included
as part of the system.
Professing to have faith by believing in the unverified claims of the system is
the condition which the system claims will assure salvation... whatever that means.
If one has faith in a mindless belief, and part of the system is the phenomenon of
having a blind faith, then clearly the very act of believing is all that is needed
to sustain and justify the system.
Such circular self-serving nonsense is the enduring source of the intergenerational
transmission of psychiatric cultural disorders.
The astonishing fact remains however, that such convoluted
casuistic nonsense has the ability to induce an individual to accept the
certainty of such a belief structure, whilst
negotiating the unlimited chaos of contrary evidence.
The perpetuated belief that a next life will adjust and
reward the inequities of the present, is the means by which various
authorities induce the general population to accept their lot,
and perform acts which just happen to be politically
and economically beneficial to the authority itself.
By ingesting substantial amounts of ecclesiastical hope and dwelling
upon the fantastical appeal of after-death package deals,
the individual can ignore the realities of life's contingencies
and inhabit a virtual world of anticipation.