Do You Believe?

Believers tend to do awful things. Non-believers tend to allow awful things to continue to happen.
I read that over at Done with Mirrors and thought, "amen."

It's part of an on-going argument/discussion I have with Thing Two. He's adament in his belief that Faith - firm faith in a God, that is - is bad. It leads to Ugly Things (like Crusades, jihad, Inquisitions, genocide). The world, he claims, will be better off when Faith dies out.

I disagree.

Yes, some people of faith do bad things. Awful things. But it's not the faith that's bad or awful. It's interpretation, it's fear of "otherness", it's the "stuff" that gets tacked on. And, as is pointed out here, it's not just religious faith that's "bad", it's anything that provokes strong feelings and emotions.

Let's not blame faith in any of its varieties. And let's not decide that passionate faith is bad and wrong. Moderation can be just as bad as too much... or nothing at all.


Aravis said...

I agree. As a frame of reference I'll share that I'm not a religious person but rather spiritual. I believe in a God of my understanding but am not comfortable participating in an organized religion. Which isn't to say that I don't respect those who do. I respect them a great deal; it just isn't for me.

That out of the way:

I think it's the interpretations combined with extremism of any religion which cause the trouble, and those who aren't religious but who do nothing add to it. We are all responsible.

I also think that there's a difference between passionate faith, and extremists. One can be devout without wishing to physically harm those who have different beliefs.

Actually, this applies to secular matters as well as faith. And atheists are just as apt as anyone else (though I wouldn't say more apt)to do Ugly Things.

We're all only human.

camillofan said...

True Believers are sort of scary.

And I speak as one, or at least as someone who thinks of herself as one, until she runs into someone scarier.