I am Thomas!

Ok, so the whole weekly thing is on hold for the holidays. Discipline is not one of my strong suites. :) Expect a missive on the importance of discipline in the next few weeks.

Anyways…

Those old religious manuals were written for a time before stock markets and viral epidemics and robotics and biomedicine and capitalism and the internet, and even if they’d known about these things, their underlying message would have still been the same.. chill, love each other, do your work… They are preparation, no more.

The good ones don’t tempt humans to contemplate God, but to perfect themselves on Earth. Being “at one with God” or “a part of the creator” is your birthright, sure, but you were born on planet Earth.

Corzblog

I like the article – read it all.

One of the things that I like about Buddhism, is it’s realistic approach to life. It does not expect blind faith. It expects us to try, learn, and come to our own conclusions. I have talked at length about this before, but I saw a sign that really drove the point home for me.

Feeding your faith,
starves your doubt

I would posit that a liberal dose of doubt is healthy. When the church leader asks me to drink the KoolAid, I should be able to think on my own and and say ‘No’. Reliance on faith leads to weak minds. Doubting, discussing, and dissension leads to strong minds.

I once called faith a crutch. I do believe that it can be. It is very unhealthy when used to the extreme. Just because some one wrote it in a book does not make it true! You need to examine those words and beliefs, process them, and make sure that they have constancy and truth.

Blind faith leads us to the Jonestowns and Wacos.

We need to teach critical though, self examination and healthy doubt. We will not survive with out it.

6 thoughts on “I am Thomas!”

  1. I think that reason, dosed liberally with ‘do no harm’ is really the best bet. Faith is a good thing, however, it’s an easy road from faith to drinking the koolaid.

    I honestly think that a blend of the two, each in moderation, is the best idea.

  2. I don’t think the people in that photo were expressing faith in the pope. They were there because of what the pope represented, and were expressing their faith in their Church and their God.

    Certainly no one doubts that ‘faith’ can be misplaced and misused. People that put their trust in their own intellect, their faith in themselves and their ability to reason and to ‘know’ the correct answer make huge mistakes too though.

    The 20th century taught us that quite well I should think.

  3. Let us not forget the pope-mobile!

    The scary thing about basing your entire life on a particular faith, is that you never truly know what strings that faith is pulling behind the scenes.

    Despite the good intention and belief of many religions, historically religion has always been about power, not love as their front-end claims.

    People often place their faith in the wrong things, history is full of examples of this. This, my friends, is what blind faith can do for you.

    This does not mean that all religions have misguided intentions, nor that all religious figures are selfish and evil, but it should give you a reason to never blindly follow anyone or any religion.

    One of my major reasons for not turning over my life to any particular following.

  4. The link is of people cheering the pope. No faith involved there – we know the pope exists – after all he has a <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=pope+hat&amp;sourceid=mozilla-search&amp;start=0&amp;start=0&amp;ie=utf-8&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;client=firefox&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&quot; rel="nofollow">pope-hat </a> right? :)

    If the Pope was not there, and had never been there, and had never been seen before, and people still cheered him, that would be faith.

    Faith is a belief in something that cannot be proven. People have faith in God. I know that my car will work, because it works on defined natural concepts.

    Buddhism is based on natural concepts as well. We know that if you have a positive outlook on life, you will tend to be happier. So in cultivating a postive outlook we can say that we will have a more happy life then someone with a more negitave outlook.

    For me, that is the major diffrence between most world religons and Buddhism. Buddhism tells us to think for ourselves – others tell us to ‘feed our faith’.

  5. Was <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pope-poland.jpg&quot; rel="nofollow">this</a> blind faith as well?

    I don’t think so. Many people confuse strong faith with blind faith. In my observation, the reverse is far more often true. Most people of faith that I know came to their faith after deep sole searching and questioning. Most still have questions, even doubts but they have faith as well, and humility to trust what they cannot be sure of one their own.

    I have never been able to manage that last bit.

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