Faith

Faith is an act engaged in by every conscious human mind.  Whether or not you belong to a religious group or organization that is explicitly based on faith, you have beliefs that have no independent justification, that are revealed to be built on very shaky grounds when the epistemic questions begin in earnest, and that are neither valid nor cogent within logical systems.  Whether or not you find the mythologies of other cultures and times to be either meaningful or true, you have your own personal and social mythologies that you uphold as being either meaningful or true.  When you begin to look at your own beliefs and practices honestly, it becomes clear that having faith is something you do along with those who wear the funny robes and chant verses in languages you do not understand, and that you have rituals too, rituals that just seem much more normal to you because you are accustomed to them and have chosen them. 

Using logical structures and philosophical discussions to help organize your beliefs on a regular basis is no less a ritual practice then using call-and-response prayers to perpetuate beliefs.  That the application of your favored political principles would fix your nation’s problems is no less a myth than that Cronus chopped his father Ouranos’ testicles off with a scythe.  It’s just a less character-driven myth, and sans testicles in all probability.  The proposition that all meaningful propositions must be scientifically tested is no less dogmatic than the proposition that all things must be approved by divine command.  But whatever your ritual, whatever your mythologies may be, whatever dogmas you may have, make sure that you treat yourself and others well.  If you don’t, your dogma may get run over by someone else’s karma, and we wouldn’t want that.

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