Something to Believe In – Quotes about Faith
In the Oxford Dictionary, faith is defined as a complete trust or confidence in someone or something, or a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
Not all people have the same faith, and I don’t just mean religion because that’s clear as daylight.
Faith comes in different forms but it all means the same thing. It’s all about trust in something that has some justification, without necessarily having a rational explanation.
Faith is something people need to justify choices in their lives, their beliefs, and the values they uphold. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in God, it could be science, justice, themselves, or humanity as a whole. It enforces one’s purpose in life, our wills and motives, and our way of thinking.
The utility of faith
Having faith gives us the impression that we are part of something greater than ourselves. Faith is not blind as some people think, though it may not be based on certainty and facts.
What is true, beyond all doubt, is that faith is useful, regardless where it is placed. We will grant our trust in people or belief systems because they are helpful to us. And we disregard those that do not share our interests and views. That is why there are so many religions, ideologies, and cultures.
For example, many people have faith in Karma, the belief that all actions have an equivalent and just effect. If you do good deeds, then good things will come your way, and you will be rewarded in the future, or in the afterlife. This concept has influenced most Asian religions. And it’s a widespread belief among westerners as well.
Though it lost some of its spiritual importance, it retained a lot of its meaning. As we know “what goes around comes around” and “you get what’s coming to you.” Karma in the West has mostly negative connotations, as a form of revenge. That the Universe will somehow repay you in kind for all your selfish and bad deeds. We need this kind of belief to make our existence seem fair. To make us think that what we do actually matters.
Faith and science
Let’s start with the obvious, faith is far older than science. Before we built houses and started living in large communities, we worshiped gods. We believed that everything around us existed because of a cosmic power. In every culture, the first stories were about creation, of how the world came to be, and they all start with Gods.
Through faith, we made sense of life, nature, death, and the universe. We created a structured society, based on rules which were first devised as a belief system.
Science was the result of questioning minds and rational thinking. Although it too did not start out as something unquestionably true. In fact, it was also a result of faith. Just faith in your senses and belief in reality. Scientific theories were seen as heresy in a world governed by religion, even though they were proven to be correct. Albert Einstein said: “Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.”
They both start out pretty much the same, with a basic hypothesis, which is then supported by few examples. Just that Science doesn’t stop there and tries to further its discoveries with experiments and theories. Faith, on the other hand, tries to remain a grounding pillar of morality, upholding virtues through the doctrines of religion.
People sometimes deny what is true and real, for something which makes them feel empowered, hopeful, and brave. It’s with faith either in ourselves, or a higher power, that we find a calling, seek guidance, and attribute our good fortune. It says so in the Bible, Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
When it comes to faith, you have the freedom to choose. The fact of the matter is, you don’t need to follow anything blindly. Find what fits for you and go with that. Break the mold imposed by society and seek your own path, guided by what you find important. There’s a line in the Bible that says: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12.
“Society lives by faith, and develops by science,” said Henri Frederic Amiel. It’s how we thrived and overcame adversity throughout our existence. We have always needed both, and always will.
No matter what you decide to believe in, be tolerant of those around you. No one has to share your beliefs, just like you, everyone has the right to choose their own path.
Be kind, patient, and just. Set an example for those around you!