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A Healthy Faith

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. ~Kurt Vonnegut

The faith of a child is precious, pure, profound. Faith is reduced to folly when it persists in the face of incontrovertible evidence when it refuses to accept facts backed by mountains of research choosing instead to believe the debunked.

This refusal to acknowledge reality is not a problem until the “faith” results in the imposition of dogma on the nonbelievers. It becomes the vilest evil when violence becomes the de facto modus operandi to punish the nonbelievers for their petulance.

The faithful frequently build walls to enforce isolation ensuring they won’t be contaminated by those outside their sacred circle. If a faith is so tenuous that it can be shattered by a breathed divergent idea, was it really faith in the first place? Most likely it was ignorance.

A true faith can withstand pressure from outside forces, can stand unabraded by scrutinizing rhetoric. A healthy faith has the ability to explore alternatives and compare them to their own dogma. A healthy individual, a prerequisite for a healthy faith, has the capacity to adjust their understanding of reality. But this can only occur when ideas are allowed to penetrate their walls opening eyes to possible alternate realities.

If a wall must be built, it should be a porous membrane allowing increasingly complex bidirectional data exchange. The ideal would be a wallless society where dialogue can be held under an umbrella of mutual respect. Unfortunately, society has devolved to the point reasoned debate has been replaced by name calling and attacks on a person’s character undergirded by a faith in Fake News. That’s what you get when the nonbeliever is viewed as the enemy instead of simply someone with different views on life.


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