|faith and reason
| The things that people do in life revolve around faith, whatever faith it is. Whether they are Christians or atheists or whatever, faith is central, because it identifies value.
Some claim to believe only what they see. Not so. The things we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell do not tell us what to believe. It is our faith, how we value things, that determines how we live our lives.
Many people define faith as “blind,” but there is always a reason for holding to one faith or another
even if the reason is unclear. Every belief has a reason behind it.
| Jean Paul Sartre understood the concept of faith when he held a friend’s baby in his arms and realized that what he held was more valuable than all of his life’s work. If this concept applies to an atheist, it applies to all of us.
The Bible describes faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Faith is evidence, not blindness; it is a testimony that goes beyond physical sight. Hebrews 11:1
Faith and reason are two kinds of perception, not two opposing viewpoints. We all have faith: an awareness that there is more to life than what we see. We all have reason: a standard for judging our thoughts.
Faith is the beginning of knowledge. Faith is what we have before we have a way to verify. It is the prerequisite to reason. To prove something we must already have axioms: ideas that are self-evident, unavoidable, given to us. Think back to geometry class. Axioms are the basic building blocks of knowledge.
For those who deny any need for faith, I like to ask, “How do you know that your mind is reliable?” What if your mind perceived certain truths as false or certain falsehoods as true? You couldn’t prove your mind’s reliability without a circular argument (using your mind to prove its reliability). Thus, you rely on faith every time you reason.
Faith governs everything you do. Before you do something, you attribute value to it, and you do it, because you think it’s worth doing.
The things that you don’t like have a relative value. If you don’t like your job, you still do it so that you can get money, so you can eat, so you can live. Is it life that makes money worth the work or money that makes life worth working for? Does money distract you from eternity, or do your lofty thoughts distract you from your temporal happiness? You can look at it either way.
| Faith and reason work together. Faith looks for a reason to back itself up, and reason is a standard taken by faith (A standard does not prove itself).
Faith does not leave us in the dark. It enlightens us to the fact that we are not the starting point. Like it or not, it shows our dependence. Faith proves beyond a shadow of doubt that we are finite dependent beings, put into existence by no intention of our own. Someone or something placed each of us here with a personality, talents, desires, a mind, and a will.
You didn’t choose to be here, but you do choose how to see the world around you. Your painting is your worldview.