It appears that central to religion is a “faith” or “belief”. What is faith or belief? We are asked to believe in ourselves, for example, by motivators. They argue that such a belief will bring forth positive behaviour and therefore positive results will ensue. “A positive mind is one that believes”. If you still keep having negative behaviour, it is then argued that you have not believed enough.
This line of thinking positions “belief” as infallible and the starting point. You believe and the cosmos will fall into place. It has nothing to do with how the natural laws relating to the cosmos works or whether you have any rational basis for the belief.
We have heard the argument that religion is not in the realm of reason or rationality. Is this so? If it is so, does it not contradict much of the way we live where we are constantly reasoning out things – even reasoning as ‘trivial’ as how to tie the shoe lace?
Is religion incompatible with reason? Or is there a “middle ground”? How central is the “middle ground”? Sometimes, what is stated to be the middle ground appears to be either too far left or too far right.
Must you believe first, think later? Or does your thinking lead to a belief? What happens if your thinking makes you uncomfortable with your belief?
Which do you abandon when there is a conflict – your thinking or your belief? We know that both faith and reason have their respective roles.
If I tell you that I can make iron float in mid air under normal conditions. You will not believe me. You know that the law of physics and gravity will make it impossible. You know however, that you can make iron float in mid air by being consistent with the law of physics and gravity –airplanes.
In these circumstances, your belief is the product of reason and logic. Your starting point is reason and logic based on available knowledge. You abandon belief in favour of logic when there is a conflict.
How does it work in religion?
In fact, how many who profess to have a religion has actually undertaken a systematic study of their own religion? Or is that unnecessary?
And if I may ask one more question: Is religion necessary to understand God?
Note: no conclusion has been made in this article. Just questions.