aith when used as a noun, refers to belief and trust in and loyalty to God or belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion. It refers to religious faith, the idea of accepting a concept without evidence and only because one believes it to be of, or from God.
There is a religious conceptual definition of faith, which Paul attempted in his letter to the Hebrews, where he defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen'. Hebrew 11:1
Many believers do not stops to understand the irrationality of the statement and the contradiction it conveys. They see faith as holding on to a belief irrespective of its irrationality or evidence that exposes its absurdity.
How can conviction be a tangible, (substance) of things that exist only in imagination (hoped for)? It simply claims that the tangible evidence of what you believe is your conviction that it exists.
How can an evidence exist for things not seen, when perception is our only way of experiencing reality? Is it not dubious to regard one's belief in something as evidence that that thing exist?
It sounds like the emperor's new cloth which only the wise and righteous could see, until the little boy shouted, 'the emperor is naked'.
Of course, authors of the Bible did not write it for people with critical minds, but for believers, who will believe it because they have been told a priori, that everything in the Bible is from the mind of God, including its illogicalities and absurdities.
Faith as understood by many believers is the acceptance of religious beliefs and the reality of the metaphysical, in the absence of any evidence that would compel a rational mind.
It refers to the acceptance of concepts, which there are no empirical evidence to support their veracity.
What many may be referring to when they use faith may be the belief one has on things one has accepted as true.
My discus is on the evidence that inform the decision to accept or believe something as true or its existence. Of course, it right to hold one's moral values with conviction and retain the ability to examine it as knowledge increase and understanding deepens.
What I object to is Faith that urges people to accept something without evidence or sometimes, in spite of evidence.
Example of what believers accept by faith are:
The belief in the existence of God
The virgin birth
Resurrection of Christ
Existence of heaven
Existence of hell
Existence of 72 virgins in paradise for suicide bombers
The idea that people either go to heaven or hell when they die etc.
These and more, are some of the ideas and orthodoxies, which people have accepted by faith. They have been the reason for the religious difference between people and cause of many troubles and sufferings in our world.
Therefore, I politely, reject the view that faith is always sign of wisdom. It can be wilful ignorance, propagates irrationality and destroys ability to come to decision based on evidence and reason.
Improvement and advances in knowledge is argument for not persisting in ancient beliefs, which limitations have bee exposed. Facts change because there are people who border to examine and study things and not just content to believe.
Once, people believed that evil spirit cause mental illness, but today, we know that mental illness is not caused by evil spirit. However, there are people who have refused to reexamine what they read in the scripture in light of new knowledge, but have continued to believe in the evil spirit theory of mental illness in the name of faith.
The only things that cannot change, which human beings have and which is their greatest assets are their reason and ability to think and evaluate facts and come to a fair, and just decision.
Faith becomes the veneration of ignorance and the single most important factor, which retards human development and emancipation, when it fails to make uses of reason and knowledge. It can imbue the mind with prejudices and shots the door of inquiry.
There is not a single advancement in life, which faith that does not make use of knowledge and reason did not oppose, until her ignorance and absurdity were exposed. The defence of irrational and unexamined beliefs, is the foundation of ignorance.
Holding on to a discredited past is not helpful in a changing world. People have to change in a changing world.
Africa is where it is today, because it has refused to change in a changing world. Many believers have the mentality that is responsible for the underdevelopment of Africa, which is reason why things get worse, the more religious the continent becomes.
When people talk about holding on, the question is what are they holding on to. How can belief in irrationality be progress? What do a people gain from holding on to ideas formed in ignorance and antiquity, when their limitation is clear to those who make use of reason in light of advances in knowledge.
I think people mix things together because of lack of conceptional understanding of the issue. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Faith is different from values and morality. In fact, the people with the most contradictory and conflicting values and morality are the religious people (believers), who see no place for reason in their faith.
People should hold on to their values and continue to improve them.
For instance, We believe in discipline and hold the belief that it is a good thing. For many years, people believed that discipline is synonymous with beating children.
Today, we know different and better ways to discipline children and understand that physical punishment of children is unhelpful.
Knowledge gives a deeper understanding of discipline, which is not believed to mean thrashing children, when they do not behave well.
Our traditional and religious beliefs, do not equate to sound and perfect values. They often will require improvement, in light of the increase in knowledge that has taken place, 'since Jesus walked on water'. And beside this, giving all diligence add to your faith virtue; and to your virtue knowledge. 2 Peter 1:5. Let no one deceive you.