Friday, January 22, 2010

On God and Faith

So... lots of people believe in some kind of God/diety/superbeing.  And most people whom I know who believe in such a diety have accepted that there will never be any evidence that can demonstrate that superbeing's existence.  Not only that, faith is a fundamental requirement of the dogma.  Without faith, you will be cast out and suffer in this life and the next... so the lore goes.

Who told them that faith is a fundamental requirement?  If they heard it from somebody else or read it in a book, how do they know the sources are trustworthy and not some false prophet?  If, hypothetically and improbably, you know it from personal experiences with mystic revelation, how can you validate it to be able to properly claim it as knowledge?  More to the point, what can you properly claim as knowledge.

Let's say hypothetically I "go with the flow" and accept the claim that you should have faith in God.  Should that faith extend also to those who claim to be God's messengers? Why or why not?  If you say that you should not accept the words of prophets on faith, what proof have you required of these prophets?

For those whose answer is, "I don't know it but I feel it".  How do you know that your feeling is correct?  Have you ever had a feeling that was in error?  (For instance, you were angry about something because you didn't have the full story - but once you had the full story you feel bad for having been unjustifiably angry).  If knowledge of the existence of a God is beyond the reach of reason, does that not also mean that you can't trust your feelings on the issue?

Not trying to be disrespectful here, this is genuine curiosity.  Not about the nature of the universe but of the nature of a common set of ideas.