WHAT IS THE FAITH?
I now have to dig and search in my memory and my writings to find this word that disturbs me a lot. And I am sure that I will be sad to see how much this faith has done to my people.
As usual, I will ask a dictionary for the explanation of this word. I am however certain that each one of us has his or her own explanation .
First of all, it means confidence or trust. An obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person. A promise or an engagement. A failure to appear would be breaking faith. To act in good faith.
A belief which is not based on proof. In other words, a belief in anything, as a code of ethics. A system of religious belief. In short a faith in God and his promise by which man is saved.
Furthermore, for most everybody, faith is associated to a God, and that is why, in religion, one dies for his faith
Which leads me to today ´s current events. When every day we witness so many mortal acts all related to faith. And I confess that this disturbs me for I sometimes say to myself if there is no faith, there would be no dead.
I will try to prove how with time, this famous faith distanced itself from its original mission to take an unfortunate turn in the hands of its adherents
The crusades (around 1100) come to mind, as to justify their crimes, it is in screaming
´´ Deus veult´´, God wants it, that the combatants of the Christian faith found a way to satiate more easily their religious passion by massacring each Jewish community they encountered on their way to Jerusalem and the most cruel sufferings and hardships of the Jews came from the Christian domination.
And that is why in the beginning of the XIIIth century, the pope Innocent III in his edict ´´Sicut Judeis´´ statues precisely his ideas concerning forced baptism, for even if he is an infidel, having received it, the Jew is forced to the Christian faith.
A disciple of Erasmus (around 1500),Bruno Giovanni, questioned the teachings of the church, that he considered heretic and who fought for the freedom of thought and expression. He rejected the Aristotelian physics and critiqued the Calvinist principle of salvation by faith. He lived in the time of Sixtus V(1590) then Clement VIII who condemned him to death. He was burnt, transforming a progressive thinker initial a martyr. A shirt time later Galileo will follow his steps.
In fact, the tearing between science and hope went through centuries and is translated everywhere by a modern expression but that still preserves under different terms the power if ancient faiths.
Thus, it is not surprising that the Vatican, later will burry every evidence corroborating a threat for each real or imagined threat will weaken the faith and the power if the church
Eventually, a bit later, doubt took part in this game. And the church convinced its audience that without doubt, there is no faith. Just as without darkness, there is no light and one should not let himself be disconcerted by what we feel during a minute of doubt.
Curiously a playwright names Wilson Mizner said that he respects faith, however doubt is what gives us education.
To one of my friends, Raphael Levy, to whom I asked the question: What us faith in Godù He answered: it is the feeling that incites Man 's conscience to ask where he comes from and where he is going.
I will be curious to know how many amongst us raise daily these two rather intelligent questions.
In the mean time, the Bible has suffered from the stigma associated with religion in general: blind faith, supernatural stories, strict obedience, fanaticism and the absence of intellectual rigor.
And it is this blind faith that today, pushes Islam´s fanatic followers to commit odious and unimaginable crimes.
Why is this faith so strong to behave in such Inhuman manner?
How could this faith convince its devotees to transform themselves into criminals?
What is so powerful in the faith for us to succumb to ité
So many questions to which I do not ha pave the answer.
We can say that Christianity and Islam both agreed to let this disease, called faith to perdure when we see its results .
Why the devil so many miseries?
Isn't the devil the principle of matter itself?
He is the arrogance of the spirit, it is faith without a smile, truth that is never brushed by doubt.
The devil is dark for he knows where he goes and while going, he always knows where he came from. He lives in darkness.
Such was the case for Mohammed(around 650) who hoped to attract the Jewish communities if Arabia, and for this end, he initially incorporated elements of Judaism in his new faith
(By directing prayers towards Jerusalem, y fasting on Yom Kippur etc...) However when the Jews refused to accept his new code of law, Mohammed turned against them with a rare vengeance.
And who do you think imitated Mohammed in this treacherous bringing together?
No one else but Martin Luther.
Whereas, Calvin (1572), for whom salvation only exist via faith and who did not oppose the Jews, Luther discharged ignominious feelings towards them fir they refused to follow him.
We will understand later, in Prussia( about 1800) why the Lutheran church opposed Napoleon ´s intentions as too favorable to the Jews.
Luckily, Erasmus, defended Luther ´ s intolerance and free will associating to the same ideal reason and faith. We shall find these two words later.
What about Judaism?
Some say that the Hassidim have privileged enthusiasm and fervor to study and doctrine. They prefer spontaneity and intuition. The stadia becomes an unusual role as a catalyst of faith, an unusual intermediary between God and the Jew. The stadia becomes a source of inspiration, of goodness and sanctity.
So what becomes of reason in all this?
We have to go back to Spain of the Moors of the XIIth century, when Maimonides and Averroes became the spokespersons of Aristotle. And in spite of burnt books, schisms and interna hatred, a rational based on Aristotle gave birth to a modern recognizable intelligentsia that believed that reason must coexist with faith or even surpass it.
To this good news, a new one, very recent should be added.
The Catholic Church condemned anti-Zionism as a cover for anti-Semitism by
means of a joint statement issued by a forum of Catholic-Jewish
intellectuals this week.The announcement was made at a gathering of religious, academic and other leading Jewish and Catholic figures in Buenos Aires in July 2004.
"We oppose anti-Semitism in any way and form, including anti-Zionism that
has become of late a manifestation of anti-Semitism," the statement said.
This is the first time that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have been equated
by the Catholic Church.
The statement also includes a stern condemnation of terrorism, particularly
terror in the name of faith
Whereas Einstein did not speak of faith, Freud's passionate conviction that by preserving their religion, whether consciously or unconsciously, the Jews had given themselves an extraordinary possibility of enduring not just a faith but as a people when everything else had been lost – land, kingdom and power. That was the meaning of the traveling Menorah and why Freud had kept it: the idea of sustaining an identity around things intellectual, cultural and spiritual.
The question I raise becomes:
Until when are we going to be harassed, intimidated and persecuted by faith when we see killers committing crimes against humanity?
Is it not time that the world recognizes this mini- holocauste taking place these days in the Middle East and Africa?
Hasn't the time arrived to punish these guilty people for their activities?
The importance of individual freedom, the dangers of a too-powerful government, the blessings of a free market, the imperative of fighting communism, the indispensability of faith -- these were themes I encountered again and again
I now wonder, how and why, having encountered all that faith caused, one can still be attached to ité
Is it our human weakness, so natural, that insists that we must believe in something stronger than us?
Do we insist on being like everyone else? If so why?
If I had to chose, I will opt for reason.
If you'd be speaking of facts, that would need a lot of reasoning but you're trying to convince your friend to believe. Faith is something coming from the very soul of a person, and it's not part of the material reasoning. All you can do is only influence that person and let God do the controlling part.
And to finish, I could add a définition of faith, given by Kant in his: 'Religion in the strict limits of reason ': the belief is what we take for real ( das Fürwahrhalten). Well can also refer to the definition given by Maimonides in Chapter 50 in the first part of The Guide to the Perplexed.