Hugging Owls Have Faith

Righteo. Sooo I’ve not posted in a while, mostly due to the fact that I’ve been incessantly abused by irritating people via Twitter. One of which I had a rather large squabble with [yes, a squabble, it was hardly a debate] regarding value, in Faith.

I can hear you all in uproar, the atheists’ sharp intake of breath asking if I’m serious – what could I, one of the most adamant atheists out there, have to say about faith, if anything?!

I’ll have to explain a little first and foremost on how exactly this came about – some guy on twitter, I won’t tell you who and I won’t link you to him as he was poorly educated and not in the least bit amusing (said in a -to-be-honest-I’m-not-even-sure-why-I-was-following-him- way) decided to put a tweet to “I’m […] rapidly losing faith in all people[…]”

To which I, possibly sticking my nose in where it wasn’t wanted (but hey isn’t that sort of the point of social networking?) decided to say “Never lose faith in people, we’re the only ones you can have faith in.” This sparked a sort of pseudo talk about animals and I was like you can’t really have much faith in animals.

And then there’s the whole thing about cats eating you after you’ve died.

Otherwise, yes, I am a complete innernet preacher, yes, I am arrogant enough to assume another individual cares about what I have to say and yes I really hope that sometimes saying things like this can shed light on some truths of humanity. As it is, for some obscure reason, the individual in question thought that I was actively going out of my way to piss him off and started attempting to destroy the idea that faith is a good thing.

Which, I feel it is. Care to disagree? Please let me know. If we define faith as an unerring trust and confidence in others to be good, and good defined, as loosely as we can, as what allows flourishing for the individual and [though not always necessarily] others.

You might think that I am talking about faith in God, but that is a completely different definition of faith, that concerns the role of the universe, the wider picture, why we are here and all that. You might quote Richard Dawkins at me, as the rassole above did: “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.”

[Which I might add was from the International Science Festival in 1992 which I am so sure that the twat from twitter attended, being [I’ve since learned] two years younger than me [GOD why did I even entertain an argument with a child?!]]

I am however, very familiar with Dawkins. In my first year of studying Philosophy of Religion in Year 12 I was obsessed with him, and argued almost solely from The God Delusion. Since then, I have learned that Dawkins tries to be a Philosopher of Religion but ultimately fails due to the fact he works with a conception of God that most theologians and religious believers hardly believe in. As it is, that’s another story.

THE POINT IS that I wasn’t talking about God, as Dawkins was when he said the above, and I wasn’t talking about religious belief. I do not care about God, or whether he exists, or whether I have faith in Him, for it is by the bye, and between us two.

I was talking about having faith in people. Faith in people is about trusting in them – faith is valuable, as much as trust is, and crucial to human relationships! People have had faith, understood the value in trust, for hundreds of years, and having faith in people can lead to flourishing and by extension goodness. Especially when one gives another a chance to be something much better than they are perceived! It really irritated me he just couldn’t understand this!

It appears to come down to what one knows. When you encounter another individual, you might make a judgement of them. You might think that they hate you, for instance. They might have hated your father, your family, your friends and acquaintances. They might be quite unpleasant people. However, just because an individual is unpleasant does not mean that a) they cannot be ever be pleasant, b) they are not ever pleasant, and c) they are evil or bad, rather than good or loving.

Such unknowns, you might shout out, are not realistic. If someone shows no evidence for being pleasant, kind, good or loving, then is it right to instantly infer that they are unpleasant, unkind, wicked and hateful? Of course not! Why see the good in people when they don’t show it? Because it is SO EASY NOT TO, YOU GOBSHITES .

So as you can imagine, when I was confronted about this particular issue on Twitter, my feathers got a little ruffled (haha there’s a joke) (about Twitter being about tweeting like birds like I am a bird etc oh oh oh it’s wasted on you.) I was told however that ‘just because YOU think it is valuable doesn’t make it so.’

That’s correct. But I’ll let the rest of the world decide on that matter. I’m not going to say my opinion, views or ideas are correct. I’m not fucking Dumbledore, nor God. But if you accept I’m not, twitter twat, you gotta accept you’re not either.

My opinions exist due to my experience of people, and what I’ve learned after three fucking years of reading about value. Apologies if they aren’t quite completely correct but at least I’m thinking about it in a dynamic way. I might well be wrong. But ask yourself – does anything I’ve said not ring a bell of truth? It might be a little off-key, but it’s ringing. It’ll take a while to ring on key [hey it’s taken the history of human experience to get as far as it is].

But – if no one had any faith you could do something well, would you do it as well? Maybe you would, to be difficult, or to show yourself up as something others don’t think you are. On the other hand, you might fulfil the -almost an idea of prophesy but within the individuals in question- and be the best you can be.

Faith can help this, can it not? A trust in you. What would you do if no one had any faith in you?! Prove them wrong? Would you have the strength to?

On the other hand, you might have false faith, in the same way one might have false hope. But hope and faith aren’t the same thing. Both are valuable, in looking at others, because it gives them a chance. If you have no faith in them you deny them this. Saying that, often in the end it is very much down to them. But faith helps it along a little, and as far as it goes in saying that faith is a choice, sometimes it isn’t. If you love someone for instance, you might be unable to deny your faith in another! And indeed, you remain faithful to them.

I’m not, by the way, writing an academic piece – this is just a blog primarily about how I feel. I just get irritated when people are so pig-headed >rolls eyes<. Get over yourself.

Love to all the hugging owls out there xXx

ps – I’ll upload a Marauder’s Map in just a sec, I’ve [sortof] finished an edited Ground Floor of the Castle Floorplan and you HAVE TO SEE IT . xXx

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2 Responses to Hugging Owls Have Faith

  1. Said Simon says:

    As we interact with people throughout society, we begin each relation with a certain baseline level of trust or confidence. But that isn’t based on some sort of internally-generated ‘faith’ in their goodness. Rather, it is based on one’s past experiences in similar situations, and the application of risk-assessment heuristics.

    If John has primarily met trustworthy, kind, and helpful people in his life, he’s more likely to have the kind of ‘faith’ in people that you discuss here compared to Jane, throughout whose life people have primarily shown themselves to be untrustworthy, selfish, and cruel. This is entirely reasonable, as people in risky environments, such as social circles full of deceitful and dangerous people, would do well to be careful whom they trust if they want to survive.

    I have faith that my mother loves me because she has demonstrated that love over and over again. If she had been consistently horrible to me growing up, or perhaps totally ambivalent, I’d have less faith. And quite possibly, I’d be correct in assessing that her feelings for me would not well fall under the category of ‘love’,

    Of course, what this means is that if we would like to see people have the sort of confidence and trust for one-another which you define as ‘faith’, we should try to create a society which encourages it.

    As for the word ‘faith’, I’m increasingly sympathetic to Stephen Law’s position, as he expressed it to us at that awful ‘debate’ we attended in Oxford, that the term is too confusing and should be avoided altogether.

    • Coram says:

      Yeah I absolutely agree. The kind of faith that also plays a part thought is almost a faith in the unknown individual – an individual you meet and are unable to make accurate judgement on. Obviously, hold your fire in terms of faith – they might well disappoint you. Say for instance, if I were a teacher. It would be very much in all of our interests for me to have faith in a pupil. To know that they can do their best. So a society where people uphold such values? Perhaps one without teachers but simultaneously with them – in everyone .. Hmm I am of course, merely threading out random half-asleep ideas.
      Similarly, those who show themselves to be consistently ‘bad’ can use faith in them, from others, as a crutch, for the first stepping stones at reaching some integrity in good actions. But it shouldn’t be the only reason they do it, of course.

      I don’t think it ought to be avoided. Though often trust does just as good a job.

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