Thursday, January 22, 2009

I have been lately thinking a deal about difference between having Faith and having a Philosophy. The two have been collapsed into being seen as a set of beliefs about the world. The collapse has been not formal in the sense that the two would be seen as synonymies of each other, but in how they function in the world. I have heard that Faith is claimed to powerful in and of itself. Recently fox sports published a story on Kurt Warner's faith. In it, Mark Kriegel saw Warner's faith as a key to his success, but the Warner's faith was seen apart from his faith in Jesus. Faith as a system of belief was what mattered and cause the success, the content of the belief:

"Actually, the issue isn't really religion. It's faith. I don't care what or whom a ballplayer believes in: Jesus, Moses, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard. I don't care what his position is on stem cell research, abortion, gay rights. But a system of belief — any system, really — that stills the mind and quells doubt is of obvious benefit, particularly if you're an athlete."

Faith as a system of belief viewed in such a way then can easily lead to Faith in myself. Then is there a difference between Kurt Warner's faith in Jesus and Terrell Owen's faith in his own skills (to keep in the world of professional sports). Faith as a system of belief is in reality a philosophy and not a faith at all. Follow me. A philosophy is more a set of propositions or a set of beliefs to which a person ascribes to. Faith should be an onological event that changes the self. If I have faith in Jesus, then it alters who I am, while if I hold to a philosophy of Jesus, it does not. The major difference comes down to faith forces me to be and do things differently than I would like to, while philosophy does not need to call me beyond myself. Viewed from this angle, then the object of faith is what transformed. The faith in Jesus is profoundly different than faith in Naziism to take the extreme. It works even if you reframe form the extremes. Faith in capitalism is different than faith in money and shapes us differently. In all cases the object of faith shapes the self. Having faith has to be having faith in something.

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