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    Senior Member Sanctus Iacobus's Avatar
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    Default Faith

    Faith is what you live for, what you sacrifice for, and what you wait for. Everyone has faith, in different things, sometimes people. We often believe the definition of a good person is someone who has faith in humanity. And yet, a part of us... the most honest part of us, is unable to reconcile our observations that humanity can't be trusted with the fact that we want to trust people and see this as a good thing. Between these two extremes lies the joy and turmoil of human relationships.

    Why do we put our faith in humanity if humanity is incapable and sometimes the opposite of what would fulfill and justify our faith?
    Good intentions are not enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanctus Iacobus View Post
    Why do we put our faith in humanity if humanity is incapable and sometimes the opposite of what would fulfill and justify our faith?
    I don't know the answer. For brief moments I lose faith in people, but it seems like instinct for me to believe the best in people. People fail us and we fail people because we're human. Is that what you're thinking?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanctus Iacobus View Post
    the most honest part of us, is unable to reconcile our observations that humanity can't be trusted with the fact that we want to trust people and see this as a good thing. Between these two extremes lies the joy and turmoil of human relationships.
    Good insight on the dichotomy. Much life truth is dichotomous, in fact, and results in tension between what we would hope for and what actually just is.

    Why do we put our faith in humanity if humanity is incapable and sometimes the opposite of what would fulfill and justify our faith?
    Well, to put another spin on it, is there a choice? What other options are there, either for things to put faith in or in terms of best outcome, at least in terms of making a connection outside of ourselves?

    I can be a pollyanna and disregard human frailty and live in a fantasy world (and leave myself irrelevant).
    I can be a cynic and disregard the potential for good in people and undermine everything that others might do (and leave myself bitter).

    Or I can choose to live in that tension of realism (people fail, sometimes because they are human and sometimes because they're selfish) and idealism (people are strill striving to be more and to meet their ideals) and accept what comes.

    I think the first two options are safer emotionally (because you never have to deal with disappointment and you can disengage from reality). The latter is less safe but offers more chance for actually building connections with others, expressing desire, having goals in life, and finding joy when those goals are reached.
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    Member MiriMiriAru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Or I can choose to live in that tension of realism (people fail, sometimes because they are human and sometimes because they're selfish) and idealism (people are strill striving to be more and to meet their ideals) and accept what comes.
    To me, this is the only realistic option. You are right that the other two are safer, but they ultimately achieve nothing. Wallowing in hatred of the world, or escaping into a perfect fantasy world is pointless and often self-destructive, as has been my experience.

    The thing is though, the middle option, from my point of view, appears to negate faith a valid concept, as it becomes irrelevant. People will do what they do, and it will either be what you wanted, or not, but you accept it, because you had no deep expectation, since it could have gone either way. Faith is basically expectation. People have faith in things because they expect certain things from them. If do not strongly expect anything, then how can you be said to have faith?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Jesus View Post
    To me, this is the only realistic option. You are right that the other two are safer, but they ultimately achieve nothing. Wallowing in hatred of the world, or escaping into a perfect fantasy world is pointless and often self-destructive, as has been my experience.

    The thing is though, the middle option, from my point of view, appears to negate faith a valid concept, as it becomes irrelevant. People will do what they do, and it will either be what you wanted, or not, but you accept it, because you had no deep expectation, since it could have gone either way. Faith is basically expectation. People have faith in things because they expect certain things from them. If do not strongly expect anything, then how can you be said to have faith?
    Yeah, I think this concept appears in New Testament writings, where "Faith is hope in things unseen." If you don't hope / expect something, there is no faith.

    I think desire is a big deal overall. A lot of the apathy of our modern age comes in a loss of expectation; apathy is the loss of desire, and so instead we manufacture desires for things that don't really matter to us -- money, prestige, drugs, alcohol, sex, other pasttimes meant to fill the hole where true desire/hope used to be.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yeah, I think this concept appears in New Testament writings, where "Faith is hope in things unseen." If you don't hope / expect something, there is no faith.

    I think desire is a big deal overall. A lot of the apathy of our modern age comes in a loss of expectation; apathy is the loss of desire, and so instead we manufacture desires for things that don't really matter to us -- money, prestige, drugs, alcohol, sex, other pasttimes meant to fill the hole where true desire/hope used to be.
    What expectations or desires would you say are missing from modern life, or that once filled that drug, sex, and alcohol filled hole? It would seem reasonable that this was once filled with god, and then later humanity. It seems though, that these things often fail, making faith in them appear unfounded. Would it not be better to simply close up the hole, rather than trying to fill it with manufactured alternatives (don't ask me how :P)?

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    I'm not overtly equating God with the hole, I'm just mentioning the idea appears in prominent thoughts impacting our judeo-Christian culture.

    But my intuition is that killing desire -> apathy -> need to feel SOMETHING -> lots of frenetic chasing / trying to fill the hole / trigger oneself back awake again.

    ... and what is used are items that operate as transactions, rather than as risk. Drink a beer, smoke a joint, shoot up heroin, have sex, play a game, race a car... all these things provide a reliable amount of stimulation to momentarily fill a hole or allow one to feel alive.

    However, then the law of diminishing returns kicks in. You need more and more of the stimulation to get the same impact. Eventually, after you've fallen into compulsive/addictive stimulation, it fails to satisfy.

    I think true engagement and investment, taking risks for something you believe in and trying to get something you actually want even if you might fail, are what helps us feel alive in a more enduring sense.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Member MiriMiriAru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not overtly equating God with the hole, I'm just mentioning the idea appears in prominent thoughts impacting our judeo-Christian culture.
    I didn't think you were equating the hole with god (or his lack, being as it is, a hole), it was more speculation on what would have filled it in the pre-modern world.

    But my intuition is that killing desire -> apathy -> need to feel SOMETHING -> lots of frenetic chasing / trying to fill the hole / trigger oneself back awake again.

    ... and what is used are items that operate as transactions, rather than as risk. Drink a beer, smoke a joint, shoot up heroin, have sex, play a game, race a car... all these things provide a reliable amount of stimulation to momentarily fill a hole or allow one to feel alive.

    However, then the law of diminishing returns kicks in. You need more and more of the stimulation to get the same impact. Eventually, after you've fallen into compulsive/addictive stimulation, it fails to satisfy.

    I think true engagement and investment, taking risks for something you believe in and trying to get something you actually want even if you might fail, are what helps us feel alive in a more enduring sense.
    I definitely agree with you on this. Pursuing a deep desire or goal that is of importance to you, rather than something that is a momentary fix, no matter the cost, even if success is not guaranteed, can give one's life meaning and purpose, even where objectively there is none.

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    I've been boiling my spirtuality down to a basic essense for a long time. Faith to me is this totally unprovable belief that living is worthwhile. This expands into a whole cosmos of tenets and implications, which I would love to engage other people on, except that I'm not ready yet. I'm still thinking about this one.

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    Senior Member Jack427's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a good person.

    Some people put their faith in humanity because of what humanity is capable of, not what they are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanctus Iacobus View Post
    Faith is what you live for, what you sacrifice for, and what you wait for. Everyone has faith, in different things, sometimes people. We often believe the definition of a good person is someone who has faith in humanity. And yet, a part of us... the most honest part of us, is unable to reconcile our observations that humanity can't be trusted with the fact that we want to trust people and see this as a good thing. Between these two extremes lies the joy and turmoil of human relationships.

    Why do we put our faith in humanity if humanity is incapable and sometimes the opposite of what would fulfill and justify our faith?

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