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Faith

By Carl S ~
“What is easy and obvious is never valued. And even what is in itself difficult, if we come to the knowledge of it without difficulty, and without any stretch of thought, or judgement, is but little regarded.” -- David Hume 1739.
“The value of a thing sometimes lies not in what one attains with it, but what one pays for it - what it costs us.” -- Nietzsche 1889
“The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever.” -- Anatole France 1914.
“Faith makes a virtue of not thinking.” -- Bill Maher 2008.
When I was a child, my mother would talk about the “spoiled” children who “had everything given to them.” They didn't have to work for what they had, so they didn't appreciate what they had; they took it all for granted. Indeed, if you have to put out effort and sweat to get what you earn, all the more so are you likely to appreciate it. If you put out a lot of effort against odds you won't succeed and you do, why then, there's no reward better than the one you give yourself for your efforts.

Without any “stretch of thought or judgement,” believers may have little regard for their alleged beliefs. They are taught faith itself is a gift unearned, obtained without effort or investigation as to its value. Isn't it of no more value than what they didn't pay for it? My own spouse wonders why “Christians can behave so un-Christ-like.” I try to tell her that what distinguishes the Christian religion from others is that it is Christo-centric,” but that a label is not the same as a virtue. If we wonder why their actions so often are contrary to their alleged morality, this may explain why. The faithful do not really value their beliefs. They're not serious enough to put enough effort into uncovering the truth, searching pro and con, they’re willing to accept the easy “mystery” answer. If precious faith is contingent on being incurious and intellectually lazy, why bother to critically examine what those surrounding you furiously claim are the words of God?


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