Most people consider ‘faith’ to be a good thing, a virtue almost – yet ‘faith’ for most people usually is a result of submission and indoctrination. People have ‘faith’ in a religion that was imposed on them – they had no say and no choice on what religion to worship – the religion was forced on them by their parents or by society. Yet, they claim they have ‘faith’.
Let’s say I raise a child from birth to believe in my own made-up hypothetical religion, let’s just call it Religion X. Now, let’s say that Religion X teaches that murder is okay as long as it occurs on a Saturday night, that it is immoral to drink milk in the month of January, and that 4 eyelashes must be plucked from each person, placed in a bowl, and then offered every Tuesday to the sun god, where the eyelashes are left out in the open for a week until the next Tuesday. Let’s say that, in Religion X, it is immoral to urinate while standing up, that every night before bed one must yell out the names of all the elements on the periodic table, and that before each meal one must clap their hands four times and then pinch themselves. And, just for the sake it, every other day a person must get on the ground and hum a specific tune for twelve minutes. These are the rituals and ethics of Religion X. Sounds strange correct?
Now let’s say that, in Religion X, there is an afterlife where the souls of the deceased go. But this afterlife is on either the moon or on Mars – bad people go to Mars and good people go to the moon. The bad people can eventually go over to the moon, but only if they go back to earth, take the body of an infant, and repeat life over again. As for the good people on the moon, they can do whatever they want, and they mostly throw parities.
This religion sounds strange and unreasonable correct? But let’s says I raise a child from the moment of their birth to believe in this religion. In fact, let’s say I raise an entire village to believe in Religion X from the moment of their births. What do you think will happen? Most people will accept this religion and practice it. Why? Because that’s what they were taught to believe from day one. The more people that practice it – the better, because then even fewer people will be willing to question its validity. But you, a person who was not raised in Religion X, will look at it and think ‘what is this nonsense?’ You may even ask one of the followers of Religion X ‘why are you doing these weird acts.’
And the follower will reply ‘because that’s what our religion tells us to do.’ And so you will respond ‘but these acts are so nonsensical. There is no proof that you will go to the moon when you die!’ And the follower of Religion X will respond ‘it’s called faith’.
To you, Religion X seems strange. And to followers of Religion X, your religion looks strange. But, both of you claim that you have ‘faith’ – as if this is a good thing. As if believing in something that you have never questioned or reasonably analyzed is a good thing.
‘Faith’ is usually a result of indoctrination and submission. It is not as virtuous and as noble as you think. Indeed, real faith would be putting your faith in something that you are unsure of – that you have doubts about. That is real faith! But to have ‘faith’ in something that you have always believed since birth, to have faith in something that you have never questioned or analyzed – this ‘faith’ is weak and should be substituted with ‘stubborn compliance’.