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April 02, 2010


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Many contemporary people in the faith community (myself included) would dispute your distinction. Granted, there are those who exercise "blind faith" which is hard to understand. But for most of us faith is not devoid of intellectual activity. Faith is brought about by studying historical documents, language, shared experiences of past believers, and a good degree of rational exercise. I suggest you take a look at the "Jesus Movement" and the writings of Marcus Borg. That which emerges is not simply an intellectually-proven matter, but substance to be relied upon when experiencing faith.

@Jed: Thank you for your comment. The distinction you refer to is Barbara Ehrenreich's, not mine; I intentionally chose not to editorialize. Ehrenreich's observations were made in the context of a critique of "positive thinking," the subject of her most recent book. Speaking strictly for myself, I'd speculate that the study of historical evidence may often be intellectually satisfying and a justification for one's faith in a doctrine. But it is not the basis of faith--which by definition cannot be (and in many belief systems should not be) substantiated.

Faith is also used in the sports world.
"We all have faith in ourselves," said Youkilis,who scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the seventh inning. He went on to say," It's good to get a win on opening night. It's good for the city. It's good for the fans. It's good for the players. It's good for everyone... But it's just one game." (Red Sox over Yankees game one, from AP) Lots of faith, but not overly optimistic?

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