Faith without religion

Just wondering about some opinions on this. The way I see it is that true faith should require the strength that will allow you to see through the superstitions inherent to specific religions. I think faith is just something that keeps you going when you are downtrodden, it’s very simple and universal, which is why the existence of so many different religions is perplexing. I personally do not consider myself religious but I am still rooted in primitive christian thinking and probably always will be. Anyway, does anyone have anything to say on this?

There’s a theory that the reason why many persons with Autism develop depression later in life is that they lack future-oriented delusive thinking (e.g. that someday I’m gonna live in that nice cottage on the seashore). Is this how you see faith as operating?

For myself, I identify with your irrepressible “rootedness”. I, too, catch myself “talking to God” all the time, despite my considered disbelief. Is faith an echo of acculturation, as that which drives we specimens of the great social presence on by mitigating our downtroddenness?

I used to think of myself as being religious without being spiritual. I let myself believe that faith played no role. I still don’t think faith plays a substantial role in my thinking. But I will say that in the face of insurmountable moral struggles, the beliefs of my parents provides a massive degree of comfort.

That doesn’t mean I believe it. But it does mean that the amount of Communist propaganda that I post on ILP has increased by several orders of magnitude.

I think I’m coming to the position that faith is much ado about nothing. Like, when your friend tells you they’ll pick you up at 8, and it’s 8:01, that you still assume they’re coming is faith. It’s really just that small- just the persistence of a belief after some reason to doubt it comes along.

I like that one Uccisore: faith is tantamount to an after-image, and not something one has any wilful control over. One doesn’t “keep the faith”, in truth, or for that matter lose it, but rather simply has the opportunity to observe the phenomenology of its duration, at best to ponder whether the (sourced of the) image might return… or perhaps whether one can actually see into the darkness. (I tend to think of candles when I think of after-images.)

What seems to complicate this, though, is the idea of having “faith in faith,” such that a recursion of belief-feedback loops the after-imaging into a seemingly separate epiphenomenal dimension. It no longer matters whether your friends ever pick you up, but rather just the thought that you once believed they would, which suffices to justify maintaining the faith. Believing one can see in the dark, I suppose.

Yeah, I think we're on the same page. That second paragraph is especially important, because while you're right that we can't switch on or off our beliefs (faith), we do have some control over our attitudes to our beliefs, which affects our beliefs indirectly.  So, for example, if a person argues themselves into a place where faith must always be an error or a virtue, then they'll believe they ought to resist/cling to those afterimages as much as possible, and so believing will eventually effect how they actually behave. 
I suspect that atheists who say 'faith is bad' as a general rule are either not really in touch with their own words in that instance, or they're risking doing some long term damage to the way they think. I'm reminded of a thread Mutcer started where he insisted he didn't know what the phrase "You are in my heart" meant because hearts are too small to contain people.  Either he's lying, or his philosophy is rotting his brain. And yes, the opposite happens as well, where somebody believes faith is a virtue so strongly that they start to take seeming pride in collecting as many implausible beliefs as they can.

I like the idea of faith being an afterimage, specifically a candle, which I guess is like an afterimage of the sun. Reminds me of someone who said something to the effect that all the different religions are claiming ownership of the sun; can’t remember who said that one, anyone heard that quote? And yeah I guess faith just sometimes amounts to simple wishful thinking, better than being in the dark I suppose.

Wow. That’s beautiful rat! My thought with the candle after-image was actually when you blow out the flame (hmm, did I blow out God?) and concentrate on viewing the afterimage of the flame, as it changes a spectrum of colours (in the dark), and there’s a point at which a sort of t v screen appears and images form (I once saw the face of Jesus, I swear, and promptly put it on the “shelf”), but eventually the whole thing fades to black. Wishes enlighten nothing. What a thought!

Uccisore: is the function of religion to identify faith, and place it into itself?

That might be the function of some religions. I can picture Unitarians ready to agree. I tend to think religions are too different from each other to make broad statements about what they are for, or what they do.

yeah i guess it was an over generalized statement, haven’t studied religions enough to know if its legit.

I don’t know… I wouldn’t say that it’s the only function of religion, and wouldn’t claim that all religions approach it identically. Nonetheless, from a sociological standpoint, I’d guess that religion-at-large is the primary institution for facilitating the transcendence of belief-at-large beyond the restrictions of the temporal order (which I would imagine is what the effect of having faith in faith amounts to), …though, of course, its mechanisms are coopted by other concerns. So, to have faith without religion would be to restrict oneself to a much less “phenomenal” expectation about the power of what one believes in. The idea that all religions compete for the sun, then, remains true insofar as it illustrates the thought that they seek to reflect its afterimage to their believers during the night cycle… whereas the areligious simply experience the darkness unadulterated. (sorry, a nine-year-old is scrabbling all over me at the moment, so cohererence may have been sacrificed here… not that such is my strong suit anyway!)

I believe faith is the very first step towards knowledge. Having faith, in my view, is to be open minded to the fact that there might be more than the eye and the other senses can catch. Once the mind is open for the intuition to the fact that there is more, the curiosity flame that burns inside all of us will burn an intense fire that will fuel the constant pursuit for the so called truth.
I believe religion might be an initial necessary step so man gets more aware to the expanded power of consciousness, you can call it God if you want. However, I do believe that once that awareness is stablished, religion becomes a barrier to higher reach as it constraints ourselves to a set of rules or dogmas. I firmly believe the next step for humanity is the non-religion. Not atheism, as one thing doesn’t have to do with the other, but non-religion on the standpoint that each individuality will form its own view of the Universe and the self, but compiling bits and pieces of information from all religions, philosophies and scientific knowledge, as I do think we should not fragment them as we currently do in this world.
I do have a blog on this where I go a little deeper if you are interested in the train of thought.

Faith is a dimension of trust.
Simple enough.
You don’t need religion to have Faith.

And trust, as noted above by others, has the prerequisite of imagination of fruition and time.

Though I like the bit about autism above, it is only one direction of trust; hope.
Which, hope, in order is after trust. Hope is a positive anxiety counter to Fear as a negative anxiety; they are both anticipations based on the trust of an occurrence taking place with some given degree of the other invading each other (meaning, if you are Hoping, then you have some Fear; if you have anxious Fear, then you have some Hope).
But trust is first before things like hope as trust is conviction of “true-case” (1 in binary) having existed, existing, or to be existing; but not being evident at the instance of trust. (essentially trust is binary 0 imagining that 1 has been the case, is the case elsewhere, or will be the case; the image of the 1 where 0 is)

Acceptance, on the other hand, simply stands at 0 and accepts it as it is; nothing further; that 0 has been, is elsewhere, or will be 1 is a given to the 0 if the 0 is accepting of the concept of 1 where 0 is.

Most would use the word “believe” for things like this and I’m sure that works well, but anatomically, belief is a movement of trust.
Acceptance is better clarification of what people often coin as “belief”, where as belief is more a relationship between Trust and Acceptance.
(This is why children are used so often in examples of belief; they are bias to accept much more than the adult brain [which must Trust more than the child brain which simply accepts] due to neurological need of growth)

So in my view:

Now, ideally, wrap this image around a cylinder so that Acceptance and Trust meet at the seem (sorry, didn’t really want to take the time to pull that model off).

Faith is where you place your slider on the measure of Hope vs Fear by Acceptance vs Trust.
And of course, the extremes of Trust and Acceptance (since this is supposed to be wrapped on a cylinder) are the same though the areas between (around) are not (like polar ends in politics).

Doubt is not what Hope and Fear are, but the Doubt above Hope and Fear means that the latitudinal movement between Hope and Fear is a relative measure of Doubt (either Doubt of something to be Fearful of, or Doubt of something to be Hopeful for, or less Doubt for either…depends on what you want to take account of; for instance the fanatic of Hope-a-holic Ucc was talking about would always measure how “little” Doubt they had in their Hope [how few measures to the far left they have remaining before being pure Hope where only Acceptance and Trust is measured]).
{also take note that pure Fear (far right) only has measures of Acceptance and Trust as well, so that the extremes of anxiety (hope and fear) are converted into conviction}

Belief works the same as Doubt, but on the longitudinal movement so that your conviction (belief) rests on the range of how much requires your trust compared to how much is a given to your mind; thereby accepted rather than trusted.

This is how I see the entire phenomena.