Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boundless Faith

What is the difference between having faith in something and having confidence in it?  Voltaire said, 'Faith is to believe in something which your reason tells you cannot be true; for if your reason approved of it, there could be no question of blind faith.'  On the other hand confidence is an assured expectation, not of something that cannot be touched, observed, but of what can be tested as experienced and understood personally.  This is why Buddhism shuns faith and embraces confidence.  The Buddha stated, 'Do not blindly believe what others say, even the Buddha. See for yourself what brings contentment, clarity, and peace. That is the path for you to follow.'

Theistic faith demands belief in things that cannot be known.  Direct knowledge and experience with the previously unknown now moves faith into the realm of confidence, therefor it can be said that knowledge destroys faith.  Does it work the other way around as well, can faith overcome knowledge?  Now we are in the world of miracles, the unexplained alteration of reality that runs counter to all knowledge.

Faith in my opinion, resides in the soul and is limitless while confidence emanates from the mind and is clearly bound by finite points.  Therefor one's confidence in himself or the world around him extends only so far as his personal observation and experience, while his faith appears to be endless.

1 comment:

'Seph Sayers said...

I love this piece!

I hope you don't mind, but I've quoted you (this blog) on a discussion on another site (

Certainly gives one something to think about!