What is Faith?

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Faith is the belief in something, whether a person or an idea, even in the absence of proof to support such a belief. Faith is usually used in the religious sense, as a verb and as a noun. As a verb, it is the act of believing in a creator or a divine being even in the absence of physical evidence. Used as a noun, faith pertains to the religion itself.

The word faith is derived from the Latin word fidem or fides, meaning trust. Examples of faith are always seen in religion as all religion is based on faith. For Christians, they have faith that worshipping Jesus Christ is the way to redeem their souls. For Muslims, they have faith that the Qu’ran is the verbatim word of God and that these words should be taken literally in order for their souls to be saved.

Faith is also manifested in non-religious settings, usually in the calculated sense. For instance, a bride has faith that her groom will stay faithful to her for life. Or it can be a boss handing a big assignment to a rookie because ‘he believes in him’.

Faith has a lot of critics, especially when used in the religious sense. Many view it as a deliberate ignorance of facts and rationality, as people ‘of faith’ tend to still cling viciously to their beliefs even in the face of evidence to the contrary. One of the most vocal opponents of organized religion, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, states that faith is an active process of non-thinking.

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