Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.
I have been wrestling with the idea of faith for a long time but the struggle for the last six months or so is whether or not faith has any value whatsoever. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose anymore in my moral philosophy or the way I live my life. I don’t take anything on faith anymore and insist on solid evidence for claims. The bigger the claim, the large amount of evidence should be expected to prove it.
Odin’s Eye as a topic head has been for the most part about the stuff that I am still trying to figure out form a spiritual point of view. As I have pointed out atheists do have spirituality, it is just based on human experience and consciousness rather than blind leaps of faith.
The issue is one of my filters for Odin’s Eye has been Faith, and I think it has run its course. Religion gave way to Meditation and Theology has given way to Mystery. So Faith gives way to what? Do I need a replacement or do I just discard it and move on without it in Odin’s Eye?
Time to Look Through the Eye:
“To see the truth, change one eye for another”
This will be the last time faith will appear in Odin’s Eye. The main reason: I no longer consider faith a virtue. There is nothing virtuous about making absolute claims with no evidence whatsoever. It is not a virtue to believe in something because you want or need to believe it despite the fact there is no evidence for it or worse strong evidence against it. That’s not a virtue; that is wilful deliberate ignorance and there is nothing virtuous about deliberate ignorance. It is actually a very dishonest position to hold.
Meditation is the last trappings of my religious life. But it is also demonstrable that it helps calm a person down., clears their head and allows one to focus. By meditating on the virtues one holds true one can change one’s attitude and perspective – change the nature of one’s consciousness. That isn’t faith-based at all but neuroscience and practical experience.
Dumping theology was hard because in a sense I still use the skills I learned as a theologian as far as understanding theological points of view. I use it to debunk them now and I rather talk about mysteries of life not for the purpose of glorying in mystery but for the purpose of discovery of the answers to them. The process of doing this is really anti-faith as it isn’t about acceptance of mystery but solving them.
My spirituality isn’t about faith at all, rather being skeptical. Proof my human relationships and consciousness are accurate are important under spirituality. This is not some blind faith, but rather a genuine attempt to understand all the world around me using my consciousness, my experience and most importantly my rational mind.
This post marks the end fo faith as a virtue for me. I see it now for what it is – deliberate ignorance and ultimately dishonest. It can’t stay. The only question now is if it deserves a replacement in Odin’s Eye, or does it deserve the status of a blinder thrown off. Have I, like Odin, plucked out my eye of faith as a sacrifice? I just perhaps need to put a patch over where it used to be and move along.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.