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Several common varieties of faith tradition

In a system based on certainty, what is the role of faith?

I don't have faith in god. I know god exists with absolute certainty. Because god is the universe. And I know the universe exists.

Gödel Proved We Will Always Need Faith

There is always uncertainty in science. There is infinite information and finite knowledge. This fact means that there will always be mystery and the unknown in the universe.

This has been proven mathematically by Gödel.

No matter how far science advances, there will always be new discoveries to be made, new mysteries to be solved, things that must be bet on rather than known for sure.

If you were to calculate the Mandelbrot fractal for a million years using the fastest computer available, how much of it would still remain unknown? Infinity.

It's a big universe. There will always be mystery that requires faith to cope with it. No amount of science can take that away, it can only get slightly closer to that unobtainable goal.

Faith and Optimism

Having hope that things will work out for the best, knowing that the universe is fundamentally good, or being optimistic about the future, all require some degree of faith. We cannot know for sure that things will work out, but believing that they will makes you happier. And being happier makes you more capable, more affable, and more likely to succeed in whatever your goals are. This turns your faith in optimism into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is the real principle behind The Secret and other pseudoscientific self-help notions that our beliefs manifest reality. We can increase the probabilities in our favor through self-improvement, but we cannot literally make things happen unless we help make them happen ourselves. God helps those and all that.

The god concept puts this principle into practice by generalizing faith in the goodness of the universe in order to create a reflexive happiness reaction to all of life's ups and downs.

Faith and Doubt

Doubt is the inevitable by-product of faith. To minimize doubt, move as much of your belief system from faith to certainty by grounding it in science. There will be plenty left to believe in when you're done.

Faith is what you bet on in life because it can't be known for sure.

Take the afterlife as an example. Belief in consciousness after death, with the type of self-awareness we have when we are living, requires faith to believe in since there is no way to verify this claim one way or the other (though it seems unlikely). However, if the afterlife is defined as the imprint of our life's actions on the universe echoing through the infinite fractal of time, this can be believed with certainty. This must be true due to the laws of physics, and requires no supernatural belief system to have faith in.

How does it impact the peace of mind you receive knowing that your actions will live on through their impact, versus having faith that your consciousness will live on? This probably depends on your attachment to ego. But for those who do not think that the universe revolves around them, the certainty of the laws of physics provide ample psychological comfort and moral incentive without the doubt that faith can never quash.

Cartesian Doubt

Everyone needs to have a good Cartesian Doubt at least once in their lives. This will usually take place after some significant revelation about the nature of the universe that causes you to have to rethink a number of things. If you have to rethink many things, you might as well rethink everything, and that's where Cartesian Doubt comes in handy.

Should you find the idea of fractal pantheistic universalism persuasive and decide it's time to adopt a new belief system, give your brain the Cartesian Doubt it deserves and reform the fractal pattern of your mind.

Faith Versus Certainty

metaculture offers certainty without dogma. Other religions that profess to have found all the answers become rigid and dogmatic, unable to incorporate new information. Though they ostensibly offer faith, what they really provide is certainty. This certainty is what allows false beliefs like creationism and evolution denial to obscure their view of reality.

You can be certain of that for which there is evidence without claiming certainty about the unknown or the unknowable, or that the literal interpretation you make of scripture is inerrant. Basing your certainty on evidence allows conflicting evidence to re-introduce doubt. If you hold self-correction as a core belief, and embrace science without hubris, you can walk the tightrope between faith and certainty without falling into the abyss of dogma.

Certainty Versus Inclusiveness

In the effort to be inclusive of all cultures, many secular and progressive people are unwilling to go all in on any belief system. This cultural relativism and its implied moral relativism fails to appeal to people with a strong innate sense of right and wrong, which includes anyone with a brain.

While we must embrace people from all cultures and religions, it is not necessary to do this by abandoning our ability to rally around our commonly held beliefs, or advocate for a specific vision of reality and the future. You will never be able to please everyone, but it is impossible to have ideals or inspire zeal without giving people specifics.

That is why despite its universalist nature, the fractal vision of pantheism is put forth as a specific model for how this works, rather than saying "you can believe whatever you want and it's all good". Yes, ultimately it is all good as long as you accept science and adhere to best practices, but there are specific benefits to the interdependent model being advocated that you may not get if you go your own way.

Pantheism, Faith, and Certainty

The question of "does god exist?" is no longer a question of faith when one adopts the pantheistic perspective on the definition of god. It is tantamount to asking "does the universe exist?" which has a significantly higher metaphysical probability, high enough to enter the realm of "certainty".

If the most important function of god is the creation of the god concept in the mind of the believer, having faith in the supernatural as a necessary prerequisite simply makes this goal harder to achieve. A definition of god whose existence cannot be questioned will receive much more widespread adoption, especially as critical thinking becomes more common.

The biggest doubt one can have in the truth of pantheism is over the question of whether this was the original intent of our ancestors or not. Did they see a separation between the supernatural and the natural before widespread knowledge of science? Were the original authors of scripture aware of their use of allegory? These are the unknowable questions of pantheism, but their answers really don't have any impact on whether it makes sense as a definition for god.

Faith is a Former Feature, Now a Bug

Before widespread science education, faith was necessary to have any belief system whatsoever. No other viable explanation of creation existed. Faith was an assumption, and it allowed for the creation of religion and everything that came with it.

Now that most people are aware of science, its conflicts with scriptural literalism, and experience the cognitive dissonance it causes, the requirement of faith becomes an impediment to finding meaning through traditional religious means. It prevents secular people from finding a connection. It also makes spiritual people more susceptible to grift, conspiracy, misinformation and other forms of control.

Having a sense of spirituality that doesn't have faith in the supernatural as a necessary prerequisite will be necessary to form secular institutions that serve the social functions of religion for future generations.

Faith in the YouTube Algorithm

The algorithm said you would like this video.

Richard Rohr - Faith is Not Certainty

This video does a good job of demonstrating where faith and science meet from a Catholic perspective. We will always have to bet on the unknowable aspects of reality regardless of whether we wager on the supernatural or not.

Do God and science contradict each other?

George Michael - Faith