Faith’s Inferno

The more we explore the nature of religious faith, the more synonymous it seems with blind faith. One could even go so far as to say that the greater the blindness, the greater the faith, and the greater the supposed rewards for such faith.

Hebrew 11:1 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
What an oxymoron! If something is “hoped for”, it hasn’t yet materialized into the real world, so how can it have any substance? If something is “not seen”, how can there be any evidence of it? Until those things are seen, aren’t we totally blind to their existence? We are not allowed to entertain the possibility that the things hoped for may never come to pass, or that the things “not seen” may not actually exist in the first place. This kind of faith requires us to totally suspend anything remotely resembling logic and reason.

Romans 8:24 – “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Once again it is made clear that we must – in effect – be blind to what we are hoping to see

2 Corinthians 4:18 – “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Taken literally, how can we fix our eyes on something that is unseen? Could “fix our eyes” be a metaphor for “pin our hopes on..” or “put our faith in…” This passage also seems to suggest that what we CAN see – in other words the factual or sensory basis for our existence – is of lesser importance than what we CAN’T see. We are going from blind by nature, to blind by desire.

Above the gate of Hell, in Dante’s inferno is written “abandon all hope, ye who enter here”. If we agree the blind faith is the antithesis of reason, above the gate of Heaven, could appear “abandon all reason, ye who wish to enter here”.

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