Monday, June 26, 2006
Leap of Faith
This weekend I received another response to my atheism post. I'm so intrigued by all of the responses I've received. Anyway, this one was from Tzedek (meaning righteous in Hebrew) and he asked:

"Isn't atheism a leap of faith? I could understand being agnostic. So my question is what makes believers different from non-believers if both require a leap of faith?"

It's a really interesting question and one I've never quite pondered before. I actually gave it quite a bit of thought throughout the weekend. Here's what I came up with...

All any of us have to go on is what was written and our experience of what we see in the world today. We all interpret the world around us based on our beliefs and our histories.

I interpret the world around me somewhat differently than someone who believes in Allah, in God, in Jesus, in the divine but ultimately, every person interprets the world differently, even two Christians of the same denomination or two Jews who attend the same shul have different relationships with God and sees God in their lives differently.

My experiences (study, personal feelings, prayer, childhood, view of nature) tells me there is no divine spirit. These experiences have led me to a place where I believe that no one is listening. But that is just my belief.

In a world where more than 90 percent (and really upwards of 95%) believe in God or a universal spirit, I think it does take something of a leap to be a non-believer though I never would have put it that way before. Thanks for the question Tzedek!


Stumble It!


Blogger Sachi said...

In my experience, Atheism means that you believe in the tangible; the earth, the laws of nature, things for which there is evidence. This is how I am personally. By this definition, it is not a leap of faith. Faith, as I understand it, is belief in something that exists beyond our ability to understand; the supernatural.

Fantastic question by your reader!

Cheers, hon! See you Thursday!

Blogger Faith said...

I agree Sachi. I also think that with so much emphasis on God in our world today that it could almost be considered tangible. Maybe not tangible but at least omnipresent.

Great insight Sachi!

Blogger Uccellina said...

My comment became so long I made it its own post on my blog.

Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

I have seen a leap of Faith - when she was avoiding the puddle after the last rainstorm.

Hah, hah. I crack myself up.

Firstly I want to thank Faith for taking the time out to consider my query.It did indeed help with my understanding of parallels.

Secondly Sachi what you described in your comment is not by definition faith. One definition from is: Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. You said "atheism means you believe in the tangible" This is illogical to me because one does not believe in the tangible. Its tangibility defines it ergo one is not required to believe in it. Perhaps you meant that one only recognizes existence as physical tangibility. If this is what you meant that would be clearer. Nevertheless you do not believe that a rock is a rock, it is a rock by our definition, nor do I believe that F=MA but I see that as a human understanding of Gravity, not a belief, therfore no belief is necessary.Not to mention it is a little presumptuous to think that Humanity understands all the forces of nature and has learned everything scientific. We indeed have physical phenomena that we do not understand does that mean it is "supernatural". (Example light's wave particle duality)

Thridly my belief in the Singular Unified Supreme Being who is beyond comprehension is also derived from my experiences. If you will, my relationship with G-d is almost entierly experiential. So Faith, like you said, your experiences led you to choose an atheistic view of life whereas mine led me to choose G-d. I think that is interesting and I thank you again for your answer.I will indeed ponder this.


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