Monday, March 30, 2009

The failure of living in faith

It was a thought I only realized recently.

There was an extreme amount of superficiality in the way I've treated life the past two years. It was an interesting thought, no doubt. But I realized the fatal flaw in my treatment and viewpoint on life. And if I'm not wrong, it's probably something that applied to many more people as well, today's pastor included.

It's a thought, but perhaps there is just some intense flaw in living any faith-based lifestyle, secular in nature or not. Christians will shoot me down, of course, but give me some time.

Now, under definition we have two meanings of faith.
  • religion: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality"
  • complete confidence in a person or plan etc; "he cherished the faith of a good woman"; "the doctor-patient relationship is based on trust"
They're similar but ultimately the first one is very religious in nature and the second one more generalized, inclusive of secular aspects as well. I mean the 2nd one when I refer to faith-based lifestyles.

Now what's the problem with 'complete confidence in a person or plan'? The pastor this morning showed me the problem with people - they betray you eventually. If they don't? They die. The problem with faith in any sentient being or object is that it eventually will perish, and with it your faith and beautiful reason for living. "Each day is wonderful because my wife is always next to me when I wake up and always there to open the door when I go home." Bam. Wife dies. Your life's ruined. Life isn't beautiful anymore.

School fun? You graduate.
Company fun? You get fired.
Relaxing and hanging out fun? Let's see you keep that up.

Then you say; why not an ideology? Hope, for instance. Live life thinking that the next day will always be better. Live life thinking that humanity takes a step forward each and every day. That won't perish, ideologies don't rot and decompose like us humans do. Problem is it's easy to make someone lose faith in an ideology - just prove it wrong. Living with faith in humanity is easy to destroy with people like Siu Fung around. I know it did that for me, and if not for the pastor this morning I'd probably have been worse off for the rest of the week.

Which comes to the essential point. Any faith-based reasoning for living fails ultimately because it's so easy to tear apart. Once you take it away, what do you have? Nothing.

Maybe that's why people turn to God so often, yeah? God won't die on you like a human does, and if you think about it correctly (without any connotation as to whether this "correct" is moral or right) it's hard to prove Him wrong. Yet thinking about it, it's also why people who turn from Christians to Atheists almost never turn back - they cannot place faith in a system where faith is so integral to its functionality.

Now the audience cries - isn't that obvious, o Showman? And perhaps it is. Perhaps everyone already knew that it was impossible to have any sustainable reason for living. Perhaps that's why Carpe Diem is so well-accepted - for all the arguments of Carpe Diem being hedonistic in nature it's not a way of life that will fail you (unless you go against the law while seizing the day. That's another matter altogether)

If there is anyone out there who can live life purely because life is life and we're alive, congrats to you. I pray you live that way for as long as you live, because I cannot think of any way to destroy that single most fundamental ideology.

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