Thursday, November 12, 2009

Matters Of Faith

Wretchard at Belmont Club is having a discussion of the nature of faith prompted by an Obama speech Honoring the Fort Hood dead. Faith is an interesting thing. An engineer labors on because he has faith that questions will turn into answers. And not just any answers. Answers good enough to earn a profit. That severely limits the solution space. We see the same thing in farmers. They have to believe that they can steer around unpredictable obstacles well enough to harvest a crop and make a profit. Faith is an every day thing for that kind of business. But it is an uncertain faith. Sometimes faith is unwarranted. Difficult business that.

Well a few words on the subject:

I have always liked Hunter S. Thompson’s Commentary on Faith.

I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me. Hunter S. Thompson

I will admit it is not a religion suitable for children.

God and I have a special relationship. I believe God exists and that c********* had better straighten up and fly right or I’m going to kick some serious arse when I get a holt of the summabitch.

Of course I really don’t need faith. God talks to me every day. Or it could just be my mild schizophrenia.

You want mild schizophrenia to help you? Lower the filters. You know, be born again. Stop making so much internal noise. Replace it with external noise. Because there is signal hidden in that noise. All true religion consists of teaching you how to be born again. Being the technical geniuses we are in the West some day we will invent a pill. Maybe we could call it TFW. Temporary Filter Wipe.
So what is the value of faith? It gets you to labor on, despite the fact that there is no objective way out of the current difficulties. Faith overcomes depression. And sometimes that extra effort is enough to get you out of the mess. Or it gives you something to do until the solution arrives. Survival advantages. And it doesn't need much advantage to make faith propagate - genetically if not by word of mouth.

H/T RD in the comments at Find God Or Your Money Back

Cross Posted at Classical Values