Way back in the early post-World War 2 years (when the dragons blew smoke, according to my little daughter) I was invited to join ‘the faith’ for my ‘salvation.’ A quarter of a century later, I became a ‘card-carrying’ Christian in order to find a religious community for my children.
The bishop agreed that I could remain a metaphysical Hindu; and that I need not resile from my belief (reached after reading about regions for about 2 decades) that the major religions were, when divested of their divisive dogma, equal in their potential. That is, I could remain a freethinker.
But I did not find a religious community. And I never found out what I had been saved from. Then, recently, a keen worker for his church told me loudly in a public space that I could not call myself a Christian unless I attended church! I do prefer a one-to-one contemplation, in total silence.
I have experienced repeated discrimination in the federal public sector from some who spoke of not attending Mass recently because of their commitment to their work. This was tribalism, not ‘racism’! I have been attacked orally on a number of occasions for not accepting that the path to Heaven shown to me is the sole path!! Such faith, such certainty, and so lacking in charity – all that because they seemingly KNOW!!!
Most of what we know represents probability assessments – even in science. Ultimately, how do we know what we know? Is it not more realistic (if not sensible) to accept that, in this realm of materiality encased within a domain of the ethereal, that we cannot possibly know (to be certain) about anything? What could be lost by this acknowledgement?
What then of the realm of immateriality, of the ephemeral? The scientific method cannot operate effectively in this realm. Do we wait for the minds within the mechanistic material paradigm of explanatory theories to open a little to the pervasive essence of the ever-existing aether, the probable substrate of all that appears to be?
Has not faith in what we have been told by many a priest and pundit been proven to be damaging (to disastrous), in the main? We do continue to kill fellow humans in their thousands because of differences in beliefs about the road to Heaven (if not God). Brain-washed priests and their politician acolytes are, like some forms of bacteria, damaging to the human soul!
Do we need another kind of faith? Perhaps after surviving (if that is possible) the Sixth Extinction on Earth, currently in full flow.