The ideas of faith and belief are interesting and quite powerful. Once someone accepts beliefs on the level of being faith, these beliefs become part of their personality. Faith and belief are very important ideas to humanity, and come to define almost every aspect of our lives. Faith is the lens through which people see life. faith defines good and bad, right and wrong, for an individual. because of this power and influence, differing faiths can cause intense conflict. Throughout history, many people have tried to force their beliefs on others, tried to make other people see the world through the same lense that they do. almost every war in human history has been fought over which way of thinking was correct, that one way was better than the other.
When two different and contradictory belief systems are compared to each other, only one can logically be right, and people usually cannot accept that theirs is the wrong one. Despite the obvious discontinuity between various beliefs, the differences do not really matter. I believe everyone should have the freedom to think and live however they want, so long as they do no harm to others with those beliefs. There is no logical reason for any individual to be intensely concerned with the beliefs and mentality of another being.
Some understandable reasons for being concerned with the faith of another do exist. Many religions, particularly the Abrahamic religions, encourage followers to preach their teachings to others. People will also find comfort in having a shared faith with another person with whom they are interacting, as this is just a spiritual extension of the propinquity effect. Even outside of these cases discussing differences in faith can provide an engaging and stimulating conversation, so long as everything is done in a reasonable and respectful manner.
Problems arise regarding faith when people are incapable of accepting and respecting the beliefs of another individual. When faith is pushed to intensively on to an individual who does not agree with that faith, the conversation can quickly turn confrontational. Though some individuals will change their way of thinking and believing, the majority can be very difficult to sway. On a small, personal scale these confrontations are at best uncomfortable, when this type of situation escalates to include masses of humanity, the consequences are often deadly. Major religions typically preach peace and tolerance as major axises of their teachings, but in a heated moment, these ideals can be forgotten, so it is best to avoid these conflicts.
Religion and faith as a concept has no major issue, and is a positive overall. Faith provide a purpose and explanation for our lives and our existence, religions provide a framework for morality. Many of the ideas commonly taught in different faiths provide comfort and hope to those who choose to follow that faith. If people never used faith as a justification for inflicting violence on others, religion would be an absolute good, but far too many people have killed for their God or gods. The vast majority of faithful, and even faithless, people are good, but it only takes a small number to cause significant damage. I am not part of any organized religion, but I am familiar with some teachings, “love thy neighbor” is really all that needs to be said about differences in faith or lifestyle.
Writers memo. This essay is my commentary on both the good and bad with organized or unorganized religion. The bad is not inherent in any, and can easily be filtered out. This was inspired by a passage in I, Robot, in which a robot developed his own religion, which was in conflict with the beliefs of the humans it interacted with. I feel like this topic can open up many doors worth exploring, and I may want to add some factual research.