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View Diary: On Religion, Sexuality, and Redefining the Closet (58 comments)

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  •  I agree, although "belief" or "faith" is ambiguous (2+ / 0-)
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    pixxer, billyleeblack16

    Lots of people see faith as a commitment or a practice, not just a state of mind. A secular analogy: "We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes." Or Meteor Blades' sig. Asserting a lack of faith (even to oneself) can be seen in that way too, although it doesn't have to be.

    I have a hunch that a lot of people who act like believers actually are not, but continue to act in the prescribed way. Is this b/c they confuse the behavior and the verbal expressions with belief itself?
    This is not so straightforward, for at least two reasons: Behaviors actually can induce states of mind, and many people believe that their behaviors matter more than their states of mind. In the religious context, many people are told to work on a relationship with God much as they would work at any other relationship, and part of that is "being faithful" even when you don't "feel faithful." Of course, usually it is unambiguous whether our significant others exist, although for Manti Te'o, maybe not. (Many Kossacks have had some sort of virtual relationship with someone who turned out to be a fictional character. But probably most of us have had relationships with people who turned out to be radically different than we thought they were.)

    Then, of course, there are people who play under Pascal's Wager rules: better go through the motions of faith in a world without God than be damned eternally. But of course one can hardly enter into Pascal's Wager with respect to God, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc. if the premise of the wager seems ridiculous.

    Blah blah blah. The whole "belief" thing seems pretty subtle to me, with or without God.

    Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

    by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:59:45 AM PDT

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