My writings and jottings since 1995 on faith had spread around K. and have further spread around among my blogs. I want all pk posts gathered here whichever domain they first appeared in. I have important clarifications to add today to my previous work. And I want to build a menu of posts on the subject:
First though, a quick summarizing:
Many of my references to faith meant the common meaning: faith as a synonym of belief.
I also quote bk: faith is belief against the evidence, in the face of the evidence.
My references since 1979 have emphasized Gregory Bateson’s meaning: faith relates to trust: sitting one has faith that the chair will support one.
But today I see Bart Ehrman making distinctions within Christian theology, within New Testament studies, within studies of the writings by or attributed to St. Paul …
- According to Ehrman, accoding to Paul, according to the Paul believed to be by Paul,
faith is “the trust a person has in Christ to bring about salvation through his death.”
Faith is “trust in Christ.”
- In writings now believed to be forgeries in Paul’s name, faith means trust in “the body of teachings that make up the Christian religion.”
It would be nice if I could coherently condense all my comments on the subject into one page or two, but absent that, here’s a pk on faith menu (2011 11 26):
Notice instantly that many a Christian, without being competent to keep track of his own or your shifting meanings, when focused on one meaning, Paul’s faith in Christ, for example, will impose that meaning on everyone: everyone present, everyone absent, everyone in history … all without being competent to follow that absurdities of any part! The older I get the more fed up I become with the kleptocratic arrogance of circle of faith members. Stick to your guns, and they’ll retreat: unless there are enough of them together long enough to drum up courage for a lynching, a tarring-and-feathering, a crucifixion.
Scientists, people supposedly devoted to reason, are only slightly better.
Note that as of this date, 2011 Nov 26, scientists have heard my testimonies against their universiteis no better than religious have heard my testimonies against their churchs. But all that is no better than the public has heard [Jesus …] Illich … pk’s … proposals for solutions. It’s the same as Congress, having practiced genocide on the Iroquois who tried to give us their democracy, sits in judgment on its own fairness.
But what’s funniest to me about the Christians who didn’t follow me or Illich [or Christ …] is that they have no concept of God shoving them aside and making them hold still: the way they do have a concept of God shoving the Jews aside, the Catholics aside, and making them hold still! Of course the Jews had the concept of God making the “Pagans” hold still!
I have the concept of god making everybody hold still: merely a metaphor of course for the truth prevailing: over Caesars and over Popes, and over polluters, over tobacco corporations (no matter what product they’ve switched to). So long as kleptocracy is unsustainable in the actual universe, it won’t matter what the NY Times records as “true.” It won’t matter what’s taught as “true” at Harvard. The liars, the thieves, the murderers, the crucifiers, the interrupters … will be kaput.
That’s my faith. My faith in “reason” is immaterial because I have no faith in those authority fiats to be reasonable. If Einstein is right on any one thing, it’s Einstein being right, on one thing, not Princeton displaying authority. That I care about.
But soon I’ll be dead: and so will everyone else: whether they ever understood a single thing I said or not. If the species can’t be saved then individuals too will perish. Ilich’s [Jesus’, Christ’s], my interest is not in my salvation but in reducing the toxicity of the endurance of my species.