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Friday, 16 January 2015

Business is a religion ... secularism is a religion ...

Tim Lott makes some helpful comments about the nature of belief and faith (acknowledging that each of us, whether religious or not, are in reality 'believers') in his latest piece for The Guardian. Interestingly, he needs to refer to the New Testament and use language drawn from the Christian tradition in order to do so:

'We live in a world of unprecedented change and complexity, and this makes us more desperate than ever to cling to what we think we know. We need to believe that our purposes, those goals in which we invest meaning, are valid. On this definition, business is a religion, career is a religion, family is a religion, nation is a religion, secularism is a religion, and religion is a religion. There is no getting away from it. However, our values cannot be independently verified – other than by the reassuring support of the like-minded ...

The alternative to belief (“lief”, incidentally, comes from the root meaning “to wish”) is faith. Not religious faith, but faith that does not become brittle with its own projections of hatred against “the other”, which includes the apostates in our midst who do not share our view. Faith that we are all human souls struggling to keep our heads above water in floods of confusion. Faith in reason, faith in the idea of truth, however elusive the actuality. And faith, as any reading of the New Testament makes plain, is always hedged by doubt.

Doubt is nothing to fear – the doubt that all our ideas and precious beliefs are straws in the wind. There is meaning in meaninglessness, in the “cloud of unknowing” that we all live inside. There are real facts – there is love, there is our own consciousness, there is this day, this moment, the feeling of human connection.'


George Michael - Faith.

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