“I suspect that most of the individuals who have religious faith are content with blind faith. They feel no obligation to understand what they believe. They may even wish not to have their beliefs disturbed by thought. But if God in whom they believe created them with intellectual and rational powers, that imposes upon them the duty to try to understand the creed of their religion. Not to do so is to verge on superstition.”
– Mortimer J. Adler
Mortimer J. Adler, “A Philosopher’s Religious Faith,” in Kelly James-Clark (ed.), Philosophers Who Believe: The Spiritual Journeys of Eleven Leading Thinkers (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993), p. 207.
H/T to Apologetics 315.
Posted on September 26, 2010, in Apologetics, Religion and tagged belief, Christianity, faith, God, Mortimer J. Adler, Religion, Religion and Spirituality, Religious Studies. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
Great quote, I do agree that there are many Christian people who seem utterly indifferent to even the most basic tenets of what they profess to be their chosen “faith”. But in rebuttal, I’d like to make a case for those other Christian’s who I feel might perhaps be mistakenly included in this description.
“I suspect that most of the individuals who have religious faith are content with blind faith.”
By definition (Hebrews 11:1) faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
There’s nothing blind about trusting in the God who has the circumstances of your yesterdays,today’s, and tomorrows in His hands.
“They feel no obligation to understand what they believe”
I too have struggled with understanding the mystery of simple people who are simply happy. I’ve noticed in my own life that the need to understand is often a block to my being able to experience spiritual things, love, God.
I don’t really understand many things that I use on a daily basis, but my ability to use them isn’t affected by it at all! One of the most loving people I’ve ever known was mentally retarded, but his simple way of expressing or practicing love taught me a lot.
“to understand the creed of their religion.”
In truth, I see this statement as an example of missing the forest for the trees!
Our creed is to love, we’re all born hardwired to do that. I’ve seen a great deal of Christian “intellectualizing” going on here on the net by people who it seems are compelled to somehow compensate for their inability to take the gospel at it’s face value and who thusly spend lifetimes studying scripture seeking some great enlightenment (which is very cool) who pray fervently (again, uber cool) but who come up short in the actions department or who struggle with their ability to put it into practice.
“But if God in whom they believe created them with intellectual and rational powers, that imposes upon them the duty to try to understand the creed of their religion.”
I see our greatest duty as dying to the self daily, fighting off pride and religious arrogance so that we might be able to…
Love God and others as ourselves, proclaim the simple truth of that love to the whole world.
I guess I’m just a little tired of elitist religiosity…(sorry about the rant)
remain greatly blessed in Jesus’ name!
“There’s nothing blind about trusting in the God who has the circumstances of your yesterdays,today’s, and tomorrows in His hands.”
It’s the same as saying: “There’s nothing blind about trusting Santa Claus who gives us gifts every Christmas and isn’t selfish”. If (I’m speaking neutrally here) there is no evidence of something’s existence, “trusting” it IS blind. To stop being blind one has to at least give some logical argument for God’s existence, for the tenets of one’s faith, like many philosophers do. Then one can say one is not blind.
I agree with you though that actions matter more than words. But those who embrace their faith without questioning it are sometimes (just sometimes, I’m not saying “always” or even “often”) the ones who become dangerous in our society (Muslim extremists). Check out this guy: http://mywillbedumb.wordpress.com/
That’s what happens when you don’t pick and choose from the Bible like most Christians…
I agree with the quote, though I can understand the dangers some feel with that: I suspect that many who would follow it would end up non-believers (I was religious and the desire to follow that guideline fried my faith). During an interview with Richard Dawkin, father Cogne (not sure I’m spelling that right), the astronomer, said that if he followed reason he’d be an atheist, that his beliefs were “buried deep inside him”, putting him in “an embarrassing situation as a scientist”. Reason, he said, could at most imply God’s existence (“the prime mover”)-> and I guess he also meant that it didn’t even have to. All the rest he practically called blind faith, a consequence of him “feeling” God.