Faith and Belief: The Difference Between Them
Is what, or whether, one believes the significant religious question?
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In the new situation, some might wish to suggest that a sophisticated modern
position would be to recognize the presuppositions as, classically,
presuppositions, now seen to have been obtaining on earth in a variety of forms,
and to recognize, modernly, the ideational systems as symbol systems — with the
significant question having always been, as it is still to-day, what one does within
the ideational symbol system of one's choice, or birth; what response one makes
in terms of it.
"Belief" became in significant part the category of thought by which skeptics,
reducing others' faith to manageability, translated that faith into mundane terms.
They substituted for an interest in it as faith an interest rather in the exotic mental
processes and conceptual framework of those whose lives had been sustained
and enriched by it. Therein was wrought a transforming of what had been a noble
and open relation into a dubious and closed one. What had been a relation
One does well to presume that these are not merely mundanely significant facts
but are also significant approximations to transcendent truth. Moreover, it is well
to bear in mind, both for oneself and for one's neighbour, that the curious position
of human beings in relation to the historical on the one hand and to the
transcendent on the other may mean that any given person may well be, and
indeed probably is, in closer touch with transcendent Truth, with God, than are his
or her intel- ...
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