Belief is either true or it is not true
2016/11/05 § 2 Comments
Faith held to be true is both personal and worthy of telling everyone about, including your children. There is no other way to see this. It’s quite simple: either that which you believe, you believe to be true, or you do not. Simple.
I do not wonder any more about why some in our culture do not accept or endorse a perspective of religion that allows for honest and true belief in something outside themselves. Short of the quaint and convenient character of religious radicals that allows for a simple knockdown, modern liberalism – of the naturalist, atheistic sort – does not and cannot allow for honest and true belief because the notion of something beyond the material universe (let alone a God figure that not only created everything but transcends it all the same) is absurd.
Alan Jacobs put it very well:
If you decline to pass your religious beliefs on to your children because you think such beliefs could hurt them socially then there is no meaningful sense in which you actually hold any religious beliefs. No one who actually believes that Jesus is Lord, or that there is one God and Mohammed is his Prophet, would decline to explain that to their children for fear that the children would be made fun of. What such parents are actually saying is that they were raised within certain social practices, some of which happened to be religious, that they see no advantage in their children continuing.
The last sentence in Jacobs’ post is particularly interesting to me. Even if we were to allow for the faith of the parent to be just plain wrong, we now live in a world where the practice of just such a faith is neither encouraged for the sake of tradition, nor for its efficacy in the life of the child. That is to say, faith in a God is no longer a lucrative belief to hold, socially speaking. It does not allow for greater mobility among society, nor is there seen to be any sort of meaningful reason to pass it on to the child.