“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
If “hope” means trusting against the odds that the future will bring a desired outcome, and “faith” means believing something without good evidence of its veracity, then love definitely tops the list. Love is the only one that deserves to be on the list. Religion generally elevates faith to be the most important. Will we always suffer with the presence of this blind, “bad faith” religion, or will Christianity go the way of the worship of Asherah and Xbalanque?
“Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.” Looking at the polls, it appears that Lennon was correct in his assessment. The number of those unaffiliated with any religion is growing. Some form of liberal Christianity may be around for a long time, but the religion as a whole is struggling.
Unbelievers are gaining confidence, at least in the United States, and I find that encouraging. Even Texas, stronghold of creation science, is evolving to a more rational position. Valerie Tarico does a nice job of laying out reasons for thinking that we are heading in a more positive direction.
It’s not that we can’t live with various religious beliefs; there is room in this world for lots of different practices. What we really can’t live with is irrationality. Sects that teach that science is less reliable than holy books hurt the education of our children. Religious leaders who counsel wives to stick with their abusive spouses and pray for them put women and children at risk of more injury. Churches that teach that condoms are sinful cause more people to contract diseases and die.
The list of harms caused by false beliefs is interminable. It is good to think that, perhaps, our world is finally outgrowing some of that bad faith.