The Value of Faith

Is, paradoxically, its endurance. Political systems come and go … so the values of faith (any faith) are those that can be preserved through culture. Johnathan Sacks (UK Chief Rabbi, BBC R4 Today, “Thought for The Day”) echoing Parmjit Dhanda (Sikh, UK Ministerial speech) on the need to celebrate the UK’s Christian heritage. Interesting angle.

Effectively the same pragmatic debate I’m having with Sam as to whether any secular institution can ever match that. I guess my position is that the religious who see enlightened promotion and preservation of values as the point of their “faith” would get very little argument from a “humanist” or other secularist if the faithful didn’t bring their literal (or misleadingly reified metaphorical) theistic baggage with them into inappropriate walks of life. Sam ?

2 thoughts on “The Value of Faith”

  1. Ah. Two things. One is that the preservation of the values etc aren’t really the ‘point’ of the faith – in the words of the Westminster Confession man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. The values etc are a necessary byproduct of that. And second I don’t think it’s ultimately possible to divorce the values from the stories in which those values are grounded and conveyed (and I would distinguish between stories and metaphysics – it’s possible to retain the former whilst rejecting the latter). I have a feeling that the debate on my blog will get to this subject pretty swiftly. With regard to the other post, though, I think it’s important in terms of establishing a common project, to which all people “of good faith” – ie not necessarily religious but wanting to pursue the good – can sign up.

  2. Thanks Sam, I appreciate it’s not actually “the point” of faith but I think we understand each other about the “common project” in the stories and the good faith.

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