The End of Faith was quite firm on its stance that Faith stood as an opposing force to reason, but upon re-watching 1999’s The Matrix late last year I believe it alluded to a form of faith that could aptly be described as rational.
To refresh the reader’s memory: Once people are freed from the matrix, they visit the Oracle. The Oracle gives them a prophesy to act as their motivation. The prophesy given is not viewed in terms of being factual, simply as a guide. The distinction is described as the difference between “knowing the path, and walking the path.”
I have a good idea of what I should be doing in life, but the world is corrupt and depressing. Knowing what I should do—‘knowing the path’—has been insufficient as a motivator because that path often seems objectively hopeless. Despite what I may know about what I should do, I cannot internalize it and feel it. If I could instill core beliefs not based on objective fact, but rather as true if I orient my actions towards X, faith in these beliefs could prove to act as an effective motivator—‘walking the path.’
Let me provide an example:
Suppose a struggling author—let’s call her Jane—once went to a psychic. What the psychic told Jane was shockingly accurate, with some information that the psychic could not have seemingly known. Now suppose Jane was feeling lost and went back to the same psychic years later. The psychic told Jane that the book that she was passively working on would become a bestseller. Jane leaves the psychic, invigorated by the prediction that she believes to her core because of her previous experience with the psychic, and she immediately doubles her efforts towards the book: “If this book is going to become a bestseller,” she tells herself in a panic, “it needs a lot more work!” Several months later the book is finished and becomes a bestseller.
Now rewind back to where Jane was discouraged by her progress and was going to return to the psychic she once visited. Suppose that other obligations prevented her from returning to the psychic, and another opportunity to return never arose. Jane continued to work on the book somewhat halfheartedly, it took longer to complete, and once it was completed it was not exactly what she had envisioned and it is somewhat poorly received once published.
In this story the psychic’s prediction is both true and false depending on whether or not it was received by Jane. In the same way, if core beliefs could be convincingly crafted, anyone could find a way to instill the motivation to achieve what otherwise might not occur—to create fact from fiction.
I do not understand what your point is. What is it that you are trying to establish with your “parable” of the author?
Belief is not so much about if the coach forexample is or is not lieing about your odds of winning the game or making it to the next level. Its about how well somebody takes in information and acts reasonably from it.
If the coach has great credentials, maybe hes that Calipari guy from Kentucky and he says you have a good shot to make it to the NBA, its is reasonable to presume you got a good shot if you work hard.
If you go to a fortune teller and he garentee’s something, its not reasonable to think they are infallable.
Faith is neccesary in some degree in all things. In science they are the assumptions theories are created from. The issue comes from emotional attachment built around faith. Science does a better job of disconnecting the two than does religion.
All belief can be derived from fear. That is the problem. Thats when people become unreasonable. Belief or we can say fear, is never good.
SO we can lie to people, and it can help them or harm them.
a. if your lie gets their emotional attachment refocused on a less potent fear then it is helpful.
b. if your lie pokes a minor emotional attachment to get them to inspect a more major issue then it is helpful.
c. If your lie is just plainly useful, and it doesn’t add to any of thier attachments then it is helpful.
Lieing to other people, can be help ourselfs or harm ourselfs.
a. If we lie to gain something at others cost, enslave something, own something, abuse, manipulate, trap, control then its harmful.
b. if we lie to give something at others benifit, free something, share something, aid, express, solve, support then its helpful
c. if we lie to be plainly useful, at no siginficant implication, then it is helpful.
Lieing to our selfs, is allways harmfull. This is the central mechanism behind delusion:
we lie to ourselfs to take a temporary easy way out of stress (a product of fear), the issue is it is at others expense and in the long run its not sustainable even if it just involvles our self. Life will make you confront you fear.
Life is the process of becoming more and more honest with ourselfs and feeling better and better.
Honesty with our selfs is allways good, while honesty with others can help or hurt and takes some consideration.