Faith Involves Risk

“One who asks for proof before he or she is willing to have faith does not understand that faith always involves risk. It is always possible to live without it, but such a life is, in Macbeth’s words, ‘cabined, cribbed, confined, bound… [by] doubts and fears’. Without faith in people, I become a cynic. Without faith in financial institutions, we stop investing and economies founder. Without faith in our fellow citizens, democratic freedoms die. Without faith in God, the Universe slowly becomes meaningless. Life ceases to have an objective purpose. Human life is no longer sacred, nor are our promises, duties and responsibilities. Cultures that lose their religious faith eventually become individualistic and relativist. People become self-seeking and self-sustaining. At first this is experienced as a great liberation, but ultimately it leads to a breakdown of trust, and without trust, societies suffer entropy: a loss of energy and order, leading to decline and decay.”

The Power of Ideas, pp. 127-178