Faith and Insanity

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
essay from existentialism course

Submitted: June 21, 2015

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Submitted: June 21, 2015

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FAITH AND INSANITY

 “The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence” –William Harwood

 

To feel insane is to feel faith and to feel faith is to feel insane.  How can you know faith without knowing insanity? To have faith in God you must believe in something that is not tangible, something that you aren’t able to know for a fact exists.  It’s absurd.  I have felt the power of something higher than me and I also have accepted that I am insane.  But you cannot go up to a Christian and accuse them of being insane because they don’t understand your reasoning.  Why would they think they were insane? Can you know you’re insane? Christians believe in something with all their hearts, they put their faith into a being that may or may not exist.  That to me seems like insanity. You need passion to have faith, that passion can give you the ability to believe in anything your heart desires.  But to believe in that isn’t there is absurd; its insanity.  You must believe in the absurd to believe in your God. Do we really know if there is a religious stage?  Or are we all insane.  Religion is based off of faith because without faith there cannot be religion.  Maybe the power of believing in some force that doesn’t exist or does exist makes you insane.  Faith can even drive you to insanity.  If we look at the Abraham story in the present day we would say he was insane for almost sacrificing his child, but to him it was faith.  Faith drove him to insanity.  Then again maybe insanity drove him to faith.  People say they have spoken to God, that is viewed as faith but then someone says they have spoken with the devil that is viewed as insanity.  That logic doesn’t makes sense to me.  We build our own faith and if that makes us insane then so be it.  We have the power to have faith in whatever we want, I can have faith in you and you can have faith in me.  But there is a thin line between good and bad faith or the faith that declares you insane.  Those who have full faith in God are good and holy religious people but to Christians those who have faith in anything other than God are insane and evil.  But then doesn’t that make them unholy for hating another who doesn’t believe, or worships another God?  Christians think Hindus are insane but maybe it the other way around.  In my opinion those who have been declared insane have the most faith, even if the faith is something crazy they believe in it with all their heart.  We all have faith in something even if we don’t know what it is exactly.  I sure as hell don’t know what I have faith in but I have faith in something bigger hen me.  Does that make me insane? Maybe, because I believe in something that I’m not sure exits.  Christians on the other hand are absolutely positive that god exists which makes them more insane than me because they have put all their faith into this one God who rules everything but we don’t know if he is real.  My mind could go on for days.  What if there is God?  What if there isn’t? What if he isn’t some big man in a white cloak?  What if he doesn’t have a snowy white beard?  My faith in whatever is out there could drive me insane.  This is all inward, to have faith you must know yourself and to be insane you must look at yourself from the outside.I know I have faith but how am I to know everyone else in the world does too?  You must accept the faith that you have and accept that insanity goes hand in hand with faith because you are putting your life in the hands of an unknown.  To have faith is scary and to be insane is scary.  We are insane because we don’t want to know the truth about our faith because that would make it to real and that could lead to disappointment.  We as humans are happy to stay in our shell of faith believing in something that we don’t know a hundred percent about; but we don’t want to know because what if we find out that it isn’t real? To feel faith is to feel insane even if you don’t know it.  It all comes from the power inside of you.  You have the power to choose what you want to have faith in.  It is all perception.  What you believe in and have faith in might make all the sense in the world to you but to others they may perceive you as insane.  So maybe all in all we all have faith and are insane because your faith can be insanity to others and others faith can be insanity to you.

Faith and insanity is a lonely thing, only you can know the true depth of your faith and the true depth of your insanity.  Others may think they see your faith or your insanity but what they are judging is only on the surface.  Like I was stating before these two things also are based on perception.  A Christian may think a Buddhist is insane because they don’t believe in their religion but to a Buddhist they know they have faith.  So just to reiterate, only you can know the truth of your faith.

There is also the question… Can you know you’re insane?  Is insanity something that you can call yourself?  And are you really insane if you truly believe you’re not?  Insanity is defined as madness and irrationality, but if you truly have faith in what you believe, does that make you insane? Maybe to others you are insane but you perceive yourself to be completely rational.  I guess to someone who doesn’t believe in something than faith could also be defined as madness and irrationality.  Just take a step back and imagine you are new to this world; imagine that you have no opinion or view on anything and someone comes up to you and says “I believe in a big man in the sky who has power over all and he will be my savior when I die”.  Now doesn’t that sound like irrational madness?

Both faith and insanity involve fear.  Christians have faith, but maybe they have such a strong faith because they fear of going to hell.  Underneath they maybe have faith because they fear that they would be nothing without it.  Insanity also has a fear factor.  Your fear that if you don’t do something than something bad will happen.  I give money to a homeless man because if I don’t then my mind tells me something bad will happen, it makes me feel insane.  Christians would give a homeless person money because they don’t want to go to hell.  It’s the same thing; maybe all good things we do are motivated by fear.

There is a difference as well.  People are proud of their faith, sometimes too proud.  Those who have “faith” are put on a pedestal whole those who are insane are looked down upon.  The insane try to hide their insanity, no one wants to be friends with someone who is insane; but little do most know is that those on the pedestal of faith are also dealing with insanity but in other ways.  Insanity is shunned and faith is accepted.  To feel insane is to have full faith because once you accept that what you believe in is absurd then you become comfortable with it.  To be one with your insanity can only make your faith stronger, but that is the hardest part because the label of insanity is so negative.  So take that label away and just be comfortable with what you believe in.


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