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Posted May 15, 2013
And let us note that whichever view we embrace, mere feeling will continue to assault our conviction. Just as the christian has his moments when the clamour of this visible and audible world is so persistent and the whisper of the spiritual world so faint that faith and reason can hardly stick to their guns, so, as I well remember, the athiest too has his moments of shuddering misgiving, of an all but irresistable supicion that old tales may after all be true, that something or someone from outside may at anyvmoment break into his neat, explicable, mechanical universe. Believe in God and you will have to face hours when it seems obvious that this material world is the only reality: disbelieve in Him and you must face hours when this material world seems to shout at you that it is not all. No conviction, religious or irreligious, will, of itself, wnd once and for all this fifth-columnist in the soul. Only the practice of Faith resulting in habit of Faith will gradually do that. <p> Have we now got to position from which we can talk about Faith without being misunderstood? For in general we are shy of speaking plain about Faith as a virtue. It looks so like praising an intention to believe what you want to believe in fact of evidence to the contrary: the American in old story defined Faith as 'the power of beliebing what we know to be untrue'. Now I define faith as the power of continuing to believe what we oncw honestly thought to be true until congent reasons for honestly changing our minds are brought before us. The difficulty of such continuing to believe is constantly ignored or misunderstood in discussions of this subject. It is always assumed that te difficulties of faith are intellectual difficuties that a man who has once accepted a certain proposition will automatically go on believong it till real grounds for disbeleif occur. Nothing could be more superficial. How many of the freshmen who come up to Oxford from religious homes and lose their Christianity in the first year have been honestly argued out of it? Hoe many of our own sudden temporary losses of faith have a rational basis which would stand examination for a moment? I don't know how it is with others, but I find that mere change of scene always has a tendency to decrease my faith at first-God is less credible when I pray in a hotel bedroom than when I am in college. The society of unbelievers makes faith harder even when they are people whose opinions, on any other subject, are known to be worthless.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.