The choice between belief and knowledge or faith in God’s promises will impact your life. Let’s examine the issues in making an informed decision about this subject.
The best way to approach this question is by first defining the terms. The contrast between these two points of view becomes clear as we define the terms.
What is Sound Knowledge
Many describe knowledge as the key to success, but a lot depends on how you define knowledge. Not all knowledge is beneficial. Knowing a lot about something useless is a waste of energy. We live in an age of information overload. So, it’s crucial to discern between useless information and usable knowledge. Having a lot of data or information about something does not mean it is correct, true, or useful.
Let’s start by differentiating between useless information and knowledge which is valuable. Information is data. We can look at five traits that help us distinguish useful from unuseful information. These traits are accuracy, completeness, reliability, relevance, and timeliness. Information becomes sound knowledge when it is accurate, complete, reliable, relevant, and current.
This level of understanding makes the knowledge correct, true, and useful. It is often the culmination of analysis, critical thinking, and the examination of evidence. Science is based on the quest to find answers using this level of data. As discoveries are made, they expand our knowledge. It is the process which builds upon and corrects our understanding.
Three Pillars of Sound Knowledge
To understand this concept better, let’s look at three pillars of knowledge. These three are breadth, depth, and versatility. We affect changes in the five traits of knowledge by expanding or contracting these pillars.
For example, a closed system like organized religion restricts the breadth, depth, and versatility of the data we can acquire.
a) Breadth: While specialization has merit, sound knowledge requires a broad understanding. A broad range of knowledge helps us connect seemingly unrelated ideas. This leads to innovative solutions and a holistic perspective.
b) Depth: Delving deep into a specific field or subject is equally important. Mastery of a particular area provides the foundation to generate groundbreaking ideas. An In-depth understanding of the subject gives valuable insights that others might overlook.
c) Versatility: Sound knowledge is not limited to one particular context. Its versatility enables us to apply knowledge to different situations. This quality fuels creative problem-solving and adaptability. It is the comprehension of data based on facts and evidence. This also includes both the theoretical and practical understanding of the subject. T
You can have theoretical knowledge of how something is done but not actually be able to do it. Snow skiing is a good example. It is one thing to have an intellectual understanding of skiing. But it is completely different when you try to balance while going downhill.
You can also have an extensive understanding of something which has no value. Useless trivia and facts about something may be interesting but not helpful. For example, you can have a vast knowledge of underwater basket weaving. Unfortunately, this knowledge is worthless regarding intellectual or practical usage.
Obtaining a large amount of information about something may not be helpful. In fact, it may be unhealthy. If the data contains unhealthy bias and prejudice, it is not advantageous to keep it.
Remember, sound knowledge has a basis in facts and evidence. It is also helpful and useful, not harmful. We see it in everyday applications such as farming. This type of information has practical applications that produce positive results.
Information or knowledge that is contaminated or distorted does not produce positive outcomes. For example, we see the results of extremist religious ideologies. Here, bigotry, discrimination, and racism taint values and thinking.
How to Acquire Sound Knowledge
Now that we know what sound and profound knowledge is, how do you get it?
a) Embrace lifelong learning: Cultivating a love for learning is crucial. This can be achieved through formal education, reading, attending workshops, and open dialogues.
b) Seek diverse perspectives: Seek out viewpoints that challenge or expand your own. Engaging in conversations with diverse perspectives broadens your knowledge. It helps you develop a well-rounded understanding of the world. Debates that are based on facts can be enlightening.
c) Emphasize practical application: Apply your knowledge in real-life situations whenever possible. Practical experience enhances your comprehension and allows you to refine your understanding.
d) Test and validate: Whatever you learn, validate it. Ensure it is not only factually stated but also factually correct. This requires one to keep up to date on the subject.
Sound knowledge is the roadmap to success and personal growth. It requires seeking understanding, remaining adaptable and open-minded, and testing your findings. We must embrace the opportunities for growth to harness the power of knowledge. This mindset is especially beneficial in the arena of spirituality. Here is where we encounter the ideas of belief and faith.
What is Faith and Belief?
In spirituality, belief, knowledge, and faith play pivotal roles. They are intertwined because of the influence of organized religion. So, it is crucial to understand the difference between belief and knowledge. This helps us understand how religion uses faith in God’s promises as a tool.
Faith is the unfounded, unsubstantiated, and groundless confidence in something. It is the complete trust in something without any sound evidence or proof. Belief is the acceptance of a statement that requires faith. So, faith and belief are confidence in things for which there is no credible proof.
If you have substantiated evidence, you don’t need faith and belief. This realization highlights the difference between belief and knowledge.
Believing in fiction is different from having confidence in things that happen. If we drop an object, we have verifiable confidence that it will fall. We have confidence in gravity because we can test its effect. Religion confuses faith with confidence. What is sound knowledge to you?
“Religious people know deep down that it is the most vulnerable area of their lives. When others question it, they are liable to hit out and feel insulted. They know it is absolutely without proof. Yet, people still commit themselves totally to this belief. They cannot refute it because it is so central to their lives.” — John Hurt
“To believe in things without proof requires faith. Faith masquerades as truth. It is a comfort zone for many, but it also requires equal amounts of unbelief. To believe in nonsense, you must reject those facts that contradict your faith. It’s why religions teach unbelief is evil.” — Guru Tua
The obvious problem lies in confusing real things with imaginary things. It is the same as the difference between belief and knowledge. You can have knowledge of both tangible things and imaginary things. But, one should not confuse belief in myths and made-up stuff with real things. Memorizing myths as a foundation for your worldview is not sound knowledge. Instead, it is faith in fairy tales.
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” ― Isaac Asimov
Faith And Belief — The Tools of Mass Hypnosis
Faith and belief are the tools of mass hypnosis. For this to work, you need prolonged exposure to groupthink manipulation tactics. This way, you can create a self-hypnosis system to establish mythology as fact. What are these tactics?
Fear and anger are the best motivators. So, religions capitalize on your greatest existential fear of death and the afterlife. They make rewards or punishments in the afterlife a commodity. It establishes the following parameters to override common sense and logic:
1) Belief in an Imaginary Friend (God) along with Imaginary Enemies (Devils)
2) The supremacy of divinely-inspired texts
3) Loyalty to their specific brand interpretation of the myth
Once you accept these parameters, they can program any bias and prejudice. Then, those in control of the programming can add anything else. They can program you to protect your faith and belief with violence.
People kill other people in the name of their imaginary friends and enemies. They justify hate because other religions are evil and ethnic-racial groups are inhuman. The ultimate projection of mythology is when backward beliefs are installed as law.
This strategy works and has worked for eons. It’s a platform on which the metaphors of mythology and superstition are believed as fact. These become elements of your worldview. If you don’t understand the implications of this mindset, you are likely a believer. It’s not your fault.
If you are a believer, then reading this isn’t very pleasant. If you are upset, realize you were programmed to react this way. It is part of groupthink manipulation. Yet, you are reluctant to admit you are a victim of self-hypnosis manipulation. Your adverse reaction to this discussion is a response to protect your sacred ground. You automatically defend anything that challenges your beliefs.
What is faith and belief in your life? Do these provide innocent inspiration, or are they mechanisms that install harmful values?
Sound Knowledge or Faith and Mythology?
Mistaking mythology for facts is an error, no matter how much of it you know. We can learn a great deal about ancient cultures by the way they used myth and superstition. These ancient cults developed the tools of propaganda and groupthink manipulation. With these tools, they convinced people to believe these myths are true. However, this does not qualify as sound information or knowledge.
Sound knowledge is both factual and true. It is also logical and verifiable. Therefore, it is “sound.” The memorization of mythology and superstition is not helpful for self-development. Instead, it becomes a barrier to progress.
Why do religious people believe myths are true? Organized religion is powerful. It adopted groupthink manipulation tactics to control its members. Groupthink tactics are brainwashing techniques that hypnotize people into believing fallacy as fact. These tactics are not new. They come from the ancient mystery religions of Assyria, Persia, and Babylon. These tactics work just as well today.
The ability to think rationally is vital in determining facts from fiction. Reading and studying fiction will do you no good in the practical world. It becomes harmful when you think fictional stories and characters are real. You pay the price when you confuse the difference between belief and knowledge.
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” ― Mark Twain
The demonization of legitimate science is a growing subculture. The roots of this come from Western organized religion. It is a tactic to keep paying customers. It opposes sound knowledge. Isaac Asimov says anti-intellectualism is a thread winding its way through our culture. It is nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” ― Daniel J. Boorstin
Knowledge or Faith in God’s Promises?
Western theology is based on mitigated dualism, which uses good and bad gods as opposing forces. The first hurdle to accepting mythology as fact is accepting the concept of God. To get people to accept this, one must overlook the contradictions; this is why indoctrination starts early in childhood.
It is the carrot-and-stick method which works well. The carrot is the afterlife in heaven, where one has a number of benefits depending on the sect. For example, in Christianity, it is a mansion; in Islam, it is a harem of virgins. Then, if this isn’t enough motivation to accept the doctrines, there is hell. Hell is a place of eternal torment for unbelievers.
The main selling point of this scenario is having faith in God’s promises. He promises to reward the followers and condemn unbelievers. The benefits also include promises of health and prosperity if you are willing to pay the price.
You are taught to live by faith and belief while supporting the religion financially and with social activism. To make this system work, people must be indoctrinated in the knowledge of the religion. They want you to accept false knowledge or faith as a substitute for facts and evidence. It’s how they keep you a paying customer.
The Difference Between Belief and Knowledge
Organized religion uses faith and belief to override your natural skeptical mindset. This is how believers accept myth as fact. It sets a dangerous precedent. Once you substitute myths for facts, you are susceptible to other misdirections.
Making healthy decisions is critical in today’s world. You cannot afford to make a mistake that could jeopardize you or others. One of the main problems we face is balancing what we can prove with what we believe.
“All over the world, belief in the supernatural has authorized the sacrifice of people to propitiate bloodthirsty gods… And justifies the murder of witches for their malevolent powers.” — Steven Pinker
The argument is that knowing about things for which there is no valid proof is still knowledge. The claim is that “knowing stuff” that isn’t factual is still sound knowledge. Then, they use circular logic to assert that knowledge of fiction can perform the same as facts. Circular reasoning requires faith because facts cannot substantiate their claims. Thus, it is necessary to distinguish between facts and knowledge of myths.
Many religions use metaphors to explain concepts. Eastern religions like Hinduism use anthropomorphic beings to describe nature’s elements. However, they do not believe in the actual existence of Shiva or Laksmi. They understand that these personifications are tools that help them remember key concepts. The problem arises when you mistake myth for facts.
The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive. But in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time… Every step in astronomy and geology has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture five hundred years before the Christian religion was born.” — Mark Twain
Understanding the nuances between belief, knowledge, and faith is essential. This understanding fosters a healthy mindset. We must acknowledge how belief drives the actions of many and shapes our worldview. It serves as the bedrock upon which we construct our perceptions of reality. We must strive to base our beliefs on facts and evidence, not myths and superstitions.
Our spiritual beliefs should have a basis in sound knowledge. It helps us avoid falling prey to the myths prevalent in our society. Every day, we choose between the path of knowledge or faith. Which path will you choose? What is faith and belief in your life?