Religious Belief vs. Faith: Divine Inspiration

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Difference between Religious Belief and Faith

For many people, faith is the basis upon which religious belief is built. While it is entirely possible to have faith without religious belief, the opposite cannot be true. In fact, it is this one sided dynamic that has driven many religions for centuries. Take a look at this comparison article to see just how the two differ and how they are tied in with each other.

Definition

Religious belief is defined as the belief in the existence of god or several gods, and it is also used in reference to the worship of said gods. The term is also used to refer to a set of beliefs that explain the existence of the universe as it relates to religious teachings. This codified set of beliefs often involves numerous rituals, although their practice isn't always universal.

Faith, on the other hand, is defined as the belief in a person, idea or object, although it is commonly used interchangeably with religious belief as well. In fact, faith is commonly referred to in theology as the trust in the existence of a transcendent reality and/or a Supreme Being.

In Practice

Religious beliefs are often (but not always) codified in literature, although handing down these beliefs verbally is still commonly practiced in many societies. It is also interesting to note that while these belief systems are firmly established and generally agreed upon, their actual practice seems to be on a case-to-case basis. Many religious beliefs are also assigned the dual role of being a matter of ethics and/or conscience, and not merely practiced as a matter of course.

Faith for its part is considered by many to be a microcosm of the way the real world works, in that it represents an ideal that we all strive towards. In most cases, faith is used as a means by which beliefs that cannot otherwise be proven by experience help people live more rewarding and fulfilling lives.

Criticisms

Both faith and religious beliefs are there subjects of constant criticism, and have been throughout the history of mankind. Many of the critics of faith and religious belief disregard both as irrational and lacking in any useful function. Some of the more critical observers also note that religious beliefs assign moral value to rules that have been arbitrarily assigned or that are outdated, ill-informed and/or oppressive.

Faith is not spared from criticism either, with many seeing it as irrational and based on superstition and ignorance. This is bolstered by the fact that so many of the "faithful" often believe in conflicting or erroneous theories, some of which have been established as a means to control the population.

For those leaning in the direction of transcendentalism, faith in the Supreme Creator can be observed in the manifestation of all matter in our realm of existence. Even our own existence is a manifestation of the Supreme Creator. In fact, humans have a spark of the Creator in our own hearts whereby we are or can be in constant contact with the Creator, our entire human family or at least with our nuclear families. Which is, of course, something to be taken on faith.

Summary

Religious Belief

  • Defined as the belief in the existence of god or several gods
  • Also used to refer to a set of beliefs that explain the existence of the universe as it relates to religious teachings
  • Practice isn't always universal

Faith

  • A belief that has no substantiation and is to be believed because those in higher religious authority say it is true.
  • The belief in a person, idea or object
  • Commonly used interchangeably with religious belief
  • The knowing that we are a manifestation of the Supreme Creator and every breath we take is in acknowledgement of our own human formed spark of divinity.

Which term is more popular?
  • Religious Belief
  • Faith
 
 

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