Faith – the Recognition of Something True

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Faith is a concept different to all, some have it and some do not. The definition of faith has been a difficult one to establish completely as it is seen as a relatively broad term that can be defined in several ways, ultimately there is an understanding that faith is the trust or confidence in someone or something. The term Faith is one that is usually connected or paired with the concept of religion and God. When one is asked what their faith is, it is a question that is customarily understood to many as what religion one belongs too. Yet, faith is not just an element of religion, faith is a non-visible and tangible belief that represents trust, hope and acceptance. Weather that be having faith in God, in ourselves, in others or something as simple as having faith that one will get a good score on a test. Having faith is an exercise that does not come with a book of guidelines, it is rather practiced differently by many. However, when it comes to having faith, a factor that contributes to having it is the recognition that one cannot control every aspect of life, that there is a greater power out there (not necessarily God) and the acceptance that what is meant to happen… will happen and one cannot change or control it from happening but you can still be optimist. The nature of faith is a vital and significant part of human life that can define a person and is needed to maintain hope and peace, those that have faith often lead better lives than those that don’t.

To have faith is to have the certainty that what you believe in or hope for will happen or is true but also recognize the fact that one is not fully in control of life, and that what is meant to happen in your life will happen regardless of what you do. There is no specific way to “have faith”, because having it is different for each one of the people that possess faith. For some, having faith means believing in a God, in a religion and in its scared texts meant for teaching. Some believe in the universe and in belief that if one releases or says positive affirmations or wishes to the universe, that they might come true. Some have faith in science and the things it can do, cure or stop. Others have faith in other people, and the promises that were made. When you have `faith, you believe in something so strongly, that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a visible thing for you to have faith in it. Having faith is to be self-aware and have epistemic humility to accept what comes. But then there are those that have a different type of faith, “Bad Faith”, which is the systematic belief in facticity which dictates that there are fixed facts that determine what his possible for you such as your historical situation or your past. It is better to have “Good Faith” then to have “Bad Faith”.

For some faith is very strong and predominant in their lives but for others there exist a difficultness in having faith or maintaining it. The lack of faith is an enduring issue that many people face around the world, especially in the wake of a tragic event such as a death or illness which often test the faith of many. Many of the people who experience this lack of faith often do because they don’t put in the sufficient amount of discipline and time into doing so or lose the most important factor of all: mental energy. One cannot expect to maintain faith if they do not put their part in being mentally open-minded and mentally-ready to expect the outcome. When it comes to religious faith, many lose it because they find it challenging to have a relationship with God or a religion that they feel they are a stranger too. Or in some cases, the lifestyle one lives can come in the way of one’s faith and beliefs. Often during times of adversity and hardships are those that make many people become their most vulnerable to the effects of those situations. This vulnerability leads to the decrease or complete loss of faith. But it is in those times, where we feel our most weak that we should persevere to maintain the faith that we once had or find a way to get it back. Losing faith means losing hope, which is something no one should ever lose. Even during the hardest and darkest times, through pain and sorrow, faith should remain. Faith is only as strong as the person that possess it. Like the quotes says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, and having faith makes people stronger.

Faith and self-identity are two concepts that are close in relation and connection. Faith has a lot to do with how an individual is, how they behave, their personality and even how they talk. Faith is the trust and belief in something or someone, often this is what makes a person who they are. One of the most significant types of faith is one that is religious; when a person strongly has faith in God and in a religion, that changes a person and makes them act in a certain way. There are thousands of diverse religions world-wide that believe and teach different texts and information, it is up to an individual to select for themselves which one of these religions they believe and have faith in the most or if they even have faith in any of them at all. One can identify themselves as a Catholic, a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Scientologist and even an atheist etc. The way one identifies oneself is determined by what one believes in. Even the faith people have in other people such as politicians and political parties determine an identity where you can identify yourself as a liberal or conservative, democrat or republican etc. Faith often serves as a justification for how people identify themselves, and ultimately what you have faith in and believe have a lot to do with the person you become or already are.

In the New York Times Bestseller “Between The World and Me”, author Ta-Nehisi Coates writes his book in the form of letter written to his teenage son in which he speaks to him through a series of historical events and his own experiences about the reality of being a black man in America. He mentions events stemming from the Civil War era to more recent incidents such as police brutality and the innocent deaths of people like Michael Brown and others. Coates who is a famous author and journalist used the work of acclaimed author James Baldwin as inspiration for writing this book. In it, through various of his own personal accounts, Coates discusses his view on the history of black oppression and white supremacy and provides his own insight on the beliefs of “hope and dreams” that were often presented by prominent black figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X- both of whom he disagreed with. While most of Coates’ book deals with the societal issues of racism and oppression, another predominant theme explored untraditionally is the concept of faith. Coates makes it very clear in this book that he is a man of no faith- as he considers himself an atheist. An atheism that stems from his inability to accept the faith in justice and progress and optimism that is predominant in Black Christianity and culture. He discusses throughout the book the theme of dreams which he considers to be a factor of whiteness and a representation of a myth created to justify what people perceive to be the innocence of America. A dream which he defines as being the fantasy of a suburban life for white people, and a dream used to ignore the horrible history created by white people in America.

Coates is a non-believer in progress when it comes to black acceptance in America, he believes dreams are nothing, but fairy tales and that white supremacy is a system that displays no end or change. This is why he disagrees with the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X whom had faith in the progression and eventual acceptance of black people in America and the country as a whole but for Coates, he does not have faith that color-blindness is real or possible and despises the country for its ignorance of its own history. Coates might be an atheist but he does have the philosophical “Bad Faith” created by Jean-Paul Sartre which is the belief in an inescapable threat, and in this case that threat for him will always be white supremacy and the security threat of harm on the black body that black people face each day no matter what social class they belong too. He believes too much in facticity which inhibits him from moving on from his past history and developing good faith. Coates mentions in the book the story of his childhood friend Prince Jones Jr. whom because of his mother lived a comfortable higher-class life, yet he died at the hands of a police officer who mistakenly killed him. Coates attempts through this story to show that racism and discrimination is a real issue and effects black people no matter the class they belong too. Because of what he has seen and continues to experience and see every day has made him have a lack of faith and optimism that change may come.

Although Ta-Nehisi Coates was man that clearly did not have good Faith but rather bad one, having faith is an important and significant element of human life. Having faith is believing that something is reachable and will happen even if you are not in control of the outcome or of everything that happens in your life. With faith, you believe and trust something or someone in different ways that is not necessarily connected to religion. Faith is a concept that is different to everyone and is practiced in different ways, whether it be having faith in God, people and even science etc. Because of these different ways, it is hard to give faith an exact definition besides having trust. But with the nature of faith, comes a sense of peace and optimism in what is ahead and possible that is something really vital in human life. Even when one is going through periods of adversity and difficulty when ones faith is often tested, are times when people should have faith the most because letting the situation take over is letting it win. Although one cannot control every aspect of life, there is nothing wrong with always having and maintaining faith and avoiding bad faith which makes one believe in an inescapable threat and facticity like Coates does. Having bad faith or lack of faith simply inhibits the progression of one’s life or beliefs and causes more burden which is something that is not needed. When one has good faith, one brings optimism and a sense of peace to their already chaotic lives. Faith is a significant concept essential for human life.

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Faith - The Recognition of Something True. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved September 24, 2023 , from

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