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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Faith Is: To affirm life fully

To affirm life fully:  the seventh faith characteristic listed in Alton’s letter can best be appreciated from focusing on human traits that are unique for mankind.  Faith appears to be one such uniquely human phenomenon.  While we can project faith upon an animal (such as we do with the pig in the movie Babe), or use it to describe an animal as when we refer to a faithful dog; the stark reality may well be that no other animal has faith as understood and experienced by the human mind—the human brain recently described in a forum as perhaps the most complex structure in the universe.  A closely allied characteristic to faith is the creative power of thought called imagination.  Faith and imagination go together.  While other animals can affirm life, none other than man has the capacity to affirm it fully.  For reality can only be understood and affirmed though the active engagement of the imagination.  Whether a physicist is conceiving nuclear structure, or a scientist the double helix, or an astronomer the black hole, or whether someone is devising a recipe for tonight’s supper; imagination is inherently involved in affirming life fully.  Faith without imagination would be impossible, as would imagination without faith.  Affirming life fully concerns not only the understanding of physical systems and phenomena, but of the intangible world as well.  These include the qualities that are represented in human relationships as well as the conditions that reside in ethical and spiritual systems.  Faith and imagination both require and are at home with abstraction.  Faith to affirm life fully requires imagination to help infer reality.

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