Analysis of how faith and belief are radically different in the Miramax film Doubt
Difference between Faith and Belief (Film Doubt)
The film doubt depicts confluence ideas ranging from values, beliefs and faith. This facet gives the readers an insight to conceptualize varied differences between belief and faith. The principle objective of this paper is to analyze the differences between faith and religion critically. In every religious set up, some traditions contain some conceptualization of revelation. The meaning of revelation also varies depending on one’s religious set up (chapter 6). For instance, Christians, Islam, and Jewish believe that God communicates to His people in certain historical events through particular historical circumstances. Some beliefs and propositions form the cornerstone of people’s lives.
Notably, some truths make people trust in certain elements of life. The trust can be as a result of science or religious beliefs and revelations (Niebuhr, 1993). The characters in this film portray various traits in their attempts to encounter challenges within their community (chapter 6). They display different actions to solve the challenges they encounter and hence one can get to acknowledge the difference that exist between faith and belief. It should get acknowledged that faith complies with a regular pattern. For instance in the process of human endeavors one is guided by faith, to help come out of the tough situations. Notably, the universe has a crucial meaning in the life of humans. It played a critical purpose in human experience as well as life. Theologies have postulated that life bear various assumptions that someone may encounter.
Niebuhr, (1993) argued that we attribute our trust or faith to many issues in our life. This aspect may include money, occupation religious formulation, moral standards, and specified political system as posited above, humans possess varied faith depending on personal attachment that they hold towards various issues. They possess many faiths. However, one is supposed to choose between these faiths as depicted by various characters in the film. The characters displayed different faiths in handling the issues that entailed them.
Notably, different people from different walks of life have diverse perspective regarding the meaning of faith and belief. This paper has the principle objective of giving a proper analysis about the radical disparities between faith and belief in the Miramax Film Doubt. To understand the meaning of faith, it requires an individual to possess adequate knowledge of how faith relates to religion. Lots of people have the feeling that faith and belief have the same meaning. Many theologians comprehend the perception of religion as engaging extra cognitive elements of belief.
FAITH AND BELIEF
According to Plantinga (2015) faith is a familiar concept among the religious people and it is also a term that is consistently misinterpreted or confused to have the same meaning as belief and in most cases no evidence separates the two words. It, therefore, requires a person’s knowledge to understand the extent to which such a person depends on faith. Most people would rather trust their knowledge about a particular element but not have faith on matters that cannot be validated. Such reasoning is because the hallmark of the truth is to have reasonable evidence but not to have faith that cannot be validated.
The acquisition of knowledge by people and its importance to people tends to overweight and overpower the significance of faith and as a result, faith is reduced to a completely prejudiced and somewhat insignificant element of life. The conceptualization of faith leads to a struggle between faith and knowledge in which faith always loses (Corbin 2013). As such, many people in the modern society of the West consign religion to an element that does not exist in the real life situation. Also, there have been misleading instances in which people understand faith as being opposite of knowledge. Such an understanding is unnecessary and a concept that is misleading.
Moreover, there have been difficulties in situations in which individuals choose to refer to faith and belief as synonyms. For instance, Plantinga (2015)) explained that having faith in God and believing in God is perceived as having the same meaning by many people in the world. Faith means that an individual has trust in or is relying on something for particularly given outcome and as such, a person must be willing to depend or have trust on something. On the other hand, belief in something means that an individual contemplates that something exists but not trust on something. It is imperative to note that having a belief that something exists is different from the knowledge of trust on the same thing.
It is evident that faith leads a conflict between understanding and faith itself of which faith becomes an inevitable loser (chapter 6). The ever building misunderstanding that people holds towards faith has led to serious consequences. Those that understand faith to represent the opposite of knowledge are not only misled but also practice unnecessary ideology (chapter 6). One should acknowledge that belief may exist even without faith. This factor makes faith to entrench far beyond mere belief. Looking at the film the doubt, one can gain insight to an extent in which the characters do involve their reasoning before deciding to get appropriate measures on several issues that faced them (Wartofsky, 1968) In the film, there is a mixture of belief as displayed by its characters. Every character gets confronted with a challenge that they are supposed to handle differently based on their beliefs and faith (chapter 6). They display their faith differently as depicted by their situations they are faced with in their daily life.
Additionally, when speaking about faith, a person should not misunderstand it as an assent of intellectuality to the truth of particular suggestions but as being capable of relying on or counting on certain things (chapter 6). For instance, citizens of a country can have faith in the existence of democracy in their country not because they believe that democracy exists but because of the reliance on the democratic ideals and the spirit that freedom continuously influences their lives as citizens of such a country (Plantinga 2015)). Additionally, Faith can also be defined as the power and the character of a person but not necessarily the existence of something. It takes confidence to imply that something exists and as such, faith requires that a person commits himself to something that a person anticipates.
Faith may have some elements of belief in it because it might involve accepting something, but it must mature to a level of depending on such a thing (Corbin 2013). On the contrary, there can be the presence of belief without having faith since a person can believe something without necessarily trusting it as faith requires an element of trust. For instance, many religious people may have the belief that Jesus Christ is the Savior and died on the cross for their sins (Shanley 2008). Conversely, they can also believe that Got is in existence but they will never act like their beliefs. As such, they will just portray their belief but not any element of faith though such individuals may fail to notice that they have the belief and lack faith since they do not know the distinction between faith and belief. Such inconsistency can easily make other people who know the distinction between the two terms refers to their counterparts as hypocrites.
According to chapter 6 having a proper distinction between belief and faith in the mind can make an individual to compare faith and knowledge since knowledge depends on both trust and evidence (Niebuhr, 1993).. The religion and faith have the same pattern that knowledge follows since they both rely on the evidence so as to build trust on both observable and trivial things. Faith functions on a supposition that the universe serves some purpose and meaning and the purpose are apparent in the human understanding of life. Theologians and scientists have trust on certain assumptions that indicate that life gives the evidence that should yield trust thereby, resulting in faith (Plantinga 2015). Though, the experiences of the religious people and those of the scientists may vary in individual perspectives, its validity is sure enough to build trust with the religious people and thus the result of faith. It is hence, imperative to indicate that faith is a dynamic factor in human understanding (chapter 6).
People experience a lot in life that can result in different attitudes towards their faith or what they trust in regularly. Such may include moral standards of a person and those of his neighbors, several formulations of the religions, science, and particular political systems. The diversity of various things to trust in can tamper with the faith of a person.
Corbin (2013) highlighted that in most instances, belief helps individuals to deal with ideas that are either wrong or right, to know what is false or what is right, and of morality and religion. Circumstances that people go through can make them develop propositions and beliefs that shape the root of their lives (Shanley, 2008). Taking into account the film of doubt and the attempt to analyze the meaning of faith and belief, one get to know through the characters that given certain situations an individual can display varied faith depending on the issue at hand. People can develop diverse belief especially when ideologies they accepted in the past do not seem to give answers to the present day (Baldwin & Rand, 1960). Besides, people have different beliefs in various ways in which they obtain information. As some students will believe that they can get all the information they need from the internet, others will believe that it is the science that provides genuine knowledge.
Others also believe that listening to what other people say and observing what has been done in the past provides them with the necessary knowledge that they need to perform their duties (Corbin 2013). There are lots of people who believe what they are told by either their friends, close relatives, or teachers. For instance, an individual can always vote for a particular candidate after being told by a third party about the significance of voting for that particular person as well as the ideological manifestos the person possesses. Such kind of consistency in voting can be as a result of the beliefs that the voter has towards the individual who told him of the importance of voting for such a candidate.
Vital matters of religion and morals can be adhered to by a person because of the belief in the teachings that the person got from a sermon in a church while another person can believe in the teachings he got from his parents regarding religion and morals (Gear, 1997). Additionally, an individual can learn about people’s behaviors by watching films that address the morals of society, and such an individual can get to believe the characters story line. Alternatively, a belief can be a mere opinion, a fact as well as a source of knowledge. Availability of evidence will prove whether a belief is a fact or just an opinion.
Philosophers have attempted on several occasions to project about the existence of certain facts that individuals know with complete surety (Monk & Stamey, 1990). These are facts that a person does not need to validate by alluring to other beliefs to hold up to their beliefs. For instance, the film depicts that an individual may believe that he has seen a red patch on a white bed sheet while, in the real sense, there is no existence of the red patch. In such a scenario, philosophers argue that individuals mentally create a theoretical basket of objects. It may mean that the person saw the red spot because of a present object either in his mind that creates the belief or an actual object in a different region.
Other theorists have demonstrated that there is no existence of a thorough explanation of what people experience or observe and the interpretations of the theories that people create in their memory, to explain the belief about what they experience and see (Hauerwas, 1993). Back to morals and religious practices, certain individuals believe in the teachings of certain church leaders but not just any other preacher because of the facts that get best known to them.
The Concept of Despair by Soren Kierkegaard: Kierkegaard and Howard (2013) describes despair as a kind of disease that affects the spirit of mankind that results because of the failure for a person to understand what they are as human beings. He refers to self as a composition of various elements that include infinitude and finitude, and necessity and possibility. He argues that despair comes about as a result of the missing elements as mentioned earlier about self. Also, despair can also be as a result of the failure of the self to relate positively to the creator who is God.
The author addresses “Sickness Unto Death” in which he portrays that there is a kind of sickness that is immortal, and the outcome of its result is death. He represents that a person can perish because of despair. Also, despair can cause severe and profound suffering to a person especially when one suffers from illness and on the contrary, still stays alive without dying (Kierkegaard and Howard 2013). The pain can continue to an extent that a person loses hope of living but remains active. Despair is distinct from the physical illness in that the physical sickness can quickly kill the patient while despair does not involve death. Despair means living to experience death. Despair will thus, consume the self of a person though it has got nothing to do with the external features of oneself. A man with despair will simply get dejected about other things.
Reason rejecting faith: This is a situation when reason tends to result in skepticism about God. Here reason has reached a state of no God (atheistic). Likewise, reason can also embrace faith by getting involved in the way of faith. In such context, the characters in the movie have displayed their faith especially when they are subjected to an ethical dilemma (Harvey 1964). For instance, Sister Aloysius’s dilemma gets displayed when Mrs. Miller decides not to ally with the elder sister and in turn involve herself in exposing Father Flynn (Niebuhr, 1993).. The sister is seen surprised that Mrs. Miller did not get concerned about the existing unwanted relationship among the priest and the boy. However, her dilemma does not last, and, therefore, she decides to do what is best for the future of the parish (Niebuhr, 1993). Through this concept, the character tends to show how reason embraces faith while the priest depicts an instance where faith rejects reason.
To conclude it is imperative to note that faith and belief are not antonyms and therefore, should not be taken for granted to have the same meaning. Individuals who are not aware of the distinctions that exist between the two terms can always take things for granted and view things in a similar manner and face value. Such individuals will be seen by others who know of the distinction between the two terms as hypocrites. Moreover, most religious persons always use the two terms in a manner that portrays that they have the same meaning thereby, not creating any distinction between faith and belief. As such, most of the religious persons and a bigger population of the global community take for granted matters that would make them be seen as hypocrites. Ideally, one should possess an in-depth understanding of the disparities that exist between faith and belief as the Doubt movie projects. Reasoning and knowledge doorman should be analyzed in details.
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Kierkegaard, Søren, Edna H. Hong, and Howard V. Hong (2013). Kierkegaard’s Writings, Xix. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Monk, R., & Stamey, J. (1990). Exploring Christianity: An introduction. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
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Plantinga, Alvin (2015). Knowledge and Christian Belief. Rutledge
Shanley, John P. (2008). Doubt: A Parable. New York: Theatre Communications Group.
Wartofsky, M. (1968). Conceptual foundation of scientific thought; an introduction to the philosophy of science. New York: Macmillan.
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