A priest who spends his life battling with atheists once told me a thought experiment designed to cause them to stumble. Romans 14:13:
"Tell me anything you can know, without first having a belief"
I thought this was pretty clever, because if true, to know anything at all, you must first believe it. And atheists believe no doctrine so will be trapped. Remember how the Pharisees tried to catch out the Christ in the same way when asking about to whom it is just to pay taxes? Mark 12:13
But this pharisaic trick is structurally flawed because it presumes that beliefs can give you knowledge of everything, and that beliefs are always centred on things you can see and feel in the outside sensual world. For example 'modern christian ethics' demands that we dogmatically believe everything in the bible literally in order to qualify, more, than we have faith in the Christ. This observation staggered me when I first saw it.
What I believe the Christ said was that anyone who has experienced an 'intuitive moment', by thinking carefully and listening to that thing inside that we all talk to, knows, by intuition, that beliefs and doctrine do not go anywhere near deep enough to know about anything.
True, beliefs do help us to know something, but there is an enormous chasm of knowledge we leave unexplored by limiting ourselves just to beliefs. A whole universe remains beyond the frontier. We ignorantly 'believe' we are running out of stuff or the world is limited. For me this belief or lack of faith is deeply immoral because of its irrational scaremongering. "They toil not, nor do they spin". Luke 12:17.
Belief in anything, scientific or religious, only requires knowledge gained from the sensual world to be generally accepted. The world we can detect using our 5 senses. Things we take literally because of what our physical 'eye can see' and the 'ear can hear'. Beliefs. This forms the root basis of both scientific and religious doctrine.
Faith in anything, whatsoever, requires knowledge gained from everywhere else. Not from the outside sensual world. Not from the 5 senses. From things we know psychologically, by asking ourselves internally about how to understand anything. Because we rarely dare ask, this is extremely difficult to do but not complex. It requires fundamental personal 'change'. Development. To 'see' and 'hear'. 1 Corinthians 2:9.
Both atheists and the religious will despise me for pointing this out because they are both just 'believers'. I am asking them to make a commitment they are not willing to make. I ask them to keep their anger, that is something only they can deal with.
I've met many religious people who have little faith. And many atheists who have plenty of faith. This tends to be the general case. Neither seem to see the importance of faith ironically.
So where is this 'everywhere else' where deeper knowledge can be found? I call this place, 'the undiscovered country'. It exists already, we just chose not to live there yet. Its right here, right now, inside every one of us. Ready to go when we chose the 'road of freedom' over the 'state of dependency'. To break free from the chains in the cave, to end our submission to non commitment and slavery.
If we look at the great social problems of the world our beliefs help us deny that very simple root causes are true, as far as we are willing to know about them. Which is not very far.
The reason we submit to a poorer world, continue to aim so low, at a state of welfare and dependency, is because at the root we have no faith in knowledge we can find inside ourselves, just by asking for it. To make a free choice, as an individual, to know. We only trust what we believe others tell us. It's no use blaming them for that, we chose it. Romans 13, 1 Samuel 8.
I'm a true free trader, like the protoChristians have faith in the 'freewill jubilee', know there are no limits and the world is not finite. I know it because I have looked for it and did not stop looking when what I found ran counter to my beliefs. I have faith in it.
Yes, I realise that kind of freedom is a massive commitment to ask anyone to make. I'm asking for others to start to make it. That is all.
Seek and ye shall find. Matthew 7:7