The history of “In God We Trust” becoming the official motto of the United States spans nearly a century. Originally used on coins during the Civil War and later adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956…
as the country became ravaged by the Civil War, religious sentiment grew…In November of 1861, Reverend M. R. Watkinson appealed to Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, to add the phrase to all U.S. coins…He wrote, “This would place us openly under the Divine protection…
Really? The belief that proclaiming a condition brings it into existence is magical thinking. Common in young children but considered psychotic or New Age religion in grownups.
Trust is not created by fiat, like “God said…and it was so.” (Genesis 1)
Or Richard Dawkins said…and it was so.
Trust is formed by neurological connections in the brain through interactions with others. Trust is established as early as the neonate’s social interactions, if not prenatally, despite the still-developing brain lacking the neurological ability for cognitive or emotional processing of experiences.
Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist, researched the importance of trust in infancy. He noted that when caregivers are a consistent source of comfort, food, and affection, an infant learns trust. The baby develops a belief that others are dependable and reliable. If caregivers are neglectful the infant learns mistrust. The baby then develops a belief that the world is an unpredictable, undependable, and possibly a dangerous place.
Every human is forced to trust that persons, places and things will perform as expected, or hoped. At a minimum, we go through the activities of our daily life trusting that our past experiences will be replicated as our present condition evolves into the unknown future minute by minute.
I had a patient with a severe psychotic paranoia that others were plotting to harm her, delusions that friends and family are not who they say they are but in fact aliens. In her case, medication helped her brain function more effectively, but it also took a relationship with a compassionate therapist who could make sense of the unspeakable experiences underlying her distorted mental processes. Her delusions – like nightmares – were expressing her suffering. Her hyper-religious parents were refusing to meet her most basic human needs for social interaction, isolating her for her “safety”. She could no longer trust her parents to meet her needs, and her world had become a dangerous place.
Most of us can trust our knowledge and skills to get through our day-to-day dilemmas. But as the above case study demonstrates, knowledge of the basics of life is not enough when faced with conditions beyond our personal expertise.
We’re forced to trust others whose superior
- knowledge of facts that we don’t know
- can lead to understanding how to act
- with wisdom of which optional action
- leads to the best resolution of a problem.
In other words, we put our faith in other people’s advice to solve our problems, right?
Not according to one Nolan Dalla, self-styled philosopher.
They are not one and the same. In fact, FAITH and TRUST are very different things. One may even argue, convincingly I assert, that faith and trust are contradictory…
Faith has been called “the substance of hope.” It requires no evidence for belief nor practice. The very nature of faith surmises that tangible evidence doesn’t exist…
Press pause. This individual is using Orwellian New-speak: “the language of official propaganda” by the deliberate replacement of one set of words in the language for another.
Let’s go directly to the quotation referenced by this philosopher.
Now faith is
- the substance of things hoped for,
- the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The quotation asserts the complete opposite from what Dalla claims it says.
By continuing on with the original source Dalla misquotes, we discover the meaning of “faith” as used by that source. There are 336 statements made using the word faith or faithful. A quick review of the multiple contexts in which “faith” is used establishes the essential research condition of reliability. The consistency with which this term is used over multiple situations and across a wide span of time provides a basis for trusting the same meaning of the word “trust” in this one occurrence:
- as written in the original language used in composing the Bible,
- and intended to be understood by all readers of the Bible regardless of language or culture.
The passage in Hebrews 11 goes on to provide examples of this definition, so anyone who doesn’t bother to educate themselves on the earlier biblical references to faith as a thought process proven by faith-fulness in behavior can readily learn that the definition of Faith is Proof of Belief by One’s Actions.
- By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain
- By faith Noah prepared an ark
- By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out…obeyed; and he went out
This is consistent with the Merriam-Webster’s definition of faith as action on behalf of an individual based on past knowledge of the trustworthiness of the individual.
What Dalla does is take the definition of faith and re-define it as his version of trust.
Trust is largely based on evidence that’s real according to the senses and to human reason. Trust is the core conviction of judgment based on knowledge, instinct, and experience…
1a: to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of : BELIEVEb: to place confidence in : rely on a friend you can trustc: to hope or expect confidently: trusts that the problem will be resolved soon
Contrary to Dalla’s New-speak, it is not trust but faith that is “the core conviction of judgment based on knowledge, instinct, and experience” from the past.
Faith is the basis for judging who is trust-worthy for the unknown future.
Faith is the abandonment of scientific principles. Faith is the refutation of tangible evidence…
Faith is the end result of reason. Faith is extrapolating from the evidence of things known to what is unobservable. This is the essence of the scientific method – extrapolating the results of a small sample to a larger population to anticipate a future outcome.
In the complete opposite of what this guy is saying, it is trust for the future without faith / evidence from the past that is the abandonment of scientific principles of proof of reliability, consistency, guarantee of performance in one’s chosen course of action.
The best example of faith in practice is religion and all its intended and unintended fall-out. Billions of global citizens claim to be believers adhering to one faith versus another…
Take note that this philosopher’s claims are so broad that small minds, or those with a bias, can be easily persuaded that they are accurate. Who can’t call to mind acquaintances whose idea of “faith” is not exactly as this philosopher reports it to be?
But when we narrow the focus of the argument to the detail used by this philosopher, we discover that he is a sophist: a teacher who makes money by cleverly deceiving students who don’t know enough to realize that the instructor’s arguments don’t reach logical conclusions.
There is a crucial distinction between religion, of which there are many, and the (singular) Bible quoted by the “teacher” above. And I’m not just referring vaguely to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. The mere fact that there are competing Christian denominations basing their distinctive doctrines on the same source requires us to admit there is blind acceptance by followers of those denominations rather than faith based on the shared sourcebook.
But that doesn’t prove this beguiler’s point. He argued against the Bible’s definition of faith, and examination of the Bible proved his argument to be fallacious: containing a fallacy; logically unsound: deceptive; misleading: delusive.
According to the Bible, faith is the end result of reason. Faith is extrapolating from what is known to what is unobservable. This is the essence of the scientific method – extrapolating the results of a small sample to a larger population or future condition. So we can’t categorize the Bible with “religions”.
Whether it’s believing in angels or denying evolution, faith is folly.
It is not faith but trust without faith that is folly! We don’t have to believe in God to have faith in our own lived experience.
If you’ve ever gone through a relationship breakdown you know what I mean. “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.” Then it does. And then it does again. At some point you have to put your faith in your own awareness that the past is being inevitably repeated. For your own survival you have to stop putting your faith in an untrustworthy person leading you into a disintegrating future.
Faith is not only wrong — but also bad. The very notion that we rest “in God’s hands,” enslaves greater human pursuits..
There is not a human being who can meet all their own needs. We are all required to trust a higher authority for medical care, groceries, ad infinitum. To do so doesn’t necessarily enslave. It depends on the higher authority and our choice of who accept as our authority in that matter. And interdependence – supporting one another – is what empowers greater human pursuits from the most personal twosomes to the greatest empires under Darius the Great, Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, ad infinitum.
This absolutely requires wisely placing faith in others by rationally acting on their promised – but as yet unrealized – future actions after determining their credibility. Are they reliable within multiple claims? Are their claims validated by external sources? Most of all, have their past promises come true in their actions?
Lies are easy to fabricate, only actions provide essential proof.
Secular-humanism has been defined as “the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and the solving of human problems.”
Aha! The recruiter reveals his objective. He is trying to lure you into secular-humanism by playing on the common misperceptions that science and religion are opposites, with scientific discoveries providing a rational basis for belief vs religion requiring blind acceptance of what you are told.
In reality, science is what requires blind acceptance of what you are told. Can you prove for yourself that what you are being told by scientists is factual? Absolutely not.
Scientists can’t even prove it!
From Forbes magazine: Scientific Proof Is A Myth.
You’ve heard of our greatest scientific theories: the theory of evolution, the Big Bang theory, the theory of gravity. You’ve also heard of the concept of a proof, and the claims that certain pieces of evidence prove the validities of these theories. Fossils, genetic inheritance, and DNA prove the theory of evolution. The Hubble expansion of the Universe, the evolution of stars, galaxies, and heavy elements, and the existence of the cosmic microwave background prove the Big Bang theory. And falling objects, GPS clocks, planetary motion, and the deflection of starlight prove the theory of gravity.
Except that’s a complete lie. While they provide very strong evidence for those theories, they aren’t proof. In fact, when it comes to science, proving anything is an impossibility.
Even in theoretical physics, the most mathematical of all the sciences, our “proofs” aren’t on entirely solid ground. If the assumptions we make no longer apply…we’ll “prove” something that turns out not to be true. If someone tells you a scientific theory has been proven, you should ask what they mean by that. Normally, they mean “they’ve convinced themselves that this thing is true…”
So don’t try to prove things; try to convince yourself.
Without question, science is the latest religion, and scientists are the new gods who have taken it upon themselves to “reveal the truth”.
To this end, we must trust in the insatiable desires of our most gifted and dedicated to continuing the ways of discovery that benefit us all, and those who follow. Trust becomes a largely positive ideal not only giving life purpose but reaffirming human value…
Throw out this preacher’s New-speak and apply the true meanings to the word-bait.
Can you put your trust in his a man urging you to disregard faith – knowledge of past actions establishing trustworthiness – and simply believe / hope that the future created by an elite group of secular-humanist leaders will turn out in our best interest, when at the same time he admits these leaders have “insatiable desires”?!
Knowledge of past actions by leaders with insatiable desires tells us will happen to the masses they bring under their control.
And these cases have NOTHING to do with religion. They are totally secular-humanist
Don’t imagine that living in a democracy keeps Americans safe from exploitation by an elite group of our most gifted secular-humanist leaders.
Their share in three main categories of assets — real estate, equities and private businesses — slumped in one generation. That made their lives more precarious, with fewer financial reserves to fall back on when they lose their jobs…
The concentration of wealth in the hands of a fraction of the population is at the core of some of the country’s major political battles…
Over the past 30 years, 10 percentage points of American wealth has shifted to the top 20% of earners, who now hold 70% of the total.
Financially squeezed workers helped drive support for former President Donald Trump and the populist turn in the Republican party.
Don’t imagine that American democracy protects you from exploitation by an elite group of our most gifted secular-humanist leaders.
Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo…assassinated…1961…by American and Belgian governments…
For 126 years, the US and Belgium have played key roles in shaping Congo’s destiny…the US became the first country in the world to recognise the claims of King Leopold II of the Belgians to the territories of the Congo Basin…
it was during the colonial period that the US acquired a strategic stake in the enormous natural wealth of the Congo, following its use of uranium from Congolese mines to manufacture the first atomic weapons…
Patrice Lumumba’s determination to achieve genuine independence and to have full control over Congo’s resources in order to…improve the living conditions of our people was perceived as a threat to western interests.
Joseph-Desiré Mobutu…managed to destroy the third largest – and potentially the richest – country in Africa…in July 1960, he was Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba’s chief military assistant…
Radio Leopoldville…music stopped, and a voice was heard to say that he was suspending the president, the prime minister and the parliament and taking over the country.
“C’est moi!” Mobutu exclaimed, triumphantly pointing to the radio. “C’est moi!”…
Mobutu’s action, almost certainly masterminded by the Americans…arguing that Mobutu was a sincere anti-communist and the best hope for the future of Congo…Mobutu was principally the best hope for Joseph Mobutu…
at a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York…he had become Mobutu See Seko Kuku Ngbendu – which translates variously as “The all-powerful warrior who goes from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake,” or “The cock who leaves no hen alone…” he was indeed the Great Dictator.
Early in his rule, Mobutu consolidated power by publicly executing political rivals…and other threats to his rule…former Prime Minister…with three cabinet members…sent to the gallows…before an audience of 50,000 spectators.
In 1968, Pierre Mulele, Lumumba’s Minister of Education…was lured out of exile in Brazzaville on the belief that he would receive amnesty…While Mulele was still alive, his eyes were gouged out, his genitals were ripped off, and his limbs were amputated one by one…
Mobutu…nationalized foreign-owned firms and forced European investors out of the country…handed the management of these firms to relatives and close associates, who quickly…stole the companies’ assets…In October 1973, the Arab oil shock…[name change by Mobutu] Zaire went from “prosperity to bankruptcy almost overnight” in 1974…Mobutu visited China in 1974 and…announced his intention to “radicalize the Zairian revolution”…businesses…were…placed under state control….a 50% salary cut to state employees…
By 1977…rebels based in Angola invaded Zaire…The governments of Belgium and France deployed troops with logistical support from the United States and defeated the rebels…
Mobutu was re-elected in single-candidate elections in 1977 and 1984. He spent most of his time increasing his personal fortune, which in 1984 was estimated to amount to US $5 billion…almost equivalent to the amount of the country’s foreign debt at the time…
The infrastructure virtually collapsed…The soldiers…supported themselves by robbing the civilian population…
The man who diplomats allege could pay off Zaire’s entire debt with a personal cheque has more than 20 luxury properties in the West…Lausanne, Switzerland 30-room villa set in 15 acres…In Morocco…a five-storey building and luxury restaurant under construction in Marrakesh worth $10 million… property and flats in Brussels and a holiday home in the south of France…Paris apartment…just a few metres from the Arc de Triomphe,” a Swiss newspaper reported…an estate in the Portuguese Algarve with a wine cellar of 14,000 bottles…a luxury villa and hotel in Marbella and a home in Madrid…he reputedly owns hotels and houses in South Africa, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Morocco.
Mobutu led one of the most enduring dictatorships in Africa and amassed a personal fortune..while the people lived in poverty.While in office, he formed a totalitarian regime responsible for numerous human rights violations,…maintained an anti-communist stance to gain positive international support.
Mobutu was the subject of one of the most pervasive personality cults of the twentieth century. The evening newscast opened with an image of him descending through clouds like a god…He held such titles as “Father of the Nation”, “Messiah”, “Guide of the Revolution”, “Helmsman”, “Founder”, “Savior of the People”, and “Supreme Combatant”…
Zaire received nearly half the foreign aid Carter allocated to sub-Saharan Africa…
Mobutu enjoyed a very warm relationship with the Reagan Administration…Mobutu visited the White House three times, and criticism of Zaire’s human rights record by the US was effectively muted…Reagan praised the Zairian strongman as “a voice of good sense and goodwill”.
Mobutu also had a cordial relationship with…George H. W. Bush; he was the first African head of state to visit Bush at the White House…
Mobutu was befriended by televangelist Pat Robertson.
While the faithful place their lives at the supposed goodwill of a theoretical supreme being, we secular-humanists are forced to rely on each other. Accordingly, we are required to have trust in each other — which is actually the noblest of virtues.
Not faith, but trust.
Does your personal past experience and historical knowledge of the tyranny imposed by despots in families, workplaces, nations and world empires drive you to – sensibly – distrust humanity in all its organized means of control? Possibly even to hope that the Bible’s documentation of a benevolent supreme being is true?
This blog investigates that possibility.