Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Faith and belief

A. makes a valuable distinction between faith and belief. The words are almost synonyms, but belief denotes something passive and secure -- "believers let other people do their thinking for them," says A., quoting (perhaps) Buckminster Fuller -- whereas faith suggests risk and daring, a leap into the unknown. Belief is dogmatic, intolerant, righteous. Faith is open and welcoming. I suggested something of this distinction in my book Skeptics and True Believers. I wish I had pursued it further.

A's "virtuous" memory is a pun on "virtual." I'm not quite sure what he/she meant, but I chuckled. Certainly, my memory selectively filters past virtues from foibles.