Doesn’t spirituality demand blind faith?
Answer: No. Spirituality requires not blind faith, but intelligent doubt: doubt in our assumed and unexamined faith in materialism.
Materialism requires us to believe that material trappings like money, sex and luxuries will make us happy. But is this belief grounded in facts? Let’s analyze the facts of life.
- Doomed at Death: The first fact that problematizes materialism is death. If we wed our future to materialism, then everything we toil to acquire and achieve will come to a naught when death ends our existence. In marked contrast, spirituality offers us principles and techniques that enable us to carry intangible assets beyond death into our future lives. Is faith in an after-life unscientific? No more unscientific than faith in materialism; there is no scientific evidence for the premise of materialism that matter produces life. And, there is significant scientific evidence for the premise of spirituality that life continues before and beyond the lifespan of our material, biological body. This evidence comes from the systematic research into fields like near-death experiences and past life memories by rigorous researchers like Dr Michael Sabom and Dr Ian Stevenson.
- Miserable during life: Materialism offers us a raw deal even in this life, as is demonstrated using telling facts and revealing statistics in books like “The American Paradox – Spiritual Hunger in an Age of Plenty” by David G Myers. Here are some the scientifically-researched statistics about American society show the ugly face of materialism behind the seductive mask shown on Star TV:
- The divorce rate has doubled.
- The teen suicide rate has tripled.
- The recorded violent crime rate has quadrupled.
- The prison population has quintupled.
- The percentage of babies born to unmarried parents has sextupled.
- Depression has soared—to ten times the pre–World War II level.
Due to this social disaster wrought about by materialism, millions of Americans are turning for relief to spirituality –and Indian spirituality at that, as documented in books like “American Veda” by Phillip Goldberg. This book outlines the astonishing penetration of Indian spiritual into the American mainstream, as demonstrated by the twenty five million Americans who have adopted Indic spiritual practices like yoga, meditation and chanting.
Thus, the facts indicate that spirituality offers us better prospects than materialism not just in the next life, but also in this life. And as we have to put faith somewhere – either in materialism or in spirituality, let’s use our god-given skepticism to doubt the prevalent propaganda that demands unthinking faith in materialism. If we have to courage to doubt thus, we may well discover that, in contrast to faith in materialism, faith in spirituality is the better-informed and better-reasoned choice.
To reiterate in conclusion, serious spirituality asks not for blind faith, but for intelligent doubt.