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On Faith. Or Why You Don’t Live Without It.

By: Catherine Collautt, Ph.D.

On Faith began as a response to Bill Maher’s documentary, Religulous. Religulous makes a staunch, ostensibly intellectual case for abandoning faith and religion. Littered with religious-like zealotry of it’s own, we might easily reject Maher’s diatribe along with other forms of you’ve-lost-your-mind fundamentalism – if it weren’t expounded under the well-sanctioned banner of ‘rationalism, intelligence, logic and reason’. That’s where I come in. I can’t stand intellectual bullying. Like all bullying it’s totally unimpressive, even when it succeeds in destroying. Having faith isn’t about being stupid or giving up on reason; it isn’t about untethering your feet from the ground. What is more, not having faith isn’t an option. We can’t opt-out, we can’t abstain. As Maher rightly points out faith is powerful. And it is precisely because it is so powerful that we need to engage with it consciously, deliberately, and, contrary to what Religulous would have you believe is possible, with a spine. With some self-respect. Join me in the venture.

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Reviews

  1. Anne, 29, Producer

    In this vignette Dr. Collautt takes the sting out of believing. For those of us who have quieted our inner-voice of faith for something more sophisticated, she awakens it in twenty concise pages. By steering the conversation from what one believes in to how faith is an inherent part of the human condition, the shame in believing in something is abated and the door is open to believe again.

  2. Graeme Franks, Life Coach

    On Faith is a rope strung across the road at chest level. It’s precise. Honest. Hard hitting, and will knock you off your preverbal “ass” and challenge  your beliefs around the powerful topic of faith. After I was sideswiped by her rather well crafted “rope” I began to discover the power of faith in a profound new way. Thanks for the wake-up call.

  3. Mina Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl

    With her signature incisive reasoning and elegant spiral prose, Dr. Collautt demonstrates the un-deniability and ultimate necessity of faith.

  4. Roshini, Dance Teacher in the making, London, UK

    I must confess that at first, as an atheist, I had agreed with Maher and was resistant to what was in this vignette. However, as I began to read more, it dawned on me that we really cannot be sure of *anything*, except of course, our own experience. I realised that, being an atheist, I needed to make the distinction between ‘faith as in dogma’ and ‘faith proper’. ‘Faith proper’ is not a choice after all – we cannot exist without it. A very interesting, though-provoking and ultimately eye-opening vignette that everyone needs to read, regardless of their religious beliefs.

  5. Mihaela Mitroescu, Chinese Medicine – Fertility ,IVF/Mind&Body, London

    On Faith is marvelous, comprehensive and value creating. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I am grateful to Maher, for pointing you to write this vignette. I was shocked, I laughed so much, I paused and reflected, and I learned. I learned about the responsibility I have as a human being to exercise growing in faith. Cathy’s writing is so engaging and offers the terrain for a conversation, it challenges you to think with your whole being, your heart, your balls and your ovaries :)…I loved it!

  6. Melissa

    This is a beautifully written, non-threatening explanation as to why “faith” is innate and gives valuable insight into why we do not function without it. As a person who has struggled with relating to self-professed “non-believers” in the past, I found Dr. Collautt’s distinction that everyone must have faith in something (if only by default) to be truly refreshing. The certainty that you do not have a specific purpose on this earth is, in fact, an act of faith! This vignette is a valuable tool to help navigate the often emotionally-charged waters of “belief” and “disbelief”, powerfully teaching why both are acts of faith. I have read and reread it and found it truly amazing each time!

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