Though they each take various forms, Faith and Reason build Perspective. It was a deified Faith leading Abraham to hold a knife over his son. It was a social Faith ushering World War 1 cavalry to charge entrenched machine guns. It is functional Faith telling me I won’t be hit by a car when walking down a sidewalk. Though it can be shared, Faith is personal. It is not a fragile afterthought but something deeply rooted within an individual. However, it has its issues.
Kant birthed Reason to fight against the pitfalls of Faith. The scientific method doesn’t care about Faith, nor does it care about personal ideas. Reason guides Perspective through experimentation, through data, through figures, and through fact. Like Faith, Reason shifts an existing perspective. But it does so while coloring Perspective as objective and dispassionate.
We’re witnessing Reason become as intimately personal as Faith. Before, they worked to balance each other and build Perspective. Often now, they work arm in arm to invent Perspective from the ground up. Reason provides a its dispassionate gloss to Faith. Faith shares its unwavering nature with Reason. As a result, it is becoming more difficult to share a singular Perspective between two people, two groups. They don’t blend because the realities where they exist are completely alien.
Reason was the solution to unbalanced Faith. But what happens when both sides of an argument have Reason? In the interim, there is a new found fatigue and dispassion. But individual perspective seldom solve a community’s problems. As long as life forces us together, we will need to work together. So, the question is this: when we decentralize both Reason and Faith, how do we form a collective Perspective?
Society is witnessing the birth of a new god: Trust. To live Trust is to say, “I will jump off the cliff after my friend. I don’t know his Reason, I don’t know his Faith, but I Trust his Perspective shows him something I can’t see right now. That it isn’t the risk it seems.” Trust demands connection. It thrives in infinite knowledge and the openness that can come from it. It has always been powerful. But in the vacuum left by Reason and Faith, Trust is the only thing connecting Perspectives.
Therefore, the most powerful investment you can make is to become a disciple of Trust. This means trusting yourself just as it means being worthy of trust. Not over promising and burdening vulnerability. There is an honesty in your actions, a loyalty to the values and pillars that define you. It means the most valuable thing you own is your word, that a promise isn’t taken lightly.
The old gods of Faith and Reason are suffocating in an air of manipulation and abuse. Our society has been blinded for a moment. But we still have to get where we’re going. When you can’t see, you must learn to Trust and walk anyway.
Thanks for taking a sip,
This essay was inspired by Seth Godin’s Akimbo podcast, as well as the Philosophize This! podcast on Reason. More than that, it was inspired by the 2019 Argentine Primaries, an echo of the shift we’re seeing around the world.