I’ve been pondering this awhile now. I think possibly the most important thing to me is intellectual honesty when it comes to things - tending to be a realist; anticipating what is most likely going to happen rather than praying for a better outcome. However, recently I’ve been feeling that adopting faith, belief in things non falsifiable yet easily shaved by Occam’s Razor - such as telling myself that the soul survives death, which is comforting and unable to disprove, but requires more assumptions to accept baselessly than just saying our soul doesn’t, which is much more depressing to me.
I feel like blind faith has propelled people in life during hardships, and given them strength where realists would have more trouble carrying on. A mother carrying for her terminally ill husband like a nurse would find the job a lot easier to deal with if she was convinced she would go to heaven with him after all this was over or have good karma that would be repayed, rather than accepting that she will care for him until he was no more and that’s that. There’s less of a reason to smile and carry on. Yet it’s the more honest look at things - the least wildly unlikely outcome.
What I’m trying to get at is, I feel like being intellectually honest is a burden to someone when they face hardship. It gives them strong terror management in the belief of afterlife, fortitude in hardships, and grace facing old age - all based on baseless information. I know that the belief that we will be erased forever is also unproven, I consider it the most likely outcome as it requires the least assumptions to be made to justify it. Consciousness after death has enormous complications for physics and is burdensome to try and justify against physicalism.
In case someone argues that I’m choosing to view the postmodern rationalist takes on these subjects as more depressing, and that they’re not inherently, I would certainly argue it is inherently. Things that go against our self preservation instinct (unresolved death anxiety) and motivation seem hard to rule as subjectively bad.
I want the benefits of blind faith, with the intellectual integrity. How can this be done, other than forcing yourself to change your perspective because you clearly don’t like what the realist take is?
And let me just emphasize: I don’t mean faith only in the religious sense. I mean a gut feeling of hope in uncertainty. Faith in something. Having faith something will work out despite there not being a rational leaning to it happening.
If you disagree, how can a realist cope with death anxiety? Struggle with no promise of reward?