What do you believe in? A question of faith

Do you believe in God? Or angels? Or technology? Or yourself?

According to a recent survey, around 17% of the UK population have no doubt about God’s existence. Another 18% are sure the whole idea is nonsense. That leaves an awful lot of people in the middle, the people who think perhaps there is something, that we can’t just be doing all this alone, unsupervised by something or someone bigger and more powerful, but unable to put their fingers on exactly what that might be.

As humans we seem to have a desire, an actual need maybe, to have something to believe in, to have faith in something. It makes us feel safer to think we’re not alone, that we’re not completely responsible for our own lives. That something will be different for different people. Some people attach that faith to a God, a higher power with a ready-made set of guidelines for how to behave, a preprepared moral code that can provide that sought after structure and community, and give meaning and purpose to actions and decisions.

Others have faith in something less definable, perhaps just a sense of being watched over or guided. Some people put their faith into more tangible things, like work or families or causes they feel passionate about.

I am one of those annoyingly optimistic people who tends to believe that everything will work out alright in the end. I try to have faith in myself, to trust my instincts, and to allow myself to act to change situations that I know aren’t right for me. I also believe than in order to do this, I have to be aware not just of my own feelings, but of things happening around me, outside my own head.

Although I do believe that I’m in control of my own future, I am also prepared to be guided to a certain extent by outside forces. Sometimes if I’m not sure what to do about a situation, I will look for a sign of some kind. I quite often find that if you open your mind up to a decision, that an answer will present itself.

Perhaps this is just a way of allowing myself to listen to my own instinct – when I take a step back from something, look outside rather than inside, I find the validation I need to make the choice that subconsciously I wanted all along. Sometimes I do it with big decisions, sometimes it’s something silly. Perhaps I feel a bit peckish, and just happen to be walking past a shop selling cookies. Well, that’s definitely a sign isn’t it?

Perhaps this approach is a little cowardly, only part way to really trusting my instincts – feeling the need to have my choices backed up by something external. This is ultimately what any kind of faith is about though isn’t it – having a set of beliefs to justify the things you do and the way you live your life? We choose to believe in things that fit with our instincts about how we should behave, and our faith, whether that be a formal religion or anything else, is what we use to solidify these actions, to give them weight.

Basically, despite my sometimes cynical exterior, I think I really just want to believe in that happy ever after. Don’t we all?



  1. 30 October, 2011 / 2:10 pm

    Personally, I stoped going to church a long time ago, due to an event that I could not see any caring “god” allowing to happen!
    My outlook now is simply one of ” treat others as you would wish to be treated” , picture any consequences of any actions I may take that might affect others, and basiclaly ( although probably cowardly) avoid any situations or people who I know will cause either myself or my family harm!
    I figure if there is a god of any sort, he’d have to be a pretty mean one to refuse entry to wherever if you’ve tried to be a good person!

  2. 30 October, 2011 / 3:13 pm

    I believe in me …. But even then I’m not exactly sure …. We live in a world where irrefutable “truths” do not exist, and belief (as oppose to faith) is generally speaking based on objective experiences.

  3. 31 October, 2011 / 10:25 am

    I’ve just finished Conversations With God, books 1 & 2. Awesome, I recommend. Written by a guy who wrote a ranting letter to God and when he finished his hand didn’t stop moving. Going to order book 3 on Amazon. He wrote it in the 1990’s but it’s still so relevant.
    I’m an agnostic who goes to church, sometimes. And guess what I discovered? I’m not going to hell! And neither are you!! (No priest told me that, ever) Peace be with you Slummy single mummy!

  4. 1 November, 2011 / 10:07 am

    I think the 37% at either end are clearly mistaken. We can neither prove nor deny the existence of higher powers, or forces or whatever. I think it’s quite an arrogant position actually. particularly those that deny there can be anything more than we are currently aware of, that we, as humans must be at the top of the pyramid.

    I can’t say for sure what is out there, or how this universe is truly made up. But what i can say is that I believe in me, and you. I am most definitely a humanist.


  5. Shireen
    1 November, 2011 / 10:16 am

    I believe in something higher than us. Some force or intention that is willing us to succeed. I am the first to admit that sometimes I lose faith in this and have to be reminded that the universe is in our corner and wants us to win. But that is not to say that we don’t have a part to play in the journey. If we see a sign (I also look for these!) we must also take the responsibility to run with it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.