Want the Benefits of Faith without Believing in God? Try Hope.

Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
June 22, 2017

If faith is what bolsters the believers, could hope be a form of secular prayer? What is the difference between faith and hope, anyway? Philosophy professor Sam Newlands explains that while the two occupy the same categorical space, they are fundamentally different philosophical mindsets. Faith is fueled by a sense of certainty about an outcome, even if that conviction outstrips the evidence. Hope on the other hand can be cognitively inconsistent and still escape scrutiny: you can think something is highly improbable and still hope for it to be true. Here, Newlands discusses the intersection of hope and faith in a religious context: is religion without faith possible? Can hope manifest religious belief?

This video was filmed at the Los Angeles Hope Festival, a collaboration between Big Think and Hope Optimism, a three-year initiative which supported interdisciplinary academic research into significant questions that remain under-explored. For more from Sam Newlands, head to samnewlands.com.