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Faith: Our Responsibility to Combat Modern Challenges Together

By Isabella Paganini

March 19, 2024

In Response to Against All Odds

Faith speaks to a larger force, above the mechanisms and dynamics of human-made institutions, that has a predetermined plan for humanity. One can have faith in a god, a particular value, or in a system. It is fundamentally and intrinsically synonymous with loyalty. To have faith, in a god, value, or system, is to be patient and remain steadfast, regardless of the current circumstances.

As Ece Temelkuran insightfully discusses, the key is not to have hope in the system. In my opinion, hope removes any individual responsibility or connection to the problems we face. Having faith, on the other hand, recognizes our natural duty to fight modern challenges, like climate change and political extremism, “despite all odds” and in spite of the system. As a result, faith can be a catalyzing proponent of unity. Similarly, faith in politics can define yet another possibility for unity. As humans, as neighbors, as children of some higher force, we are undoubtedly connected by the planet we live on and by the frameworks guiding our lives. 

Politics exists wherever we go, and like religion and shared faith, creates a community without tangible explanation. Politics is, because we have invested into it. Incorporating faith into politics heightens our attachment to modern challenges and, as I see it, can have a profound impact. We are seeing an increasing disconnect from politics because of the fatalistic cynicism that the author herself criticizes. To the contrary, politics is one of many vehicles for change. As faith implies, there is something greater in us all that can motivate us, if we just remember to see it and then act on it.

However, it has proven difficult to remind others of our shared humanity and to inspire faith in the stability of that binding characteristic. Humans are frequently the perpetrators of tragedies and hatred, which can undermine faith in our global community. Moreover, to redefine faith in a political context is not enough to spur action against modern challenges. Faith does not necessarily mean technological developments are introduced that reduce carbon emissions and reverse our human impact on the environment; it does not immediately break the illusion that political extremists design. Faith simply wakes us up. But, can faith alone help us after that?

Isabella Paganini (SFS’27) is a freshman in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

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