There’s been a lot of discussion recently on faith here in GD and it got me thinking about the old argument of faith versus works. I’m a former Catholic and the way I understood it was that one needed both faith and works to get into heaven. Protestants (I think) believe that faith is all you need for the eternal reward.
As a non-believer these days (I guess agnostic is most appropriate if regarded as weak by both sides IMO), it seems to me that works alone should be the important thing. Do good and you’ll get good in return. Seems simple enough and something a just and loving god could (would) be in favor of. Now I understand that it isn’t necessarily possible to understand the mind of god, but I can’t get my mind around the fact that if some random person devoted their life to caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, and clothing the poor but didn’t possess faith that this person wouldn’t be admitted to heaven.
So I guess what I’m asking here, is why would an all-powerful, loving god need us to have faith? Ego boost? I’m not asking y’all from god’s perspective, but more from a theological standpoint. Also, because if there is a heaven, it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it if I can’t do it on works alone (and I’m not a saint yet in that department either).
Perhaps this was covered in the “What is the value of faith?” thread, but I didn’t pick it up in there.