[Though Reconstructionist Jews aren't famous for attesting to miracles, I don't know how else to describe this: Mordecai Kaplan has registered at this web site and posted an article. Wow! :> Dr. Mel Scult, Kaplan's biographer, has already posted a comment. Ed.]
January 22, 1939.
It seems to be that unless we can identify some basis for faith within accessible experience of the average person, life is bound to lose all worth and meaning.
The fact is that before a person can have faith in human life as a whole he must first have faith in himself. We put the cart before the horse if we want to find reason for faith in mankind before we have cultivated any genuine ground for faith in ourselves. The problem of faith can be met only if we go about it the other way around. If upon looking into our own souls we become aware of something in us which, if universalized, would render life as a whole worthwhile, then we cannot be mistaken. The only thing of which that can be true is love and good will.
If we can discover in ourselves evidences of love and good will, we are bound not only to have faith in ourselves, but in humankind as a whole. The reason for this should not be hard to understand. We cannot help concluding that there must be many others in whom there is this quality of love and good will. Once we become aware of that fact we have a veritable sheet anchor for faith. If that quality is more or less inherent in human nature, it will ultimately assert itself.
That a long time will pass before that will happen does not alter the fact of its presence and slow but sure predominance. That fact should be sufficient to render life significant and worthwhile.
However, this conclusion can be arrived at only if we ourselves possess sufficient love and good will to have faith in ourselves. This is not a matter of abstract belief, but of practical demonstration. The more love and good will we practice the more natural it is for us to feel that other human beings are likewise endowed with those qualities which, were circumstances favorable, would find outward expression. This experience is bound to restore any flagging faith in the worthwhileness of human life.
The solution of the problem of faith lies therefore in the domain of deeds of love and good will.