To provide a reasonable point of view on this topic, one has to first establish what faith means at a personal level in order to indentify how it serves as a basis for knowledge in religion and natural sciences. Faith is regarded in various ways; commonly as reliability on someone/thing, religion, beliefs, and others. An English dictionary generalizes faith is a “strong or unshakeable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence” . Essentially, in this context, faith is the solid unconditional belief of something with little evidence or proof. With the definition stated, we can now focus on the matter in hand, its strengths and weaknesses.
Religions are, for the most part, guided by the beliefs of those who choose to profess them; in other words, what they have faith in. The choice of profession is up to the individual; it is also usual to see people who realize that their faith inclines towards a different direction and proceed to change what their religion was. What one follows or believes in usually has a strong impact on the person’s life. It is common to see people wearing religiously symbolic items, such as a cross hanging from a necklace, or families getting together to attend the weekly mass (or other cult-like activities). Ultimately, all of these customary behaviors are directly affected by people's knowledge about their religion.
Religion is, habitually, an established dogma. The Bible, for example, established the basis of the Christian faith, the Quran for the Islamic one, etc. One chooses to what extent one is going to follow its path. Faith is the limiting factor here; where one of its weaknesses becomes visible.
A sad example of the extreme extents of faith is the people who have such a strong devotion to their beliefs that they are willing to put life itself at play. My father was raised in a religiously oblivious (although not necessarily atheist) environment; he tells me that “If you have faith in Him, there is no need to run”. By that he means that people with such strong beliefs and passion about their religion will, gladly, give their life for it. Personally, I regard these actions as unnecessary, yet I keep a sense of sympathy towards the people who choose these paths, I find their commitment outstanding. However, it is this same unconditional passion what reveals the dark side of religion: the inability to consider or accept a different opinion, the displays of hate towards those who do not share its views, and most sadly, the actions that target life and inspire terror.
We are all familiar with the tragic September 11 (2001) attacks that happened here in the United States. The perpetrators’ reasoning came from the fundamentalist interpretation of the readings in their holy texts. Apparently, those who die for their religion are guaranteed a special place in heaven. These men had faith that the atrocities they committed would be rewarded with some sort of eternal happiness in their afterlife.