Faith is touted by Christians as a virtue. Last year when Daniel Hauser and his Mom refused treatment for his cancer after a court ordered him to take treatment, I posted the story on Facebook and noted the stupidity of this decision. One of my cousin’s wives said, “At least he has faith in something.”, as if that was somehow a good thing. Faith was killing him. Science is keeping him alive and doing well today.

Faith is the answer for those that don’t know how the world works. If you enter into the discussion about the accuracy of the Bible, you’ll no doubt hear arguments such as “You have faith in the brakes in your car.” No, I actually know how they work and work on them myself. They are a closed system and short of developing a leak that will give you clear warning through a spongy pedal, they will work to some degree. I’ve never heard of 100% brake failure with no warning. It’s my understanding of braking systems and my observance that brake systems do not catastrophically fail that makes me confident. Faith would be disconnecting the brake lines from the calipers and expecting the car to stop when you touch the pedal. Show me your faith in God’s plan for your life and try that for me.

Can you imagine living in a world where faith governed our lives and reason was tossed out the window? In Court, “Mr. Rasmussen, you have been found guilty of stealing Nuclear weapons.” I retort, “But sir, there is no evidence of me having stolen nuclear weapons and I can account for my whereabouts during the time of the theft.” Judge responds, “Silence! You have been accused by an Officer of the Law. I have faith in that Officer’s abilities. Who are you to challenge my faith?” This illustrates the faith argument put into real world actions.

Lack of reason is dangerous and unfair. We should not honor the faith argument at any point. Picture walking into a building with a notice that says “This building was designed by faith and no engineering was used.” Would you enter that building? I submit that faith alone will not hold a building up. Nor is it a good foundation for life. A life built on faith is a life subject to collapse under the weight of reason and observation.

Faith is the foundation of religion. Without it, the church crumbles. If we can dissolve the faith that leads these people to seek dangerous and unjust actions (Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, Faith Healing, turning to prayer instead of addressing problems with reasoned solutions, having faith that your priest is not raping your child, terrorism), the world will become a better place. Be ready to face those who claim faith, head on. Don’t allow them the cop out excuse that is faith. Point out that there is nowhere in life is faith used outside of religion. Would you pray that your child does well in school or tell them to go study? When you have studied enough, and understand enough of the world, reason becomes the acid that eats away the need for faith.

Views: 1

Tags: Faith, Religion

Comment by Morgan Matthew on January 17, 2010 at 1:44pm

Comment by Dave G on January 17, 2010 at 3:09pm
Very nice, Gaytor.

When someone says that I have faith that my brakes will work, the sun will rise in the morning, or so forth, I reply that I do not have faith in such events, I have confidence in them, and that confidence is based upon knowledge of the physics involved, a basic understanding of the mechanics involved, as well as past observations.
Comment by Shine on January 17, 2010 at 10:26pm
Excellent post, Gaytor, particularly the rebuttal to the "faith in car brakes" argument. It really irritates me when religious people try to apply the definition of "faith" to a situation that is actually reliant upon knowledge. But it is even more irritating if they then delve into some epistemological ramble that questions knowledge itself, and call the sensory perception of reality into doubt. I never understand how criticizing faith in supernatural events--which are necessarily unknowable--can logically lead to criticizing reliance upon empirical reality and its corresponding knowledge.
Comment by Nathan Hevenstone on January 18, 2010 at 5:55pm
I like this post. You bring up some clear and valid points. Thank you.

n/t

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