Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Many believers are not shy about declaring that they "know" their god is real simply because they believe it so strongly. According to them, faith means believing in a god even though there is no reason to believe in a god. It sounds silly when put like that but that's what faith is. It is believing without reason. Despite the hype, this is not a very good justification for believing in a god or anything else...Shouldn't every person who defends faith as a legitimate reason to conclude that their god is real also respect faith when it comes to the existence of thousands of other gods? What's the difference? But if one can have faith in the existence of just about anything, then faith would seem to be of no value at all for getting to the truth...Most believers recognize how intellectually feeble faith is when they see it applied to anything other than their god...
If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits. It is intellectual bankruptcy. With faith, you don't have to put any work into proving your case. You can "just believe."
Truth does not have to be believed. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, "Yes, Gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were insecure about it.
Faith cannot be argued away if a believer will not first consider its underlying weakness. Faith is unlikely to be defeated by an essay, a book, or a debate...faith is best eroded from within. Scientific facts and reasoned arguments from outside sources can help, of course, but the real battle is fought in the heart of the believer. They must decide to let go of faith all by themselves. Nobody can do it for them.