Faith, solid reason or wishful thinking???

  • By Squirrel

  • Many times over when I have argued with Christians, I have gone away frustrated and amazed. Their lack of reason and critical thinking skills when it comes to their religious belief can be very frustrating. What frustrates me so you ask? Easy: Faith. The Christian will always end up trotting faith out as THE counter argument to any and everything you may say to them. This is the secret weapon used by theists. But, faith is not reason. Faith is the belief in something without evidence, or wishful thinking.

    Regarding faith, Bertrand Russell said the following:

    "…. We may define faith, as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. When there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We speak only of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence." Bertrand Russell on God and Religion (Prometheus Books, 1986), p. 283

    This view is supported by the bible itself, for when we read the following verse the meaning of faith becomes clear:

    Romans 8:24 For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?
    25 But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    By these verses it is clear that faith is a belief in something for which there is no evidence. Hope in things not seen, evidence for something not seen. Also if you would notice in the last verse, it implies circular thinking, you have to believe that god is real when you come to him, not the other way around. If it was the other way around, then there would be no need for faith.

    We said that faith is not reason. What is reason? Reason means to think in a way using mental processes to reach a specific goal, the acquisition of knowledge. Or, reason is a step by step process of critical thinking, which is logical and has a goal, the goal being knowledge. Thinking is any cognitive activity, such as dreaming or remembering.

    Although, faith does involve thinking, is the same as reasoning? No. It involves thinking, but not reasoning. Lets look at an example to see what I mean.

    When you will ask a Christian if he believes in the god of the Norse, Odin, the believer will respond with a no. And then give reasons, which lead him to believe as he does. Ask the same Christian about belief in Thor, Odin's son, and again you will hear his reason for not believing. This will also apply to any other god you may wish to use. Now, when you apply these reasons given for disbelief in the aforementioned gods, to their god, faith steps in and their reason leaves. To back up his point, the bible may be used, but that is nothing in line of proof, just a way to "settle the matter" with a wee bit of circular logic.

    Christians are in all reality, atheists. Seriously, they discount all the other gods of this world, be it Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Mormon, Greek, Norse or what have you. Yet the will suspend thought and reason and grasp faith to keep their belief in the Christian god. For, if they would use the same logic and reasoning on their god, it would vanish with the wave of a hand, like the others before. Reason cannot be used to show their god to be real. It must be faith, or wishful thinking.

    Faith, as we have seen, is not the same as reason, not in the least. As we saw from the verses above, faith is the substance of things UNSEEN, HOPED for and the like. If it could be demonstrated, there would be no need for faith. But here we have the bible tell us it is not knowable or demonstrable.

    Now can god be proven? NO! God cannot even be reasonably demonstrated, let alone proven. Try to get a believer to prove their god, if you can get them past "You cannot prove he does not exist…" they will always fall back upon faith. Faith is just belief in something without the evidence to support that belief. And it shows, although the Christians will never admit it.

    Can you disprove god? NO! The thing is, the nonbeliever is under no obligation to show god not exist. They claim god is real, not us, so they must show that their god is real. It is a little thing called "the burden of proof." Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god, if you do not believe in a god; you do not have to prove anything.

    Many a Christian will claim that their faith is demonstrable, and reasonable too. But we know that is not the case by only consulting the verses already mentioned in this essay. But, there is another point I would like to bring up that supports this as well; the bible says that god is UNKNOWABLE. If something is unknowable, then how can you know it? I know it sounds like a silly play on words, but think for a second… if the bible is as claimed, the true word of god, and inerrant as most Christians claim, then can you really ignore the following verses? You tell me….

    Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection?

    Job 37:23 Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out He is excellent in power; And in justice and plenteous righteousness he will not afflict.

    Romans 11:33 O depth of riches, and wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!
    34 for who did know the mind of the Lord? or who did become His counsellor?

    John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

    By reading the very book Christians claim to believe in we can see that god is not knowable, visible, testable, verifiable nor reasonable. Why even bother with this god in the first place? To avoid a hell made by this unknowable deity? Why bother with a deity that is admittedly unknowable according to one's own bible? Reason allows us to know many things but not this god. This is not to say that there is no god period, just that reason cannot let us know god.

    As we have seen, faith is not the same as reason, and thus not an adequate counter argument for belief in their god. Faith is belief in something for which there is no evidence. The bible supports this view of faith, and admits that faith is wishful thinking. Wishful thinking does not solve anything, in fact it allows a person to run away from problems in life, like the role of women, gender, sexual preference, science when it shows the bible to be wrong … and more. Where faith prevails, reason fails.


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