Friday, October 28, 2011

Loosing Faith in Faith!

The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (It’s almost certainly not Paul the Apostle, as Christians generally assume:, in Chapter 11 Vs. 1 describes faith as follows:

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

I personally agree.  When a believer in any religion talks about faith in their God or Gods, it seems to me, they mean something very close to what is defined above, and give it an almost mystical quality that is taboo to attack.  It is as if when someone claims his or her beliefs to be matter of faith, they expect to be immune from criticism in polite society no matter how stupid or insane the belief is.  Personally I think faith is a horrible thing to value and to hold sacred.

Another term for faith or “being sure of what you hope for” is “wishful thinking”. People behaving as though they are “sure of what I hope for” are likely to spend money they do not have, as if it their bank account is constantly being replenished.  They are likely to try any strange new intoxicants offered to them, have promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners, drive recklessly without fear of legal punishment or accident, quit their jobs, start fights, and behave as though they lived in a consequence free world.

Obviously, such behavior would be disastrous for the vast majority of people, since the things we hope for regarding these matters are often obviously not true.  Our actions do have consequences, our money supply is finite and strange intoxicants will do us great harm, (as will actions when influenced by them).  Anonymous sex will likely end in disease and unwanted pregnancy. Quiting our jobs will impoverish us, driving recklesslywill lead to death or injury, and randomly getting into fights will do the same.

My point with all this is that our uncertainty of what is hoped for is an important tool for our survival and well being.  It is nice to hope for the best, but live as though the best is guaranteed is a sure recipe for the worst kind of self destruction, not to mention a good way of consistently being wrong about things. That is why, rather than going through life believing that the best possible outcome is bound to happen, I refrain from believing anything until I have a good amount of tangible evidence that an outcome is likely.
Most religious people do this too, in most areas of life except for their religious beliefs.  Most religions demand you accept their claims on faith, because they lack the tangible evidence needed to convince anyone with a shred of critical thinking ability that they are true.  This disturbs me a great deal, since believing based on evidence has been a major, if not primary, factor in our survival as a species, as well as the development of the technologies that we enjoy today.  Believing things without evidence is the surest way to guarantee one’s actions will have the opposite of the intended impact.

That a supposed God wants us to set aside our ability to use logic and practice skepticism, and instead engage in pure wishful thinking is a huge red-flag to me!!  To be clear, faith is a horrible tool for determining fact from fantasy and is the most over-rated of all human virtues. When a religious person tells me their beliefs are based on faith, the game for me is up. They are essentially saying they have no good reason to believe what they believe, but they hope that it is true, so will continue to believe it anyway.  This the epitome of intellectual dishonesty and cowardice.

With this, the believer may point out that even if they are wrong, following their wishful thinking about their God and their after life will not lead to the physical harm, death, sickness, and poverty that the wishful thinking I’ve described above will. Generally speaking this may be correct for most religious people. However, there are countless examples of all these things caused by religious faith.  These include the September 11th attacks, the inquisition, religiously justified slavery, incidents where children die due to their religious parents praying or seeking faith healers instead of actual medical care, and the decent into a 1,500 year dark age brought about by Christianity.  To be fair the wishful thinking of most believers will not cause all this harm, but here in America it is likely to cost you:  Your Sunday mornings, a 10th of your income, your human dignity (since the biggest religions hold humans in very low regard), your appreciation for the women in your life, your ability to appreciate the findings of science, your time and energy, and most of all the only life you will be sure you will ever have (which will have been wasted pursuing an after life that is probably not there).
With that I reject faith and choose to deal with reality on it’s own terms.


  1. First, you cannot hope to convert people to your Way of thinking with an earring in thy ear.

  2. Hi! Quick question that's entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I'm trying to find a template or
    plugin that might be able to correct this problem. If you have any
    recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!

    Review my blog post ... Michael Kors Outlet

  3. hello!,I really like your writing very much! percentage we communicate extra approximately your post on AOL?
    I require a specialist in this area to solve my problem.
    May be that's you! Looking forward to peer you.

    my web-site :: Louis Vuitton Outlet

  4. I аm actuallу happy tο glance at this weblog posts
    which includes tonѕ оf helpful facts, thanks for
    providіng these informаtion.

    Fеel free tо visit my homepage; Hcg drops