Faith is not a virtue!
Faith is the glorification of voluntary ignorance.
Faith is belief without and against
evidence and reason.
It is not surprising how that is also the definition of delusion.
The taboo of criticizing the belief
and the faith of others is
now outdated and unfounded!
In a modern world, where religious beliefs fuel everything from suicide attacks to the killing of one's one children, it is now MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER to directly challenge those beliefs and their faith without hesitation or apology.
Before you read any further, let's define what faith is.
If you define faith as the ability to keep working toward a goal when you aren't sure you can reach it, I'm all for that. That's fine. When the whole world seems to be against you, it requires a certain kind of faith to say "I can do this despite all appearances," or "I'm going to keep pushing even if I can't ever succeed," and that kind of faith is the key component of any great endeavor.
But if you define faith as you don't have much evidence that something is factually true, but you decide you really should believe it anyway, so you close your eyes and you grit your teeth and believe as hard as you can, then I can't imagine why anyone would want to do that. I can't imagine why an all-powerful God would want us to do that. Maybe that's just a lack of imagination on my part, but that's where I'm stuck. It just doesn't make sense to me.
Before you cross a street, do you
look both ways for oncoming traffic, or do you cross the street
“on the faith” that no vehicles are coming?
If you were wrongly accused of a crime, do you want a jury of your peers deciding if you are innocent or guilty on faith, or do you want them to evaluate the (in this case lack of) evidence?
When you walk into a shoe store to purchase a pair of shoes, do you walk down a random aisle, point to a random box, and tell the clerk, “I’ll take that box” on the “faith” that the shoes inside the box are the right style, the right color, and size you are looking for?
Do we use faith to cure illnesses?
We don't use faith in any of these examples, because we know better. We know it's ridiculous. If somebody tried to tell you that from now on we'd use faith like this you'd think they were insane.
There is nothing you should do or believe "on faith!" Including a god.
If you are on a quest for truth,
faith is the nemesis of your endeavor.
Faith is worthless. It requires no thought,
no evidence, no examination, no reasoning, no logic, nor
anything else. Faith requires nothing. It can't give anything
back. Faith can't provide any answers to any questions, it can't
solve any problems, it doesn't resolve any conflicts. Different
people can all have equally valid faith in contradictory things
- making faith worthless.
Furthermore, what faith often drives people to do is often very bad. If you have faith that some magical mythical fairy tale is the truth, you'll often ignore, deny, and fight against any actual facts supported by evidence that contradict your belief. That's harmful and not at all ideal. If your faith contradicts somebody else's faith, you'll sometimes want to silence or censor (or worse) the person whose faith contradicts yours. All sorts of bad, illogical, irrational decisions can result from having faith.
|The men who committed the atrocities of September 11 were not 'cowards,' as they were repeatedly described in the Western media, nor were they lunatics in any ordinary sense. No, they were men doing things strictly on faith, and this, as you can see, is a terrible thing to have.||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 only speak of faith when wish to substitute emotion for evidence.|
|Faith is the great copout, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence. (Richard Dawkins)||Faith is nothing more than the license religious people give themselves to keep believing when reasons fail. In a world that has been shattered by mutually incompatible religious beliefs, in a nation that is growing increasingly beholden to Iron Age conceptions of God, the end of history and the immortality of the soul, this lazy partitioning of our discourse into matters of reason and matters of faith is now unconscionable. (Sam Harris)|
|Science adjusts its beliefs based upon what is observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved. (Tim Minchin)||Love and respect all people. Hate and destroy all faith. (Penn Jillette)|
Truth and faith: here we have two
wholly distinct worlds of ideas, almost two diametrically
opposite worlds. The road to the one and the road to the other
lies miles apart.
- belief that is not based upon evidence - is one of the world's
Faith means the purposeful
suspension of critical thinking. It's nothing to be admired.
|When someone tells you they have faith in something, they are telling you they have no good reason to believe it... but they are choosing to believe it anyway!|
|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 only speak of faith when wish to substitute emotion for evidence. (Bertrand Russell)||Faith means not wanting to know what is true. (Friedrich Nietzsche)|
|I will not bow to any god, nor will I surrender logic and reason to faith. I'm not an atheist by choice. I'm a seeker of truth. Being an atheist is just a natural result of that endeavor. (JD Stockman)||The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe. (Sam Harris)|
If you can say that you believe something just because you feel
it, what do you say to Charles Manson? Are you going to
attack Charlie Manson for not being faithful enough? Look
in those crazy eyes, just south of the crazy swastika carved
into the crazy skin of his crazy forehead. There's some real
faith in there. There are things that Charlie Manson takes
on faith. And how is that faith different? Is the argument
against Charlie that not enough people share his faith? Of
course it's not true the Beatles were sending Chuck messages to
kill those people, but Charles sure had faith that they were. If you assert that you believe shit you can't prove because you
feel it, don't you have to give everyone that right? I'm not
just talking about obvious crazy shit like virgin birth, arks
full of critters, and seas parting. I'm talking about any kind
If you believe that your warm, snuggly feeling about the universe means a god... then Charlie Manson can tell you that those people were killed because the Beatles told Charlie about an impending race war.
We all act on things we can't prove. Einstein had to imagine E = MC² before he had all the evidence. That's different than faith. There's a humility to just imagining. There is a word of safety in doubt. The respect for faith, the celebration of faith, is dangerous. It's faith itself that's wrong. I deny terrorists the moral right to have faith in a god that will reward them for killing people with airplanes. That means I have to deny a Christian the moral right to a faith that Jesus Christ died for their sins. That means I have to deny the warm, fuzzy faith that here's a positive conscious energy guiding the universe. That means I have to get pissed off when Luke Skywalker trusts "the Force."
The only real argument against religious terrorism is to try to share the reality of the world. The world is plenty. We have each other. We have love. We have family. We have art. We have time. We have an impossible universe full of awe and wonder. We have an infinite number of questions we can work on. We have all the glory that is real and is us. We must top glorifying faith.
The last few paragraphs from the wonderful book, God, No! by Penn Jillette
Religion Attempts to Make a Virtue
out of Faith
Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus.
So sing children in Sunday schools across America. The Lord works in mysterious ways, pastors tell believers who have been shaken by horrors like brain cancer or a tsunami. Faith is a virtue, they say.
No, it is not!
As science eats away at territory once held by religion, traditional religious beliefs require greater and greater mental defenses against threatening information. To stay strong, religion trains believers to practice self-deception, shut out contradictory evidence, and trust authorities rather than their own capacity to think. This approach seeps into other parts of life. Government, in particular, becomes a fight between competing ideologies rather than a quest to figure out practical, evidence-based solutions that promote wellbeing.
|If you won't convert to another religion "on faith" and "without evidence" what makes you think I would convert to your religion "on faith" and "without evidence?"||
No religion is greater than
|Why do religious people always need physical evidence for each and every step of evolution, but when it comes to God, all they need is faith?|
|The way to see faith is to shut the eye of reason. (Benjamin Franklin)||If children understand that beliefs should be substantiated with evidence, as opposed to tradition, authority, revelation, or faith, they will automatically work out for themselves that they are atheists.|
How is it that you are able to use
reason as a path to truth in every endeavor of your life, and
then when it comes to the ‘ultimate truth’ - the most important
truth - you’re saying that faith is required?
And how does that reflect on a god (who supposedly exists and wants you to have this information)? What kind of god requires faith instead of evidence?
|The doubt of your faith is not a god testing you. It is truth trying to emerge and free you.||Faith is a very clever concept. "God" was invented from imagination and faith is used to justify his absence from reality.|
|Faith is a cop-out. 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. (Dan Barker)||Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. (Kurt Vonnegut)|
Faith isn't a path
to knowledge. It has no standard of evidence, it has no
self-correcting properties. Faith is nothing more than
wishful thinking. Faith is just an excuse to keep on
believing what you already believe.