Faith is a Massive Circular Cluster-Fuck

Enduring Clusterfuck
That pretty much describes faith.

Faith is an interesting phenomenon, one that I think is clear that most theists use as an excuse, not as a reason, for believing what they believe.  It’s bad enough when they have no idea what faith actually is, it’s worse when they know full well that it’s just an excuse and they’re going to milk it for all it’s worth.

I decided to try an experiment, utilizing two theists who are notorious for this kind of thing, I decided to completely deconstruct faith.  What do they mean by faith, how to they justify faith, what kind of tests do they put on faith, etc.  I found that, to be honest, faith is an excuse that they use to rationalize beliefs which they have no good reason to hold.

One theist has got the biggest circular disaster I’ve ever seen.  To him, faith is all about trust.  Okay, I can go with that, but trust is not something that is simply given, it must be earned.  What has God done to earn any trust, especially given that you can’t prove God even exists.  Oh, but the trust has been earned, you just have to have faith!

Wait a minute.  You have to have faith that God is real to get to trust God, but in order to have that trust, you have to have faith that God is real?  Seriously? And these theists wonder why rational people think they’re stupid?

Is there anyone who couldn’t understand this?

The other theist has declared that he cannot define what he means by faith unless I also have faith.  After all, he says, you couldn’t describe the color red to a person who had been blind since birth.

Sure I can.  Red is the hue of the long-wave end of the visible spectrum, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 630 to 750 nanometers.  You might not be able to see it, you might not be able to personally experience it but you can sure understand what it means.

The fact that they cannot define faith in terms that can be understood by people lacking faith is just proof that the word is meaningless.  It’s a wiggle word, it means only as much as they want it to mean at this exact moment and no more.  So I tried to push it.

Okay then, since they cannot actually define what faith is or how it operates, I’m going to declare my faith in the Blue Meanies.  Hell, might as well make ’em look stuff up, right?  So now that I’ve declared my faith, that must make the Blue Meanies just as reasonable and rational as God, right?  After all, I have all of the characteristics.  I have faith in something I cannot demonstrate is real, I can apply trust that I cannot validate to prove to myself that my faith is not misplaced. I am completely unable to explain to anyone else, who do not already believe in the Blue Meanies, why they should believe in the Blue Meanies.

Seems I have this faith thing down pat.

The theists don’t.  They both stopped talking to me.  Go figure.

13 thoughts on “Faith is a Massive Circular Cluster-Fuck”

  1. Great post. It seems that many theists that I come into contact with (yes I know that is subjective and not a great representation of all theists) want to have things both ways. They want to be able to appeal to faith, but also want to be say there is evidence for their god. Those two things are just not compatible. It becomes further complicated (and absurd) when, as you point out, they insist that faith is needed in order to understand or "see" the evidence. That is an incoherent notion.
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    1. The problem with most theists I talk to, they want their faith to *BE* evidence for God. They spend a lot of time claiming to have evidence and when you ask to see it, they can't produce any, they just have faith that God is real. There seems no way to disabuse them of this notion either.

  2. Not only are they indulging in blatant circular reasoning, they very much want to completely disconnect any chance of reason, questioning or skepticism from an explanation of faith. Once that is done, they can get away with ANY lame BS explanation they care to lay out … and if you have faith enough, you'll believe it!

    I might say that's as simple as Pi … but even an irrational number such as 3.1415926535897… is RATIONAL compared to their noise.

    1. Of course, you don't think they have any interest in actually examining their beliefs critically, do you? So much of this is just a word game that they play when people criticize them for being irrational, they wave their hands around and pretend to be concerned when, in reality, they embrace the irrationality wholeheartedly.

  3. Well, as a theist, I cannot explain life without a higher power. And the one that is best described to fit what I see in the world is the God of the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament. Christianity is based on reason, not feelings at all.

    1. Actually, you choose not to accept explanations of life that do not include the higher power of your preference, that's the difference. It's not that those explanations are not out there, not that they do not have evidence to support them, you simply do not like them. This is referred to as the "argument from ignorance" fallacy, where you cannot understand or do not like a solution so you reject it out of hand in favor of a solution you emotionally favor. That is not reason, that is emotion. Reason would be starting from the evidence and only the evidence and following where it leads, regardless of where that is or how you feel about it. It is coming to conclusions based on objective evidence that anyone can study, not subjective experiences to which you assign emotionally-satisfying causes that you cannot demonstrate are actually true.

      Christianity is certainly not based on reason. It is based entirely on emotion and fallacious thinking. Sorry you had that wrong.

  4. "One theist has got the biggest circular disaster I’ve ever seen. To him, faith is all about trust. Okay, I can go with that, but trust is not something that is simply given, it must be earned. What has God done to earn any trust, especially given that you can’t prove God even exists. Oh, but the trust has been earned, you just have to have faith!"

    So if I can find an atheist – any atheist – who engages in circular reasoning, I can blog about how atheists have no idea what they're talking about? Is this the way atheists think? Really? because I have to say, this really does lower the bar on serious criticism.
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    1. Nowhere in that did I say it applied to all theists, although certainly I think to some degree, a case could be made that it does. That's why I clearly said things like "he" and "him". However, the point still stands, that one cannot rationally have trust without some cause. Claiming trust in God is like claiming trust in Santa Claus. No matter how much you believe either of them are real, you still have no evidence that either actually are.

      Having faith doesn't make it so.

      1. Cephus, so you acknowledge that this is no more a problem for theists than stupid arguments is a problem for atheism.

        Now, you were saying that you could make the case that this critique (namely, the charge of circularity) does apply to all theism. Please go ahead and make this case. I bet it won't be very convincing. 🙂
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  5. Wow. I'm just shocked by the horrid argumentation in this post, but not surprised given the name of this website's URL.
    I have several points to make:

    1) Simply because some theists can't explain why they hold their beliefs doesn't disprove them or make them untrue.

    2) You have written pejoratively about the theist's belief, and yet your description of these beliefs are not at all accurate nor representative of all theists.
    A more thorough and honest approach would have been to do a little more research as to why so many Christians, for instance, believe in what they do before getting on your high horse and claiming that you've solved the psychology.

    3) Their faith is not reasonable? As I said, perhaps more research on your part would be in order. I speak for Christianity when I say that there are many reasonable arguments made by Christian theists that warrant a reasonable belief in God and many have come to God because they found these arguments quite compelling. Some examples include the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument and the ontological argument. There is also plenty of historical and archeological evidence available which strengthens the case for the reliability of the Bible, as well as strengthens the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and much more.

    On your own beliefs, would you not admit to having faith in science? And furthermore, do you really think science explains it all, or even has the ability to? Do you really think you don't rely on faith every single day?

    You think you're so intelligent and logical, so vastly superior to everyone else and yet you cannot turn a single hair on your own head white or make your own heart beat. Don't you realize you are really powerless?

    You sir, are dishonest. Be responsible. I advise you look at the wickedness inside your own heart before judging others.

    Good Day.

    1. 1. Actually, I don't think *ANY* theist can make a case why their beliefs are factually true, but you are correct, it doesn't disprove them or make them untrue. However, since they cannot prove them or demonstrate they are true, their beliefs are no more valid than believing in Santa Claus or leprechauns. An intelligent person should only believe things for which significant objective evidence demonstrates are likely to be factually true. Let me know when you have that.

      2. You'd have to point out where I've said something that is not accurate of the majority, although I'm sure you can find some religion somewhere, such as Buddhism, which does not rely on faith because they believe in no gods. However, since we're talking specifically about Christianity, I was pointing out the source of most of their beliefs, whether they're willing to acknowledge it or not. Certainly none of them have any objective evidence to support their beliefs.

      3. Faith of any kind is not reasonable, faith is an excuse people give for believing in things for which they have no good reason or evidence. If you have to have faith, you probably shouldn't believe it in the first place. Faith is not a virtue. Further, while you're welcome to think that there are many good arguments made, I disagree, in fact, I have yet to see a single argument made which cannot be wholly destroyed using logic and reason. In fact, I have a good example of that coming up on Monday where I completely dismantle the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

      It really is sad to watch theists rely on this kind of passive-aggressive apologetic nonsense. For your claims, the vast majority of them, I have entirely shredded in just the last couple of weeks, although I expect that your "faith" is stronger than your rational comprehension, you're not willing to let go of your blind adherence to dogma long enough to see that's exactly what you're doing.

      Such is life, I suppose. It makes me remember how clueless I was when I was a Christian.

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