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?
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.