Theists love to hold out faith like it’s a positive virtue, but in reality it isn’t. Faith is believing something for which you have no good, objective, rational reason to think is actually true. If you had evidence, if you had rational reasons to believe it, you wouldn’t need faith, would you? Yet I run into theists all the time who desperately try to justify their faith. Note I said “their faith” because the last thing these people want to do is make it seem reasonable that other people have faith in things they don’t agree with.
I came across this article from quite a way back, although I rather doubt that this individual has changed their mind since then. It demonstrates clearly just how irrational faith is and how absurd the theist must dance around to defend their own faith while damning the faith of others.
In the article, the author tries to differentiate between blind faith and “logical, rational faith”. I’ll present the two examples given, critique them separately and then compare and contrast thereafter. I think this will be educational.
Blind Faith:I am Mohammed/Buddha/Krishna/Joseph Smith etc. I am the Prophet of God/I Know the Only way to happiness/I am God himself/I have achieved Nirvana. Live your life the way I tell you to and you will go to heaven. I will not show you any physical or historical evidence. You have to take my sayings on pure blind faith. Will you join my religion or live your life according to my philosophy?
Logical Rational Faith:I am Jesus. I am God. I will prove to you that I am God by dying and raising my self from the dead. I will prove this fact to my followers first hand. They will go to their terrible gruesome deaths claiming they physically saw me die and then saw me rise again and then they physically touched me and lived with me for 40 days. All of them could have avoided their painful deaths had they admitted they were lying, but none of them did.
And I will allow you who come later to prove my Resurrection and claims, historically and archeologically. I died to pay for your sins and to allow you to live forever in my presence. When you accept me, I will send the Holy Spirit to comfort and keep you. Will you study and then accept my claims based on the evidence I provide you?
It should be utterly and painfully obvious to anyone with half a brain how completely ridiculous these statements are. The majority of them are patently false and the rest are totally unsupported by evidence. Let’s start at the beginning. There is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus rose from the dead outside of claims made in the Bible. In fact, there’s really no evidence that Jesus ever existed or had followers, the only thing we have are claims made in a book of mythology which lacks any form of objective evidence to back it up. Further, there is no evidence that the disciples suffered gruesome deaths, we know about most of it through folk tales, many of which are not found in any written form for hundreds of years after the supposed death of the disciple. We not only don’t have any official, eye-witnessed accounts of what happened, complete with what they supposedly said, we don’t have any court transcripts of their crimes, sentences or punishments. This is all just blind assertion, certainly not the mark of someone being logical or rational.
There is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the existence of Jesus, much less any of the supernatural details claimed in the Bible. There is no Roman record of Jesus’ crucifixion, in fact, there are no contemporary records of Jesus’ existence whatsoever, absolutely nobody who demonstrably lived at the time of Jesus, who could have seen him with their own two eyes, ever bothered to write it down. He asks if I will study and then accept the claims and I have to answer no. I have studied the claims in great detail, but not as a biased individual who has a stake in one side being right, as someone who takes the evidence and only the evidence and follows it where it leads. Unfortunately for Christianity, the evidence does not lead to Jesus. The evidence demonstrates, very damningly, that Jesus, the Jesus in the Bible, likely never existed at all.
So where does this leave us? While this is probably one of the most blatantly absurd attempts at cherry picking I’ve ever run across, I don’t think it’s that uncommon of a belief. I’m sure there are lots of theists out there who think the same thing and I don’t think they’re all Christians. There are Muslims who think this about non-Islamic religions. There are Buddhists who think this about non-Buddhist religions. There are Christians who think this about non-Christian religions, but all of these groups are using the exact same illogical, irrational arguments that prove nothing more than how little they know and understand about critical thinking.
Faith is not rational, in fact, I’d argue that by it’s very definition, it cannot be rational. To be rational, one must take the evidence, the best, most objective, most defensible evidence that exists, regardless of one’s personal, emotional feelings about it, and follow where it leads regardless of the conclusion. You don’t start from a position that you favor and then seek out only evidence that supports your destination, you glean a destination from the whole of the available credible evidence in existence. I hate to point it out to you theists, but the evidence doesn’t lead to your religion, or any religion, the evidence clearly and distinctly leads to the simple fact that gods, any gods, are totally unsupported in the real world.
Stop having faith and try dealing with the facts.