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"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

June 23, 2010

The Rational Reponse to Faith Based Reasoning

You only believe something because you think it's true, and you only think it's true because you think somewhere there is good reason to believe it. But as soon as all the reasons are dissected and shown to be nothing more than half truths and whole lies, you decide to resort to the "I have faith" argument. I call bullshit.

You weren't originally convinced your religion was true simply because of faith. Someone you trusted told you it was true for numerous reasons. Reasons you chose not to investigate. All this time you thought you knew the obvious reasons your beliefs were true, and now you're faced with discovering that they were all lies or misconceptions. You don't have faith in something you cannot support. You're just scared of losing the one thing in your life you thought was a sure bet. You're scared of losing the afterlife you've been told is the only thing that makes this imperfect life worth living. You're afraid of losing the kind father figure in the sky who you thought loved you unconditionally. You're losing your Santa again, and this time it hurts much much worse.

When you were born, you did not automatically believe based on faith. You did not know anything about religion or God. Your parents had not yet taught you their beliefs. And when they finally got around to teaching you, it wasn't automatic faith that convinced you that your God exists, or that the religion or your parents is true. There was a set of reasons they gave you for believing. Perhaps they read Bible stories to you. Obviously not straight out of the Bible. Most adults cannot even understand the Bible's terminology and grammar, to say nothing of a child. They read you Bible stories for kids that painted God's actions in a relatively good light. They gave you pieces of the belief system's history, told you these pieces were true, and that if these historical events were true then the whole religion based on them must be true as well. This isn't poor reasoning, because if the events surrounding the Bible's account of history were true, then you'd be well justified to believe in the God of the Bible as well. The problem is that it does represent a serious lack of proper logic. Your final conclusion that God must exist is based on an assumption that these stories are true. Proper logical conclusions are based on demonstrable or provable facts, rather than assumed preconceptions. Of course if every part of the Bible's account of itself were true, then the Bible's God must be real as well. But what if the Bible's account of history was not true? If your parents had read you the Bible stories rewritten for children, and upon completion, instead of telling you these tales were true they told you the tales were ridiculously false, you'd be much less likely to believe them when they said that the God these tales were based upon actually exists. 

90% of the stories in the Bible never happened. Some of the people and places are often real, but that means nothing without evidence to support the claims made by the Bible. The Titanic was a real ship and the captain was really named Edward Smith, but this does nothing to prove the existence of the characters Jack and Rose from the movie "Titanic" and no one would assume these characters actually existed. So why come to such a conclusion about the Bible? Simple... No one ever told their kids the characters Jack and Rose were real, but countless parents tell their children half truths and whole lies about the claims made by the Bible. I suppose they feel no guilt in doing this to their children, because often people assume that if they believe something is true then it must be, and if they are incapable of accurately supporting the claim, it's okay, because someone else who is brighter then they are is able to. Who cares if mom and dad can't argue for Jesus, because where they fail their pastor would surely succeed... Wrong. Not just wrong, but extremely dead fucking wrong. If you as an individual cannot personally give justifiable logical reasons to hold a position, then your position is invalid. Even if your position is true, it remains invalid for as long as you are unable or unwilling to support it with reason and logic. Because even if it is true; if you cannot properly support it and accurately represent it in debate; what you have shown us all is that you have no problem accepting things that you do not understand on any level. This means you are a fool of the most basic sense of the word. So gullible you cannot tell the true things from the false things because nothing you know is backed by any reason whatsoever. 

Dear parents, please do not teach you kids anything you cannot logically support yourself. Do not teach anything as certain. Do not teach your children that they do not need to understand something in order to believe it. If you do, you will only be perpetuating a horrible intellectual nightmare. Your children will eventually sway from the path you set for them and make up their own mind about things. When they do you should want them to do so for the right reasons and come to terms with reality far better than you have. You should not want them to sway from your path because they found you taught them things you only thought were true, and that in their eyes they may love you, but they think you're a fool.


Anonymous said...

Sound reasoning, and well written. Kudos!

The Atheist Prophet said...

Parents need to honestly teach from their own experience, in my opinion I couldn't teach my son a damn thing if I didn't go thru so much myself. Letting someone else raise your children i.e. schools, church, daycare is going to expose them to a lot of ideologies growing up, you need to be consistent as well, being a hypocrite never pays off...It’s a big pet peeve of mine

Semi-Omniloquent-Tricycle-Rider (At Your Service) said...

Can you tell me, then, what you do know? Do you know, for instance, that fire will burn you? Or that water can drown you? That food will nourish you? Perhaps you may think that you do, but can you produce a logical response for believing such things? Is it because someone told you that they were true? "Of course not," you might reply, "they've done such things in the past, so they will in the future." How do you know? If you take that question and apply it to anything you think you might know, you turn into a complete skeptic.

There’s a fundamental assumption involved in making any factual claim at all. You’re assuming, right now, that you know which letters on this page comprise which words, what the words on this page mean, what the words as a sentence mean, ad infinitum. Unfortunately, you can't prove any one of those things.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on the Foxhole Atheist Blog do not necessarily represent those of Atheism or all Atheists, seeing as how Atheism has no tenets, dogma or doctrines. So Suck it!