In the final analysis, faith remains the last resort of believers who argue that their god exists and that everyone, us included, needs to believe to earn a place in an undemonstrated heaven or be sent to a hell which is equally unproved. It is the irrational insistence which dogs all of us at one time or another when we want to insist on substance as they make outlandish claims about deities, saviors, and afterlives.
Practically from the beginning of my awareness of him, Aron Ra has had a substantial mad-on about faith. His definition – "an unreasonable assertion of complete conviction which is not based on reason and is defended against all reason" – unapologetically nails faith to the wall and refuses any slack or wiggle room. For many of us, that statement by itself is sufficiently damning.
Apparently not for Aron, though. The following video is a painstaking and thorough dismantling of the concept of faith, wherein he very purposefully dissects and disassembles the excuses and apologetics and cuts through to the core of the utter BS which is unsupported belief. As with everything Aron seems to do, this piece is as complete as he can make it, and I recommend it without hesitation.
No flaw. Just a white bread rendition that gets bandied about with minor variations and is not particularly helpful in exposing religion and its little engine. Would be a suitable critique of an idiosyncratic individualized flight of fantasy. Not sufficient for the task at hand.
Aron is engaged in weekly polemics. Thus it is critical that he get through to believers by shining an intense light on faith. Over the years i have written a few definitions of faith but of course i no longer have those.
Nevertheless here is an off the cuff...Faith is the kill switch on the smarts we use to navigate day to day issues. "Sir i have an excellent deal on the Brooklyn Bridge...5 bucks and it is yours!" Ordinary actors encountering such sales persons will eschew faith in the sales person in favor of their smarts. In fact we all learn to be more and more critical of propositions as we grow. Our smarts are what we rely upon above all else. Unless the actor has a break with reality the actor will zealously and indefatigably guard her most prized cerebral navigation device. How in the world can a sales person activate the kill switch?
The purveyors of faith in executing their nefarious ends rely upon time tested tricks of psychology to substitute faith for reason. Brain washing occurs before the age of reason and is drilled into the minds of the victims through repetition, fear and shame. Secondly, victims of faith are immersed in the psychology of the group.It is a form of mass hysteria. It relies on the notion that if everybody else is so damn cocksure of this cockamamie mythology and ritual it must have something to it!
What is the effect of faith? Faith causes the duped to credit a story upon which a mythology is built that enables a hierarchy to have preferred status and to dictate behavior and mores to the masses in which they inculcate unethical standards that perpetuate incalculable harm.
The other thing about faith is that our smarts are in greater demand when we are examining claims that purport to describe reality. What is the universe? What is man's place in the universe? Ought we metamorphose into sponge brains and accept on authority matters of the most abstruse and impenetrable intensity when we won't hit the kill switch for even the most insignificant mundane matters? And if we do we are serving the interests of the sales persons and subverting our intellect when it is the only thing that informs us that it is wrong to kill homosexuals, beat women etc...etc..
Another point or two about FAITH...it is an instrument of POWER... the most faithful are exploited to the greatest degree (and in turn the faithful exploit the vulnerable groups)....power of the church grows as piety and faith increase...the greater the faith...the greater the churches' power, and with that power a diminution of rights...the less certain of the proposition, the more relaxed the faith is...a resultant loss of power and increase in freedoms unless a political ideology (which is often tantamount to religion) replaces a theocracy ...it is an inverse relationship between faith on one hand and power...reason or absence of faith and lack of power on the other.
FAITH, POWER, OPPRESSION
REDUCED FAITH...ABSENCE OF FAITH, REASON, REDUCED POWER INCREASED RIGHTS AND FREEDOM
And yet we hear again and again the apotheosis of faith...most have absorbed the lie extolling faith...it is not simply a deeply personal and subjective experience, instead faith is the sine qua non of dictatorships and all that is entailed with dictatorship.