So here we are talking and suddenly you feel uncomfortable with my arguments and you retreat behind your favorite barricade. Faith. You have faith. I don't.

It’s a matter of faith, you keep saying. Nothing else. You say that I don't believe because I don't have faith. I always end up asking, “What is faith?” And you invariably tell me, “Well, it’s when you believe!” “Ah,” I say, “so why do you believe?” “Well, because we have faith - that’s why we believe and you don’t!”

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Believing or faith? It’s a never-ending circle. Faith, faith, faith! You will use it each time you want to stop the discussion.

There is nothing admirable or noble in the act of believing in God. On the contrary. At the origin of faith you'll find nothing more than ignorance with a hefty dose of intellectual laziness and fear. I mean, look at the definition of faith and superstition according to Webster:

Faith: a firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

Superstition: 1. a. belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation b. an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
2. a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

Do you see a difference between the two? I don’t.

Faith is just an excuse for the shutting down of the intellect. At some point, intelligence has to say there is no reason to believe in a God. But you want to believe. You need to believe. So what do you do? You simply decide to start apprehending reality and the world around you with something other than your intellect, since obviously your intellect leads you to a place you don’t like, a place where there's No God! That’s all. That’s what faith is.

Is it dishonesty?

You bet it is!

Look at what brainpower has accomplished in the last 200 years alone! Why should we refuse to use brainpower to tackle any question, including the existence of God? Without intelligent thought there would be no electricity, no MRI, no chemotherapy, no antibiotics, no medicine at all. We would all die in our 40s just like in the Middle Ages!

Actually without brainpower our ancestors would never have survived the lions and we wouldn't be here today!

The honest, curious, inquisitive human looks at the universe and asks: “Where am I? What’s out there?” He starts looking and searching. He’s going to use the tools he has. His brain and its child, science. Sometimes he doesn’t know what he’s looking for but he keeps searching and testing and thinking until he finds answers. And when he finds no answers, he simply says: I don't know! I simply don't know! He doesn't allow himself to “invent” stories and theories that suit and please him. Little kids do that.

The intellectually dishonest person, the one who is puffed up with his faith, has a completely different itinerary. He doesn’t ask: Where am I? What’s out there? And he doesn’t say, “Let's look and search!” Instead he says: I know exactly what I want: A God that gives me Eternal Life. Let’s build a path that leads to what I want, not what's out there! This is the world and reality built according to wishful thinking!

Brainpower alone can't let you apprehend that concept or God and that wished reality. So, you need a different tool that doesn't exist, but you're going to create it. You decide that there is something called Faith. It's “beyond” brainpower. It’s of a more ethereal and spiritual nature. You can't explain what it is. You either have it or you don't. If you don't, well, too bad, you don't “feel” god!

Translation: Faith = shut down your intellect.

By deciding to shut down or ignore your own intelligence, you are actually scrapping all human knowledge. In essence, you decide to tell everybody who has a PhD in astrophysics, biochemistry, embryology and oncology to go tell it on the mountain. You actually have the astronomical gall to tell them they've been using the wrong tools to understand the universe. But you, YOU, have the right one: Faith!

You cannot enjoy all the goodies produced by human intelligence and then deny its validity when it suits you. When you have cancer, why don’t you keep praying instead of going to that oncologist? Come on! You know very well that if God has decided that you are going to die, you’ll die, whether or not you seek treatment. And vice versa in your own logic, if your God has decided that you must live, you'll live whether you seek treatment or not!

How dare you tell us not to use our intellect when the intellect has demonstrated again and again, throughout human history, that it accomplishes staggering, earth-changing discoveries? How dare you tell us that we should not use our intellect when you yourself are enjoying so many of the fruits of it? Your dishonesty is sickening!

Let me give you an idea of the power of the human intellect. More than 200 years ago a guy named Cavendish discovered that water was actually a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. If I lock you in a room with a glass of water and the power of faith alone but no ability to reason, how long is it going to take you to realize that each molecule of water is made up of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen? 100, 200, 5000 years? Try never!

Your faith makes you belong to the infancy of the human species, to a time where we had nothing! To a time where we understood nothing! Thunder used to be god shouting his anger at us and he used lighting to punish us.

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Comment by Philippe on February 13, 2010 at 5:25am
Hate the sin, not the sinners!
Comment by ryan cameron on February 12, 2010 at 10:35pm
Ignutz, its important to point out that most of us probably dont "hate" anyone, we "hate" religious behavior. A person who is religious can have a lot of other redeeming qualities. Saying we hate the religious bits because of the damage that does to society is distinct from stating you hate everything about a group of people or an individual, because people are always defined by more than just 1 thing. I have ZERO respect for christianity, faith, religion, etc, but I love and respect my Christian parents who are so much more to me than just christians.
Comment by Philippe on February 12, 2010 at 4:40pm
Ignutz you pretty much need to go back to check what the scientific method is. All the facts you listed, going to the moon, triple bypass etc...can be observed, again and again, can be repeated, measured etc...what faith is dealing with can't! If you just can't see the difference in nature about believing in the fact that somebody went to the moon in 1969 and belief in God, I'm not sure you are equipped to talk with us here.
Comment by ignutz oofmeyer on February 12, 2010 at 3:24pm
Can you perform a quadruple bypass? How about constructing a nuclear weapon? Maybe you know how to put a man on the moon? I personally know how to do none of these things and have never seen them accomplished in person. Yet, I have faith all have been done and believe others when they avow that these great deeds have been accomplished. Sure, you can say I have scientific fact to back up my opinions but I take those scientists on faith as I don't understand the requisite math. Faith helps more people than it hurts. Just because your feelings or sensibilities were hurt by a religionist doesn't mean their theories are invalid. Religion IS good, we here just know it is wrong. We all arrived at our decision that God is fictional via our own experiences. Claiming others to be stupid for believing is wrong. It actually IS possible that god exists considering the infinities of multiple universe theories. If you hate religionists or disparage them fundamentally, you become what you despise. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and treat everyone with respect.
Comment by Philippe on February 12, 2010 at 2:59pm
We, faith is exactly that, action without thinking and it's only tolerated when religion is considered. See, religion always, always gets a free pass! You simply can't act without thinking at school, when you drive, at work, with your partners/spouses etc without looking stupid and be acknowledged by others as stupid. But when it's religion, then anything goes you can be stupid all you want you'll get a free pass.
Comment by ryan cameron on February 12, 2010 at 2:02pm
"faith is believing in something you know ain't true" - Mark Twain

I guess you could also ask the question should we tolerate people's right to act without thinking? To proceed illogically? As time marches on, the right to do that becomes increasingly diminished as society comes to terms with all the individual consequences of acting blindly. Some might argue having to think everything through before doing it would take all the fun out of life. I tend to have a lot more fun doing something that a lot of planning went into vs something spontaneous that invariably ends in disaster.

My 21st birthday for example. I was standing there, in my church basement talking to a couple of people when my two "best friends" at the time decided to grab me with the intent of throwing me into the trunk of a car as a joke. One grabbed my arms, one my legs out from under me, and neither considered that my body might needs support once deprived of its legs. I ended up doing a faceplant, and since my arms were grabbed, I couldnt break my own fall, so my face took the entire weight of the fall on concrete. I havent been able to breath properly through my nose since, and regularly use those strips every night now almost 20 years later.

Acting without thinking sucks.
Comment by Philippe on February 12, 2010 at 8:11am
Actually I don't agree. If you are able to remain a sheep all your life you're fine. It's for the ones who wake up late that the awakening is tough. Think about it. If you believe in god all your life and die believing in God what's the big loss? The big loss is for the one next to you who doesn't believe and has to bang his head against a wall when confronting to faith!
Comment by Philippe on February 12, 2010 at 7:54am
Shawn, I agree with you. Faith from the one promoting it is about controlling. They know they can only influence others if The Other shut off her brain. I was talking about faith from the receiver point of view. The little guy who choose to believe. But you're right. From the other end it's about control and power
Comment by Philippe on February 12, 2010 at 7:38am
Yes, very dirty indeed!
Comment by Loren Miller on February 12, 2010 at 7:33am
"Faith! What a dirty monosyllable—Jill, why didn’t you mention that one when you were teaching me the short words that mustn’t be used in polite company?"

-- Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land



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