The natural realm is the universe and everything in it. The supernatural realm is, by definition, outside the natural realm, so nobody knows, or can know, anything whatsoever about the supernatural. The natural realm is physical; evidence for it is literally everywhere. The supernatural realm is pure conjecture and absolutely unsupported by physical evidence of any kind. The supernatural is, therefor, not scientifically testable.

However, supernatural claims are scientifically testable – as long as they also involve the natural realm. Do you claim. . .

* That prayers are answered?
* The Pope is infallible in matters of faith?
* A statue of the Virgin Mary cries tears of blood every year during Holy Week?
* Fairies replace your tooth with a coin if you leave the tooth under your pillow?
* You can communicate with your twin sister via telepathy?

Now we’ve got involvement within the natural realm; something we can test.

And we have scientifically tested such supernatural claims. Embarrassingly to faithful believers, not a single supernatural claim has ever been scientifically substantiated. They are always proven to be illusion, delusion, fraud, deception or coincidence. The simple fact is: the laws of nature have never been known to be violated in any way. Any claim to the contrary is false (thus far), so you should respond by asking for the citation of scientific publication.

That’s what’s wrong with faith. It requires believing despite reason: to suspend disbelief and accept the false or the impossible. In other words, faith requires denial. Contrary to religious belief, faith is not a virtue. Truth is a virtue – and faith is antithetical to truth. If you have faith, you don’t want the truth.

When denied, the truth has a way of coming back to bite us on our butts. It’s poetic justice. Our lies come back to haunt us. Take, for instance, the lie that faith is a virtue. That lie has been causing misery and death for millennia. The 19 terrorists who flew their jets into the World Trade Center towers all had strong, compelling, faith and proved it convincingly. What's the quote? . . . "Science flies men to the moon. Faith flies men into skyscrapers." . . . something like that.

History shows us that religion tends to squash the truth before it unleashes the true potential of its faith. The Roman Catholic Church squelched curiosity, innovation and dissent with punishment – including death. The ideas and knowledge of ancient Greek philosophers and mathematicians were lost. Only then did the potential of Catholic faith reach its pinnacle: The Dark Ages. The Inquisition, Crusades, witch trials and burnings. . . these are the products of faith. Just as happened in Christendom, Islam led its Arab followers to reject all they had learned of the world. Their knowledge and culture were swallowed up by unrelenting dogma. The Muslim (Arab) world entered its own Dark Ages and has yet to recover. That is the awesome, fearsome, power of faith.

You keep your faith. I’ll take the truth.

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Comment by AcesLucky on September 11, 2009 at 3:17am
Gullibility is not a virtue. And neither is faith. For the same reason.



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