Monday, May 11, 2009
An unexamined faith is not worth believing
If a scientist submitted a new theory, published in a scientific journal, it would certainly be subject to testing and analysis.
Yet, I'm astounded at how many skeptics won't perform the same testing process on religious claims. It is because they misunderstand faith. If faith is believing in something that has absolutely no evidence, then no testing is necessary. This is their mindset. But such a mindset not only misunderstands faith, it is a great excuse for the skeptic and non-religious to bury their heads in the sand.
"An unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates
A belief can be based upon faith but have evidence that supports it. For instance, the probability of my dying in a plane crash is very slim, thus I fly. However, because I can never ultimately know for sure if I'm not on an airplane that will crash, my belief is based upon faith. Even though it is a reasoned belief, reason doesn't obsolve it from being faith.
It is very convenient for the skeptic to divorce faith from reasoning. To do so, gives them a reason to not ask the ultimate question of religion's claims:
"Is it true?"
Before simply dismissing faith as man-made, I ask the skeptic to show me that he/she has examined religion's claims and has a good reason to reject them.
Simply claiming religion is man-made, without demonstrating evidence of such an examination, demonstrates prejudice, not a bold attempt to ask questions no matter where they might lead...