"Faith is hard"

Michele is seeing the more minimal results of publicly deciding the evidence for god is lacking – people pandering faith on her facebook.  One of them, Natalie, said something this morning I hear very often and makes me facepalm every time: faith is hard.

I couldn’t help but jump in.

“Faith is hard!”

On this I think you’ve missed the target entirely. Faith is easy. Knowledge is hard. Look at Mandy’s comments. Look at how easily she speaks with certainty on subjects she has put little to no effort into understanding. But, by gum, she has faith.  That’s easy as easy as it is irresponsible.

Children have faith, but none understand history. People completely uneducated can have perfect faith that a global flood really occurred while not understanding a lick about geology (and how geologists know that such a flood never happened).

It must be said, for the sake of honesty and for the sake of building beliefs based on what is true, that faith is a cop out that is in no way connected with either knowledge or reality. It’s an excuse to be certain of things without knowledge or evidence.

Faith is a means to live without knowledge.

Below the fold is the rest of the conversation.

Natalie said…

JT I appreciate your comments as well because it pushes me closer to know who God is! He has always been faithful to me in more ways than I can count! I don’t wish to have a “religious” debate because personally I don’t care for organized ” religion”. I know God and have a personal relationship with Him! I don’t look down on anyone for searching for truth! Keep searching and I pray that you will find what you are looking for!

I responded with…

Natalie,

I don’t take that road. The beliefs of others are not an inconsequential matter to me.

Take the parents who pray their children to death in lieu of taking them to a doctor – parents who love their child and want their child to get well as much as you or I would. What is the factor that made such loving parents into people who essentially murdered their child through neglect? The answer is obvious: beliefs based bad, unreasonable ideas, and the fact that beliefs are the gatekeepers of actions.

It’s the same force that motivated men to fly planes into the twin towers. It’s the same force that causes religious people to treat LGBT people as second-class citizens. The repercussions of unreason paint the breadth of this planet as well as her history.

We are a team here on earth. My happiness depends on my ability to work and live with other human beings. When other people are irresponsible with their beliefs, that is my business, and it should worry us. It should worry you.

Every person with compassion, a club in which I trust you are a member, has a moral obligation to at least try to be reasonable. That is why faith is such an anti-human idea. It’s a license to abdicate our responsibility, not only to ourselves, but to all our neighbors here on earth. It’s the means by which people pursue, often with immense passion, the vice of unreason.

Your defense is that you don’t care for organized religion, as though anybody brought that up. It’s clearly a pre-programmed response. The truth is that your faith is no more reliable than those who organize around theirs, and that you are just as culpable for abandoning reason as those who renounce it at the altar.

Until “personal relationship” can be distinguished from placing too much stock in the absurd or from imagination unchained from skepticism, you can only claim to have different beliefs from those who gather en masse to bolster each others fantasies, but you are just as irresponsible as anybody else believing by faith.

She retorted with…
I totally agree that people should not base things solely on faith! I think God requires us to use the brain he gave us I.e. “praying a child to death instead of taking them to doctor” that is just ignorance! However I am not going to debate. I know where I stand in my faith and I won’t back down. I was really only speaking to Michele and telling her I love her and support her search. I do believe that God wants us to wrestle with our faith and be sure of what we believe and not take it lightly. So JT again I respect your comments I was just speaking to Michele.
I said…

Natalie,

“So JT again I respect your comments I was just speaking to Michele. ”

I appreciate that. I’m speaking to you.

“I think God requires us to use the brain he gave us I.e. “praying a child to death instead of taking them to doctor” that is just ignorance!”

And what of belief that someone rose from the dead? How is that less ignorant?

“I know where I stand in my faith and I won’t back down.”

And that’s just the point. You came here hoping Michele would change her mind, but with that sentence you have declared that you’re unwilling to even consider doing the same. Faith is a conversation killer, it’s an announcement that if you were wrong that you wouldn’t want to know. It’s ignorance maintained, and you’ve just proven it.

I suspect you typed the above sentence in full confidence of its nobility. The truth is that you should be ashamed to have written it. It seems only through faith that people manage pride with such failures.

“I do believe that God wants us to wrestle with our faith and be sure of what we believe and not take it lightly.”

He wants you to wrestle with it? How does that gel with, “I know where I stand in my faith and I won’t back down”? That’s not wrestling. It’s not even stepping into the ring.

I’m not sure I respect your comments. What I will say is I respect you. I respect that you will be able to see the shortcomings I’ve highlighted and give them thought (otherwise I’d just be playing video games right now). I respect you as my ally on team humanity, which is why I take the time to point out how you could be playing the game of life more responsibly.

She came back with…
I did not come I to the conversation hope in Michele would “change her mind”. I hope she searches and finds the truth. I’m not into arguing or debating with anyone. Yes we all have freedom to believe or not believe and live with the consequences of that. Again I thank you for your comments because yes they do prompt me to dig deeper in Gods word and know why I believe what I believe.
My response was…

“I did not come I to the conversation hope in Michele would “change her mind”.”

Ah, my bad. It seemed to me that half your first comment spent extolling how wonderful faith is for you combined with the admonition to “keep searching” was a hope Michele would change. Mea culpa.

“Yes we all have freedom to believe or not believe and live with the consequences of that.”

The problem is that others must live with the consequences of your beliefs. Even if it’s just in how you vote (though it’s all but certainly in many more ways).

“I’m not into arguing or debating with anyone.”

Combined with your earlier assertion that you wouldn’t “back down”, this seems like you’re just removing yourself from the conversation to avoid even the possibility of “digging deeper” or coming face-to-face with contradictory evidence. I wonder, if god didn’t exist, would you even want to know?

Forgive me if I don’t find your claims to be digging deeper very convincing when juxtaposed again professions like the ones you made in your last comment.

"By your standards it seems that Abraham Lincoln never lived. You can not prove scientifically ..."

I don’t think Answers in Genesis ..."
"God's will sucks...too many good people suffer and too many bad people don't.....can you explain ..."

Prayer absolutely, positively does not work
"Should anyone be surprised at the "thinking" of those people in ARK.? Narrow minded and ..."

FAITH & GAY RIGHTS: Church in ..."
"Yup- because Jesus specifically said in the Bible "Pay the church its money, or I ..."

People leaving Greater Mount Moriah Baptist ..."
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment