We all live by faith—even atheists. No one can know everything. In fact, we live in almost complete ignorance of what the future will bring. We can make some predictions, but we have to admit that we don’t know what will happen. That’s where faith comes in. Faith is the bridge that gets you from where you currently are to the future you don’t know. For example, I cannot know if my spouse will love me or be faithful to me in the future. There’s no evidence for what hasn’t yet taken place. It’s my faith that guides me and keeps my marriage together in the absence of evidence. We all live by faith, and religious faith helps us stay connected to god.
How to debunk it
- Faith is a personal and subjective belief (essentially expressing a feeling of hope). To say that your belief in god is based on faith is to say that your belief is based on your belief, which is circular reasoning. All you did is repeat yourself.
- There’s nothing wrong with personal and subjective beliefs. Our most cherished feelings (like the ones we have for a spouse or other loved ones) are completely subjective, and therefore don’t require any external evidence. It’s perfectly OK for you to also place god there, but please keep in mind that by doing so, you’re admitting that god is no more than a subjective and personal feeling you have. If you want to establish that god is not just a feeling in your head, that he objectively exists outside of you, then you’re going to have to support such a claim with some method of verification that exists outside of your head. In which case, faith won’t do.
- People used to have faith that Zeus was controlling everything from Mount Olympus. People’s faith used to tell them that Thor was the one who sent lightning bolts down to earth and that Poseidon was the one causing storms at sea. Mormons have faith in the teachings of Joseph Smith. Scientologists have faith in the stories of L. Ron Hubbard. As soon as you look at people who have faith in other deities and religions, you’ll realize why faith is not a reliable means of reaching objective conclusions about the universe.
Get the Debating Religion book now and start debunking common religious arguments in real time. This is a practical hand-book comprised of short segments that introduce common religious arguments followed by bullet-point replies that debunk them—simply, quickly, straight to the point.