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Faith... is it good?

Why do people think faith is a good thing? When you ask them why they believe in god they say “I just have faith” like it’s a good thing and the discussion should be over.

By Nathan65
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60 comments

6

Faith is the abdication of reason. Choosing to accept something without thinking about the alternatives is not wise. There is always a reason that someone wants you to accept something on faith and the reason is not good.

david7wk Level 6 June 12, 2018
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5

Faith is a crutch for lazy thinkers.

patchoullijulie Level 8 June 12, 2018
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4

They do that because they cannot defend it with reason and logic.
They have "faith" because they are devoid of both.

KKGator Level 9 June 12, 2018
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4

I have never understood blind faith in anything.

Sticks48 Level 8 June 12, 2018
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In my mind, blind faith is believing in something and not being open to any other suggestions. And that is close mindedness

@GaryShimell They are not the same. Blind faith is believing in something without any tangable reason other than your desire to believe.

4

Faith itself is not bad. Blind belief is.

LadyAlyxandrea Level 8 June 12, 2018
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3

I agree with Matt Dillahunty's definition of faith.
Is there anything we can't believe in through faith? Jesus walking on water.. provide evidence.. no you just have to have faith that he did...😐

SG1life2live Level 5 June 12, 2018
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EXACTLY (or 99% exactly), first comes belief, then faith. I believe some dumb ass thing for which there is no evidence (or contrary evidence), and in reliance, I do some dumb ass thing, I believe homeopathy works and therefore I kill my child instead of taking her to a doctor.

3

I have been on both sides. When people "have faith" they truly cannot see reason. Now that I'm on this side, it's like walking into a magical field of clarity. There really is no answer to this question aside from people just not being able to "see" right. Once the click happens in the brain, it's like waking up in a way that you've never been woke before. I try not to judge people for not getting the click in their brain.

dani2382 Level 5 June 12, 2018
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The scales fell from my eyes.

3

Faith is simply another word for trust. And as we all know, trust must be earned. Those we trust have earned it by proving that they can be trusted. Trust without proof is always a terrible idea, even if it works out for the best, because it rarely does.

Kafir Level 7 June 12, 2018
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I think you've proved faith and trust are polar opposites. Trust is based on evidence, it is earned. Trust not based on evidence is faith.

3

Faith is good shit man.

Don't let logic and reason anywhere near you though.

Ellatynemouth Level 8 June 12, 2018
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3

Honestly when I stopped being religious I didn’t think I would have much use for faith.

At some point I realized I had a lot of faith in humanity. That I might be helping someone and it might not seem very effective but there is faith that they will eventually make progress and improve their lives, and that has happened multiple times.

My faith switched to humanity and that has been so much more satisfying.

Myah Level 6 June 12, 2018
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3

Faith and ignorance live together; good and bad are elusive ideas. An ignorant person has little to say.

EdEarl Level 8 June 12, 2018
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2

I don't have faith, I play the odds.

ldheinz Level 6 June 12, 2018
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2

"Faith and trust are often used interchangeably, as though they’re one and the same.

They are not one and the same. In fact, FAITH and TRUST are two entirely different things. One may even argue convincingly, faith and trust are contradictory.

Faith has been called “the substance of hope.” Faith requires no evidence for belief nor practice. The very nature of faith surmises that tangible evidence doesn’t exist. Otherwise, there is a manifestation. On the other hand, trust is based largely on evidence that is real according to the senses and to human reason. Trust is the core conviction of judgment based on knowledge, instinct, and experience.

To further extend this point and the distinction between faith and trust, consider a common everyday experience:

Imagine walking down a city street. At one point, you step onto a well-marked crosswalk. In doing so, you unwittingly place enormous trust in other people. You trust the drivers of cars and trucks, presumably complete strangers to you to behave safely. They are expected to obey the traffic laws. You trust these drivers will be skilled and sober enough to observe you walking in the middle of the street and will come to a stop, thus allowing you to pass safely.

Based on volumes of evidence — including traffic fatalities which happen frequently in crosswalks, railroad crossings, and the like — placing this trust may be ill-advised. After all, you know nothing about these drivers. They could be drunk or distracted or sending texts and quite possibly not see you. Should that misfortune happen, the end result could be a serious injury, or perhaps even death. Nonetheless, we all step out into crosswalks anyway, usually without even thinking about the risk we are taking. This is because trust is a fundamental provision of daily life and living. We have no choice than to trust other people.

Now in another scenario, let’s suppose you were to step into that same unlit crosswalk — but this time during the night. Let’s assume that most drivers wouldn’t be able to see you crossing until perhaps it was too late, and then you’d be run over. Nevertheless, your decision was made to cross this street in the night based on some wayward faith. Your faith tells you, you’re protected, perhaps even invincible. One can readily see by this fantasmal make-believe scenario that faith is an utter act of stupidity, if not outright madness. Faith has become dangerous. Not only does faith have no actual basis in truth, it also lacks a common utility.

Society would be much better off with more trust, and less faith. The late writer and polemic Christopher Hitchens shared the following perspective. He had little regard for faith, writing much to the rancor of conventional thinkers:

Faith is the surrender of the mind, it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other animals. It’s our need to believe and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. … Out of all the virtues, all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.

Indeed, it’s peculiar that we regard faith as a virtue at all.

Faith is the abandonment of scientific principles. Faith is the refutation of tangible evidence. Faith, in all its many forms, is a wild jackal roaming the global Serengeti, steeped in the poverty of superfluous instinct, seemingly without cogitation or purpose. In short, faith confuses things and makes the search for actual truth more ambiguous. It clouds judgment.

Unfortunately, faith is too common. The best example of faith in practice is religion and all its intended and unintended fall-out. Billions of global citizens claim to be believers adhering to one faith versus another. Certainly, we’re entitled to believe in spiritual Easter Bunnies and Magic Men and even Flying Spaghetti Monsters if we so choose to. Everyone should have his or her right to believe in Tarot Cards or Santa Claus and have faith that flying reindeer will arrive once a year bearing a new plasma television. But problems do occur when the faithful try to impose these illusory fantasies onto others, often by rule of law, or by force. Even bigger problems occur when the faithful try to inhibit the actions of the faithless. When this occurs, human advancement and scientific progress, so naturally intertwined, come to a screeching halt.

The hurdles of science are challenging enough without the added pitfalls of superstition. Consider how faith has altered and often shaped human history, which continues to the present. Consider the manner by which those claiming to be faithful incite biases against the discoveries of modern science. Whether it’s believing in angels or denying evolution, faith is folly. Faith is not only wrong — but also bad. The very notion that we rest “in God’s hands,” enslaves greater human pursuits. What’s the point of working tirelessly inside a laboratory trying to cure a disease if prayer actually works? Why not toss all the test tubes away and just pray harder? Why have trust (in science and mankind) when there’s faith (in the supernatural)?

Secular-humanism has been defined as “the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and the solving of human problems.” To this end, we must trust in the insatiable desires of our most gifted and dedicated to continuing the ways of discovery which benefit us all, and those who follow. Trust becomes a largely positive ideal not only giving life purpose but reaffirming human value.

This stark contrast between faith and trust illustrates the way religious believers and secular humanists look at the world and life differently. While the faithful place their lives at the supposed goodwill of a theoretical supreme being, we secular-humanists are forced to rely on each other. Accordingly, we are required to have trust in each other — which is actually the noblest of virtues.

Not faith, but trust.
[nolandalla.com]

sundug Level 5 June 12, 2018
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2

Faith is always evil. Faith is belief without proof, or even evidence, and you shouldn't believe without a reason to believe. Faith is like facing a tough math problem, and rather than solving the problem you just pick a number out of thin air and believe it's the answer rather than admitting that you don't know. Most people of faith even insist that the random number that they selected is right even when someone does the problem and gets the RIGHT answer. They feel resentful against the one who worked to gain knowledge that they were too lazy to do themselves.

If you don't know the right answer, have the guts to admit that you don't know the right answer.

ldheinz Level 6 June 12, 2018
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2

Faith is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing -- it is irrational. That's not good.

There are those who scoff at the school boy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the school boy who said, Faith is believing what you know ain't so. -- Mark Twain: Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

OroLee Level 6 June 12, 2018
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2

Faith requires no thought.

Condor5 Level 8 June 12, 2018
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2

Faith is an emotional mode of thinking and it's good to some degree if a person finds growth in it, but otherwise it's just a way to misinform people from very simple reasoning about the nature of what is out there, and the nature of the existence of God(s).

DZhukovin Level 7 June 12, 2018
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2

Faith in onesself.

KateZilla Level 7 June 12, 2018
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Be faithful in trusting yourself, base your beliefs and actions on your experience and knowledge, live an evidence-based life

People professing belief in the biblical god but have their own take on what the scriptures must REALLY mean are actually following their personal moral sense but just don't quite have the nerve to take credit for their choices. I find these so called cherry pickers much less dangerous than the fanatics who are truly loyal to nonsense.

2

Faith, like everything else, is neither inherently good nor bad. Religious faith seems silly to me, but having faith in myself and my abilities is necessary for me to continue to get out of bed day after day. Without it, what's the point?

Nottheonlyone Level 7 June 12, 2018
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2

If "faith" means blind belief in anything, it is no virtue

wordywalt Level 8 June 12, 2018
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2

Because they conflate two nearly opposite definitions of the English word "faith".

Colloquially, faith is trust based on experience, simply put. When I mean that, I just say "trust".

Religiously, faith is belief in asserted "truth" without requiring that it be substantiated. When I mean that, I qualify it as "religious faith".

This conflation is partly unconscious but largely deliberate. A very common tactic of religion is to elevate the ridiculous by associating it with the sublime. Or to pull down the sublime by associating it with the ridiculous. Often both at the same time. As with "faith".

mordant Level 8 June 12, 2018
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2

Faith is a mental illness.
Magical thinking doesn't work, never has, never will.

Mortal Level 7 June 12, 2018
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Religious belief drops when analytical thinking rises

Ryksie Level 6 June 12, 2018
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The problem with 'faith' is that it is used in two different ways. As pointed out in responses, one meaning is belief in something without evidence, or indeed despite the evidence, as in the case of faith in Jesus even though there is a lot of historical study showing the real Jesus, even if he existed, was little like the story, and the story itself was largely made up. Faith as in belief without evidence based on unproven authority. This is bad.

However, people also use faith in a different way, as a synonym for "hope". Someone might say they have faith in something happening or someone doing something. In this case it means hope based on some knowledge of the situation. Doesn't mean it's always right, but it is based on something, knowledge or experience, not blind faith based on false authority, a strong hope based on that. It's like you might have faith in your doctor. It's not blind faith in him or her, but a faith based on experience, knowledge, and confidence in their abilities. Religionists sometimes claim non-believers have faith in things too, like science or a secular world. Perhaps we do, but it's faith as in hope, and its based on reality and ultimately on knowledge and reason. Religious faith never is.

David1955 Level 7 June 12, 2018
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Faith . . . Is it good? (Accepting as truth things that can not be demonstrated as factual) is not a good practice to make the best informed decisions as "faithful" do not distinguish between reality and whatever they decide is truth.

Why do people think faith is a good thing? The foundation of religion is faith. To recognize that faith is not a good way to find truth would call into question faith based (religion) claims. Religious institutions use faith to cement their power base so to keep their sheeple deluded, they promote faith over facts and some go as far as to openly attack reality (science) in an attempt to ascend the false value of faith.

Whenever I encounter "I just have faith" I make is a point to define exactly what "faith" is. I often rough quote anticitizenX (great Youtuber) with . . . If you use faith to decide what is true you leave you head open like a bucket to accept whatever nonsense someone wants to put in there. On more then one occasion I have enlightened a few theists as to their lack of credible foundation of their belief structure. Some I have educated have transitioned to atheist.

NoMagicCookie Level 7 June 12, 2018
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