Sunday, 21 October 2012

Things Christians say, part 35: Faith is evidence of things unseen.

A weekly series of responses to the things Christians say to atheists, based on the video reproduced here on 30th January 2012.  The aim is to tackle one every weekend, to give both a moderate, polite response to each question ('Piano'), followed by a more forceful rebuttal of the same question ('Forte'). 

Faith is evidence of things unseen.


We know that there are many things in the universe that are unseen.  X-rays, dark matter, electric fields, love, and envy all fit that description.

We know these things because we do have real evidence for them, on the basis of logical criteria that anyone can apply.  These observations and measurements are independent of the views of the observer.  Anyone with a logical mind and enough training in the detailed disciplines can achieve the same results repeatably.

Can the same be said of any faith based position?  I suggest not.  If you go into any detail at all about any faith-based claim, I think you will find it difficult to find any two people who 'know' exactly the same things about the universe on the basis of faith alone.



In one sense you are right.  Faith is evidence of workings of the brain.  You have to hope that your brain and its inner workings remain unseen.

In no other sense does the argument that faith is evidence for anything at all make logical sense.

There are books about this sort of thing, and unlike the bible these books are logically coherent.   They are (at least) much more self-consistent than the bible or any other holy book.

I recommend you to go to Amazon and look for The Believing Brain by Michael Schermer, which I reviewed here, in The Believable Michael Schermer.

Last episode: Well, why don't you try praying?
Next week: It doesn't make any sense - you're saying that something came from nothing?

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