FAITH, the biggest excuse for IGNORANCE.

by nicolaou 111 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nicolaou

    When you claim that some impossible account from the Bible is true are you doing so because of evidence and honest reasons or simply because you want it to be true? If the evidence your claim is based upon ends up being proven false would you stop making the claim?

    If your claim is based only on wishful thinking then you are being dishonest with yourself. There is a HUGE difference between hoping that something is true and claiming that it is true.

    When no real evidence can be found believers resort to faith. If faith is your reason for saying something is true just ask yourself why? Claiming something is true because of faith is exactly the same as claiming that something is true merely because you want it to be true.

    Faith is not a reason to believe in something, precisely the opposite, it is the lack of a valid reason to believe in something. Faith is simply an excuse for ignorance.

  • Star tiger
    Star tiger


    faith equals focused wishing, lol

    Star Tiger

  • Ding

    Not all faith operates this way.

    In fact, we operate by faith every day and it's based on reason and experience.

    We have faith that traffic lights are functioning properly and that people will obey them.

    We have faith that surgeons we employ know what they are doing and will make us better.

    We have faith that people we encounter won't try to murder us when we let our guard down.

    The list is endless.

    None of these things do we know with certainty.

    Most of the time our faith is well placed, but not always.

    The question isn't whether to function by faith (we must) but whether the objects of our faith are worthy of trust.

  • nicolaou

    Ding, I think just about every use of the word 'faith' in your post could be replaced by the word 'experience'. Think about that. We all have experience of traffic lights, surgeons and strangers whom we must choose whether to trust or not.

    NOT ONE OF US has any experience of walking on water, relatives who have lived to 900+ years or talking donkeys.

    I maintain that religious faith in particular is a monstrous excuse for ignorance.

  • trevor

    I maintain that religious faith in particular is a monstrous excuse for ignorance.

    A little harsh?

    Perhaps it is just wish fulfilment – the stuff of dreams.

  • JonathanH

    Faith is not inductive reasoning. I believe that the traffic lights work properly because I've seen them work properly for years. Had I never seen one before I would have doubts until I had seen it effectively used in operation and would be incredibly cautious at intersections.

    Inductive reasoning leads one to believe that what one has experienced before, will be fairly consistent. Which is radically different from saying "we exist, thus there is an invisible man that doesn't want you to be gay, and he will punish everyone who disagrees with him, because a talking snake made a woman eat an apple."

    Diluting the definition of "faith" to the point that it simply means "any assumption" makes the term completely meaningless in any religious context.

  • jgnat

    I like Karen Armstrong's comments on this.

    "Faith" has been taken over to a new meaning that did not exist before the industrial/scientific age. We are now (in English) trying to cram two concepts in to one puny word.

    Faith and mythos should never be confused with objective truth. Those who try and prove God through the language of logic have entered a quagmire.

  • Terra Incognita
    Terra Incognita

    "FAITH, the biggest excuse for IGNORANCE."

    And the rhyming word ARROGANCE.

  • mindseye

    nicolau, for the most part I agree with you. Faith, at least as most bible literalists/fundamentalists practice it, is often an excuse for ignorance.

    I think one can have faith in a transcendent reality while recognizing the validity of empirical data. One just has to realize that the transcendent cannot be proven through science or other logical means, and it does not override logic. It is important to keep both separate. But this sort of separation is probably better defined as mystical intuition/reason rather than faith/reason.

    Unfortunately most modern religious 'faith' is stridently reactionary in light of scientific knowledge. It's clinging to a 'Holy' text for easy answers, and throwing out any data that disagrees with said text. Have a discussion with any Bible literalist about evolution or other hot button issue to see what I mean (as we've all undoubtedly have). There's an ardent effort to 'block out' any information that contradicts the 'script' (the script being The Bible). Thus science/empirical data is repositioned as false/Satan.

    jgnat, thanks for the link to that pdf by Armstrong. I'll read it later when I get more time, I am always intrigued by her perspective.

  • Scully

    Hi nic!

    Quite some time ago, I noticed that the definition of "faith" that we learned as JWs was eerily similar to the definition of "delusion".

    Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. ~ Hebrews 11:1, NWT.

    Delusion: a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary. Delusion implies an inability to distinguish between what is real and what only seems to be real, often as the result of a disordered state of mind. ~ Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, retrieved 2011-05-18.

    To me, that kind of faith, one that ignores "indisputable evidence to the contrary", represents not just ignorance as you suggest, but willful ignorance, and the stubborn refusal to consider actual evidence and reality. It's not merely a matter of the individual not having access to the information or evidence that refutes their false beliefs - it's the sticking-fingers-in-the-ears-and-la-la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you digging in of the heels and refusing to even consider an evidence-based alternative to their false reality. It's a childish insistence on keeping a security blanket that they should have long ago outgrown.

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