What is faith? Well, that all depends on how you define it, as this very interesting post by Good and Godless illustrates. Semantics is something we should all pay more attention to, especially when debating something important, like religion. I remember having a most frustrating conversation with an older work colleague many years ago. We were debating whether jeans were more comfortable than trousers. I said yes, he said no, and we argued the toss for about ten minutes, before it finally dawned on me that we were interpreting the word comfortable in different ways. I was alluding to simple physical comfort, but he was alluding to how he personally felt when wearing jeans.
A Leap of Doubt
Posted on October 17, 2015 by Good and Godless
In my time as a christian, I often heard the line, “It takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a christian.” I used to simply take the saying at face-value, blindly accepting that it was true without critically analyzing it. It was merely a platitude to me, a string of words that didn’t really mean anything; rather, they were a shield. A shield against unbelievers. Against people who has heard the “truth,” but chosen not to hear it. The words themselves meant nothing. It just seemed so true. Of course it took more faith not to believe, the world is so full of evidence for god. So full of his “fingerprints” that one could not passively lack belief, they must be actively denying god. Having faith that what they thought was true.
I understand now how much of a fool I was.
That “evidence,” which I was so quick to tout in favor of god’s existence, wasn’t actually there. I honestly and truly thought that it was, but my mind couldn’t see past the image of Jesus that shrouded my every thought. Confirmation bias; the act of picking only the evidence which supports the belief or assumption that you already hold. As a scientist, I should have been at least keenly aware of confirmation bias in my own life. After all, I spent nearly every day of my schooling and my work afterwards actively combating it. Science itself is predicated on the idea that all human understanding and observation is inevitably tainted by the beliefs or ideas that we already hold, thus, when attempting to uncover the truth, we must identify and circumvent our biases. I had honed my toolkit for this over the years, but there was always one area that I refused to use it, that it didn’t even occur to me to use it, and that was my faith.
Click hear to return to main blog