On Faith

13-12-2011 - 2 minutes, 26 seconds -

For the uninitiated, I live in the United States of America. This country has a lot of really awesome things going for it, and I wouldn't want to have spent my life thus far anywhere else, but one thing that gets me riled up is "faith" in this country and in general when it pertains to how people live their lives. Everyone has the inherent right to live as they wish to live, and I accept fully my selfishness in asking others to live as I wish to live. With that said, I offer evidence that a faith-based life is inherently flawed when compared to a rational and logic-based life. Firstly, lets remove everything but the ideas of these lifestyles and not their implementations. That is, let's remove specific examples and talk generally for a while. Generally, faith means you hold to your belief/position even in light of new evidence presented while a logical position weighs all evidence and suggests the best acceptable explanation for the evidence. And generally, knowledge improves over time as more evidence becomes available. But wait, how can I say knowledge improves? How do we measure improvements in what we know?

What is knowledge?

Let's decide on a test, then. We can say that we know more truth at one time than another time by how interconnected different philosophies of science are and how accurate their associated theories describe the observable universe. Considering that in the last hundred years we've gained the ability to accurately model the universe in such finite detail that even our simple video games, such as Half Life 2, have complex physics which are incredibly accurate (there are videos of complex Rube Goldberg machines all over youtube showcasing the incredible precision of the physics in that game.) So now lets see what has increased knowledge of the known universe more. Consider physics itself. Does physics come from an immutable and unchangeable book written by prophets thousands of years ago and we just have faith that they were spot on with their first try? Consider math. Was calculus available at the same time as the great flood? Should we only have faith in basic arithmetic and trigonometry. Consider morality. Do we just continue to have faith that our morals from thousands of years ago that allow slavery and paying a small penance for raping a virgin while she has to marry you are just? Okay, so you're kind of right.

The truth of the matter is a faith-based life in every respect is just not the best approach to any matter in life. You can't just hold to a belief in disregard of evidence. You are almost guaranteed to be wrong eventually. As science has expanded and forged ahead, long-held beliefs about our universe have been shattered by our insatiable quest for more knowledge. And we've adjusted our worldview accordingly. ### So please, stop being faithful and start being rational.