Thursday, April 24, 2008

Casting the Mold - Part 2 - The Deaf Man

Evidence has a funny way of sticking around. Facts don't just change with time. No, in deed they stay around and continue to nag at you. Facts can suck when they disagree with what you believe. Facts force you to change your view to follow in line with those very facts. Unless, that is, you are a person of faith. In that case, faith appears to be a given way to ignore facts.

Now, I understand the principles of faith, and I understand its role in a child's development. If a child didn't have faith in their parents, then they would likely not live to see the next year. They must take it on faith that when daddy says don't run out into the the road or you will get hit by a car, that he must know what he is talking about. But then, every child eventually grows up.

The problem with faith as an adult, is that you must suspend critical thinking at its root. If I tell you that there is an invisible creature watching you at all times, I will call bullshit and not believe you. Why is that? Because as a child I was taught, we were all taught, that these invisible creations of our mind are not real. A child who grew up in another time, a time that believed in fairies and goblins, would more than likely believe that there were invisible creatures that followed you around and caused mischief. That child would grow up to have faith that these unseen things were indeed real.

But our society has out grown that to a large extent, no longer believing in gods that rule everything, nymphs, fairies, or dragons. But most of us have stopped short of one more god. And in this god, there is all sorts of beliefs and faiths. Now, as long as they do not have a requirement for all of the world to buy into their beliefs, there isn't a problem. Faith in a god, while antiquated and associated with superstition, is not a problem, at least not for me.

But there are a certain group of "god fearer's" that take this a bit far. These people are the same type that believe in the end times theology. Well, not all of them, but they are a type of person, a specific type of person, that believes the bible is the inerrant word of god. This type of belief and faith is what I have a problem with.

Evidence has been cited and uncovered in multiple different forms and fashions that has shown that the bible is not only imperfect, but very easily discernible as being written by men for their own purposes. There are out right lies, fables, impossibilities, ridiculousness, and provably false claims. Now, all this is fine if its a book you can take the good and leave the bad, but this group refuses to do so, largely stating they take it on faith. Now of course, their faith is ultimately placed in man, since it was a man who told them this book was perfect and infallible. So try as they might, they cannot have a divine reason for this faith. Ultimately, if they grew up Muslim, they would believe the same thing about the Koran.

But these type of people fall back on faith as if its some miraculous thing that negates evidence. But thats not the case. A belief taken on faith alone, that is proven false or unlikely, simply means you have put your faith into a provable false idea. It makes that person look ridiculous. Its the equivalent of seeing a green ball, but having faith it is red because some book told you so. Now the chemical make up of red is much different than green, and thus I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this ball is green. No matter how much faith you have that it is red, it will never be red.

So this type of faith isn't really any type of real faith at all. It is the act of making oneself deaf to evidence. It is the act of making yourself deaf. Todays world cannot continue on and move forward until we as a people can stop accepting this as an 'OK' position to have. Its not okay to simply ignore the evidence because you want to believe in something. But further, its not okay for you to ignore the evidence, then try to force the rest of us to accept that this is some how normal or okay, its not! It is wrong, dead wrong, and its about time the world stands up and tells these people that its not okay to just "have faith". If the evidence proves otherwise, you should change your view, period. Self imposed deafness only seems to happen to literalists who believe every word of the bible is true and infallible. Faith is a weakness, and being deaf to evidence isn't a bonus, its a defect.

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