June 24, 2021

Faith, Blind Faith, and Reason

Timothy Birdnow

I posted this quote from on Facebook:

"Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” — Albert Einstein.

An old friend of mine replied with a thoughtful question:

Just a thought...how does that affect faith?

I reply:

A salient question Jim. That is why there is a whole field of apologetics, which seeks to find truth in faith via reason.

As you well know, atheism requires just as much faith as does religious belief; in the end one must choose based on what we know and how we know it. I've always believed blind faith may serve a benefit, but is nowhere nearly as desirable as informed faith. There are of course those who would simply accept authority without question, be it religious or otherwise. Maybe there is some good to that after all, but I myself believe not based on the authority of those who lay claim to it. My thinking has always been to first determine if you believe in God or gods, then if so to try to determine the form that belief should take.

IF you believe in God then, in my thinking, you probably should choose from one of the world's great religions, because those belief in those religions has kept them around for a long time and, like the theory of gravity, they have stood the tests of reason as well as faith.

From there one must look at the aspects of those religions and determine which you find most credible. I find Christianity most credible precisely BECAUSE of the things that are hard to understand (like the Trinity); we are trying to understand an infinite with the finite. Religions like Islam fail in my mind precisely because they are easily understood. I don't like Hinduism either because to me it seems a bit of a cop-out, with multiple lives. Why? Isn't a single life sufficient? Especially if the Many Worlds hypothesis of qauntum mechanics is correct; you experience all you would in multiple lives in just one life. I also don't feel the whole pantheism thing makes sense; I at least am an individual, and I like it that way.

And of course there is the intimately personal aspects of a relationship with God and with Christ that cannot be taken away; it's a form of knowledge that does not require an authority to tell you what you inherently know.

I would add the Founding Fathers of America based their whole governmental philosophy on Natural Law, which says there are things that are self-evident. While we can call THIS an exercise in uncritical acceptance of authority, I would argue it is just taking another source to consider. Certainly Natural Law has been pondered by philosophers for a long time and holds water. Like pi or e or some other mathematical concept, it appears woven into the fabric of the Universe (and of course provides a proof of the existence of God.)

At any rate that was a terrific question and we could explore it further if you wish.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:00 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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