the secular atheist sees no reason or evidence for belief in a god or gods
The Secular Atheist

Is Faith a Virtue?

5 December 2016

Theists constantly make a virtue of faith without realising that it is in fact quite the opposite, a dangerous vice responsible for suicide bombers and the burning of witches.

While Muslims have total faith that their god and religion are absolutely true, Christians do not consider the solid faith of Muslims enough to reject Christianity and convert. They have no problem seeing that faith in Islam, does not make up for the flaws and weaknesses that they identify in Islamic claims, and despite the deep faith of Muslims, they reject Islam. Muslims have exactly the same approach when they consider Christianity, ignoring the deep faith of Christians in their rejection of Christianity.

However, turn the tables on either a Muslim or a Christian, and ask them why faith is sufficient to convince them of the truth of their belief, but is not enough to do the same for a different faith, and you will encounter a brick wall of disbelief, even hostility sometimes. A Christian has faith that Jesus is the son of God sent to redeem the world from sin and is proud of this faith, but will not concede that a Muslim's faith that Mohamed was the last prophet from god who came to correct the corrupt versions of religion known as Christianity and Judaism, is of equal merit.

Look outside religion, and you will find rural folk that have complete faith in fairies and elves living in woodlands, and streams. Interview them, and you will find people, totally convinced despite never having captured one of these creatures that it can show to all who may ask, or discovered incontrovertible proof that cannot be explained any other way than a fairy or elf did it. Most theists will have no problem seeing the flaw in this faith, and again will not accept that the confidence without evidence, or faith, is sufficient to commit the existence of fairies.

Theists have a multitude of ways of describing and rationalising faith but when stripped back to its bare bones, faith is no more than belief without evidence. Saying that 'faith is the evidence of things not seen' sounds profound but when analysed is meaningless mumbo jumbo and cannot redeem the fact that at the end of the day, people are committing themselves wholeheartedly to a major belief without having credible evidence. The label faith is no more than trying to dress up an act that in any other context would be considered ridiculous.

So what? It is not like it will harm anyone. Actually, wrong, it does considerable harm. Remove faith and require evidence for paradise and the beautiful virgins, and the suicide bomber loses their motivation. Remove faith and require evidence of heaven, and burning a 'witch' to cleanse her soul no longer makes sense. Remove faith, and you remove the basis for the motivation and justification of the harm that religions have and are doing to modern society from the opposition to equal rights for everyone including gay and trans people, to the equality of women to live free lives in they way they choose.

Faith is dangerous because it enables human beings to be certain about things that are no more than superstitions and prejudices, and it also provides the justification for enforcing conclusions derived this way, on all society. Faith should be challenged as an irrational and unacceptable basis for any conclusion. It should be viewed as a threat to reason, logic and evidence, that damages the civilised society that western countries seek to build.

About me

I describe myself as a secular atheist hence the name of the site. As an atheist, I am active in my opposition to religious privilege and intolerance especially when it comes to religion trying to enforce its values on all society such as the denial of equal rights for the LGBQT community and placing limits on women's reproductive rights.

I sometimes describe myself as a secular humanist because humanism matches my beliefs most closely. As a humanist, I am totally committed to human rights as defined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. I am proud to have been a member of the British Humanist Society for many years now.

Lastly, I am a parent, a husband, a teacher, a mentor, a friend, and a Bridge enthusiast (although not very good at it). I enjoy sharing my thoughts and ideas, and this site is one of my outlets to this end.

Thank you for visiting, and thank you for reading.


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