Friday, 16 August 2013

Illogical Faith

There is an interesting blog called the Friendly Atheist, which discusses issues from an Atheist perspective. In the western world, where religion is becoming as popular as standing on a plug, this blog has gained a huge following. Therefore, the inevitable question was asked: what would it take for this guy to believe that there was a God.

Obviously, he said that there would have to be some proof. Crucially, he said that he would not accept proof that is simply anecdotes or scenes that are acted out, but he would actually like something to happen right in front of him. Anything else, in reality, was simply someone saying something has happened, and then asking him to believe it.

If we skip over the issue that almost everything that we believe is based upon other people telling us about it, since most of us are not present at any groundbreaking scientific experiments, we see that he is basically asking for a miracle to happen right in front of him. He does not want people saying that their limbs grew back, or that they were seriously walking on water only a few minutes before he came in the room, he wants something to happen right in front of him.

Even then, he said that just because he could not explain something does not mean that it was the work of a divine being. This is perfectly logical thinking, since he believes that science will explain everything, and this is a view that almost everyone takes. Therefore, it is worth noting that there is not anything that would make this man believe in a God, since even if a miracle happened in front of him he would not see it as such.

To be honest, the guy does have a point. He does not believe in God, so the existence of God is clearly not necessary to any of his thinking.

So, lets gather all the Christians together, ask exactly why they have jumped to such strange conclusions, and possibly submit them for psychiatric testing. Their opinions are illogical, their faith is not based on evidence, and they stick out like a sore thumb in the modern world. Any religious person appears to be following superstition, rather than reality.

If Christians opinions are illogical, then they should not be trusted in any part of what they think. If someone came up to you and said that they had a brilliant hat, but was actually wearing a tea cosy, would you accept their recommendations for a new pair of shoes?

As a Christian, however, I would have to vouch for the fact that we are not all insane, and we have not made an completely stupid decision. What we have done was not to not act in logic or reason, but in a simple step of faith. We went to God with our problems and asked for help, and the reality of God was proved to us through our lives being changed.

It may have been illogical to make that step of faith before we had the evidence, but that doesn't mean it didn't work out for us. For Christians, a relationship with God is the evidence that is required, and that only comes if we are willing to accept that God exists in the first place. After all, it is really hard to have a relationship with someone you don't actually believe is there.

So, if the Friendly Atheist is to get the evidence he wants, then he is going to have to take a gamble on faith. It doesn't really happen the other way round.


  1. You do realise that gathering the opinions of all Christians around the globe is bound to result in some in-fighting right?
    Or did the whole aggression between Protestants and Catholics just sorta glaze over you there for a moment?
    Don't get me wrong. It's difficult I understand to believe something despite the odds. Faith's a bitch like that, and that counts for more than just religion. Curiously though, you don't seem to consider the possibility of God's inexistance anywhere. Maybe the fabric of Christian faith has been sewed so deeply into your own life that, if removed, would completely devastate your self-esteem and sense of purpose. Until faced with the complete loss of that main thread, you can't possibly understand the length of evidence that some people would need to gain even a minute perspective of your faith.

    “If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness.” — A phrase that was carved on the walls of a concentration camp cell during WWII by a Jewish prisoner.

  2. I was not seriously suggesting gathering Christians together and analyzing them, although it is worth pointing out that both Catholics and Protestants worship the same God. This issue is one of faith in God, something that all Christians have, regardless of denomination.

    This was also not a post that was about analyzing whether or not God exists, but simply an explanation of illogical faith, and how the evidence for God can only be seen by those ready to accept it. This seems bizarre, stupid and illogical, but that doesn't stop it being the truth. That is the point of the post.

    It is true, however, that if I lost God I would lose everything. If you read this post - - then you will understand, perhaps, why. The fabric of the Christian faith is woven tightly into my life, because the fabric of the Christian faith consists of a relationship with God. A closer relationship with Him is something I work for in every aspect of who I am.

    And I can understand what it means to need evidence for God. I have not always been a Christian, and have my fair share of doubts over the years when I have been. Yet, I, like all Christians, was given love, love with was intertwined with my faith, and that has changed everything about who I am. I am experienced God, and therefore am living evidence of Him, yet I understand that I sound like a barmy twit.

    This whole post is about how Christians are a bit barmy for believing in God, but also an explanation of how that belief is validated by the real relationship with God that then results.

    As for the last part of your comment, I can only think of what it was like to stand in Auschwitz and see the memorials, the destroyed gas chambers and the railways. This is what humanity did, and it is a disgusting, horrifying thing even to think of what that place used to be like. Many lost their faith, many questioned why God had let this happen, but many others saw persecution at the hands of evil men, and saw the work of God acting powerfully among the prisoners. Many clung to God as He nursed them through one of humanities worst crimes.

    I do not like to argue the existence of God, since I see no point. To me, the matter is closed because of what I know in my heart and mind to be true, because of what I have experienced in my life. All I can do, and all Christians should do, is try and act out that love that they have been given, and share it with everyone. If we let God's love flow, then that is proof enough.