The Miracle of Faith

Isn’t it miraculous how we religious types can believe in something that runs counter to everything that makes sense in our experience of life?  Isn’t faith amazing?  Sometimes religious people will marvel aloud at how amazing it is that they can believe in super-ghosts, and it’s usually phrased something like that.  Of course, the atheo-skeptic finds that less beautiful than horrifying, seeing the close kinship between religious persuasion and medical woo, con artistry, and trumpism.

(Sometimes the “miracle of faith” is termed more like “the mystery of faith,” to give it the air of an intellectual enterprise, but also one that defies answer, thus shutting down earnest inquiry.  It’s slightly more humble in its way, even if it’s cheap.)

To which progressive theists would have a reasonable counter argument, lovingly provided by our atheist “thought leaders” and their slide into fascism.  Does atheism really afford any protection at all from faulty reason?  If so, should we fear or revile religious thought?  Aside from the fact that argument just doesn’t feel right to me, I can’t say I’m ready to shoot it down.

The conclusion this dialogue is leading me toward is one of total disillusionment with the powers of the human mind.  Just assume everyone, including yourself, is broke as hell in the headpiece, and the best you can hope to do is paw in the dark for a less-than-harmful consensus with your peers.  This, unfortunately, weakens one’s power of persuasion, as people respond more emotionally to bold and reductive statements than positions couched in caveats, asides, and uncertainty.

I don’t love that.  I’d love to spout Universal Truths like a demagogue and rally the warriors to the cause of righteousness.  Shit just tends to be more complicated than that.


  1. John Morales says

    Does atheism really afford any protection at all from faulty reason?

    Yes, because it excludes one basis for faulty reasoning.

    If so, should we fear or revile religious thought?

    Not all theists are religious, and not all the religious are theists.
    There’s overlap, no more.
    So: depends on what type of religious thought.

  2. says

    Educate me on this, because I haven’t heard that one before. Or if I heard it, I forgot the answer. What’s a non-theistic religious person and a theistic non-religious person look like?

  3. says

    i probably shouldn’t say pseudo-intellectual shit when any look at the meanings of terms involved makes my head want to roll away and sprout spider legs. but i think i got it, like, religion is the lifestyle practices and trappings, theism is the belief in deities. both sides of that divide could include harmful bullshit, or not, i think?

  4. John Morales says

    That’s pretty much my stance, yes.

    So I think that, whatever other bullshit bases for some stupid attitude or belief, not having a belief in a deity is one less basis overall.

    Out of a myriad such, alas, so only a tiny improvement. 😐

  5. StonedRanger says

    Faith is not a path to truth. Using faith you can believe in anything including contradictions. When you can believe in true things and false things at the same time using faith, what good is it in the end?

  6. brightmoon says

    I’m Christian. Do I believe all the silly or harmful dogmas , hell no! I worship God that way because my parents did. I only believe in God because I’ve had a personal experience. I don’t expect others to believe or understand what that’s like because it’s personal. Other than that I’m more of a sorta secular humanist mainly because their ideas are more moral than some of the more traditional Christian beliefs . Fundies tend to say I’m a lukewarm Christian but I’d rather be a “lukewarm Christian” than indulge in some of the ((censored by GAS per my possibly silly comment policy)), racist, misogynistic, homophobic, behaviors and the deliberate ignorance of history and science that prevents problem solving

  7. says

    I used to say I’m an atheist or agnostic because of logic and all that sauce, but at the end of the day, I’m an atheist for the same reason you’re christian. Well, not because of my parents, the other side. I’ve had personal experiences that help me intimately feel the non-existence of the supernatural, the infinite cold indifference of the cosmos. Nice that you’ve had the opposite experience at some point. Cool.

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