Faith in...

One definition needs to be made clear. Faith. Wiktionary defines it as "Mental acceptance of and confidence in a claim as truth without proof supporting the claim."

It is often perceived that faith is a good thing. Why? And should I build an ideology around it?

The danger of building anything on faith is that you gotta be prepared for the fallout if you are proved false. Given such proof, you need to accept it and change, live a lie, or have such pronounced faith that the proof, as plausible as it may be, you take as still wrong.

Put into the evolution/creation debate, these are the three options for the believer:javascript:void(0)
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  1. Accept the proofs of evolution which mean either modifying your view of God, His plan, and the creation story.
  2. Choose to ignore these proofs, keeping your head in the sand, and going about your business.
  3. Believe that these evolutionary "proofs" are hogwash and going about your business.
Option number 1 is problematic. It means changing your religion at least partially and this may mean a complete ideological or cultural change including atheism. Option 1 requires the most work for the individual. It is the option I chose and its fallout are the subject of this blog.

Option 2 is the easiest and probably the path most people put themselves on. Joe Public is not so concerned about where we came from. He's probably not too concerned about God's master plan for him either. He's just meandering. If he hears something that makes sense, but it is out of line with what's for dinner, he's just going to go about his business. Simply said, he doesn't really care. If it was a priority, he would not live the lie. He couldn't.

Option 3 is the path most chosen by fundamentalists. Evolution is a challenge to their faith. If they defy it, they increase and validate their faith. This is especially true when they can show these "proofs" are not so "sound". (I put both of these words in quotes to indicate that 'proof' really is a bit squishy, but so are the anti-evolution arguments that indicate that they are not so 'sound').

But how do we interpret these options for the evolutionist? Doesn't it take faith to believe in evolution? If so, aren't the risks greater? If the risks are greater, should I just live the lie? Of course not. Atheists and pastors alike will tell you, "Don't live a lie". Atheists will tell you this simply because living a lie is stupid. Pastors would cite that the Laodecian who does not care and lives the lie will still be damned (Revelation 3:13-15).

So, you should choose Option 1 or 3 because option 2 is chickenshit and we all know it. Now, which option should we choose?

Let's summarize this into a little more binary terms of Best/Worst case scenario for the Creationist/Evolutionist. Worst means the creationist/evolutionist was wrong. Best means the creationist/evolutionist was right.

Worst case scenario-Evolutionist/Atheist: Finds he is wrong and burns in hell forever.
Best case scenario-Evolutionist/Atheist: Not living a lie, but life is random (and meaningless?)

Worst case scenario-Creationist: So what if evolution was right and there is no God. My convictions still helped me enjoy life, love my neighbor, yadda yadda....
Best case scenario-Creationist: You, my son, will have eternal happiness, love, and joy. (Obviously through acceptance of Christ's salvation....)


This still does not paint a pretty picture for atheism. Let's compound the issue with some tough questions for evolution. "What good is half a wing?" "Where does original thought come from?" "Where does emotion come from?"

I will say that my atheism is largely built around this one thing -- evolution. If evolution does not have answers to these questions, why not let it go, or at very least come up with some balance of God and evolution?

Simple answer: I can't balance them and I'm not going to live a lie.

My world view built around evolution is sound. It's not always pretty, but it makes sense. The world built around a belief in God is inconsistent.


David said...

Welcome to the Atheist Blogroll and, it appears, welcome to atheism.

Tom said...

Hey, the first person to leave a comment! Yay!

I have actually been an atheist for over a decade. This blog is meant to explain that experience, what I learned, and what I continue to learn.

tina said...

I really liked the opening blog. Interesting.