Is 'faith' synonymous with 'denial' when applied to creationists/religionists? How to counter the 'faith' argument?

Back when I was actively engaged in yahoo answer's religion & spirituality section, I came across the faith argument. Oftentimes debates can end with the theist retreating to "You just have to have faith".
I've had trouble arguing against faith for a while, but then I came up with this retort:
Your 'faith' is merely another word for 'denial'.
Take this passage from the God Delusion, for example: (pg 19, paperback)
"Fundamentalists know what they believe and they know that nothing will change their minds. The quotation from Kurt Wise on page 323 says it all: '...if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand'."

Another example: "No matter how much your stance makes sense, no matter how much evidence you present, no matter how many contradictions there are in my stance,
my faith keeps me believing."
Now replace 'faith' with 'denial'
"No matter how much your stance makes sense, no matter how much evidence you present, no matter how many contradictions there are in my stance,
my [denial] keeps me believing."

Does anyone have other ways to argue against religious faith? (not faith in the general sense)
"Faith is believing in something without evidence" is not convincing enough, I'm afraid.

Here are the theists' responses:
And uh:
:>

Tags: denial, equals, faith

Views: 9

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Here are two arguments I use:
1) Faith can be wrong as in the case of the flat earth or the earth being the center of the universe which was once religious doctrine.
2) Faith can lead you to murder people and in the case of religion frequently did.

Eric Stone
Thanks! I'll add those to my arsenal right now :)

Although, for the second one, the theist may argue that in the history of religious conflicts, the underlying motives behind those conflicts were things other than faith, such as politics, greed, territory.
Also, the theist may argue that murder resulted "because they [the murderer] lost their way", "they did not follow god's/jesus's word/teaching", or they had free will.

Do you know of a direct and indisputable connection between faith and murder?

I can think of a 12-year old girl that died because her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, refused to send their daughter to the hospital. But the theist would argue that the parents allowed her to die out of stupidity, not faith.
Death caused by insistence on prayer/faith-healing over actual medicine is murder (or suicide, if done on one's own behalf) in my book.

The basic problem with any "argument from faith" is that the conclusion is simply placed into the givens, and all "argument" is window-dressing. If you successfully attack the window-dressing and eliminate all of it, the theist simply retreats to their givens as sufficient "proof" of their conclusion. When it comes right down to it, anything "argued" on faith alone is no more than bare, unsupported assertion. Which is no more meaningful than "because I say so".

I think it's useful to strip theists down to this childish position. Even they know that "just because" doesn't cut the mustard.
"Rational theists" can recognize that faith is not a proper argument.
Unfortunately, this does not convince the rest of them.
Theists can also accuse you of being close-minded.

I just remembered another argument I used to have against faith. If they have faith that the judeo-christian god exists, then I can just counter by saying I have faith in the FSM, Thor, Zeus, Krishna, etc. Not all of these beliefs can be "true", and since there are an infinite variety of religions, gods, and faiths, the possibility of the judeo-christian god existing is practically zero.
I tried this one time on the comments in Youtube, and the theist had to abandon faith and switch to evidence to disassociate her BS from other BS.
So it seems at some points a theist may argue from evidence (religion is reasonable), and other times they will argue from faith (religion is not reasonable, but it's somehow still virtuous to believe). This is very frustrating to deal with, and if I ever notice that again, I will point that out.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

Latest Activity

Deidre posted a status
"Almost Friday.........cannot wait! Happy Halloween-eve :) Tonight is 'devil's night' I believe?"
4 minutes ago
Pat replied to jay H's discussion Free speech (right)
14 minutes ago
Pat commented on Joan Denoo's blog post My Grandfather, Alphonse Fulgentino Jules Denoo
18 minutes ago
Profile IconFormer Pastor, kavitha, Jim Reynolds and 6 more joined Atheist Nexus
19 minutes ago
booklover replied to jay H's discussion Free speech (right)
30 minutes ago
booklover commented on Little Name Atheist's group Atheist Ailurophiles
33 minutes ago
Randall Smith commented on Ruth Anthony-Gardner's group Hang With Friends
1 hour ago
Randall Smith commented on Daniel W (Sentient Biped)'s group Godless in the garden
1 hour ago
Susan Stanko replied to C.L.A.W.S.'s discussion Stem Cell Research & MS in the group Atheists who love Science!
1 hour ago
Randall Smith replied to Lmnopicue's discussion dahl pasta in the group Food!
1 hour ago
Randall Smith posted a blog post
1 hour ago
Dyslexic's DOG replied to Deidre's discussion Finding self respect after religion
1 hour ago

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service