What is a Fact?
According to Merriam-Webster, a fact is a truth. It is based on actuality and hinges on evidence. As such, it is something you KNOW and therefore REQUIRES NO FAITH.
Fact: The New York Mets won the World Series in 1986.
I don’t need an ounce of faith to know this concretely proven absolute truth. And even if I was unsure of myself, it would still be a fact and therefore a truth.
What is Faith?
Faith, by its very definition, is the belief in that which cannot be known or proved. By definition, faith necessarily requires absence of proof.
Do you have faith that you’re reading this rant right now, or do you know that you are?
Fact: You are reading this rant right now, and you know it. Faith has absolutely nothing to do with it. Not only is faith unnecessary when you deal with facts, but it is logically incoherent.
Theists and atheists alike will agree on this obvious truth: Like a nervous tic that they can’t control, all true Christians declare their unwavering faith. They can’t so much as fart without invoking the name of god or telling someone (stranger or other) about their faith in the almighty. They’re proud of their faith. But good for them. Mazel tov!
“We may define faith as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions.” - Bertrand Russell
What Christians Believe
To any observant person, virtually all Christians (as it pertains to religion) believe nothing. It is abundantly clear that virtually all Christians claim to know. But unfortunately for them, believing and knowing are not the same. They are, in fact, mutually exclusive.
While there are many things that Christians declare absolutely, the common thread is found in the fact that they state their beliefs as ABSOLUTE FACTS. This much is true and wholly provable. Go ask any Christian if their god is real. You won’t hear a single word of uncertainty.
When’s the last time you heard a Christian say, “I believe that Christ is risen.” (We both know the answer is never.) This statement is always declared as an absolute fact: “Christ is risen.” Always. And while there are countless other examples I could cite, it’s always the same.
By stating facts Christians claim knowledge. They are saying that they know these things to be true.
The Big Question
Given all this, how is it that Christians seem to know so much while they keep clamoring about their faith? By definition, knowledge is in total conflict with faith. They are mutually exclusive. If you know something to be true, if your intellect assures you that you are absolutely, positively, and undeniably correct, then not only is faith unnecessary, but faith, by its very definition, is logically incoherent.
Imagine someone saying, “I have faith that the Mets won the World Series in 1986, and I believe it with all my heart.”
You’d probably think, “The Mets did win the World Series in 86. What the hell does faith have to do with it?”
And that’s because faith has nothing to do with it. Not even a little.
Now for the bad news: The same logic applies to religion as it does to sports trivia.
As previously demonstrated, Christians state their beliefs as facts. This much is true. But if faith is the belief in that which cannot be proven, then something is very, very wrong. It’s a total contradiction. So, again, how is it that Christians can know so much while they keep claiming to have such great faith?
The Big Answer
It’s quite simple, really. Believing isn’t good enough. In order to believe in something you must necessarily concede that you could be wrong.
When it comes to believing in god, too much is at stake – especially ones intellectual integrity. If I’m wrong about who won or lost the World Series, big deal. My sports trivia skills are pathetic and I’ve lost a few bar bets. Oh, the shame!
But if I spent my entire life…
- praising a god that didn’t exist
- fearing a god that didn’t exist
- praying to a god that didn’t exist
- preaching about a god that didn’t exist
- making huge personal sacrifices (e.g. financial, sexual) honor and obey a god that didn’t exist
- following inane rules against perfectly benign activities (like eating shellfish or working on a particular day of the week) as commanded by a god that didn’t exist
- building and endorsing global houses of worship for a god that didn’t exist
- giving money (10% or more of your income) to a house of worship of a god that didn’t exist
- expending a lifetime of resources and precious time on countless other things prompted by the belief in a god that didn’t exist
…then I’d be rightfully labeled as an easily deluded, gullible, a fool – just as they label everyone who doesn’t see the obvious truth of their god (Psalm 14:1).
Intellect Trumps Faith
We’re all judged by society in no small part by our perceived and demonstrated intelligence as well as our ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. And if Christians are wrong then they’re delusional. It’s as simple as that.
The problem is, Christians cannot (and will not) allow even the mere possibility of that kind of theistic egg on their face. They can’t afford to have society view them in that light. This is why Christians incessantly proselytize despite the disingenuous rationalizations and excuses they argue to the contrary.
Simply stated, It’s impossible to feel silly or like a fool if everyone believes the same patent nonsense. Sip the Kool-Aid and sleep well with the intellectual safety in numbers that birds of a feather provide.
Christians claim they’re on a mission to save souls, and this is total bullshit. Every public utterance of their faith is the product of a subconscious-driven act of intellect-saving mental masturbation.
This is how it works: Repeat the mantra long enough and it will eventually become your truth and reality. And since there’s intellectual safety in numbers they act together. Conquer and divide.
We may now define faith as the subconscious quality that enables so many to believe what they fear to be untrue.