January 22, 2010
Is Faith a Virtue?
I've recently seen a couple examples of TV characters touting faith as a moral virtue. In their definition, faith means believing in something with absolutely no evidence. But I will argue that faith not only doesn't have to be blind, but can not be.
For instance, you have faith your car is not going to explode on the way to work this morning (trust in the manufacturers and its million person track record). You have faith that the elevator you're going to take to your floor is not going to free-fall and plummet you to your death (trust in the engineers and safety inspectors). You have faith that your spouse is not going to cheat on you today (trust in the person).
These things aren't foolish things to believe in. There are loads of evidence to back up this faith.
Now, is it foolish for me to believe in an omniscient spaghetti monster that's controlling the universe? Well, is there any evidence at all to back it up? Not that I'm aware of. This faith is blind. Subjective, personal and unconvincing. It almost seems silly to count on this.
What about belief in a loving God? Well, is there any evidence at all to back it up? Hundreds of eyewitnesses claimed the resurrection of Jesus. Historical evidence and records that back up his supernatural life. Now, you may not have experienced first-person evidence to the life of Jesus. But, that doesn't mean believing requires blind faith. There is evidence. Same reason I believe in the Civil War without taking part in it.
Therefore, comparing faith in an omniscient spaghetti monster and faith in Jesus is simply not appropriate. There's simply no reason to have confidence in the former.
I'm going to be taking next week off. Comment with things you trust in that you know to be slightly foolish. And enjoy the break. See you next Monday.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:00 AM