I have discovered something peculiar about the theist mind, and I was guilty of this in the past. When all the arguments have been dismissed with clear rational reasoning the last resort of a believer is to declare “You have just got to have some faith!”. Obviously, I disagree.
First let’s define what we mean by faith. Faith is the belief in a notion or idea to spite any evidence to support it, or in some cases in complete contradiction to the evidence available. When a believer states “It’s all a matter of faith”, my usual retort is now “If it’s solely about faith, then why should I not have faith in Poseidon, Zeus, Baal, Xenu, Vishnu, Allah, or Wotan?” Typically this is meet with stoney silence.
But I am not here to make that point, I want to highlight another aspect to this poor argument. If it’s just a matter of faith, why do believers try SO HARD to conjure evidence to support their claims?
In America you have Christian Evangelical’s building “Creation Museums” detailing in extraordinary detail how science supports their particular version of creation. Of course, they completely ignore vast mountains of knowledge and research that disagrees with their prior assumptions about the universe and present twisted versions of what we do know in order to further their cause. Are the people who build these monuments to ignorance aware of what they are doing, or are they themselves victims of their religious delusions?
We have numerous authors publishing misleading propaganda on “the religion of atheism”, or “the evils of evolution” for no other apparent reason than these conflict with their deeply held core beliefs.
If all I need is “faith”, then why did Jesus exist at all (assuming he did for a moment). Why perform all these miracles? Why bother healing the sick, walking on water, feeding 5,000 people, curing blindness, and coming back to life if it’s all a matter of faith? Surely NOT to provide evidence he was the “son of god”, the Messiah, and the savour of all mankind?
Even god himself was required to show numerous “proofs” of his existence by creating everything, causing a global catastrophic flood killing everyone on earth, smiting cities with fire and brimstone to destroy the wicked, impregnating a virgin, lighting a star in the sky to guide three wise men to his place of birth, setting bushes alight, parting the seas, writing commandments in stone, and underlying the crucifixion with earthquakes, eclipses, and zombies.
If it was “just a matter of faith” you would not have need for the proofs contained in the bible. The stories of god’s wrath, or his supposed eternal love for us demonstrated via the act of killing himself to appease the curse he himself imposed (never mind the fact that this brilliant solution from the omniscient creator of the universe doesn’t work if you don’t “have faith”). Why do you need the bible if it all comes down to faith? Why hold up the bible as evidence of the existence of your god, because the book says it was divinely inspired. This you call proof while simultaneously claiming you do not need proof, for proof denies faith and without faith you can not be a “holy man”.
Don’t tell me is “just a matter of faith” when you try so desperately to provide evidence or rational arguments for the existence of your particular version of the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent creator.
Your retreat to the phrase “you just need some faith” is the last ditch attempt to convince your opponent to believe because of the lack of evidence, or to spite the evidence, or just to simply believe for the sake of believing.
Faith does not require evidence – that’s WHY we call it FAITH! So stop trying to provide any evidence or reasoning to support your claim. You are only undermining your position and making a fool of yourself.