Is faith evidence-based?
Weighing the Evidence
I saw this graphic, and I just had to post a bit of a rant about it — so, bear with me please 🙂 It’s a rather silly graphic, really — though I find it instructive because it shows a misunderstanding I consistently encounter when it comes to what faith is.
As a theist, I have before been accused of imposing my faith upon reality, rather than letting observations of reality inform my worldview. Regardless of how you feel about the soundness of my worldview itself, this accusation (when it comes to my method, as well as those of many other theists) is patently false, for my faith is based on evidence rather than conjecture, whim or desire. Contrary to what some would have us believe, faith is not an assertion in spite of evidence, but rather a belief based upon incomplete evidence. An archaeologist could claim no better.
Does this mean that my reasoning is entirely infallible and airtight? No way, I have no delusions that my mind is the paramount of rational thought. Does it mean that I believe I have had the opportunity to gather and comprehend all the evidences available and thus make an impeccably well-informed decision? Not in the slightest — I can only do the best with what I have so far. What it does mean is that I believe the evidences that I have found support Christianity being true more than they do any competing theory. It is evidence that brought me to my faith, and it is a consistent increase in evidence that has kept me there.
You may disagree with my reasoning, you may reject my conclusions, you may poke holes in my logic and you may take issue with my analysis of the evidence — but make no mistake: Christianity, no matter how you slice it, is an evidence-based faith. If you think that Christians like me believe in God “just because,” then you misunderstand us completely, and you have settled for a straw-man Christianity. True, there are some a priori deductions included in my comprehensive faith for a Creator, but they can only get me as far as deism; my choice to follow Christianity in particular was a posteriori — it involved evidence.
So there, I said it — let the disagreements fly! Personally, I don’t understand why some people seem to feel the necessity to discredit Christianity to the point where it’s just an arbitrary decision to believe in something…
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