Great post on the importance and centrality of faith. And remember if someone says to you only religious people have faith because they trust science, ask them:
- How do you know you’re a real person and not a figment of someone’s dream or a brain in a vat with an alien scientist generating the illusion of you existence?
- How do you know you exist in a real universe and not in the Matrix?
- How do you know you’re not the only mind- maybe you are in your own dream and we are all just figments of your imagination?
- How do you know reality and all of the universe will conform to the laws in the future as it does now in the present- how do you know that the universe will not be different tomorrow?
- How do you know the past existed; maybe you were created 30 seconds ago with an illusion of existing in a past time?
Think my questions are silly?
The greatest atheists such as Hume and Russell knew their worldview could never answer these questions; hence Bertrand Russell’s famous quote;
“It is therefore important to discover whether there is any answer to Hume within the framework of a philosophy that is wholly or mainly empirical. If not, there is no intellectual difference between sanity and insanity. The lunatic who believes that he is a poached egg is to be condemned solely on the ground that he is in a minority, or rather — since we must not assume democracy — on the ground that the government does not agree with him. This is a desperate point of view, and it must be hoped that there is some way of escaping from it” (Russell, 1945: 673).
Russell “hoped” or had “faith” that he could except the questions above known as Hume’s “Problem of Induction,” but without God, he never could. Thus, his worldview of scientific atheism is make believe for grown ups.
Bottom line; everyone has faith, but only the Christian has “reasonable faith!” Everything else is just “make believe!”