Faith Does Need Proof
Don’t believe me? Take apologetics. If faith doesn’t need proof, then why have thousands of people throughout history felt the need to defend their faith with evidence? Why is it that when you ask the faithful for proof, they give you an answer? If faith didn’t need proof, then the answer would be “our faith is proof enough”, but that’s very rarely heard.
Then there’s the science-deniers. If faith needs no evidence, and evidence is irrelevant to faith, why spend so much energy attempting to refute scientific claims? Why spend so much time insisting that science and archaeology “prove” the Bible? They shouldn’t need to, because their faith is worth more than all the evidence in the world.
But it isn’t, and people know it. The human mind craves rationality. When we believe something, it has to have some rational basis. And when we get information that goes against our beliefs, we have to rationalize it somehow, whether we utterly dismissing it, or change our beliefs (see this article).
Which means, of course, that beliefs don’t survive unless we ground them in reality, even if that reality is distorted. Which is why we have apologetics, and why Gould’s “nonoverlapping magisteria” is totally wrong; science and religion cannot survive together as long as they both make claims about how the world is.
The simple fact is that a belief, any belief, needs some kind of rational basis; that faith needs proof. Which is why the religious fear science so much. Science is capable of finding the real truths in the universe, religion is a muddle of ignorance, fear, and bigotry that we’d be better off without. It’s only a matter of time before religion is relegated to the history books, and I hope I’ll live to see it.