Trust Versus Faith
The problem with that line of argument is that the word faith is being used with two different meanings. I don’t have faith in science, I trust it. I trust it like I trust that the roof over my head won’t cave in, or that the bridge I went over every day all summer wouldn’t collapse. I trust these things because they have a record of working, similar things have a record of working, and those records indicate to me that they will continue to work.
Faith, in the conventional, religious meaning, is completely different. Faith implies that there’s not necessarily a proven record, and in with religious faith there’s none at all. This means that you’re taking it “on faith”. You have no reason to believe that anything a religion says is true, it’s all faith.
Science is a method of gathering knowledge, and the knowledge that has been gathered through that method. Science works. It works every time you start your car, every time you flip a switch, every time you use GPS to find your location, every time you fly. The list is enormous, and a full description of the triumphs of science would fill pages and detail nearly everything we know about the way the world works. That is why I trust science, and whether or not you want to admit it, you do too: the conveniences of modern living are the results of science, you can’t trust them without trusting it.
But when I think of faith, I’m stymied. I can think of nothing it has given the world that couldn’t have resulted from something else. I realize that many good works have been done in the name of religion, but the goodness behind the act would be there regardless. In some cases, for example missionaries, the good is offset by bad works. How much time do they spend proselytizing that would be better spent helping? How many deaths in sub-Saharan Africa have been due to their advice on condoms? Secular organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, do much of the same work, without any of the negatives. We don’t need faith to do good.
If any religion had a record of being right and useful, then I’d trust it too. But they simply don’t. Science does, so I’m going to be sticking with it.