Why I Don’t Believe in “Blind Faith”


I talked in my last post about what I consider a false dichotomy between faith and science, and promised to take it on in a series of posts.

(Before I go on, I should point out that this idea of a dichotomy is actually sustained on both ends. Sadly, because as far as I can see, the demands of both faith on one hand and science on the other would appear to allow for the other.)

Instead of seeing faith and reason in opposition, how about seeing them as complementary to one another?

Here’s a  analogy of the relationship, as I first used it a few years ago, when a good friend (also a person of faith) argued that the practice of faith requires you to suspend reason. I suggested that he see faith as being to reason what a telescope (or a microscope, if you like) is to the eyes. No matter how sharp your eyes, they can only see so far. But with a scope (of either kind), you can see beyond the natural limits of your vision, see things no one can see unaided. Of course, if you happen to be blind (or otherwise visually impaired) it will still affect what you see (or don’t see); the scope is meant to enhance your vision, not replace it.

Make sense?

That said, if you’re so inclined, you’re fully entitled to aid your vision even for things everyone can see normally — if you want to see more than the average person. (Think Sherlock Holmes and his trademark magnifying glass.)

So does that mean faith starts where reason stops? No, because there’s no reason why reason should stop. Faith starts where reason can go no further, even if it tried. And even then, faith requires reason.

But blind faith? Forget it.

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