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Faith is not evidence!

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Published on Sep 9, 2011

While it is possible that one religion can be true and the others can be false, it is not possible that all of them can be true at the same time if they are each proposing different and/or contradictory claims about reality. Faith is often claimed by many as a final resort of why a particular religious belief is true. However, since faith is used by many religious views that offer different (often opposing) claims, it cannot be a reliable method to getting at the truth.

How could faith ever be something of value? When does the use of faith ever help distinguish the truth or falsity of a claim? Faith is not a helpful component of human progress; it does not help us distinguish between the real and the unreal.

If a person is going to play the faith card, they sure as purgatory better allow every other religious faith to use it too. But that doesn't get us anywhere, now does it? Because, once you examine the religions, you realize that contradictions between them--of the very important doctrines they possess-- are plentiful. So you start to realize that the application of faith doesn't move you a step closer to which one (if any) is actually true. I'm going with this wild notion that two logical propositions that contradict each other cannot be equally true at the same time.

Do miracle stories and testimonies help us increase our understanding of what is true and real....do they help us discern which religion (if any) is true? When I was living in Senegal, I heard plenty of miracles that Allah provided for the people there. I even traveled to the Great Mosque in Touba and learned about more miraculous stories and answered prayers told by the people there. Some were amazing...so convincing. The Mosque was incredible!

Not long ago I had a friend who was a JW and she had so many miraculous stories and answered prayers. Does this mean that the miracles she experienced were objectively real and thus lend validity to her particular faith? If you believe in miracles, --that they are evidence of the supernatural--you would have to accept the miracles claimed by other religious faiths, right?--can't argue with a personal testimony or an experience, can you? You don't believe these experiences? These Muslims are being misled? How do you know? What if you're being misled by your particular faith?

How would you be able to tell the "true miracles" from the "false miracles"? The term "special pleading" comes to mind. You would have to arbitrarily determine that the miracles of your particular faith were true, while excluding all the claimed miracles cited by those of other faiths. Now, if you start to say that the miracles of other faiths are also real, what about the doctrines of those faiths? Why would the miracles of other faiths be real, true experiences but not the doctrines? Miracles and testimonies cannot help us distinguish between religious faiths or whether any of them are true because the actual doctrines of those religious faiths contradict the doctrines of other religious faiths.

Personal visions, dreams and hallucinations might make us feel good or give us insight, but they are not enough to be considered objectively real.

Is it really that intriguing that people of all religious beliefs have feelings/dreams/visions that correspond to the current religion they happen to embrace or grew up with everyday of their life? I wonder how many Protestants have visions of the virgin Mary and her involvement in the current world or how many of them accept the personal testimonies of the Medjugorje visionaries? Or, how many Catholics have dreams about the bread (Eucharist) at communion being PURELY SYMBOLIC....or that scripture is, in fact, the final authority in matters of faith and salvation (sola scriptura)--not the Pope? How many Hindus have dreams confirming the truth of Islam or Muslim's have visions that The Book of Mormon--not the Koran--is the correct word of God? Not very likely. When we have dreams and visions, we tend to have one's that correspond to what our brain has been exposed to the most.

---Renee

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