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Faith And Assumption

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on August 29, 2001 00:34:52 UTC

Definitions taken from

Faith: Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

Assumption: Something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof.

Now, I ask, is there really a difference? Assumption apart from religious faith is often looked down upon as naive. Let's look at some assumptions: If I believed a presidential candidate's promise to lower taxes and save social security just because he said he would, you would say I was naive. If I don't buckle my seat belt because statistically I probably won't get in a crash, you would say I was reckless. If I don't buy any medical insurance because I think I won't ever need it, you would say I was stupid. If I refuse to build a basement for shelter in a region known for frequent tornadoes, you would say I was foolish. If I said that my opinions are the only valid ones, based solely on emotion, and everyone else was totally wrong, you would say I was arrogant.

Yet in the context of religion and faith, these positions seem common. You have people voting for candidates based solely on their beliefs in the hope they will make good on their promises. You have people driving without seat belts because they believe God will protect them. You have people refusing to buy medical insurance because God won't let them down. You have people refusing to protect themselves from the elements because "If it's my time to go, it's my time to go." You have people saying that all people who don't believe in their faith will burn for all eternity.

In the context of secular belief, this is considered insane. In the context of religious belief, this is considered devout. Religion seems to have a protective shield around it, allowing members to participate in all manner of idiocies because God says it's okay.

And meanwhile, the statistics remain unchanged. An atheist is no more likely to die in a car crash than a fundamentalist.

Only the atheist is more likely to buckle up.

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