Is Faith Dangerous?

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

An atheist and a Christian during a power outage.

Dalton: If I have to be without electricity for another day, I’m going to go nuts.

Edgar: Are you afraid of the dark?

Dalton: Dark’s not scary, just boring. I’m bored.

Edgar: Sometimes I wonder why you aren’t afraid more. Don’t you worry that things are just going to spiral out of control because there’s nobody making sure it will all turn out okay? I don’t know how atheists can deal with anything when you have faith in nothing.

Dalton: I feel the other way around. I’m more afraid of having faith than I am of not having it.

Edgar: I don’t get that. My faith’s a big comfort to me.

Dalton: Before you can have faith, you have to give up some of your intellectual defenses. If you don’t let yourself think critically about some things, you leave yourself open to being taken advantage of.

Edgar: God isn’t going to take advantage of me. That doesn’t even make sense.

Dalton: You know I don’t think that God is going to do anything to you. I’m talking about people taking advantage of you because you don’t doubt some things.

Edgar: Like what?

Dalton: Maybe you personally don’t have much to worry about, but lots of religious people get taken for huge amounts of money by crooked preachers, worthless charities, dangerous religious rituals, and things like that.

Edgar: You’re talking about people who have false faith. That’s an entirely different thing than what I’m talking about.

Dalton: How do you know if your faith is false or not?

Edgar: It’s something you can feel in your heart.

Dalton: Don’t you think that members of cults feel in their hearts that they’re right?

Edgar: It’s possible for someone to be deceived, but it’s not the same as true faith. It doesn’t feel anything like it.

Dalton: How can someone who has never had anything but false faith tell the difference? Wouldn’t they think that they are feeling the real thing?

Edgar: I guess, but once they feel the real thing, they’ll know.

Dalton: But what if they never do feel the real thing? Or they just find another false faith that feels better than their previous false faith? I don’t think there’s any way to convince a person of strong faith that they’re wrong, even if their faith is false.

Edgar: That’s not true. You can show them where their beliefs don’t match scripture or that their leader isn’t being true to them.

Dalton: So you can reason with them?

Edgar: Right.

Dalton: But isn’t the point of faith that you believe without reason?

Edgar: Yes, but you’re not talking about people with real faith. False faith can’t stand up to reason. True faith is beyond reason.

Dalton: That’s exactly why faith is dangerous. Everyone with faith thinks that they have real faith, and if you think you have real faith, you believe what your leaders tell you instead of what reason tells you because you think that you’re "beyond reason."

Edgar: I don’t believe leaders; I believe God.

Dalton: And does God talk to you personally? Do you get all your religious information straight from Him?

Edgar: God does talk to me through the Bible, but it’s true that sometimes we get help with difficult passages at Bible study.

Dalton: How do you know that what they tell you in church or in your Bible study classes is correct?

Edgar: It’s the one, true church. They’re doing God’s will.

Dalton: How do you know that it’s the one, true church?

Edgar: I know it in my heart. There’s no way I could be deceived about something like that.

Dalton: And every believer thinks the same thing. That’s why faith is dangerous. Hey! The lights are back on!


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Posted on August 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

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