Skeptics often talk about how religion is based on blind faith while science and rational thinking are based on facts and observable evidence. But is this distinction actually the case?
- That faith, by definition, cannot be based on evidence.
- That the scientific world of observable facts and rational thinking is superior to the religious world of blind faith which is purely subjective.
- That faith can, in fact, be based on evidence.
- Faith is like skydiving: You look before you leap! Before jumping out of a plane, I would check out all the evidence for a safe jump: the gear, the pilot, the plane, the company, the safety record, etc. Then and only then would I jump from a plane. Still, there is no “proof” of a safe landing, only evidence.
- In the same way, before placing (and maintaining) my faith in Christ, I would check out all the evidence of the truth of Christianity: philosophical arguments, historical arguments, and arguments from experience. See below for examples.*
- If the skeptic claims that none of these arguments counts as true evidence, simply say, “But for me this does count as evidence. I’m sorry that it doesn’t for you. It’s my faith and I’m not going to allow others to define it for me.”
- Ask the skeptic if he/she has proof for the following types of beliefs (there seems to be evidence for these beliefs, but not proof. They all go beyond the realm of science):
- That they are loved by family members.c e. That concepts like justice and truth are real.
- That other drivers on the road will watch out for them.
- That an airplane will bring them to their destination safely. h. That memory beliefs from their childhood are reliable and true.
The point is that we all believe things because of evidence. Very few things in life can be proven. In the same way, I place my faith in Christ because of evidence and personal experience.
Examples of evidence for the Christian faith:
- Philosophical arguments for the existence of God, such as how the world came into being and why it seems to exhibit “beneficial order.”
- Historical arguments for the life of Jesus, such as why the four gospel accounts display overall unity yet minor diversity: Best explanation is that they were written by eye-witnesses (or close associates of them).
- Experiential evidence such as the testimonies of countless Christians whose lives have been changed by Jesus (including my own life).
What are some other things in your life that you rely on faith to believe in? How may you prove evidence for them?
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