Faith, as you define it, can be reasonable in certain circumstances. The Wright brothers did have some evidence that getting off the ground was doable, and it was possible to test their hypotheses to see if they could translate into successful human flight. That said, you are correct that until their efforts bore fruit it was to a large extent a faith based initiative.

Theological claims aren’t testable, and yet are often presented with greater certainty and conviction than I suspect the Wright brothers ever expressed about their endeavor. As you say, faith’s fans ruined it. Regardless, when something is presented as a fact without any evidence to back it up or means of testing its truth, we have no choice but to “take the bait” and challenge it as unreasonable. To do otherwise is to concede our kids should be taught intelligent design in school or that sending grandma to a faith healer is just as good as the treatment her doctor recommended.

I have no problem with anyone who honestly tells me they believe something and that their belief helps them get through the day. Their use of the word belief, if they are are applying it properly, should represent an acknowledgement that they don’t know and therefore signal that it comes with no expectation that I also adopt the belief. But when belief starts to become conflated with fact or knowledge, calling people/institutions out on it — albeit as respectfully as possible — is essential to checking societal regression. Too many have taken to seeing any challenge to their ideas (or beliefs that they take rather too seriously) as offensive, when in fact it’s what we do in a free and open society that participates in the market place of ideas. That said, if everyone had your take on faith, it wouldn’t receive nearly the attention and debate that it does.

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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