Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The prejudice of faith

Faith discriminates. In the sense that a person will choose to believe in certain ideas that are extraordinary and unsupported by evidence and reason, but won't have faith in a host of other similar unenvinced extraordinary ideas. So what then are the criteria for having faith in X but not Y? Why X instead of Y, and why neither? What kinds of claims must we have faith in? What are the characteristics of those claims for which we must forgo reason/evidence, but must believe in fully nonetheless rather than just ignore or be agnostic about?

I think if believers honestly and sincerely answered these questions they'd find that their bases would include, among others, preference, emotion, culture-centric biases/prejudices. If we scratch the surface I think we'll discover instances of special pleading--of singling out particular claims which they hold immune to rationality and rule of evidence and logic, affording them a special pass and privilege they don't grant to almost all other ideas/beliefs and areas of inquiry.

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