Faith - Criticism

Criticism

Some critics argue that religious faith is irrational and see faith as ignorance of reality: a strong belief in something with no evidence and sometimes a strong belief in something even with evidence against it. Bertrand Russell noted, "Where there is evidence, no one speaks of 'faith'. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence." In the rationalist view, belief should be restricted to direct observation in the past and present.

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins criticizes all faith by generalizing from specific faith in propositions that conflict directly with scientific evidence. He describes faith as mere belief without evidence; a process of active non-thinking. He states that it is a practice that only degrades our understanding of the natural world by allowing anyone to make a claim about nature that is based solely on their personal thoughts, and possibly distorted perceptions, that does not require testing against nature, has no ability to make reliable and consistent predictions, and is not subject to peer review.

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