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Faith appears to be a placeholder term and its meaning shifts depending on whom you ask.

According to the bible, faith means “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, esv).

In the plain sense, this means that you cannot be sure – an assurance based on hope and without direct evidence. Some might claim this excludes the four other senses that provide direct evidence, but this is a childishly silly response; I doubt the same people would want the same pedantic knee-jerk applied to all the other verses in scripture. So, faith is explicitly stated as without physical evidence, and this comports with other uses in scripture (i.e. “doubting” thomas).

Additionally, the Christian faith is (currently) centered around “knowing” that God exists, it loves you, and wants a personal relationship with you. Since the Christian 'sees by faith,' then 'knowing' is immediately and obviously impossible. Hope is possible and feeling is possible, but that is all.

Thinking about this mathematically, using F and E for 'faith' and 'evidence' and K for 'reasonable conclusion':

For a believer, K = F + E. For a nonbeliever, K = E

Since F = 'things I hope for' and hope has no place in an unbiased search for truth, it has no place in a search for 'K' and will more than likely drive the equation to a false 'K'

On more speculative terms – why would a God create a world full of measurable and unbreakable physical laws, then require - demand even - that it be sought in a way that excludes evidence? It cannot be for reasons as trite as 'love' as evidence doesn't exclude love. I suspect it has to do with the unfalsifiable nature of the argument by faith – it is an argument which can never be totally defeated.

faith.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/10 09:38 by glennd