Faith is just a fantasy and a crutch for the weak

Faith is just a fantasy and a crutch for the weak

The main issue is not faith itself

Some say that faith in God is just a fantasy. This means then that a few billions of people are led astray. Moreover, faith is something we all use to make sense out of life. Human rights, for instance, is a value based on faith. I cannot prove human rights to be objectively true. The issue then is not so much, is faith part of my life, but, rather, is my faith “justified belief?” Can I support my faith with reason and evidence? More importantly, will I follow the evidence wherever it leads? That’s the main issue.

Things that keep people from faith

What keeps people from believing in God? Many times it is not a rational but more a psychological barrier. Will your academic environment reject you? Your colleagues may think that faith is irrational. Will my colleagues write me off because I believe in God? Besides, I may need to change my lifestyle if faith in God is real. This may not be convenient at all. I may not want to change my lifestyle. It is not easy to give up some pleasures and commit our lives to God. Therefore, atheism or agnosticism may be a good policy. I can live my life without external restrains. I can keep my autonomy and do what I want.

Faith is a crutch for the weak

Sigmund Freud said that religious beliefs are just “illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest, and most urgent wishes of mankind.” People feel helpless and therefore are looking for a father figure to protect them. There is nothing more to faith in God than this. But are people right in saying this? Let us have a closer look.

Faith is not a crutch for the weak

First, not many used the father figure for God before the coming of Jesus. In this sense, Jesus was the first to make this concept a central part of his teaching.

Moreover, you can turn the argument around. People don’t want to lose their autonomy. Therefore, they might project the idea that faith in God is just a fantasy, a crutch for the weak.

Furthermore, this confuses the “origin of a belief with its epistemological warrant.” This is the genetic fallacy, “faulting the belief because of its origin.” For instance, 2×2=4, but my teacher is an evil person. Therefore, I am not so certain that 2×2=4.

Someone rightly said that the God of the Bible would not be a good candidate for a father figure that provides protection. This is a holy and just God. He calls people to follow his ways. Also, many Christians have to suffer more because of their faith instead of less. In many places, there is hostility against Christians. Why should someone follow a God that will make life more difficult?

Finally, some people really wish that there is no God. Thomas Nagel once said, “I want atheism to be true … I hope that there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

An honest way forward

One of the most famous atheists of the 20th century was Antony Flew. For Flew, “to follow where the evidence leads” was very important! Admittedly, he never became a Christian. But he came to the conclusion that there was enough evidence that there is a theistic God. He said, “the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries.” He was impressed with the intelligent design argument. An honest person would follow Flew’s advice and “follow where the evidence leads.”

Evidence for the existence of God

It is worthwhile to look at some pointers for the existence of God. Let me name a few. The fine-tuning of the universe is appealing to many people. The universe is fine-tuned so that life is made possible on planet earth. Here is a short clip that explains in more detail the amazing precision with which this universe is functioning. Here is a link with more pointers for the existence of God.

There is also good historical evidence that God exists and that the Christian faith makes good sense.  Jesus was a real historical person. He claimed to be the son of God and predicted his resurrection from the dead. This practically means that God showed up in history in the person of Jesus. Moreover, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a well established historical fact. It is based on the New Testament documents. These documents are some of the most reliable ancient documents we have.

Finally, faith in God explains better many things we observe around us and within us. The power of the Christian faith to explain the universe, in particular, makes it very attractive to me personally.

Leave a comment or ask a question. I will be happy to respond and share my thoughts with you.

 

Notes

– A place for truth. ed. Dallas Willard

– Scaling the secular city. J.P. Moreland

– Reasonable Faith animated videos

– Is Christianity a psychological crutch? Daniel Rodger

– Christian Apologetics. Douglas Groothuis

 

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