Losing Faith and Faith is Not a Virtue

Hands down, the video at the bottom of this post is one of the best videos I’ve seen about losing faith. It almost exactly mirrors my own experience, minus the abuse at the hands of my parents. In my case, my parents just gave me weird looks and refused to talk about religion with me, probably so that they could maintain their own religious belief.

Some of my extended family on the other hand, have openly argued with me (which I encourage because it means a discussion) at family functions.

This video also succinctly explains why faith is not a virtue. Faith provides the perfect venue for hiding lies and perpetuating those lies by demanding that evidence to the contrary never be sought, and be ignored if it’s presented. It also explains why so many debates or discussions with believers can be so frustrating, as they struggle against hearing or even entertaining any ideas you may present to them.

The sadness I feel is nearly overwhelming when I read stories like the one about albinos being systematically murdered in Tanzania because some people superstitiously believe that their hair and body parts might bring good luck:

Albino people, who lack pigment in their skin and appear pale, are killed because potions made from their body parts are believed to bring good luck and wealth.

More than 70 albinos have been killed over the last three years in Tanzania, while there have been only 10 convictions for murder, campaigners say.

In the most recent case, in May, a woman was hacked to death.

“We’re being killed like animals. Please pray for us,” one albino woman sings, at an event called to promote the rights of albinos.

*bold lettering is mine*

While suffering at the hands of superstition, they’re asking for their own brand of superstition (in this case prayer and by extension their deity) to protect them. And I could find several more news stories that are similar to this one; people dying because of one superstition, followed by the victim calling out for their own superstition to protect them.

The article also says in the side bar that:

Indeed. Education is the key, but also understanding the seemingly endless loop of superstition that can add and sometimes fuel such atrocities.

Why do we teach that faith is a virtue when it clearly isn’t? In no other area do we teach that believing something without evidence is a good thing. When we examine an idea, in what other area do we think it acceptable to label people as abominations, immoral, destined for hell and misery etc. in order to drown out their point of view? And if we do those things, we face social ramifications because the people around us realize that questioning, honest inquiry and evidence are the cornerstones for finding out the truth of something.

I’ve even been told (several times) that because I’m an atheist now, I was never a Christian. What better way to protect your belief system than to nullify anything someone might say by labeling them as someone not to be listened too.

For example:

Both Psalm 14:1andPsalm 53:1read, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Some take these verses to mean that atheists are stupid, i.e., lacking intelligence. However, that is not the only meaning of the Hebrew word translated “fool.” In this text, the Hebrew word isnabal, which often refers to an impious person who has no perception of ethical or religious truth. The meaning of the text is not “unintelligent people do not believe in God.” Rather, the meaning of the text is “sinful people do not believe in God.” In other words, it is a wicked thing to deny God, and a denial of God is often accompanied by a wicked lifestyle. The verse goes on to list some other characteristics of the irreligious: “They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; / there is no one who does good.”Psalm 14is a study on the universal depravity of mankind.

In other words, they are not righteous (and you God believer are), they are sinful and wicked for not believing, and their ideas, evidence and logic can be simply dismissed.

Translation: DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!

In my mind, faith is the exact opposite of a virtue. It demands obedience without evidence and unless you break away from the very concept of it being a virtue, you’ll never examine your own beliefs in an honest and open manner. Whenever you encounter contradictions, you will invariably rely on your belief that faith is a virtue and that other people know the answers. You will rely on insufficient, contradictory books that were written during a severely ignorant time in humanities history, instead of looking at all of the combined evidence we have since gathered.

So if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and feel free to comment whether you agree with me or disagree. I also hope you enjoy the video if you have time to take a look.

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7 Comments

  1. the albino story is disturbing. It has been going on for some time now and it seems the government isn’t doing much to help them.
    whenever someone refers me to that Psalm, I tell them only a fool says in his heart there is no god, a wise person says it loudly

    • Haha. I like that quote!

      I once read a news story about a woman who was doused in kerosene and was burned because she was thought to be a witch. Just one of the many disturbing faith based stories I’ve read, each one outlining the reasons (one of them anyways) why i do this blog.

      “Evangelical pastor among five people arrested for dousing 72-year-old Ama Hemmah in kerosene and setting her ablaze. A 72-year-old Ghanaian woman has been burned to death on suspicion of being a witch, prompting condemnation from the country’s human rights groups.

      Ama Hemmah was allegedly tortured into confessing she was a witch, doused in kerosene and set alight. She suffered horrific burns and died the following day.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/29/ghanaian-woman-burned-death-witch

      Or:

      “The problem is especially palpable in India. Two weeks ago in a small Indian village not far from Nepal, Saraswati Devi, 45, was accused of being a witch after a local mystic identified her as having practiced black magic, reported The Washington Post. Over a dozen villagers beat Devi to death as punishment, while her two children tried to intervene. Though Devi’s husband identified her attackers and notified police, no arrests were made, news reports reveal.

      Saraswati’s is just one of many gruesome witch tales out of India. Some 2,097 individuals have been murdered due to accusations of witchcraft between 2000 and 2012, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau in India, as reported by the Indian newspaper Mint. ”

      http://www.livescience.com/47129-nepalese-woman-killed-for-witchcraft.html

      It’s the price we pay for superstition and those people have forever been robbed of their life.

  2. I’m so glad you commented on my blog. I technically follow your blog, but wasn’t subscribed by email, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I am a former “born again Christian” who is now an Atheist, and consider myself to be “saved” by science. I was a true believer. I had “spiritual” experiences, led bible studies in my home, and went on mission trips to “spread the word”. Of all the things I regret, I regret indoctrinating impoverished countries the most. Those people had next to nothing and were watching their children get sick and die, due to unclean water supplies. They made for easy converts (aka easy targets). There’s a reason why mission trips to Manhattan or The South of France are unheard of! I have a lot to say, but this is already the longest comment I’ve ever left on a blog. I’ll be following your blog for real now.

    • Wow. You must have a lot of interesting stories. I could probably sit there and pick your brain for hours.

      I agree and find it reprehensible when people take advantage of people who are vulnerable. It drives me crazy. But I also know that sometimes the people who are doing it really believe they’re helping. The organization itself probably knows better but often the front line missionaries don’t.

      Thanks so much for the comment. You’rte welcome here any time. 🙂

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