Lecture / Reading

Matt McCormick: What's Wrong with Having Faith? Problems with Using Faith to Justify Religious Beliefs

Sponsored by Graduate Student Council, Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at Stanford, ASSU Undergraduate Senate


Thursday, November 8, 2012
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
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Education Building, room 128
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Religious believers often appeal to faith to justify their beliefs. Believing by faith seems to mean believing a religious claim even though the evidence on the whole is contrary to, or at least inadequate to fully support, the claim. Having faith is widely thought to be virtuous, admirable, desirable, and at the risk of being technical, epistemically acceptable. While faith is widely employed as a defense of religious belief, this answer to questions and problems with the God hypothesis is riddled with problems. It robs the believer of an important ability: she can no longer claim to that her belief is true. She opens the floodgates for other outlandish views to do the same. Faith is inconsistent with our other beliefs about important matters.

Matt McCormick is a professor of philosophy at California State University, Sacramento and author of the book “Atheism and the Case Against Christ”.

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