Faith vs. Trust and Science vs. Religion

"Then a Miracle Occurs" cartoon - "I think you should be more explicit here in step two." Science vs ReligionWhat is faith, and how does it relate to trust? Are the two terms different? Does one need to have faith to engage in science or benefit from it? What is trust and what is its role in reasoning? These are the questions I will discuss and answer here.

First, we’ll consider the meaning of “faith.” The most prominent use of the term “faith” is in regard to religion, so let’s look at what it means in that sphere and apply that understanding more generally.

For Christians, the model of faith is presented in the Bible. In Matthew 18, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 18:3-4, NIV) And again, in Mark 10, Jesus says: “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15, ESV)

The reason that Jesus holds children up as models to emulate is that they tend to be “intellectually humble” (i.e. naive) and will often accept religious teachings simply, without challenging the adults by asking too many difficult questions. Ask virtually any religious 6-year-old why he believes in God, and you won’t get anything resembling rational, philosophical arguments. He accepts God because that is what his parents and minister have told him. This is faith, and this is Jesus’s ideal model.

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Israel and the Palestinians: Of War, Civilization and “Refugees”

Here is a sampling of audio, video and articles about the history of the Israeli/Palestinian-Muslim conflict and the current war in Gaza between Hamas and Israel:

An audio interview with Dr. Efraim Karsh, professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London on “The Arab-Israel Conflict and the Palestinian Refugees”:

(The original ARI page for this interview is here: “The Arab-Israel Conflict and the Palestinian Refugees”)

A video interview with Elan Journo about the current (2014) Israel/Hamas war:

Written articles:

Hamas and The Left’s Pretense about the Deaths of Innocents in Gaza

Israel and the Front Line of Civilization

Israel Has a Moral Right To Its Life

The Quran Promotes Violence Against Non-Muslims

In light of the events in Libya and the recent anniversary of 9-11, today’s post is off the topic of Objectivism, so that I can alert people about the real nature of Islam and the Quran, (anyone who is still in the dark, anyway. “Quran” is also sometimes spelled “Qur’an” or “Koran.”)

To be quite frank, those Muslims who believe in Western freedom and who accept other religions/philosophies as political equals, are actually the ones who compromise and don’t take the Quran seriously. It is the violent totalitarian Islamists who are really living by the teachings of the Quran, as advocated in that book.

The following video discusses the violent passages in the Quran, and the common “context defense” employed by Western Islamic advocates. It is very logical, clear and well presented.

This is another excellent video discussing the stages of jihad:

It should be noted that I do not necessarily endorse anything else the makers of the above videos advocate. I regard all religion as false or arbitrary, and fundamentally as a force for human suffering. (The reason for this is a subject for another post.)

Here is another video that corroborates some of what was said in the first two videos.

At its core, Islam is a totalitarian, militant, expansionist ideology. It is engineered to achieve irreversible growth. Jihad (striving for the triumph of Islam in the world) is a religious duty of all Muslims. (Quran 66:9, 9:41, Tafsir Ibn Kathir 216, 217) The “holy strategy” of Jihad was modeled for all Muslims by Muhammad: it starts with taqiyya (deception of unbelievers) and culminates in wars of aggression by Muslims to conquer non-Muslims. The Islamic government then imposes “divine” Sharia law on everyone under its jurisdiction, ensuring a privileged place for Islam, and treating non-Muslims as second-class citizens. (It is illegal to publicly practice religions other than Islam in Saudi Arabia: churches and synagogues are banned.)

Under Sharia, the penalty for leaving Islam (apostasy) is death.

Again, Islam is engineered to expand. The radical Islamic terrorists of the world will not stop their war if the US pulls out of the Middle East completely. The radical Muslims of the world (of which there are many millions) will just be emboldened to take over larger and larger territories, with their terrorist wings looking for opportune times to attack Western countries. They will search for any excuse to become outraged and carry out “reprisals”: excuses like cartoons mocking Muhammad, or criticism of Islam, or failure of governments to uphold Sharia legal standards/punishments for Muslims or those they interact with. (For evidence, observe the behavior, statements, and self-imposed “victimhood” of the Palestinians and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza.)

The threat of Islamic terrorism to the West will not end until the major countries that fund the Muslim jihadists, and give them hope, are destroyed. The prime financial supporters of Islamic terrorism are Iran and Saudi Arabia. (Also on Saudi Arabia, see: The Saudi Connection: How billions in oil money spawned a global terror network, and Pentagon Briefing by the RAND Corporation Depicted Saudis as Enemies.) Once those countries are devastated, other regimes will be so intimidated that they won’t dare slip funds to Islamic terrorists.

I recommend this article: “The Iranian and Saudi Regimes Must Go” and this book: Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism by Elan Journo.

NOTE: I request that anyone commenting to criticize, or offer another interpretation, do so only after having seen at least the entirety of the first video.

[Edited: 6-26-16: Expanded post to include significant text and links after videos.

3-14-17: Altered spelling of “Qur’an” to “Quran.”]

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Related Posts:

Israel and the Palestinians: Disputed Land “Belongs” to Whichever Government is Better at Protecting Individual Rights

Israel and the Palestinians: Of War, Civilization and “Refugees”

Ayn Rand’s Philosophy vs. Abortion Bans: Why a Fetus Doesn’t Have Rights

19th-Century Capitalism Didn’t Create Poverty, But Reduced It

The Nature of the Morality of Rational Egoism: Short Notes