Yesterday I was watching a Stephen Colbert interview with Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith. Sam Harris made a very interesting statement regarding faith, and I thought I'd present it here in an altered form for folks to dissect:
Do you have a good reason to believe in God? (As opposed to having unfounded faith in the existence of God.)
- If you have a good reason, then you don't need to rely on faith.
- You don't have a good reason to, so why do you believe in God?
It's an extremely convincing argument at first glance, but it smells of trickery. After all, the logic here never seems to touch on the essential nature of the question, but instead skirts around it with devious wordplay. Like I said, I'm not interested here in whether or not God exists. Rather, I'm interested in the logic of the argument itself, and how it uses the terms "faith" and "reason". I'll start folks off:
- Are faith and reason mutually exclusive?
- Does one have to have a good reason to believe something?
- Could faith in God itself be a good reason to believe in God?