Why Does The Idea Of Having Faith Get a Bad Rep?


If you are in a burning building, and there is only one exit, is it not reasonable to have hope that there is safety on the other side? Would it not also be irrational to give up hope and stay in the building on the premise that we don’t know whats on the other side of the door?

We find ourselves in a world that generally has two existential possibilities regarding the human condition.

  1. There is no meaningful significance, moral value, or purpose beyond what we imagine inside our heads, and ultimately when the human race dies our lives and what we imagined to achieve will amount to absolutely nothing.

  2. Our existence and our actions really mean something, and has purpose, and our lives will not ultimately come to nothing but will become something greater than we can imagine.

Why would someone choose option 1 merely on the basis of not knowing? Is that a reasonable skepticism, or is it negative pessimism disguised as something reasonable?

Is it not reasonable to have hope in something greater rather than resign to oblivion in the absence of evidence?

It seems to me that option two is the very definition of being positive, and i venture to argue that it is more rational to have hope than to not have hope.

The Fruit of Pascals Wager

it scares people who have no faith, is my humble opinion. They must confront their denial or not, of God.

they are not ready yet, but still on that journey to find God.


I observe that what bothers people is not faith so much as other people who make demands of them based on faith claims


Is it rational to believe an exit door even exists? If there is such a door, how do you pick the right key?

Dropping the metaphor, is it reasonable to choose a wish-fulfilling fantasy (from a plethora of mutually exclusive options) over non-belief or agnosticism simply because it feels better? Can reason pick the right one of those faith options? You have to get that second part right.

The answer to your question is widespread non-acceptance of your second premise, not a reasoned choice of an obviously inferior option (excepting cases of actual evil).

Faith is a gift. You cannot reason to belief in The Revelation. It must be both given and received. Hardened hearts, stumbling blocks and foolishness, sown seeds snatched up, etc.


If you know it’s a fantasy then yes that would be unreasonable. Also, i am not talking about particulars, the flying spaghetti monster, peter pan, Loch Ness monster etc. I’m am talking about two metaphysical definitions of reality. In one possible reality there is no meaning, moral truth, or purpose, and in the other there is moral truth, meaning and purpose. It’s simply a question of whether it is reasonable to have faith or resign to the other possibility.


Rational is kind of subjective.


So you don’t think it’s reasonable to save your life, or go to a doctor when your sick, or do that which brings the greatest good?

So an insane person is not really insane he is just insane relative to our preferences?


That depends on what you think is good in a world without God. With God it is different.


The answer is fairly simple if one takes the time to accurately observe the lives of those who are “anti” faith.


I don’t agree, bc the vast majority of my friends are atheists.
There is no fear, none.
It’s a calm serene view that everyone having faith is gullible at best, and worse perjoratives at worst. I sort of understand the position, bc I feel that way about the vast majority of adiaphora people cling to.


Why Does The Idea Of Having Faith Get a Bad Rep?

ISIS have faith. The Buddhists attacking the Rohingya in Myanmar have faith. Al-Qaeda have faith. Northern Irish terrorists have faith. Paedophile priests have faith. Fake ‘faith healers’ have faith (or at least they pretend to).

Sometimes that bad rep is deserved.

Specifically in America, some forms of Christian faith have attached themselves to one political party, and that obviously makes adherents of other parties view that form of faith badly. “You cannot be a Tru-Christian™ unless you vote for a serial adulterer who grabs women by the Felis catus.”

Yes, faith can inspire much good; it can also inspire the opposite:

With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.

– Steven Weinberg



Religion is in no way required for good people to do evil. Many do evil - by commission or omission - simply by running with the current of popular opinion or by choosing to be silent when they should be heard.


How lovely the world would be if the question stopped there.

Unfortunately, what tends to happen is that some of those with faith seem to find it very important that their version of faith be the dominant paradigm of society.

And then the trouble begins…which leads to the bad rep of the title


mine are atheists too, the vast majority. but they are for the most, very fearful of hell stories and the idea of hell.

they dismiss these with much vehemence and rhetoric. Thats my first clue. They will remain calm and deny God. but mention evil and the devil and the occult and hell… emotions start running riot.

My wonderful priest says atheists are very few in reality, most who profess atheism are agnostic, and on their journey home to God. the Agnosticism /atheism is a phase many go through on this journey.

there is also quite a difference between faith and belief.


If they believe in hell they are not A-theists. As in without-a-god. They believe in something, so not atheists.
I am talking about the people who do not acknowledge the supernatural at all. And they don’t have fear.


They do not believe in God, they do not believe in angels in the Catholic sense, but they variously believe in angels in a new age kind of way. New age of course being an open door to evil. They have a variety of beliefs that may include believe in astrology, psychics, spirit guides , reincarnation, Buddha, various good fortune myths,
They believe in evil,

It showed me there is a big difference between faith and belief.


You still don’t get it.

They do not believe in the supernatural. Period.
When they die, they die.

They have no fear of heaven or hell.


They think that those with faith are fools and that their lack of belief in the supernatural equates to intellectual superiority.


Those with one faith all too often think that those of a different faith are fools and that their own belief in the correct version of the supernatural equates to intellectual superiority.



This is not an analogy for faith. It’s not so much about hope but a guess that nothing outside the burning building could be worse. Are you implying that without hope of a blissful out, life is that terrible?

Short version … They find claims unbelievable. Whether it would feel better or not it just isn’t believable.

Why pessimism? Based on a few conversion stories I’ve read/heard I think the argument about “meaning” is a reason many who do convert. But might I suggest that “meaning” as used here is not a real issue for many atheists.

Edit: darn autocorrect

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