Do You Have Blind Faith?

Are you following your religion blindly?  Do you divorced your logic and reason from your religious convictions? Certain people seem to do that and teach others the same : that there is a dichotomy between faith and reason.   The fundamentalists and certain atheists are wrong about this.  It is so outdated and such a caricature of faith that is frustrating to explain it.  But because it comes up again and again, we need to address it, again and again.  Tertullian famously asked “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Or what has reason or logic to do with faith or religion?

It is easy to pick apart random non-thinking masses who are religious and assume that the entire edifice of religion is mindless as well.  We can pick out mindless atheists and assume all atheists are like them.  That is not fair.  It is a false generalization and a logical fallacy.

There are many schools of thought on the issue of faith and reason.

Not all embrace a dichotomy of one over the other as many atheists like Dr. Peter Boghossian, Philosophy Instructor at Portland State University (author of A Manual for Creating Atheistsbelieves. Boghossian writes,

“faith is pretending to know what you don’t know.”

Trent Horn is right in his critique.  He wrote that Boghossian is A Manual for Creating Atheistsmischaracterizing faith. “The use of the word “pretending” is inaccurate because it assumes the religious person knows deep down that his beliefs are not justified and he is engaging in a kind of malicious charade. This stands in contrast to the person who thinks he knows what he knows but is actually mistaken.”

What about false religious beliefs?  Yes, these are possible! See here. Even cult members and the vast overwhelming majority of world religious religious would have “mistaken beliefs” instead of “pretending to know what he knows.”   Most of these people would be sincerely wrong according to atheism, not pretending to know what they don’t. Boghossian builds his whole on this straw-man argument. And he begins to demolish this belief, which believers in God (especially theistic ones) do not even hold to!

Not all believers check their brains at the door when they embrace their religion.  See Reasonable Faith a critique of this book and its Strawman arguments.

GK Chesterton wrote that

“theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.”

 Let’s be clear here.  Faith, as understood by the Biblical texts, is not unwarranted or unjustified or blind belief.  That is a caricature of faith.   

What is the difference between Reasonable Faith vs Blind Faith?

Blind faith is believing without evidence without reason and without any critique.  It is foolish as buying a house without seeing it or know what the exact price or location will be. True, some believers have this kind of faith–but it is not a mature faith.

Biblical faith, even if you disagree with it, is a faith based on evidence.  Its a belief in rather than a belief that. A great blog on this is here.

The Biblical word for faith is Pistis in Greek (used 228 times in the New Testament)  Emunah in Hebrew  (occurs 49 times in the Old Testament) is best understood as trust or confidence in someone.

Hebrews 11:1 :

“ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The Greek words behind assurance (hypostasis) and conviction (elenchos) are multivalent.

Many scholars have attempted word studies of these many-faceted words, with varying results.  I won’t attempt to here.  But I can say that faith is a confidence (assurance) and conviction by which people act without seeing immediate results—it is a form of trust. Trust in a person. This trust or faith does not necessarily involve cognitive or demonstrable certainty. Rather, it causes Christians to act in ways that are inexplicable to those without that trust. [See Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, ed. Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997).]

Faith is not blind. Unbelief is blind (John 9:38–41). Faith is seeing a reality that physical eyes can’t see and believing it (1 Peter 1:8). See this for more

If one is interested in pursuing the truth about this idea, rather than ideology and perpetual misunderstandings, consider the work of Reasons to BelieveThey have this wonderful article on the issue showing that faith, the Biblical kind, does require reason.

For something more academic I strongly recommend the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy  and the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 

What do you think?  Is it ever reasonable to believe blindly? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Cesar Sanchez

    I am not a master or PHD. in any topic, but I think that we can’t cut and separate the innocent, faithful, and almost blinded love with which some people live their religion. It might has a scientific foundation. I mean, we can deduct that existence is possible through our senses as an infallible evidence. I don’t want to fall in a generic doubt like Descartes, but If we can feel each of our sense what about the common sense (the union of all senses which prevent us from many dangerous situations when we feel something uncomfortable) If we can feel without any teaching that something like pray is a thing that we want to do and follow, if someone does not so good studying or reasoning his beliefs, can we say about this feeling of doing what is right (faith) is almost wrong or fool.
    Once I heard a priest friend of mine who said that in his church there was a man who spend long time every day smiling and this person never was speaking or praying, just smiling and seen to the center image on the altar. One day my friend questioned the person about his strange way to spend the time. The person said “I am seeing Him (God), He sees me and I see Him” . My friend said me that it was the most pure form of pray that he saw in many years.
    I think that people who love God purely even without arguments or logic could be approaching to God as people who have a different way to learn or expressing themselves.
    I agree with you in not just believe in something because somebody said it. But may be there is more than a single way to get to Rome.

  • Andromédē Atreides

    “Biblical faith, even if you disagree with it, is a faith based on, what Christians think, is evidence.” This statement is oxymoronic. Faith by definition is any belief not based on proof. If there’s factual evidence of something, it is not faith, it’s fact. I also read the article dealing with believing in and believing that, and it says that from the context of how the word faith is used in the Torah, it doesn’t mean taking the word of god being true but trusting in god to keep its word, if I understood that correctly. The next paragraph it says that this was a man who suffered from delusions, believing that he foresaw the future and if I understood the paragraph before that correctly, spoke with god, another delusion. So here this article is drawing a difference between people who are ignorant and people suffering from psychotic disorders. I don’t think I fall in either of these categories. I’m a logical person, who understands that faith and belief are irrational. Living that way is dangerous, people that fail to guess at all possible outcomes based on truths don’t fare well. As an example that’s not rooted in theology, one of my professors told us a story about how he’d spoke with his friend a few times a week for a month about picking him up from the airport, so he KNEW he’d be there. Well, the friend didn’t show up and he didn’t make any other plans to get to his parents’ house. I think this is a great example of how faith is dangerous. Whenever I’m in a situation like this, I always plan for what could go wrong, I give myself multiple outs because I do not blindly trust anything within reason.

    • Thanks for these insights Cesar.
      Yes, we do not need to be professional apologists to be good Christians. One can live a life that shines the love of God without having all the philosophical reasons articulated or questions answered.
      However, when pushed on it, and in times of doubt, having a reasoned defense prepared will enable one to provide sound reasons to others and to one’s own soul. (Example: What is the difference between your God and Santa Claus or Krishina?)
      I know that apologetics did not help get me saved at 14 but at 20 when my doubts began to come in, apologetics was used by God to keep me in the faith. Once I knew that what I believed was in fact true (or had rational reasons behind it), not just wishful thinking, I was able to maintain my faith in the face of objections and struggles.

      • Andromédē Atreides

        Hello Mr. Sweis

        So biblical faith is based on the events that are said to have taken place in the bible and therefore are reasonable because the text documents actual events making biblical faith reasonable because it’s based on biblical evidence? I want to make sure I fully understand before I comment further.

        • Hi Andromede,
          A circular argument this would be if I said yes 🙂
          Biblical faith is a faith that is based on evidence that leads one to trust the source of that information.
          Hebrews 11:1 and 6:
          “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen … And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

          Michael Ramsden said it best, “Faith is knowing that God is real, and knowing that you can trust his promises. You cannot trust someone who isn’t there. You cannot rely on someone if you think that their promises are not reliable. This is why faith is talked about as the ‘substance’ of things not seen and as the ‘evidence’ of things hoped for. Both words carry with them a sense of reality … Faith does not make God real. Faith is a response to a real God who has made himself known.”

          I trust or have faith in my wife, why? Because she had a track record I can believe. Based on the evidence of her truthfulness to me, I can have faith in her or trust in her when I am away to be true to me.

          That is the Biblical Faith I am taking about. The question before the non-believer and believer alike is, is the object of your faith, God, real or make believe? But that is for another debate.

          • Andromédē Atreides

            Hello Mr. Sweis,

            Ahh, well in light of this explanation, I hold to my original response . I don’t want to offend anyone and this is a very sensitive topic for many, but there is a huge difference between trusting that someone will behave in accordance to consistent previous behavior and believing in something that there is no actual evidence of.

    • Hello Andromédē Atreides,

      Thanks for sharing.
      But you have misunderstood my article.
      You seem to be making the same error that Boghossian has made about religious faith, the Biblical kind any way.
      The kind of faith you are talking about would fall under blind faith, not Biblical faith. See
      The typical dictionary does not distinguish between the two types of faith, and I was trying to do that.
      Many atheists do not care or take the time to study theology, thus they have a caricature or a superficial understanding of faith. Thus, they provide logical fallacious, starw-man arguments against a position that most believers, who think, do not even hold to.
      However, many believers are living lives of “blind” faith and an unthinking faith that makes others look bad. But these people should not be used as examples of essential faith. In the same way atheists who have a “don’t read the bible” just “attack it” mentality should not be used as examples of all atheists.
      Thanks for your post

  • Blind Faith is something that a child does; believes whatever he or she is told. While reasonable faith is when someone can come to the conclusion themselves what religion they are without being told. I do think that some people never move beyond this point in their faith, regardless of what it might be. There are three stages of religious development, the first is a child being told stories that usually lasts until age 8. After that children can focus on details of the story and start to think about the story in their own way instead of the way it was explained. At age 14 people start to think abstractly and come up with their own beliefs. I do not think many people make it past the second stage. Religion becomes a habit for some people. They get into the habit of going to church, praying before dinner, and having a bible placed somewhere in their house to guests can see. If you live in a religious town or have religious friends you might be looked down on for not doing these things. If people were to think negatively of you for having a different religion them themselves that would probably halt abstract thinking towards religion. Our education also impacts the way we think about religion as well. In America some great universities have a religious background, forcing students to have 2 semesters to graduate. What classes are offered at these institutions also effects the way we think about religion. I do not think we can ever really know if someone if thinking for themselves or blindly following because of all the outside influences we have.

    • Jasmine
      Thanks for this post. May I ask where you got the information on different stages of belief ? It sounds interesting.

  • Jacqueline Landeros

    I believe that in the society in which children are growing up in that majority of these children believe in a God just because their parents tell them to. since so many parents now a days have work on the weekends or are busy with other errands they do not have time to take their child to church or teach them the true meaning of the religion they are in. I myself grew up that way. my parents are catholic and tell me I am the same and I should believe in God, saints and more but yet do not take me to church or explain the bible to me. I believe in a sense I have blind faith because I do not fully understand the concept. I do not reject or accept the religion I am because either would be wrong to do without the right knowledge and also because I cannot disprove that something exist.

  • Briana Price

    I myself can say I do not have blind faith. I need evidence and proof of something before I can actually go along with it. I believe though I have met many people with blind faith. My grandma would always tell me how she hated church because it never made sense to her and when she would ask questions, she would be scolded and called a “fast child”. I realized myself I could not just buy into religions so easily, no matter how much they made me feel happy or sad, I needed to know more. Blind faith is something that is very dangerous, an example being ISIS. If I were to have a religion, I believe I would have reasonable faith, because questions and solid answers are very important to me.

  • Antawn Anderson

    Hey Professor Sweiss

    I think that your identification of faith is correct, however when you relate it to substantial fact/evidence is where your argument isn’t as convincing. Faith itself is a belief not a fact, but any belief that hasn’t been tested is faulty. Biblical passages give us justification of the faith we have right? But what does that matter if we haven’t seen or experienced our own beliefs at work in the world around us. Just because you write a letter doesn’t make every word in it the truth. So the proof is not in the bible, though it lays the foundation. The evidence comes from the miracles we experience in our own lives, or from the acknowledgement of the favor of God. Non-believers call this coincidence or luck, but any one who knows the Lord (knowledgeable of the bible and believes in the words) and are called according to his purpose recognize favor.

  • Jonathan Gilson

    With biblical faith, how can you prove that God is there? I get that biblical faith is belief in, not belief that but without any proof that He’s there, isn’t it all “Blind Faith”? Also, if you believe that He’s real but at the same time you question it, do you still have faith?

  • Nicole Michelle Haskins

    Nicole Michelle Haskins
    28, 2015

    of Religion

    I grew up in the tradition of Christianity. It became a ritual of Monday youth
    Bible study classes, Tuesday Church Potlucks, Thursday Choral Practice and the
    cherry topper to our weekly pulse of Jesus himself, we marched into a 3 hour
    church service every Sunday. As a
    Child, I found Church activities exhausting, but then again between the ages of
    4 and 11, I found anything that didn’t include television and snacks

    I turned 14 I felt my faith shift. I grew up in a deeply religious household
    and subsequently attended a Religious Based Private school from pre-school
    until 8th grade. I
    prayed out of habit but never with the belief or faith that someone or an idea
    of someone was listening. A lot of
    things changed for me as a young girl transitioning from a gated Private school
    to a public inner city High School.
    My faith along with my laundered plaid uniform was left behind. Zaheer
    Rayasat, from the first article talked of the Muslim Religion being a “a theological, philosophical
    position.” I completely agree. A person’s religion is simply a position in their spiritual life,
    a small starting point or ending point or even a wavering portion renting space
    in the middle somewhere, but it isn’t the entire journey.

    Religion should be an aid through life
    and not the bedazzled prison it can become for some believers. I, along
    with Ravi Zacharias, was rescued from Illusion of Religion. I abanded my religious
    upbrining and decided to believe on my own terms. I made a decision to really
    understand what I had be browbeaten into blindly believing as a child. I was
    not given a choice to believe.

    As an Adult, though I do not subscribe to the
    Christian Religion , I do chose to live my life in a way that reflects the
    teachings of Jesus Christ. This
    method brings me the most spiritual freedom and happiness. My spiritual journey
    is far from being complete but knowing that I have the freedom and choice to choose
    gives me peace.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Nicole. That is quite a journey you had.
      It is my hope your parents meant it for good and that you are making the best from it.
      What do you think makes the choice you follow now, not “blind” per the distinctions I made above?

  • Joseph R.

    Believing blindly works for very few things but religion can be one of them. On the other hand a street gang is not. With that being said, I think it is important for us as humans to utilize what makes us human and that is the “why?” question. It allows us to understand things on a whole other level and has been the reason our society is as advanced as it is. The saying, “the blind leading the blind” never really has a positive connotation. And literally, being blind is not a good thing. So why one would do anything “blindly” when you have the ability to make a conscious decision for yourself, boggles me. In my opinion it is reasonable to follow religion blindly, but why would you when you have the ability to question and that ability is what sets you apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.

  • marcello

    I believe that us as humans have a choice whether or not we want to believe in religion. Every person is free to make their own decisions in their lives to know what they want to believe, now I’am not saying that someone should not believe, because I myself believe in God. But after reading the article it seemed a little pushy on wanting people to believe in religion and God. It was trying to make someone believe that religion should be something that all humans should base their lives around, which I dont believe should be the case, it is more powerful when someone believes because they want to. But overall an interesting article to read.

  • Xin Chen

    First of all, I do believe that people have the right to choose either practice religions or not to believe it. However, I think blind faith is not good because there might be some misunderstanding messages sent out by it and if people are hurt, so that would be a bad case. In this case, religion is not the problem, the problem is the people who spead the message out. Other than blind faith, I think people are lack of “TRUST” in this world. This is the real problem of many issues. One doesnt trust the other one due to differences or races. But all that stuff is up to how people want to take it. It is reasonable to believe religion and gain more knowledge about it. This is an interesting article to read.

  • Jamie Villa

    I believe that blind
    faith is similar to our readings in chapter four, Exploring the Philosophy of Religion. You can climb only so high to the top of the
    evidence mountain before you must jump and have faith that God will be there. I
    don’t believe that I have blind faith. This is probably because it is very hard
    for me to believe in the bible as my
    evidence of God. For a lot of believers they
    use the scriptures of the bible at testament and evidence of Gods existence.
    This forms their faith of reason and this is why it is not considered having
    blind faith. This is a reason why I am taking a philosophy of religion
    class. I want to know and understand both
    sides. (I have to read the whole bible to know more: working on that) I want to
    understand theistic views as well as atheistic views. So that it can strengthen
    my understanding of God and give me powerful reason to believe that God is
    Christ. See I think it’s the concept of
    God having to be Christ is where I fall into a puddle of unknowing. I understand that the concept is so great that
    it is just beyond my possible knowing.
    But to me God is the universe it’s the creation and the vibrations of
    this world. It is the love as well as
    the suffering we experience. It is the
    concept that all things in this universe our connected that creates the reality
    we see and continue experience. I
    believe in God, but I’m afraid I need more understand as to why I should put
    that faith in a moral law giver.

  • Yolanda Parker

    Professor Sweis,
    Respectfully, you have given me a deep and rigourous thought process to begin to even attempt to answer this seemingly basic question.. As you stated, in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith its the substance of things hopes for, the evidence of things not seen”. I can remember as far back as 5 years of age when my mother passed. I can clearly remember the feeling of isolation to come standing in the cold cemetery. As I was only a child, I can still remember the feeling of a still, very strange, immense yet invisible comfort encompassing be in my grief. Is that considered blind faith? I knew even though I was sad, and I knew I would not see my mother again on earth, still something(faith) allowed me to embrace even at this very young age, that I would see again one day. With Grandma as raising my brother and I, we had to attend Sunday school, Pentecost Sunday, regular church, and everything else that happened at church on Sunday including dinner. Lol.. Although a lot of us would get pinched for not sitting still, falling asleep or not paying attention, after 4 hours of “church” incoherently a lot of the spoken word dictated each Sunday and every Sunday kept its place somewhere deep down in my head and heart, even if it was bit by bit, piece by piece it remained hidden, protected, for times such as these in 2015. No, I didn’t see Lazarus raised from the dead, Jesus nailed to a cross and ridieng on the 3rd day, neither did I see the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Jesus heal the sick, nor when Jesus fed the multitudes of people with 5 loaves of bread and two fish… However at the age of 38, divorced, burying 2 children, and suffering many afflictions such as Job encountered, how can I not believe blindly, that God can restore, replenish and replace what the worms have eaten away? Joel 2:25 “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer worm, my great army which I sent amingst you.” With that scripture itself, God’s word can never return to him void, it never has, and never will. God promised tribulation, and trials, however he promised to never leave nor forsake me. So I must believe unseen miracles, the testimonials of many generations of how good God has been through all generations from the very beginning.Lastly, I have 2 children that God has called home to his kingdom, and with “blind faith” “essential faith” and/ or even unshakeable faith, I continue to believe we all we see our loved ones again, and God will bring to full fruition his divine plan for those who love him, and believe in faith that these things shall come to pass.. Amen

    Yolanda Parker

    • Thanks for that thoughtful and frank post Yolanda!
      It is not blind faith that you believe you will see your children again, because he, Jesus, has given us historically verifiable evidence that he died and rose from the dead. Because he lives, and does not lie, we can have reasonable
      faith that he will give us our loved ones too!

  • Joe McClendon

    Is it ever reasonable to believe blindly?

    Yes, if you are directing your believe entirely in God, this to me is synonymous with Faith in God. As mentioned, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So in order to have Faith one must believe in God, so to blindly believe in the One who created the Universe, to me is a sure thing; and I would be willing to die for because He died for me first so without His crucifixion on the cross, I would not be able to even think this way.

  • lena torres

    This article starts with explaining that there are false generalizations that people make for both religious and atheists. Sweis says that it is not fair and outdated to think that people are just following religion blindly. It is possible for people to “pretend” and have an underlying feeling that what they do is not real. It is also possible for people to also be mistaken.

    Blind faith believes with out proof and Biblical faith believes with truth. How is that so? Bible stories are not real; I thought they are stories to teach how a person should be. I do agree that there must be a degree of trust in religion because when “God answers a prayer” it’s not always right away or obvious. I think that someone that really believes that God is going to do something, needs to just trust that he will take care of it in his own way. I do not think it is reasonable to believe blindly because why would someone want to do that? I think that maybe people who are gradually learning the basics of their religion might have to believe blindly until they grasp it all. I personally compare this to any other relationship; I do not think I could go into a relationship thinking a person is going to be the ideal guy, marry him, and find out later who he really is. I would need to get to know him, spend time learning about him and make sure we are a good fit. I think it should be the same for religion.

  • Lorena Perez

    In the article about blind faith professor Sweiss discusses how people tend to have blind faith. One may be following their religion blindly without fully understanding the meaning. Other people may also think they know what is right but are sometimes mistaken. Having faith is like pretending to know what you don’t know, as stated by Boghossian. One may think they know about their religion but without actually experiencing it at hand one may not really know faith. An example may be how you may miraculously avoid a near death experience, a person would either say it was faith or you just have good skills. As a believer of God, I would believe that it is faith but reading this article really broadened my thoughts. It makes me question if I have blind faith since I don’t know much about my religion and I don’t have evidence to support my beliefs. I tend to believe miracles are a sign of evidence, but what if they are not evidence and instead are something else. In this case this is also the reason why I chose to take this class to learn more about religion as a whole. Overall I enjoyed reading the article and do think that it is reasonable to believe blindly at first when you are beginning to learn about religions as a whole.

  • Nina weathers

    For me this is a loaded question and two part question. when I think of blind faith, I think of faith without question. Now I don’t think people should have blind faith in a religion, but I do think they should have blind faith in God. Religion has been around for many many years, and interpretation and practice has and will continue to change. So to blindly follow a relgion to me can be dangerous. There are so many factors to consider, I will use the religion I practice as an example. I am raised as an apostalic Christian. The bible has been translated into over 500 languages, theres also many versions the new king james version, New International Version,New Living Translation,New American Standard Bible, The New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible so with all these translations I start to think of that game you play as a child where you whisper something to your neighbor and past the message and then the last person says it out loud and its not exactly what the first person said. Not to mention the pastors or teachers of the religion, they chose there focus when teaching, and how people in the congregation percieve the lesson may not be what God is intending or really saying. As I grow older and have religious conversations I always meet people that say christianity is a stolen religion and that jesus’s name wasnt jesus, and they pick apart stories of the bible and the facts and details. I have done research and have decided that through intepertation everything might not be as perfect as printed, but I feel that the document is historical and the events happened. You can call jesus any name you want but its documented that he existed, for example the Quran acknowledges him but says he is not the son of God but only a prophet. I have taken the stance that the bible is full of lessons and guidence on how to live life and be a good person. So although names may be changed and chosen ones or another may be different in each religion, the lessons are the same to Be God like, to love and be compasionate and treat others the way you would want. So I agree with the bible and its teachings but i do not follow blindly and say that nothing else is true or holds no weight. But I have blind faith that God will be with me always and through him all things are possible. Humans are flawed and always will be so anything we create or alter will also have fault so we shouldnt follow anything earthly blindly.

    • Hi Nina
      Thanks for the feedback. Regarding the Bible, it is one of the most reliable documents in history. See—seven-questions different versions do not mean that there are changes in the original documents themselves.
      Regarding believing blindly…I don’t know what you mean by that. Please explain “blindly”.
      Best wishes

  • He Rul Phutell

    In the article that Dr. Sweis wrote, it talks about religion generalization. Many people tend to stereotype two very different groups together. For example, whenever we think of Muslims we associate them with ISIS. Although these two groups are completely different. They might believe in the same God but have a different outlook on everything else. He then talks about reasonable faith and blind faith. While reasonable faith is looking at the evidence, blind faith is following it without any knowledge or evidence behind it. For example, I grew up as a Hindu, but when I was a kid I would consider it blind faith because I believed in Hinduism but it was because my parents did, I had no background knowledge or it, now I would consider myself to have reasonable faith because I have researched more into it. Faith is something you can see or really look for evidence. It is something that gives people hope and was created a long time ago. While many of us don’t know if God is even real, we still pray to him, care for him, and go to visit him at the church/temple/mosque/etc. to have that faith and hope. It helps people go to someone or have blind faith in solving their problems or sharing their happiness with. Without God or having the faith and belief in a higher power, we would not know who to blame for our sadness, who to thank for our happiness, who to cry and beg when we are in need of help, and etc.

  • Historian

    Ayoub Philosophy 108
    Throughout this article by Dr. Sweis, I couldn’t help but think about the different types of religions that are stereotypes. His article is basically about generalization between religions. There are many stereotypes that come with generalization as well. Muslims being associated with ISIS to almost everyone who doesn’t understand the true meaning of Islam. These two separate categories are different. ISIS is a group made up of radical Islamists who believe evil is they key to Islam. Whereas on the other side, Muslims that participate in Islam have good hearts and believe in doing good. Believing I the same God does not mean they are believing in the same thing. Reasonable faith and Blind Faith are what matter the most in this article. Reasonable Faith is when there is evidence that we can see. Blind Faith is when we follow a religion blindly without physical evidence. To me, Faith isn’t about evidence or anything like that, Faith is about having hope in a higher being, a supreme entity. One that is bigger than all. To me, faith is understanding that there is a purpose for you here. It gives us a sense of purpose. That’s faith to me whether it is reasonable or blind.

  • Sonia Dcruz

    Dr. Sweis askes the question “do you have blind faith?”. According to Dr. Sweis there is a division between faith and reason. He discusses religion generalization. A lot of us judge people and their religion; for example,we group Isis and Muslim in the same category even when they have and follow two different views. Dr. Sweis talks about blind faith and reasonable faith. Blind faith is walking into a religion, believing in it without any knowledge about it. I think that is what all the cult did, that is why it ended with a lot of violence and or imprisonment. Biblical faith is based on evidence. Since Biblical faith is said to have evidence, how come we have atheist? Atheist said they do not believe in God because of lack of evidence. As a child I had blind faith, I was raised Catholic and I followed the religion because that what I was told to do. We prayed, went to church, I was even an alter girl. Now I believe in God, but refuse to go mass. I consider that reasonable faith. I know more about the religion and that is why I am selective about it. Like father use to always say, take the good from something and leave the bad. That is exactly what I’ve done with my religion.

  • Keshawn Gibbs

    before enrolling in your class i believe i was blinding following my religion, but after our unit on god and religion i have began to critique and have more of an agnostic view on religion, but in certain situations i believe that we need to have blind faith because it is better than no faith

  • Robin Stanford

    When you were a kid you probably believe in santa claus, you’re belief in santa claus made it Christmas so much more exciting. Eventually your belief for santa claus started to fade away as you got older because there is no evidence for st. nick but yet kids still believe isn’t that a form of blind faith? Dr. Sweis states, that faith is a belief in vs a belief that. Belief is defined as a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is there. Blind faith as Dr. Sweis stated is believing without evidence,without reason and without any critique. Most people or the majority of people who have faith have blind faith. They believe that something exist but our minds distorts and create things that may not exist. Beliefs resonate from cultural standpoints and social norms. If one was to say that Jesus die on the cross for our sins, so that we can be forgiven by God how do we know its true? Its something we believe to be true so therefore its known as evidence in a believers eyes. When Dr. Sweis says that faith is based off of evidence, the evidence is based on a person’s perspectives on faith. Since there is no actual evidence to prove that God loves and cares for us then aren’t we all following religion blindly?

  • Victoria Budynkevych

    In the article “Do you have Blind Faith?” by Professor Khaldoun A. Sweis. He asks the readers to think if they believe that their faith is separated from their logic when it comes down to religious topics, or are they convicted to their faith blindly. He claims that there are people who do believe that way and instruct others to do the same. Professor Sweis then says that there is a difference between “ blind faith and reasonable faith.” To believe blindly is to believe in something without any proof, or without proper analysis of it. It means that they do not question anything, but blindly follow what somebody tells them. However as Professor Sweis claims there are always people who might be blindly following their religion but it is not fair to condemn the whole population of the believers and pick them apart as there is something called as reasonable faith. Which also as Professor Sweis calls it “Biblical Faith” is the “belief in rather than a belief that.” Which is to have certainty in someone rather then to acknowledge that something had happened. Also, As professor Sweis claims reasonable belief doesn’t necessarily comes with physical evidence of something happening right away, but it is more as a way of trust in someone and having belief in someone not physically striving to show their physical existence.

  • Nikki Oh Man Dam

    Religion alone is a touchy topic. Assuming that religious people following their belief blindly is false generalization.
    Anyone can pick out a mindless person and assume that everyone is like them (ex. Assuming and judging all Muslims are part of ISIS).

    Boghossian’s statement of “faith is pretending to know what you don’t know” is mischaracterizing faith.
    There are many people such as cult members that has false religious beliefs and mistaken beliefs.
    They may have had mistaken beliefs and false religion but they are not pretending to know what they don’t.

    Faith is having a belief on spiritual understanding instead of proof. As a child, I felt that I had blind faith until recently my faith has been strengthen to reasonable faith, due to personal experience. When I was a kid, all I knew about religion was Catholicism. I wasn’t even aware of any other religions until I came to America.

    I followed the religion because it’s what my family (in the Philippines) practice. After coming to America, to live with my immediate family, I was surprise that they didn’t go to church every Sunday. As I got older, I eventually lost faith and started steering at the wrong direction of life. As I was evaluating my life, it was that moment when I was alone, staying up all night to wait for the church, that I barely went to, to open up. While I was at church it made me think about all the wrong that I have done and how my life could have been worst but at the end of the day, I was thinking of how I can make it better. I asked God to make my life better than it has ever been if I put my trust, faith and hope in him. Although, it did take a lot of time healing and working things out, it definitely is a lot better than before.

    Faith may be blind but it doesn’t mean you have to follow it blindly; you can leave the bad part of religion or anything negative behind.

    Hebrews 11:1 (Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen)

  • Faith Williams

    Hebrews 11:1 :

    “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. That’s it and that’s all!

  • Ciana White-Porter

    In this article, the first line allows us to think.” Are you following your religion blindly?” based on this question I start to question rather I follow my religion for the right reasons. Sweis makes a claim that certain people seem to do that and teach others the same. He brings up that false generalization among religious and atheist is unfair because people are following religion blindly .Sweis serves the reader clear distinction between Reasonable Faith Vs. Blind faith. He states that “Blind faith is believing without evidence without reason and without any critique” and “Biblical faith, even if you disagree with it, is a faith based on evidence”. In other words reasonable faith aims to provide people an intelligent and articulate religious perspective on the most important issues concerning the truth of religious faith today. Reasonable faith includes the existence of God or it could be the meaning of life. While on the other hand blind faith is about believing in god because your parents told you to believe in god. Sweis reveal that faith is a “confidence (assurance) and conviction by which people act without seeing immediate results—it is a form of trust” meaning that faith can only exist if you are confident in what you believe because faith is not blind.

  • Salvador Unzueta

    I don’t think one should ever put faith in something blindly, having the belief that some divine entity is in full control of your life has never sat right with me. Especially when i think of the story in the bible in which Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son to god, now while many would argue that his faith was rewarded there still lies the question of what if it didn’t? How does killing your own flesh and blood in service of your faith affect your mind, and how much further do you go after passing that threshold? To question and seek answers is the foundation for humanity and putting blind faith in anything seems to undermine the endless potential of humanity as a whole.

  • Younes Bouiri

    I do not believe it is ever okay to follow a religion blindly. You shouldn’t just choose the same religion your parents believe in. Having a father who is Muslim and a mother who is Catholic, I was allowed the freedom at an early age to do my own research and to choose the religion that I felt best suited me. In the article about blind faith, professor Sweiss discusses how people tend to have blind faith. One may be following their religion blindly without fully understanding the meaning. I believe that before you put faith into something, you must put in time to do research. You must take time to read and understand what you are following. At the same time, I am a firm believer in freedom. Every person is free to make their own decisions in their life. To pick a religion and choose how to follow it is totally up to you.

    This also gets me thinking, aren’t all religions blind in a way? Have any of us spoken to God or had lunch with Jesus? No. Having faith is believing in something that you can’t see or touch. So what’s the difference? How do we prove that someone is blindly following their religion? Do we base our judgement of that person based on their strength in faith? I believe that you shouldn’t. You should base it off the person’s understanding around their whole religion. For example, in accordance to all major religions, the main rule is to not harm others. On the other hand, we have Muslims killing for the name of Islam. I believe these people are blindly following their religion. If they kill another human being, then they are breaking the main rule of their religion that their suppose to fight for. Does this make any sense to you? I don’t see the sense in it at all. But sadly, this is the world we live in.

  • Mahrukh Moffat

    I was born and raised as a Muslim. As a child I was told whom to believe in and what I have to do to be a “good Muslim.” As I started college, this is when I was introduced to other religions and had discussions regarding the topic of God and who He is. There are times when I get confused myself, but then I look at verses from the Quran and I am reassured that this is going to happen in the world. People should have the option on which religion they want to believe in when they are older and more understanding. I honestly believe that God will eventually put us on the right path.
    We will never know what God looks like… I guess we will find out after we pass. Until then we should respect each others beliefs and focus on becoming better people ourselves. Focus on helping the less fortunate and make the world a better place.

  • Catherine

    I think that blind faith for example is when you’re a little kid and your parents tell you to believe a certain religion, and of course as a child you do what you’re told. In some cases this occurs without any question. But, I can only assume that most people once they reached adulthood, have looked into their beliefs with somewhat of a critical eye. I feel though that the point of having faith is not about knowing without a doubt, It’s about trusting in your beliefs. Something, or someone leads you to those beliefs to begin with, so there has to be some evidence of truth I would hope. In reality, what really is 100% certain in this world anyway.

  • Ryan Foster

    In the past when I was young child I had Blind Faith. I was naive, like so much understanding and knowledge that I would just blindly follow most things that relatives and my parents said without question because they were the authority whether it was right, wrong, or made any sense to me at all. Now I would say my faith has become biblical, based off of the teachings, truths, and things that I’ve seen that came from the Bible that turned out to be accurate in real life. Things that I could apply from the Bible to my life unnaturally things that I would follow especially if they helped improve myself. So what is naturalism, naturalism is the belief of nothing existing outside of nature, just nature and everything in it. No Supernatural occurrences, no God, intelligent being of higher-order, or creator, no miracles, no life after death, nothing beyond what is in nature and the laws associated with it. Nothing is created, things just pop up out of nowhere, and once we die our bodies just decay back into the ground and that’s the end of our existence. Different principles of naturalism tear away at the fabric of religion especially Christianity, which is based on a creator, the supernatural, spirits life after death and demons angels, the places of Heaven and Hell, mystic occurrences and the like.

  • Ryan Foster

    I have had Blind Faith. As a child there have been many religious things that I have done as part of a religious family tradition without knowing the reasons behind it. I was simply told that it’s the right thing to do without any evidence. Just like children trust their parents and assume that everything they say is right, many people have “Blind Faith” in their religions by following everything trusted religious leaders say without question, allowing their leaders to be unaccountable for misleading them. As well as not thinking for themselves, to see if things make any sense, such as giving away various un-necessary financial donations to a religious establishment.

  • Norma Ramirez

    Undoubtedly, I think many “religious” people follow religion blindly. This article is an example of this problem because this is how religion is misconstrued. While I am not a religious person, I think it is important to understand religion deeply in order to accept its faith. Perhaps I lack a full understanding of religion and this is the cause for my absence of faith or maybe I just don’t agree with what I know. Whatever the case may be, I don’t think being religious or not is necessary to act any better or worse than someone who doesn’t believe.To professor Sweis’s point, not everyone who practices religion has a clear understanding of it, therefore it can be considered as “blind faith.” He brings up a valid point because it might more substantial to base one’s faith on biblical knowledge rather than “mistaken beliefs.” While biblical faith can’t be demonstrated with certainty, I agree that it can provide confidence and trust. The blog mentions there is a mischaracterizing of faith which has a connotation that religious followers follow religion on false pretenses. I think this is an accurate assumption, but I don’t think we can discard these views, because it is not for us to do so. Everyone has the right to choose whatever they want to believe in as long as they are not affecting anyone else.