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In Defense of ‘Faith-based’ Thinking! Why?

December 2, 2015

Today’s Arizona Daily Star had an editorial entitled “Education, not bombs, needed to eradicate faith-based terrorism”. The writer (mind) behind this view of reality was Mr. Gil Shapiro, a Tucson podiatrist and a spokesman for Free Thought Arizona. His email is: Let’s give some thought to this perspective of Mr. Shapiro. This writer claims that Faith is defined as ‘a firm belief in the absence of proof’. Mr. Shapiro asserts that ISIS thinking (their ‘faith’) is at the core of their Terrorism and that most of our World consists of ‘faith-based’ thinking (believers who have no self-checking mechanism for determining reality). So why should we be shocked at the terrorists ‘faith’ which causes their behavior. Is their ‘faith’ too strong (says Shapiro)?

Gil is challenging everyone to think about ‘faith-based’ thinking! This is good!

Mr. Shapiro goes on to state that this ‘faith-based’ thinking is scary as it is a misunderstanding of how our World works. Those who affirm a supernatural realm with gods, demons, angels and the concept of miracles have a belief system which is contrary to what ‘rational’ people recognize as how our world works. Mr. Shapiro further states that science has discovered that prayers (unanswered or answered) occur at a rate no better than chance. He further states that ‘miracles’ have never been documented. He then states that faith-based thinking has no self-checking mechanism for abandoning outdated ideas or ideology. Presumably, he views his view as based upon a self-checking mechanism.

Faith-based thinking includes everyone! Who is exempt? Think!

Mr. Shapiro then states that freethinkers (like himself) find it ironic that Christians and Jews hold to views on an even grander scale with their view of a worldwide flood, the concept of hell, miracles, etc. He sees all this as a ‘double standard’ which needs immediate examination…as religious terrorists’ strength lies in how they THINK, NOT WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED. He concludes with the statement that the ONLY real solution (to eradicate the scourge of terrorism) is world-wide SECULAR-BASED education and liberties. Does this writer have a case or is he part of the problem? Does this concept of ‘faith-based’ thinking also extend to Mr. Shapiro and his elk? What do you think?

Does Bill base his thinking on ‘absolutes’ and ‘certainty’? I don’t think so! Does Bill have unanswered ‘questions’ about reality?

You can read his editorial at: or This view of Mr. Shapiro is widely held among our science and humanist based thinkers along with most atheists and secular non-believers. None seems to believe in a ‘spiritual’ realm of reality which (to me) is ubiquitous. In reality, the ‘words’ and ‘ideas’ which we espouse reveal that the ‘spiritual’ realm is within us and ubiquitous (everywhere and within each person’s consciousness). Consciousness is a spiritual concept and the ‘words’ which we enunciate are derived from this ‘spiritual’ source. Does Mr. Shapiro recognize this? Where do his ‘words’ and ‘ideas’ derive from? What is his ultimate SOURCE?

Does Pat have all the answers? Is his view of reality ‘faith-based’? I think so!

My sense is that each of us lives within a ‘faith-based’ system. Each person thinks subjectively and without any FINAL/ABSOLUTE self-checking mechanism to validate our thinking. Scientists live by ‘faith’. Philosophers live by ‘faith’. All believers (each and every one of us) lives by ‘faith’ as we are subjective beings within a World of uncertainty. What does science assume as their view of reality? Can ‘science’ know what is final and absolute? Einstein didn’t think so! All is relative according to Einstein’s theory of Relativity. Assumptions are all ‘faith’ based (to a degree). The Big Bang concept is ‘faith’ based. Materialism is a ‘faith’ based view or theory of reality. So, I would conjecture, that we ALL live within a ‘faith-based’ model of reality (including Mr. Shapiro).

Who is exempt from ‘faith-based’ thinking? I also live by ‘faith’! Uncertainty is real!

The greatest philosopher from antiquity viewed ‘questions’ as at the core of reality! Who does not have ‘questions’ and ‘uncertainty’? Life is lived in the ‘now’!

I do agree with Mr. Shapiro that education is now necessary to challenge all these ‘faith-based’ views. Education and challenge needs to be an ongoing model for growing out of ideas which are no longer valid or beneficial for society. But to rid the World of faith-based thinking is not possible! Science, Religion, and Philosophy are at the core ‘faith-based’. Think about Socrates and his view of reality! Socrates viewed reality as changing with the questions being pursued. Questions reveal the nature of reality as everyone has questions with no final answers. Assumptions and questions continue and this reveals that we live in a World of ‘faith-based’ thinking. Enjoy and pass this missive on for further discussion. I am:

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