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Introduction: How to reason

Section 11: Reason and faith

Faith is the false friend that promises and never delivers. Reason is the honest friend who sometimes disappoints but never lies.

This introduction to the website has taught us how to reason. Why? Because reason brings us closer to truth.

Faith claims that God exists but only reason can prove whether that statement is true.

Faith is the absence and denial of reason. Faith is guesswork. Faith is emotion grasping at straws. Faith tells us what we want to hear. Faith is not a window into the world that surrounds us but a mirror that turns inwards, reflecting only our own desires, longings and fears.

Reason promises nothing but it takes us on a journey and shows us wonders that we could never imagine - the beauty of nature, the vastness of the cosmos, the music of mathematics, the secrets of life.

Faith makes promises, of a better life, of justice, of love. It hypnotises and seduces us. It shows us a world that is always out of reach because it is nothing more than an illusion, a hologram dancing in the air. Faith is the charlatan, the snake-oil salesman who convinces us only because we want to be convinced.

Faith disguises itself as reason. Like a conjurer forcing cards on the audience, faith misdirects us. It shows us the card we want to see; it's magic! Religion shows us the God we want; and so we believe!

Faith shackles us. Many of us are comfortable in our prison; we may even deny that we are imprisoned. And we seldom realise that we have imprisoned ourselves. But when we begin to suspect that faith is lying to us, the shackles begin to fall and reason sets us free.

Faith is the false friend that promises and never delivers. Reason is the honest friend who sometimes disappoints but never lies.

We have gathered about us the tools to reason. Now it's time to put faith aside and look at the world around us. It's time to question God.

for a summary of the introduction click here

or move on to
Chapter 1: Defining God

How good is your reasoning?

Can you distinguish lies from truth? Or a good argument from a false one? Can you when tell someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes?

We keep physically fit by exercising regularly and eating healthy
food. The same is true of our minds - we need regular mental exercise and a good diet of solid facts and logic.

This chapter offers basic reasoning skills to help you understand the contradictions that lie at the heart of all religion.

0.1: Basic principles
Start at the beginning

0.2: What do we know?
Separate fact from fiction

0.3: Start with the question ...
... not with the answer

0.4: All the evidence ...
... not just some of it

0.5: Cause, correlation and no connection
What's the difference?

0.6: Don't jump to conclusions ...
... or you could land in the ...

0.7: No way
Proving a negative

0.8: Occam's Razor
The simplest solution

0.9: Facts, knowledge and science
What we know and how we know it

0.10: Know or believe?
The impossibility of God

0.11: Reason and faith
Understanding the difference

0.12: Summary

Finished the introduction? Move on to

Chapter 1
Defining God

Does God exist? Before we try to answer that question we need to have a clear idea of who or what God is. How do we describe God? What versions of God are on offer?

Not sure what you're looking for?

If there's a word that you don't recognize, it might be defined here.

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"They all err - Muslims, Christians, Jews and Magians. There are two kinds of humans - the intelligent, who have no religion, and the religious, who have no intellect."
Abū al-'Ala al-Ma'arrī (973 - 1057), Arab philosopher and poet (Wikipedia)

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If God existed, he would...

admire the beauty of a universe that he did not create

recognize that eternity is meaningless

deny both heaven and hell

disown all men and women who speak in his name

denounce the harm caused by religious "morality"

help the human race to thrive without him

If God existed, he would be an atheist.

What is the difference between science and faith?

science is certain of nothing and requires proof of everything

faith is certain of everything and requires proof of nothing

Which do you trust?

"I know there is no God"
"I believe there is no God"

Check the answer

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