Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.(Hebrews 11:1) KJV
We’re going to deduce the correct way to understand evidence, but we also need to know what faith is. Current popular science propaganda (SciPop) is that faith is belief without evidence.
However, since this is based on a misconception of evidence, it’s also a misconception, which is why we call it propaganda. It’s designed to make it seem as if there’s a difference between faith and knowledge as if it’s like comparing apples with apples, which it isn’t.
The passage from Hebrews above gives us a definition of faith which we’re going to use as the basis for our epistemological razor. It tells us that faith is the evidence of things that we can’t see, for example atoms. We can’t see atoms but we have faith that matter is made from atoms because there’s a large body of work which we can point to as evidence. It doesn’t say that we believe in something for which there’s no evidence. Here’s our working definition of faith:
Faith is believing in something that we can’t see, because of evidence.– Faith, definition
Atoms and molecules are a good example of faith because it’s something which everyone can agree on regardless of what we believe about God. This means that faith transcends our choice of paradigm. Faith intersects with our choice of paradigm when we consider things which are paradigm-dependent, but we always base our faith on evidence.
Faith, Example 1
- We believe in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ:
- because we have multiple first hand eyewitness accounts and,
- the record of history as to what happened as a result.
- That’s evidence.
Faith, Example 2
- We believe in Noah’s flood:
- because the stratigraphic column, Cambrian through Quaternary, are vast sedimentary deposits with worldwide distribution which is the expected result of a worldwide flood.
- That’s evidence.
Faith isn’t the opposite of knowledge, faith requires knowledge.