Faith Versus Evidence

From: Sean Mccullough
To : Eddie Taylor

Hello, Eddie!!

On (02 Aug 94) Eddie Taylor wrote to Robert Curry...

RC> Hope is all you have? You should easily be able to find evidence
RC> for things that you can neither see, nor hear, nor feel, nor smell.

ET> I have read in the 11th chapter of Hebrews that faith is the evidence of
ET> things not seen.

But there are different kinds of "faith"...... James Randi, in his classic work The Faith Healers, discusses three types:

"[Paul] Kurtz defines the first type as "intransigent faith". By this is meant faith that will not be affected by any sort of contrary evidence, no matter how strong. [Type I faith] ..... Gerry Straub, who spent two and a half years as evangelist/healer Pat Robertson's television producer and wrote Salvation For Sale, to describe his experiences there, gives his opinion:

I am convinced that if Pat Robertson or any other of television's faith-healers were proven to be pranksters and frauds, the vast majority of their staff and viewers would not drop their belief in the ministers' healing power or weaken their faith in God.

Those people would be exhibiting Type I faith......Type II faith was called by philosopher William James 'the will to believe'. As defined by Professor Kurtz it is 'willful belief.....where there is insufficient evidence or no evidence either way to make a rational choice.'..... One who goes along with a political party only because that party has ALWAYS been the family party exhibits Type II faith..... Last, Type III faith is described as 'hypotheses based upon evidence'. Here, there is

evidence, but not enough evidence or evidence of good enough quality to support total belief. As I step off a curb to cross with a traffic light that has just turned green, I may safely assume that the light will stay green long enough for me to reach the other side. That assumption is based upon my long experience with traffic lights and the knowledge of the general intent of those who designed, manufactured, and installed the device. I have exhibited Type III faith....." -- pp. 6-7