Faith is the believer’s hammer. A flaw in the process of fostering faith without evidence—of promoting faith as its own evidence—is that it teaches conflation as proper thinking and as common sense. To conflate is to mix together, as in the meanings of words so that they become confused as each other and then often gain a one-sidedness so the original meaning of one is seldom acknowledged.
Unevidenced credence provides the faithful with no real tools for self-guidance and opens a door for mischievous elements to enter. The believer has only the words of others to go by, of which there are many with many variations posing many more conflicts. The believer is handed a field in which doctrines have sprouted up like weeds. (S)He has only emotions to use as tools for choosing which weeds are weeds and which weeds may provide some sustenance. On the basis of emotions, the believer may accept the weed patch handed her at birth or choose to buy into a new one. New or old, interpreted words riddled with conflated meanings direct believers in the sect’s ideals.
In such a manner:
- Belief in God becomes faith, but faith in self (self-confidence) becomes denied. The two faiths become incompatible, on opposite ends of the same scale.
- Authority is ceded to the sect and never to evidence, since there can be no evidence about what does not exist. Objective evidence that provides authority for secular people gets superseded by hearsay evidence.
- Justice is about revenge. Fair play and balance are for sissies.
- Spirit is about ghosts, and not about joyous emotions. Even atheists fall for this one and engage in furious disputes about something in which most claim no belief.
- Love is no longer an attractive emotion, but gets conflated in practice with hatred and doled out with threats. Presented as a process that can be switched on, off, or reversed, it is now a double-edged threat that offers only punishment or clemency. Pleasure is forbidden or conflated with selfishness.
- A long list could be made of conflated, twisted, otherwise misused terms, depending on which sect it would be about.
Faith is about what one trusts. Wise people learn to trust demonstrable evidence, not words alone. For the believer, objective evidence and demonstrable facts are ‘worldly’ concerns of no interest. Though Jesus is 2000 years late at keeping his promise, he will return and this world will be no more. That is blind faith, brothers and sisters, no evidence required. Not even in plain-spoken words straight from the Bible.