Faith vs Trust

by Alex Hamilton, The Xavier Post

A few months back I read an article about climate denialists, and since then I have been giving some thought to faith versus trust in the broadest sense. I think that the linguistic battle has been lost, faith no longer is secular, and to have faith in science is no longer to "trust" in it.  Science replaced religion as people's frame of reference, we put faith into it as we had God before it. This was very comforting to a newly emerging industrial, technological and economic Western World. We could have faith that the lights turned on, that men walked on the moon and so forth. But the arrogance that our new found wonders gave us, we went too far, and in doing so we strengthened the very people who defined themselves by their faith.

And a battle begun for the hearts and minds of the people, a battle over faith.The zealots waged a war, metaphorical and literal on faith and I think that they have won. The attacks that are featured in countless news stories and political and scientific events I think are the result of a moral vacuum left when faith is gone, challenged, or replaced. Waging a battle, faith versus science was always going to be bad for the enlightened. If the opponents of progressive policy, abortion, climate change, history etc are fighting on terms of faith, then the rational, reasoned, post-enlightened will lose.So we have battles over climate science for goodness sake. There is no battle, the science is only getting more accurate, not less.

There is not doubt by the worlds leading scientists, only doubt coming from those funded by companies that pay for doubt, in the same way they paid for doubt over the effects of a packet of smokes.Although it is a linguistic sleight of hand, what I think is needed is a divorce of trust from faith, as often as possible, trust should be touted at the expense of faith. When we conflate the two, we do a disservice to the people of faith around the world, and we strengthen the powers that would undo the kind of change we need in the world. Instead they should be taken as parallel but equal and never joining. Secular might be a nice word. I trust in science, I have faith that the world will be ok.