Well, if faith is belief without evidence, and irrationality is the lack of reason or good judgment, then yes. I'd say faith is inherently irrational. Because if you have evidence and reason, you don't have faith, you have a justified belief.
The Oxford Concise English Dictionary, gives two distinct meanings for faith:
"1) complete trust or confidence, and 2) strong belief in a religion based on spiritual conviction rather than proof." A scientist's "faith" is built on experimental proof. The two meanings of the word "faith," therefore, are not only different, they are exact opposites.*
@missmedic: You are wrong. Faith in God is based on evidence. If you are implying that a belief in God is blind faith, then you are dead wrong. The evidence is plentiful. Is it proof? No. But scientists believe in many things that they can't prove, like alternate universes. There is historical proof that Jesus was real. The first four books of the New Testament were first person accounts of the life of Christ. The apostle Paul has also been historically verified as well as the fact that he definitely wrote at least one of the books of the New Testament. He was a contemporary of the original disciples. He spoke with them. He actually met some of them in person and heard their accounts. To believe that all of that is a myth, or something someone just made up, is pretty ridiculous. Don't you think?
I think it's important to understand that faith is not limited to religion. Although it may be in the absence of evidence, it is not necessarily in the absence of reason. The more skilled church leaders will not only encourage reason, but discourage "blind faith" as shallow, weak, and dangerous. For instance, I can reason the existence of God quite well. I can also use reason to shed significant doubt in the predominant theories of Big Bang and Evolution. In fact, I would argue that to believe in these theories requires either a limited knowledge of both or a purposeful suspension of logic.
Religious faith requires that you believe despite an absence of expected evidence or despite the presence of conflicting evidence.
But how do we detect lies?
Through the absence of expected evidence or the presence of conflicting evidence.
The very things that faith demanded we disregard. Any supreme intelligence would know that a system that protected lies so efficiently, would lay humans open to just about any conceivable abuse. As religion has proven to do time and again.
"But how do we detect lies? Through the absence of expected evidence or the presence of conflicting evidence. "
That makes no sense. We detect lies by finding conflicting evidence. How many more thousands of years would you like us to give you to find that evidence?
"The first four books of the New Testament were first person accounts of the life of Christ."
None of the Gospels are written in the first person. We have no original copies and the ones we do have were written anonymously. Plus, they contradict each other on several occassions. They're just stories.
"The apostle Paul has also been historically verified as well as the fact that he definitely wrote at least one of the books of the New Testament."
There is general consensus that Paul of Tarsus was real, and that he wrote several of the epistles, yes. That's not evidence of Jesus nor any of his supposed miracles.
"He was a contemporary of the original disciples. He spoke with them. He actually met some of them in person and heard their accounts. To believe that all of that is a myth, or something someone just made up, is pretty ridiculous. Don't you think?"
No, it's not ridiculous. It's especially not ridiculous when you consider that man has been making up stories about gods and miracles for as long as we can tell. The fact that a bunch of ignorant, superstitious men wrote down stories of physically impossible feats does not make them true. You can't point to the Bible as evidence of the Bible's truths.
@Cryo, you're arguments are baseless. In any case there are several non-biblical references to Jesus from widely ranging geographical areas. As I said, if you want to debate His divinity, so be it, but He did exist. There is more evidence than that the vast majority of the rest of the population of the time....Other than politicians.
@KidMedic: One could hardly even consider my statements arguments as all I did was state facts, and they are far from "baseless". Debating whether there was a historical Jesus is one thing, but don't confuse the existence of the historical figure with the truth of his supposed divinity. I think you're just having a hard time accepting the fact that you don't have a good reason to believe what you believe.
@Cryo, they are not facts.
"None of the Gospels are written in the first person. We have no original copies and the ones we do have were written anonymously. "
Perhaps the issue is with your misunderstanding of the phrase "first person". Yes, some of the books are written in the first person. Being a copy doesn't change that. Matthew (also known as Levi), Mark, Luke, and John all knew Jesus personally, and wrote their respective books. They witnessed many of the miracles of Jesus.
Although the bible cannot be used as evidence of the credibility of the bible, that is not what is being done. The question of this debate is not, "Is the bible correct?". It's "Is faith inherently irrational?". The fact is that the bible is documentation of many historical events. If you wish to question its credibility, that would be for a different debate.
To be honest, your thesis statement is a logical fallacy. "if faith is belief without evidence, and irrationality is the lack of reason or good judgment, then yes" Belief in something without evidence is not the same as not having the ability to rationalize. For instance, if I am told that a professional football player ran a 4:5 in the 40, I can believe it without evidence because he is a professional athlete. Faith works the same way. If the bible says that God created the universe, and I know that God has the ability, then I can accept that God created the universe without evidence.
KidMedic: I understand that this is getting a bit off topic here, and I'll accept your distinction between belief without evidence and the ability to rationalize. We all make judgments with insufficient information and take things "on faith" from time to time. But your analogy...
"For instance, if I am told that a professional football player ran a 4:5 in the 40, I can believe it without evidence because he is a professional athlete. Faith works the same way. If the bible says that God created the universe, and I know that God has the ability, then I can accept that God created the universe without evidence."
If I'm told a pro football player can run a 4.5 40, I could believe that without actually seeing it. Why? Because I know football is real, I know football players are real, and I know many professional football players can run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds. I've seen it before. It's rational to accept this claim, because there's nothing extraordinary about it and based on what we know, it's probably true. Am I taking it on "faith", well, technically, but that's like saying I have "faith" that my car brakes work.
But if you were to tell me a football player ran a 40 in 1.0 second flat, then I'd call you a liar. No human can run 40 yards in 1.0 second. You're comparing the football player to God's existence as if they were both equally believable and justifiable. They're not. I know football players are real, and I know how fast they are. You don't "know" that God is real, you just assert that he exists and assign whatever powers and abilities you want to him.
@Cryo, "You don't "know" that God is real, you just assert that he exists and assign whatever powers and abilities you want to him."
That's very closed-minded. I do happen to "know" that God is real. That you do not as well does not automatically make it a false belief. True faith is not "blind faith". We have our reasons to believe that have nothing to do with "gaps" in science or fear of death, as is routinely claimed by those who presume to tell us why we believe (not you).
KidMedic: "That you do not as well does not automatically make it a false belief." It's true that just because I don't know something doesn't mean it's necessarily false, sure. "I do happen to "know" that God is real," here's the thing, you don't "know" God is real. You can't claim to know something unless you can prove it.
@Cryo: What you fail to realize is that there is plenty of evidence for the existence of God. We have a written record of the events of Creation, as well as eyewitness accounts of the life of Christ. Jesus Himself alluded to the Creation account, and claimed that all of Scripture was accurate and truthful. He was crucified and rose again on the third day. This event was witnessed by hundreds of people, who spread the word. There is not one single account that claims that it did not happen. If it was simply a myth, there would be many ancient texts debunking that it ever happened. There are none. There is also the fact that His body is gone. It was never found. So, the evidence is plentiful, but it's a sad fact that many refuse to believe. They will pay a horrible price for that unbelief.
Cryo, that's ridiculous! So, in your opinion, I don't know anything unless I can prove it to you??? Nothing exists unless YOU see evidence??? How can a person live in such a small, egocentric world? While I cannot expect you to believe simply because I do, I do in fact still know....Sorry.