When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion. author/philosopher Robert M. Pirsig
A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence. Richard Dawkins
Are these opinions about religion, specifically Christianity, really accurate and true? Are Christians delusional people with a blind faith? Dr. John Lennox, the famous British mathematician and philosopher, recently tackled these questions in a YouTube video of a talk he gave in Washington, DC. One of the first things he did in the talk is establish the proper semantics for what a delusion is and what faith is.
Delusion: a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of psychiatric disorder.
Dr. Lennox makes the point after highlighting this definition that when you use a term outside your “professional zone of confidence,” the first “ground rule” is that “you check with the experts in the field you’re wandering into.” So he asked some top psychiatrists if religion was a delusion. One of the responses he got was from Andrew Sims, a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain, who said the idea of calling religion a delusion was “erroneous and innately hostile.” Sims went on to say, “Although the content of delusion may be religious, the whole of belief, of itself, is not and cannot be a delusion.”
Lennox explained that Sims based these conclusions on the many studies that have been done revealing a whole host of positive life enhancements religion brings to the table, such as studies showing prayer helps sick people heal, the physical benefits of fasting, or the longevity of those who attend religious services. This type of evidence from experts in their fields expose the dangerous mindset that atheists have when they aren’t making themselves aware of such expert evidence from fields outside their own profession, according to Lennox. It points out atheists, particularly Dawkins, are not playing by the basic rules of making sound arguments and twist words to their liking–“intellectual dishonesty,” as Lennox calls it. This is further shown when one considers the real definition of “faith” and how atheists confuse it with the term “blind faith” as follows:
Faith, being belief that isn’t based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion. Richard Dawkins
However, the Oxford English Dictionary says “faith” is (1) belief, trust; (2) that which produces belief, evidence, token, pledge, engagement; (3) trust in its objective aspect, troth, observance of trust, fidelity; (4) confidence, reliance, and belief proceeding from reliance on testimony or authority. The Bible presents the evidence on which the Christian faith is based. “It’s very important to make extremely clear that what we mean is we’re committed to something on the basis of evidence and to explain that evidence to them,” says Lennox.
Using the same definition of faith, it becomes clear atheism is itself a faith since they have faith in science even when it does not answer every question, such as “What is my ultimate purpose for being in this world?”, or “How can we quantify beauty?” Therein lies the blatant lies of the atheist who attacks Christians by misusing terms and for being guilty of what they themselves accuse Christians of–having a belief system.