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Faith is the worst way to make decisions -- Richard S. Russell

March 24, 2019

I would like to criticize candidates for their faith. And by “faith” I don’t refer so much to the conclusions they arrive at as I do the method by which they do it.

Faith is the process by which somebody forms an opinion utterly without supporting evidence, and often in the face of massive evidence to the contrary. It’s the world’s all-time, gold-medal, blue-ribbon, undefeated champion of terrible ways of making decisions.

Nobody ever uses faith to decide anything important, certainly not for anything that can be tested or measured. If any superior method -- such as logic, reason, confidence, trust, chance, obedience or hope -- could support an opinion, they’d use that, not faith.

Preachers’ livelihoods depend on their aptly named “flocks” falling for faith to keep the dollars flowing in. So they will of course praise it to the skies. But we shouldn’t let its totally undeserved good reputation con us into thinking that it’s an admirable trait in a political candidate, a judge, or anybody who has real control over other people’s lives.

Richard S. Russell, Madison