Faith versus reason

“You have faith, but I have reason.” I’ve heard many variations on this line. I would like to clarify that reason used in this context is usually shorthand for what the given party considers evidence.

It can potentially be a thinly-veiled dig on the other – that they are not intelligent enough to contemplate the evidence (or the implications of it) – implying faith is a scapegoat for those who deny the truth. The question is this: is faith simply a fool’s alternative to reason?

The word faith is a misunderstood one. Faith is a synonym with trust. I consider them functionally identical. I prefer to use the word trust, as it seems to have a more concrete definition to most people than the word faith. saying you don’t have ‘trust’ makes very little sense. by that definition, all people have faith. You can’t not have faith. How can you not trust anything? Impossible.

How do I know that humans have been to the moon? I’ve never been to the moon. I gotta take someone’s word for it. People tell me it happened. I’m trusting people.

Say I am still a skeptic. I want to dig deeper. Those people were told by others, told by others, so on. But is NASA telling the truth? I don’t have the resources to cross-check all their evidence, assuming they are even presenting it truthfully to begin with. I can dig into the evidence all I want, but ultimately it is evidence that is filtered through others – there is no proof so concrete that it is impossible to disbelieve. I personally believe we went to the moon, but look at how many do not. It is not a matter of proof or evidence, it is a matter of trust.

It can be tempting to appeal to majority (‘everyone else believes it!’), but please look at history to see why that is a shaky reason. Hitler was very popular for a time, remember. Peer pressure is a poor substitute for truth.

Evidence means much less than people like to admit, because much is out of reach more than we like to admit. At the end of the day, most of us are not really trusting the evidence, we are trusting presentations of it. Fields of science or academia are so intricately specialized that it is not even possible for an individual to truly grasp all topics. If I specialize in pharmacology, I will not have the time nor intelligence in my short life to also specialize in biotechnology. I have to ask my biotechnology questions to a biotechnician. I will have to take someone’s word for it.

Say that somehow I am at the absolute forefront of my field, reducing filters of evidence by others to an absolute minimum. Surely I can trust the evidence then, right?

But take it a step further still. How do I even know I can rely on my senses? On my memory? How can I be sure that I’m not some drooling lunatic in an insane asylum? how can I be sure that I’m not living in the matrix, or exist solely in the raving delusions of a man in a coma? Ultimately, I don’t really think it’s possible to prove any of those. Even such a base thing is a huge act of trust – of faith – when you really analyze it. Without trust it would be impossible to function in life at all.

To return to the beginning, is faith simply poor-man’s reason?

Does faith mean what I put my faith in is true? Of course not. But everything someone believes is something they put faith in, even that the sun will rise tomorrow. There might be good reasons to trust that it will rise, but ultimately any ‘proofs’ I present are just words until it rises. However my reason was not mutually exclusive with my trust. All humans who have ever lived needed both faith and reason. Without either life is impossible.

But to answer the implied question, why do I put my faith in Jesus instead of something else?

Well, in my life I see myself as having two choices. Do I trust in people, who make mistakes and have let me down? Or do I trust in Jesus who – so far – never has?


“Before him stood his bride-to-be, her angelic movements captivating the grocer utterly. Body clad in gown the color of the sky, crown adorned with sleek feathers, frills with beads of gold and white, and a smile of pearl. No other man was as blessed as he.”

The Tides, Peaks, and the Plains, -6y

The frills, otherwise known as leaves or folas, are a semiflexible structure on the side of our faces. Their existence has baffled thinkers and inquirers for ages, as they seemingly have no meaningful purpose or function, unique to other body parts. They do not aid in sensory input to any amplified degree of other areas of skin, nor do they aid in balance. The body can survive their removal, though blood loss and extreme pain will result initially. They do not grow back.

No notable difference in their structure exists between the two genders. Perhaps they serve no other function than to aid in facial recognition. Two lobes with the larger on top are most common, but while the structural difference between the two genders is minimal, the number and size of the frills can vary to the extreme between people. Parents often have similar looking frills to their children in this regard, like other facial and physical features.

Many Rene inquirers believe it is a vestigial structure, one that once had a purpose back when we were as a race closer to the appearance of horses. It may have had a function similar to the antennae that horses use to sense their surroundings. Others vehemently disagree, contending that it is a protostructure, one of the first steps to ascending to a higher plane of biology, and that its purpose will be clear as more of our being advances to compliment it. Developing to higher existence is one of the theoretical methods to usurp the Cycle, though dissenters hold that this has likely been achieved and therefore irrelevant.

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Fauna – Horse

“The beast held a noble distinction, even a sadness, that he couldn’t quite quantify. Listing in this forgotten place, it was as much a prisoner as he. Speaking comforting words to the creature, they were but a pitiful help. This ache had only one cure.

They rode as dawn broke into morning. The furor of its pace, the chill of the wind – the anguish of the steed faded… and with it, his own.” 

Green Empire by Doa, -275y

The common horse, the primary steed of mankind, has been core to his history for many thousands of years. This humble beast of burden makes civilized life possible as the primary method of quick transportation, surpassing other creatures due to factors of temperament, cost, strength, and speed. Most breeds are quite hardy, able to survive in all manner of temperatures and terrain across the known world. Rarely a place discovered has no horses or at least knowledge of them.

As the primary beast of burden, horses are more than able to carry one or more people along with their supplies with saddles and packs. Riding bareback is possible but often extremely uncomfortable due to the creature’s ridged back. Wagons are a common and useful alternative assuming that roads are used.

Extensively breeded, the horse can take an extremely wide variety of appearances and functions. The smaller specimens, ranging from chest to head heights, are nimble and are used frequently for personal duties as mounts, with most being able to outpace a running man two or three times over. The Otigos and Rabants specifically breed many smaller horses to navigate their often-treacherous mountainous homelands. The Otigos in particular are some of the most adept and famed riders in the world, with the horse playing a larger role in their culture and daily life than any other nation. Larger breeds can vary extremely in build, and therefore role. Stocky beasts are to plow fields or for intimidation in warfare and are frequently used in the rolling plains of Avato due to ample food to support the primarily-herbivorous creatures. The extremely tall and spindly types of the far north are used navigating the numerous and inhospitable deserts that region is rumored to contain, however very few of those breeds exist in the civilized world.

Colors of the creatures can vary widely as well, with the vibrant and well-marked fiery oranges, reds and purples reserved for the royal and rich (due to expense in breeding), with the common dull blue and grey specimens generally used by those less fortunate. Even still, a horse is one of the most expensive things a family might own.

In Otigan folklore, mankind is united with the noble creature almost immediately upon his creation. They are not sacred, but respected above all other animals… and some foreigners. Rene teachings dictate that the horse emerged from the same waters that mankind and most other animals emerged from. They believe that the horse is ranked sixth on the scale of intelligence of animal-man.

Some peoples in far northwest Avato are rumored to eat them. The capital generally frowns on this behavior.

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