In light of my white-knuckled grip on faith as the foundation of my world life view, it may seem strange that we are able to have intelligent discourse, let alone be friends. In reality, it works well because we follow one simple implicit guideline. I ignore his hypocrisies and he ignores mine. A discipleship group it ain't, but we go way back.
A recent conversation however put quite a strain when we left our comfort zone of theology and ventured into the realm of human nature. Specifically, faith as a part of our world view.
During the conversation he referenced a quote by Christopher Hitchens, a well known atheist. His point was that "faith is the surrender of the mind". I looked up and included the full quote:
"Faith is the surrender of the mind. It's the surrender of reason. It's the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It's our need to believe and to surrender our skepticism and our reason. Our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something: that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated."
-- Christopher Hitchens (from a television interview by Penn & Tell)
This is pure quackery. Faith as a part an integral part of any healthy relationship development. The roads to schizophrenia, psychopathy, and many other attention and compulsion disorders have roots in an inability to incorporate faith appropriately. Healthy child development, including virtually all socialization skills, are deeply rooted in the ability to exercise and base our behaviors on faith.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
-- Hebrews 11: 1
Of course, I do like his use of the sweeping generalization. In this case, his obvious yearning desire to believe in the absence of God has allowed him to reach such a ridiculous, anti-social, untenable, and ultimately hilarious extreme.
Yes, my friend adjusted his statement. He's still an atheist, but grudgingly admits there are potential benefits as well potential negatives to a life lived by faith. Proving once again, that he is not a complete idiot.