best that we could call it is a hypothesis.
Related to this is the age of the earth. It is taken as a given by writers, teachers, journalists, commentators and the like that the earth is billions of years old. Maybe this is correct, but the view that this is a certainty and that the scientific means to determine it airtight is simply untrue. The fact is that empirical research can go only so far in establishing something like this and the grand theory of evolution; there is a lot of judgment and, frankly, guesswork involved.
On sexual and family matters, we see a range of blind faith beliefs that have profoundly influenced American life. One of these is that sexual activity, so long as it’s carried out by mutual consent and birth control is used, has no consequences—even for minors. Closely related to this is that contraceptives are 100% reliable and, further, have no health consequences for women (abundant research suggesting the opposite is simply ignored). A similar blind faith belief is that women can resort to abortion without any likely physical or psychological effects (even serious regrets or guilt). Yet another blind faith belief is that it doesn’t make any difference what kind of family situation a child grows up in, so that not only is divorce not a significant issue—despite resounding recent social science evidence to the contrary—but two “parents” of the same sex is also no big deal. Indeed, homosexualism has spawned such blind faith beliefs as that same-sex attraction is intrinsic from birth—again, the evidence clearly points otherwise—and even that there is a “gay gene” (this is completely in the realm of fantasy). Both homosexualism and feminism have generated the belief that men and women are completely interchangeable, and that the only fundamental difference between them is biological. Even the biological difference between men and women diminishes in importance because of another blind faith belief of the secular culture: that sex can actually be changed surgically or even by simply decreeing oneself to be of the other sex (even though every cell in a male body continues to have a Y chromosome).
One of the most basic blind faith beliefs of secularists, tied up especially with sexual morality, is that so-called “personal morality” in no way affects social mortality. So, they effectively claim—contrary to all human experience—that there is a “rigid wall of separation” between the individual and the life of a culture. Another is that an egalitarian ethos and public policies based upon it will not adversely affect human incentive and achievement. One of the most obvious of blind faith beliefs is in politics: the notion of uninhibited democracy embraced by Western secular culture believes that a mass of untutored voters—who may have very little citizenship or even moral formation—can necessarily make good and intelligent political choices (this is quite different from what the likes of Aristotle, our Founding Fathers, and Tocqueville thought). From the classical liberal side of the secular culture, there is the long-time blind faith belief that economics works by rigid laws—as opposed to simply acknowledging tendencies such as supply-and-demand that reflect human nature—that work automatically for human good (the “invisible hand”). This Enlightenment-generated perspective ignores the fact that nothing happens au
tomatically and helped sever ethics from economics and ushered in the one-time reign of social Darwinism.
These examples of secularist blind faith beliefs are just the tip of the iceberg; one could probably think of many more. The point is: blind faith characterizes secularism, not true religion.
Stephen M. Krasonis Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and Associate Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also Co-Founder and President of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. He is the author of several books including The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic (Transaction Publishers, 2012), and most recently published an edited volume entitled Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System (Scarecrow Press, 2013).