Can a person of faith have courage?
I was having a debate with mannyofmanynames about what is a coward. He believes that athiests are cowards that believe that religious indoctrination is a form of child abuse but don't advocate removing children from the homes of every parents that send their children to Sunday school.
In some cases, I would advocate for this. For example, if the parents refused to allow their children to learn any science. But if this were advocated in all cases, we couldn't win this battle. Plus I think the government would have to invade everyone's privacy to enforce such a law. My goal is to win the war against religous indoctrination. At this point, the best strategy is to argue our point and educate people.
To me, the 'coward' tag is an adolecent attempt to manipulate people. It's social preasure to behave in irrational ways so as not to be seen as weak. It seems that a person that doesn't do what he believes is right for fear of being percieved as a 'coward' would fit the definition of one.
But this issue raises a major flaw with the concept of faith. How is it possible for a Theist/'person of faith' to have any courage? If you really believe that every action you take will eventually lead to God giving you a reward and that you will not die but live forever in paradise, how could you have any courage unless you also have doubt? It seems that 'courage' is only necessary when a person lacks faith. Yet the theists try to tell us the opposite, that their faith gives them courage.
To me, it would seem the level of one's faith and one's courage are inversely proportional. If a 'true believer' runs into a burning building to save someone, why does that take any courage? The worst that could happen is they die and are instantly transported to external paradice. The athiest on the other hand, know if he dies that's probably it.
So theists, how should we define courage and cowardice? What is flawed with my reasoning? Why shouldn't we consider faith as just a crutch for fearful people? If courage really exists, shouldn't only an atheist or a weak theist be considered as possessing it?
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca