Do you believe in Richard Dawkins? If your answer was yes, why? Most of us have assumed Dawkins’ existence based on very little evidence. I for one have never met him. And though I’ve seen a couple of pieces of video footage, a few pictures and his name as author on a number of books, when you think about it, it’s not that substantial. I’ve seen video clips and pictures of ‘Santa Claus’, too. And authors use pseudonyms all the time, so there’s no telling who really wrote The God Delusion or The Greatest Show on Earth. By now you’re probably thinking, ‘Of course he exists; I’ve never seen direct evidence but I have good reason to believe he does.’ And even though your belief is based on faith, it’s a reasonable faith to hold. Ultimately, nothing in this world can be proven with 100% certainty. As humans with fallible reasoning and limited resources, we often have to come to similarly faith-based conclusions, based on the weight of evidence.

We use such reasoning, involving logical deductions and inferences, frequently in everyday life. It’s why I’ve come to believe that I am surrounded in air, even though I can’t see it. And it’s why I believe that there is a country called Uzbekistan, thousands of kilometres away from my home, even though I’ve never been there.

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