Apparently the Pope has published a new book called, “The Infancy Narratives – Jesus of Nazareth.” In the book, the Pope claims that the virgin birth is a “truth of faith.” Personally, I think this wording is hysterically funny. What isn’t funny however is that so many people around the world believe that “truth of faith” equates to “truth backed by strong evidence.”
While something is true whether we have evidence for it or not, there is no reason to believe that something is true unless we have evidence for it. That being the case, it makes no sense to talk about truth in any practical sense of the word unless we are talking about something we actually have strong evidence to support that truth. Even then, truth seems like a pretty strong term. It is only in the philosophical sense that we can use the term “truth” divorced from evidence.
When the Pope says that something is a “truth of faith” he is basically stating that something is true because he believes it to be true. That his only evidence for the truth value of his claim is his own desire for that something to be true. His statement amounts to, “It’s true because I have faith that it is true.”
We would not accept this type of reasoning (if you could call it that) about anything else. If someone told you that he or she owned the Brooklyn Bridge and would sell it to you for a dollar, it is doubtful you would that such a claim seriously especially if their only evidence for their claim was that it was a “truth of faith.”
There is something called history. It basically is a science of our past. We look back at history and try to figure out what happened. The Pope claims that Jesus was born of a virgin and that this is a “truth of faith.” The evidence however points toward the exact opposite conclusion… as does common sense.