The difference between faith and fact is the difference between reality and illusion. Facts are real and undeniable, faith is belief in that which cannot be proven factual. The two have no relationship and oppose each other, to accept one is to repudiate the other. Facts are evidence based on reason and reality removing any doubt, facts win over belief or imagination or wishful thinking. They guide us through rationalization in our daily lives which without we would be in trouble. A rational approach starts with data and then works towards a conclusion, belief starts with the conclusion and then works backwards looking for data that fits. In this regard theological explanation of reality - or belief - is trounced by scientific explanation of reality - or facts. Ultimately facts are something that exist, the truth. A truth based on actual experience and observation.
Faith on the other hand is belief in the absence of reason, something that is not based on proof. At one time all things were attributed to gods but as science has been
able to explain them man has backed up and stopped making some claims,
but goes on to continue saying that what's left unexplained is the works
of gods. When the religious are confronted with facts profane ad hominem attacks follow because their views are shaped by faith and not facts and faith cannot explain facts. All religions share a prime universally common trait, (belief in
lack of evidence i.e 'faith') most can be generalized in conversation
and debate for utter lack of evidence. This is where in essence the scientific method is turned inside out. The
virtuous thing is to just believe, to accept what you are told is
truth, and that questioning or even looking for proof or evidence is a
bad thing to do.
Faith is not subject to critical thought. It is only subject to critical FEELING. As if emotions were the key to knowledge. Also, interestingly/suspiciously in the faith tradition the lack of
critical thought (aka questioning) of faith is thought to be a virtue. It unequivocally stipulates without any shred of evidence that god is a concept to describe the life force that bonds everything together. For example: A young person starts researching his or her religion only to create
doubt that their religion is correct. This person goes to the local
preacher and asks what he/she should do. The preacher responds "you must
This simple statement tells the young person to ignore the evidence and believe regardless. Here the mind is shaped and boxed to only accept a certain view regardless of the objectivity of reason/reality and life of fear begins because without fear religion cannot exist on faith alone. Blind reliance on miracles, angels, demons and other supernatural
invisible beings take precedent, inoculating the individual from
rationality. This also exemplifies the established correlation between religiosity and low educational attainment.
The relationship between religiosity and lower intelligence and that between higher educational attainment and lower religiosity (religion vs intelligence) stems from the religious' intuitive thinking processes and the non-religious' reflective and analytical thinking respectively. And although both (intuitive thinkers and analytical thinkers) may possess similar understanding of fact versus faith the thinking styles differ significantly. Intuitive thinkers incorrigibly maintain childhood indoctrination whereas critical thinkers comprehensively analyze, question and reflect objectively. This type of thinkers tend to place greater emphasis on emotion compared to the other group, and prevalent in developing countries.
The critical component of fear in religion blurs reality and facts to sustain the belief system much of which is presented as self righteousness. Maintaining religious domination which clearly lacks facts and truth requires utilization of fear as a primal weapon. In early human evolution the survival instinct of fear has been exploited by religions for a variety of reasons. Constant fear is a mind killer. The acceptability of the idea of religious observance as a consequence of fear of death, hell, etc, remains accentuated to this day.
There have been thousands upon thousands of gods/faiths invented by men throughout the ages. Gods come and gods go, and yet not one has ever actually done anything
or actually been seen or heard by anyone. Factually speaking none merit actuality since all are based on stories told ad nauseum without any regard for facts. (People have claimed to see
or hear a god, but this can be discounted as hallucination or mental
illness.) If religions were fact-based there would be no need for fear and brainwashing of susceptible young minds because facts would be presented instead. Faith is emotion based and shouldn't be confused with facts and reality. This rudimentary compartmentalization of religiosity, although vague,
requires more comprehensive understanding and elucidation because of
catastrophic consequences associated with it (death and destruction in
appeasement of the unknown).