Faith, to most my life-long friends, involves "believing" in something so beautiful and important that to replace this faith with something other than hope for something more beautiful than facts is some kind of treason. It is as though I want to take away their dreams of something magically beautiful, important beyond measure -- and replace it with dull, bleak, heartless reality.
The 1933 novel "Lost Horizons" by James Hilton describes a beautiful-beyond-comprehension place in the tops of the Himalayan Kunlun mountains that was a utopia. In the film version, Lord Gainsford said about whether or not he believed in its existence after searching for it his entire life, "Yes. Yes, I believe it. I believe it because I want to believe it. Gentlemen, I give you a toast. Here's my hope that Robert Conway will find his Shangri-La. Here's my hope that we all find our Shangri-La." That pretty much touches something in us that it is better to believe in something that raises our spirits than to face up to ONLY believing in reality -- that often does nothing to raise our awe at life and existence.
I have been asked by my wife [who tries hard to understand my skepticism] why I can't believe in something so beautiful as heaven when the belief is so glorious for her in facing mortality. [In her mind, being "Mormon", heaven is referred to as "Celestial" heaven] I have answered till this point in my life that I have tried to believe in the LDS concept of heaven all my life [all 67 years of it], but at some point I have to admit that I do not see enough evidence for the kind of magical thinking that is required to accept it.