I've started to understand faith to be something like: I see a real relationship between my belief in this system and the outcomes that the system predicts, and I have faith that the relationship will hold true in the future, because it has held true in the past. This definition is somewhat ironically evidence-based. However, people often believe that the relationship is mystical... unexplainable by science...due to magical mediators.
But wait - isn't a mediator a real, physical explanation? Isn't it a contradiction to believe there is a mediator and that science can't explain it? I suppose we can look to Godel for a "proof" that things might exist which science can't explain. But then we'd have to trust Godel's axioms, and those are, after all, just theories...
But in this case we don't need any logical esoterica. Psychology shows us the way.
So when I sit down with mystics and decompose their faith into a combination of the variables that actually mediate the relationship, such as the placebo effect, priming, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, confirmation bias, or what is essentially a set of idiosyncrasies of the mind, they often seem to follow and are then not very pleased. They'd prefer we hadn't had the conversation. Or they won't follow... ignorance is bliss.
It seems as though they would rather the relationship remain mystical and mysterious. They don't really care what mediates the relationship as long as the relationship is real. The real objective is feeling good. Having your mystical beliefs explained does not initially feel good. It opens up an even vaster sea of mystery, which can be uncomfortable.
And now we can map this onto delay discounting. In the short term, having your beliefs explained is uncomfortable. But in the long run, you get to appreciate and enjoy the integral of all that science has already discovered and will discover in your lifetime. An integral which seems to be increasing exponentially.
Perhaps we can say then that in the past, before there was science, it made sense to be a mystic. There really wasn't even much of an alternative. But now it makes more sense, in terms of feeling good, to sit back and soak up the integral of the rewards of society's ever-expanding sphere of knowledge.