I have met and debated with an atheist who says he has faith

c1925
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I have met and debated with an atheist who says he has faith

As an antitheist, I regard faith as something that only belongs with theists. But I've met one atheist who says that we all use faith everyday for everything. On attempts to tell him he's using a misnomer, and that he doesn't really mean "faith", but "rational choice theory" and "confidence", he continues to say that no it's not those at all, but faith. What should I tell him, how should I explain his error, or should I continue to even bother?


 


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Hi, welcome to the

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Cpt_pineapple
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Well faith defined as

Well faith defined as believe despite no evidence or despite evidence to the contrary is not exclusive to theists. [That is how I define faith at least]

 

It all matters how he defines faith.

 

 

He may be right or he may be wrong depending of the definition.

 

 

 


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Faith is defined as the

Faith is defined as the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing. 

Having faith doesn't nececerly require a belief in god. It simply means that you trust someone or something.

 

i.e. If you trust that your friend will deliver a message to you, it means that you have faith in him.

It's true that the church's repeated use of this word has inevitably and irreversibly scared its true meaning, but if you look at it from a technical point of view than yes, we all use faith every day. 

"I don't believe in afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear."


Cpt_pineapple
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Actually I would like to

Actually I would like to hear c1925's definition of faith

 

 

 


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Who has "Faith" can not be

Who has "Faith" can not be determined, until you know what "Faith" is.


BobSpence
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We do not all have faith as

We do not all have faith as the word is used in the religious sense, or shouldn't have.

That is acceptance of some idea with no evidence, or even despite contrary evidence, purely because it is required if you are to seriously hold some belief.

The everyday usage is simply a stronger form of 'trust', usually with at least some basis, just not enough to establish some idea strongly, or without serious doubt.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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BobSpence1 wrote:We do not

BobSpence1 wrote:

We do not all have faith as the word is used in the religious sense, or shouldn't have.

That is acceptance of some idea with no evidence, or even despite contrary evidence, purely because it is required if you are to seriously hold some belief.

The everyday usage is simply a stronger form of 'trust', usually with at least some basis, just not enough to establish some idea strongly, or without serious doubt.

 

 

Actually everybody holds beliefs despite evidence to the contrary, we just rationalize away the contrary evidence. We all hold believes with no evidence and just rationalize our justification for them.

 

Even intelligent, skeptical people do this.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We do not all have faith as the word is used in the religious sense, or shouldn't have.

That is acceptance of some idea with no evidence, or even despite contrary evidence, purely because it is required if you are to seriously hold some belief.

The everyday usage is simply a stronger form of 'trust', usually with at least some basis, just not enough to establish some idea strongly, or without serious doubt.

 

 

Actually everybody holds beliefs despite evidence to the contrary, we just rationalize away the contrary evidence. We all hold believes with no evidence and just rationalize our justification for them.

 

Even intelligent, skeptical people do this.

 

 

 

 

Is that FFXIII?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Well, I just see it as a

Well, I just see it as a term that should be used exclusively in religious terms. I think it's asinine when someone says that atheists have faith, or when this particular atheist says he has faith that God doesn't exist, and think that that counts as a reasonable explanation for why God doesn't exist. Nevermind the fact that God doesn't exist, that's not the issue here.

I see faith as that which is pushed off as an explanation on why people believe that God exists. Since it's always been used in this sense throughout history by mainly religious people, with the minor exception every now and then on an emphasis that one puts trust in someone else (which gives the word too much variation imo), I have always seen faith as a religious word, and a curse word for secularists. Same idea with the n-word. The common expectancy of use of this word is seen as okay for black people, but not okay for white people.

As stated above, a better word would be "confidence", as in I have confidence that God doesn't exist, or I have confidence that a friend do some favor for me. The definition of faith according to dictionary.com is:

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. 2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims. 4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty. 5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith. 6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith. 7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles. 8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved. —Idiom 9. in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad. Use faith in a Sentence See images of faith Search faith on the Web Origin: 1200–50; ME feith < AF fed, OF feid, feit < L fidem, acc. of fidēs trust, akin to fīdere to trust. See confide —Related forms mul·ti·faith, adjective

For confidence:

 

1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed. 2. belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him. 3. certitude; assurance: He described the situation with such confidence that the audience believed him completely. 4. a confidential communication: to exchange confidences. 5. (esp. in European politics) the wish to retain an incumbent government in office, as shown by a vote in a particular issue: a vote of confidence. 6. presumption; impudence: Her disdainful look crushed the confidence of the brash young man. 7. Archaic. something that gives confidence; ground of trust. —Idiom 8. in confidence, as a secret or private matter, not to be divulged or communicated to others; with belief in a person's sense of discretion: I told him in confidence. Use confidence in a Sentence See images of confidence Search confidence on the Web Origin: 1350–1400; ME (< MF) < L confīdentia. See confide, -ence —Related forms hy·per·con·fi·dence, noun non·con·fi·dence, noun su·per·con·fi·dence, noun —Synonyms 1. faith, reliance, dependence. See trust. 2. Confidence, assurance both imply a faith in oneself. Confidence may imply trust in oneself or arrogant self-conceit. Assurance implies even more sureness of oneself; this may be shown as undisturbed calm or as offensive boastfulness. —Antonyms 1. mistrust.

As you can see the clear distinction in the definitions, only in "faith" is there definitions with religious connotations, but with "confidence", there are none. I propose that the word "faith" is not to be used in a secular sense at all. I abhor the word, because when used in a secular sense, it seems to make it okay for religious people to abuse the definition and point out that "atheists really do use faith after all."


Cpt_pineapple
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mellestad wrote:Is that

mellestad wrote:

Is that FFXIII?

 

Yes.

 

 

c1925 how does HE define faith?

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We do not all have faith as the word is used in the religious sense, or shouldn't have.

That is acceptance of some idea with no evidence, or even despite contrary evidence, purely because it is required if you are to seriously hold some belief.

The everyday usage is simply a stronger form of 'trust', usually with at least some basis, just not enough to establish some idea strongly, or without serious doubt.

 

 

Actually everybody holds beliefs despite evidence to the contrary, we just rationalize away the contrary evidence. We all hold believes with no evidence and just rationalize our justification for them.

Even intelligent, skeptical people do this.

Yes we are all susceptible to this, but many religious people openly and explicitly claim that acceptance of a belief despite the evidence is OK, which is different to our common tendency to automatically rationalize away cognitive dissonance.

I do not consider it is Ok, and if anyone can make a case that I am rationalizing, I will make a conscious effort to re-examine my assumptions. I have done this many times, and occasionally made significant adjustments in my assumptions.

This is not what I see as the normal response of most Theists when so challenged on a point of Faith.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


c1925
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
mellestad wrote:
Is that FFXIII?
Yes.



c1925 how does HE define faith?

He defines faith as confidence, but without the religious usage. I see it as him picking and choosing the definitions to use, where he could just throw out the word altogether, and use confidence instead.



On side notes, what's up with the shitty text editor, and why does the login thing not recognize my user and password and force to use the "forgot password" field everytime?


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c1925 wrote:As an

c1925 wrote:

As an antitheist, I regard faith as something that only belongs with theists. But I've met one atheist who says that we all use faith everyday for everything. On attempts to tell him he's using a misnomer, and that he doesn't really mean "faith", but "rational choice theory" and "confidence", he continues to say that no it's not those at all, but faith. What should I tell him, how should I explain his error, or should I continue to even bother?


 

 

I think I would get into a discussion about Pascal's wager with him. Does he think that a religious person that 'believes' because the potential payoff is better than not believing is really a person of faith? Does he think atheists are idiots for not taking Pascal's wager?

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Faith is defined several

Faith is defined several ways:

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing

2. belief that is not based on proof

3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion

4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.

5. a system of religious belief

6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.

7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.

8. Christian Theologythe trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

 

It really depends on what kind of faith he's talking about. Since he's self-identifying as an atheist, he's probably not talking about 3, 5, or 8.  In this type of discussion it really boils down to definition 2: belief that is not based on proof.  This doesn't necessarily mean there is no proof for a certain faith-claim, only that the belief that the claim is true is not based upon proof. What it essentially means is that faith is the position that something is true no matter what evidence to the contrary is presented.  Ray Comfort is the epitome of this kind of faith. He has said repeatedly that he doesn't care what the evidence says, he'll believe in God no matter what. So in a certain way, faith can also be said to be the dogged refusal to change one's mind in light of new evidence. Faith, religious faith, is dogma. The only way to change someone's faith in this sense is to appeal to emotion, because it is emotions that led them to the belief in the first place.

I have faith. Faith in my wife, faith in our civilization, the idea that I should keep my promises and show fidelity towards others.  But I have that kind of faith for good reason. The faith I have that my wife won't cheat on me is based upon the fact that I've known her for quite some time and based upon what I know of her character she probably won't ever do so.  I have faith in my friends for similar reasons. Now if my wife ever does cheat on me or if my friends stab me in the back, I will lose that faith in them.  I won't continue believing the same things about them that I did before. The body of evidence changed and therefore my faith in them diminished.  Faith in your friends and family can in no way be the same as religious faith and religious belief.  If someone with religious faith prays to God and he doesn't answer, they're not going to stop believing in God. They're going to make an excuse ("well, I guess what I wanted wasn't part of God's plan."  WTF!?  If God has a plan why are you trying to interfere with it in the first place?!) and keep on trying again.  It's like someone with a gambling problem addicted to slot machines.  They just keep pumping the quarters in and pulling the lever, but nothing ever happens. They see other people win and work up a new zeal for the machine, but for the vast majority of people it never pays out.


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Theists

 

Who use faith as a broad descriptor in order to colour all with the same brush cross the line in my view. Religious faith is faith in a mighty being existing outside the universe that can never be detected, yet who is believed to have created everything. This not the same as run of the mill everyday faith in things about which we can know. Nor can it be compared to trusting the veracity of scientific theories that have been peer-tested, while remaining prepared to change stance in the face of new evidence. The Captain is right, of course. We do all rely on faith. But religious faith should have a word of its own.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Faith is a conscious

Faith is a conscious rejection of fear. Like a gamble.


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Belief , I would describe it

Belief , I would describe it as a tendency to adhere to something that has a bit of evidence at least.

Faith , nonsense.

I describe myself as a gnostic theist , therefore I believe in God . I believe in God almost as much as my existence .

 

When we observe things , it's hard to say whether or not it is real , unless you have had the experience of trust.

To a newborn , a hot stove would feel funny , and the baby would suddenly loose trust in the stove's safety , and then that funny feeling becomes pain , and eventually fear.

Naturally , we have had this trust experience for every day of our life , and it keeps increasing.

It is the reason why children can let go of reality , and believe in fairy tales.

However , the older and experienced you are , the more "in tune" , you are with the world , and the world eventually becomes existent to a state that you cannot even have irrational dreams about something supernatural. We don't stray from the supernatural , but we do become more attracted to the natural. Instead of putting my trust in God , I put my trust into reasoning and philosophy. I systematically doubted things , using Rene Descartes' method . Eventually , the only thing that I found that was 100% real , was only myself.

I exist , and nothing can tell me that I am wrong. If anything tells me I am wrong , then they are wrong.

That is the only 100% true thing in life , and the only thing that needs not faith or belief.