Disambiguating Faith: How Faith Poisons Religion

There are many wonderful parts of life that billions of people experience through a religious framework, at least partially to their benefit. Spiritual experiences mean a lot to many people and many people interpret their spiritual experience within the symbols, concepts, rituals, metaphysics, and community of their religious group. Rituals enrich people’s lives by giving [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How Just Opposing Faith, In Principle, Means You Actually Don't Have Faith, In Practice

Eric writes: Popular atheism in America celebrates versions of naturalism, materialism, empiricism, and so on, that are often based on weak arguments or even on no arguments at all. Popular atheism in America is already faith – and I’m sympathetic to the Christians who refer to it as such. Unfortunately, popular atheism is often just as [Read More...]

Contra-Steinhart: Why We Should Not Identify As "Evolutionists"

While I agree with Eric Steinhart’s claims that atheists need to take metaphysics seriously and while I would be open to considering evolutionary models for answering metaphysical, ethical, and cosmological questions if they are promising, below I am going to briefly surmise several serious reservations I have to Eric’s suggestions that we ditch the term [Read More...]

On Atheists And “Interfaith” Participation

There is a lot of commotion in the atheist blogosphere about how and/or whether atheists should participate in so-called “interfaith” organizations in which (if I understand correctly) members of different religions cooperate on shared service projects, aim at shared goals together, and (possibly?) dialogue about where they might find philosophical, ethical, and political common ground [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith Which Exploits Infinitesimal Probabilities As Openings For Strong Affirmations

Pete C. argues that because our comprehension is limited, it is hubris for us to rule out faith in things that alleged to go beyond it: I’m not sure where I fall in the spectrum of agnosticism (if i belong there at all) so I can’t really self identify. But I will offer an explanation [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: The Evidence-Impervious Agnostic Theists

A vast majority of believers, though probably not all, believed in God before they ever encountered any arguments for its existence.  For obvious cultural and psychological reasons, the concept of God is intuitively understandable and believable for most children and by far most believers start believing in childhood.  Even those who spend a short time as [Read More...]

Agnostics Or Apistics?

In the past, I have defended the idea that rather than classifying people simply as atheists, agnostics, and theists that we should separate the questions of the contents of beliefs (whether they are atheistic or theistic) from whether one’s atheism or theism is held as a matter of knowledge or not. If one’s theism is [Read More...]

Disambiguating Belief

Ophelia Benson counters a common and deeply misleading equivocation (one I counter often, but most specifically addressed here and here): Belief is about truth; it equates to”it is true that X”. It is thus cognitive rather than emotive. It seems odd to me to ask if it would be better to believe the things I [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Implicit Faith

In last night’s installment of the “Disambiguating Faith” series, I talked about the difference between, on the one hand, volitionally choosing to believe something that is either not rationally warranted or which is positively refuted by the available evidence, and, on the other hand, simply thinking one has rational warrant for one’s belief and yet [Read More...]


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