Disambiguating Faith: Defending My Definition Of Faith As “Belief Or Trust Beyond Rational Warrant”

Last week I responded to David Crowther’s argument that we should equally consider all beliefs that are not 100% certain to be “faith beliefs”.  I argued that the word “belief” already covers the fact that we are fallible human beings and as such even our most nearly 100% certain propositions about the world are always [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Not All Beliefs Held Without Certainty Are Faith Beliefs

David Crowther raises a crucial point of contention: What I really want to do, is get back to the question of whether atheism is necessarily a “faith position”. If we generalize the term “faith” to mean believing or relying on something without absolute proof, than I think it is true to say that every possible [Read More...]

No, I’m Not An Atheist By Faith, Here Are My Arguments.

Yesterday Ron Rosenbaum aggressively attacked atheism and defended agnosticism in Slate. He starts out with the familiar charge that atheists have “faith”. But faith in what? Atheists display a credulous and childlike faith, worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence—the certainty that they can or will be able to explain how and why the [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Why Faith Is Unethical (Or “In Defense Of The Ethical Obligation To Always Proportion Belief To Evidence”)

A couple of weeks ago, I argued that there was a real distinction between “lacking a belief in any God or gods” on the one hand and “believing there is no God (or gods)” on the other hand.  Primarily I saw the heart of the distinction as resting with the difference between on the one [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How A Lack Of Belief In God May Differ From Various Kinds Of Beliefs That Gods Do Not Exist

Yesterday on Friendly Atheist there was a vigorous debate in the comments section about whether there is a real and important difference between claiming one lacks belief in God (or gods) and outright claiming that there is no God (or gods). Here is a nice formulation of the argument that the distinction is an irrelevant [Read More...]

Maximal Self-Realization In Self-Obliteration: The Existential Paradox of Heroic Self-Sacrifice

Last summer I wrote a number of posts through which I sought to disambiguate the various senses of the word faith and in the process distinguish the various virtuous ethical and epistemic practices for which faith is typically confused by means of ambiguous equivocations.  I attempted to distinguish the virtues of hope, loyalty, trust, intuitional [Read More...]

Andy Thomson on Why We Believe in Gods

Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Answering Accusations Against Atheists: The Charge That Atheists Have Faith Too

Chris tosses out his frustrations with activist atheists in reply to my post on Jon Stewart’s views on religion. In a post last night, I rejected his assumption that not liking the tactics or particular arguments that particular atheists use is somehow a reason to reject the essential atheist position that there are no gods. [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith As Tradition’s Advocate And Enforcer, Opposed To Merely Provisional Forms Of Trust

David appeals to MacIntyre to raise a really interesting question: What is your assessment of faith as the starting point of tradition constituted inquiry as understood by MacIntyre? This is accepting the standards of argument, explanation, justification internal to and partially constitutive of the extended argument that constitutes what MacIntyre calls a tradition. In this [Read More...]


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