Atheist: Faith is NOT “Belief Without Evidence”
Finally, an atheist is as irritated as I am over the consistent use of faith to mean, as Dawkins uses it, “belief in the absence of (or in the teeth of) evidence.” Or, as Mark Twain famously put it, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t true.”
Dr. Simon Kolstoe wrote to the editors of Philosophy Now accusing them of using the pejorative definition of faith forwarded by Dawkins et. al. to make fun of religious believers. Dr. Kolstoe points out that even the wildest conspiracy theory rests at least on bad evidence. We may not always agree to where the evidence points, he reasons, but let’s agree at least that there is some.
[Faith] is taking the leap from tentatively believing a theory, to using that theory as a working principle. It is not belief in the absence of logic or evidence; it is a belief based upon ‘good enough’ evidence. Such a definition seems far more useful than the impossible definition of ‘ a belief without evidence’, or the rhetorical use as ‘a belief I do not agree with’.
What is biblical faith? Loyalty and trust based on past performance.