Daily Archives: July 21, 2011
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.
Robert Kunda has an excellent post on the futility of atheist arguments. Excerpt:
I was [an atheist]. I joined in all the thoughtless rhetoric. I’ve since grown up (at least in some measure). And I still hear the same nonsensical rants spouted off that I used to, as if Christians have never heard the bumper-sticky slogans before. (It’s worth noting that in many of the debates mentioned, like the overwhelming majority of Christian critics, the Christianity that’s being argued against generally bears little or no resemblance to biblical Christianity. These guys put all this effort into rebutting beliefs no one holds. I believe Christendom as a whole warrants a large portion of the blame for failing to present a cogent description and defense of their faith to the population as a whole.)
Why isn’t atheism very dangerous to Christians with a firm foundation in their faith? Because “[i]t’s hard to convince someone that someone that they actually know doesn’t actually exist.”
The real threat comes from inside the church!