Faith has a few definitions. In fact, it has a lot of definitions, to the point that the word entering any conversation often obfuscates and confuses the discussion.
- Belief in a god.
- Accepting a claim as true without sufficient evidence
Keep in mind that atheists don't have a problem with all the definitions. Instead we'll address the pertinent definition.
Faith is an strong form of belief (accepting a claim as true), where what you're accepting is either:
- Unsupported by valid evidence
- Is contradicted by valid evidence
If one's belief is backed up by good valid evidence, it is not faith. For instance, it does not take faith to think one can fly in an airline and survive. Plenty of evidence exists that demonstrates the relative safety (over say, driving in a car) of air travel.
The objection that atheists have with faith is not that it is a belief. It is that one is accepting something as true without it being supported by good evidence.
That seems foolish to critical thinkers. The time to accept a claim as true is when it is been sufficiently demonstrated.
Edited 14 times - Last Modified Dec 19, 2012
- Isn't "believing that God doesn't exist" the same thing as "not believing in God"?
- Do you only believe in what you can see, touch, feel, etc?
- Why do you ignore all the evidence around you for a god?
- Where does morality come from, if not God?
- Why do atheists support gays so much?
- Do atheists believe in nothing?
- If it wasn't God, who created the universe?
- Are you afraid of going to hell?
- Why are you so closed minded?
- What is the point of living without an afterlife or god?
- What if you are wrong?
- Can you prove that God doesn't exist?
- Will you admit that there is a possibility of a god?
- Do atheists have faith?
- Where does the meaning, and purpose of life come from?
- If there is no god, how do you explain _______?
- Why do atheists have faith in science?
- Are atheists empty, unhappy people?
- What bad experience made you hate god?
- Where to do you go when you die?
- Do you believe all this came about by random chance or by accident?
- What would it take to prove to you that a god exists?
- Why don't you just sit down and shut up, and let others have their beliefs?
- Why are atheists so angry?
- Aren't you just rebelling against God because you want to sin?
- Isn't it arrogant to say that science has all the answers?
- Wouldn't it be safer to just believe than risk going to hell?
- What is faith?
- Have you tried to believe in God?
- Why did you choose to be an atheist?
- Doesn't you being so against God prove he exists?
- Is atheism a religion?
- Where do you think rights come from, if not God?
- Do atheists want to take religious freedom from Christians?
- What is in it for me to be an atheist?
- Don't atheists believe there is no god?
- How do you know you are right?
- Do you believe in a soul or spirit?
- If you don't worship God, do you worship yourselves?
- What is an agnostic?
- Don't you have to be skeptical about skepticism?
- What is the difference between an agnostic and an atheist?
- What do you base your beliefs from?
- Don't you know that you're just supposed to have faith?
- What is an atheist?
- Why do you ignore god?