This is self-defeating. You have faith and trust that whatever you are placing your institutions on is correct. If you think God cannot be proven yet also lack hard knowledge, you are basing your argument on faith and it is an extrapolation. You might as well discard atheism all together - after all you said holding on to something that requires faith is discarded.
This is in response to the article, "Do atheists have faith?"
I re-read the article, and your response and there's obviously some points of confusion, and misunderstanding of definitions. I think it may help to unpack this from the bottom-up.
Also keep in mind - you may disagree with some of these definitions, however, if you're going to argue against what we're saying, if you don't shift gears into our definitions, you can only achieve a strawman argument.
You might as well discard atheism all together - after all you said holding on to something that requires faith is discarded.
To discard atheism would mean that I stop being a "not-theist", meaning I'd no longer not-believe, meaning I now believe in a god. Theist and atheist is a true dichotomy - you either believe in a god or you don't.
So you are literally saying (whether you understand your own words or not) that I should take a faith-position (believing in a god) because I said we want to discard taking faith-positions. That's what "discarding atheism" would mean.
I am an atheist precisely because the theists have failed to make their case, having not provided sufficient evidence and testing. "I don't believe you" is not a faith statement. It is, in fact, the exact opposite of faith. This was already addressed in the article, so I'll make the faith-based assumption that it just wasn't read the first time.
If you think God cannot be proven yet also lack hard knowledge, you are basing your argument on faith and it is an extrapolation.
Here's the next misconception of yours. This is a subtle difference, but an important one. I make no claims about whether God can be proven or not. I don't even know what that is, on my own. The only reason I know anything of this concept is because people have been pestering me with assertions about it my whole life. So when I address anything, it's their claims. That's why we try to get the theist to first define what the "god" thing is they're trying to prove. We don't know what it is they're talking about.
It takes zero faith to ascertain that the claims cannot be "proven". That's just it - they all but say it, point blank. God can't be tested. God is invisible. God leaves no evidence except to those people who buy into it (and who then, themselves can't provide it for some reason). God works in mysterious ways. God helps those who help themselves. Each one of those makes the thing - that they're trying to assert exists - untestable and unfalsifiable, and therefore, eliminates the possibility demonstrating the claim.
That's a lot of evidence that's directly communicated to us. Therefore, it's not faith.
- "I'm claiming that Geraffoids are real, but they don't manifest. What is your proof that they don't smell like anything?"
- "Because you literally just told me they don't manifest. Emitting a smell would be a manifestation, so if it doesn't manifest, it can't smell like anything. That's definitional."
- "Hah! You have faith!"
There's virtually as many god definitions are there are people who believe them. We can only address them one at a time.
You have faith and trust that whatever you are placing your institutions on is correct.
It sounds like you are equivocating faith and trust. Trust can be held for good or bad reasons. Faith is when you're doing it for bad ones (lack of evidence or in the face of contrary evidence). We've been flying airplanes for over a hundred years now. I have a gargantuan amount of evidence and data that suggests that modern aircraft are safe to fly. Zero faith involved. That wasn't the case when we had people hurtling themselves off cliffs with no testing or scientific backing, hundreds of years ago.
If you can't understand the difference between believing something to due good evidence, and believing something with no good evidence... we're going to have a difficult time having a conversation.
Do I trust my intuitions? For the most part. It's not 100% accurate, but it has kept me from dying in a car accident thus far. Somehow, I am able to operate a motor vehicle without wrapping myself around a tree. It's not faith, because it's evidence-based (I'm still alive).
We can dig deeper. Do I make certain assumptions, such as reality existing, or that I'm not in the Matrix? Yep. I have to do that. Gotta start somewhere - make some minimum required assumptions to become functional in life. And, just in case this needs to be explicitly stated - God is not a necessary assumption.
Being required to make some minimal assumption that I have to take on... ugh... faith, is not a blank check to just make whatever assumptions I want. Or is it? Damn, you may be right. Because I make the unevidenced assumption that reality exists - because it's impossible for me to function in life if I don't - I am now forced to 100% believe in:
- Ancient aliens
- Loch ness monster
- The Combine
- The success of trickle-down economics
- Santa Claus
- Out-of-body experiences