Some interesting comments on that discussion that I wanted to respond to - but it's gone, so I've started another discussion to continue....

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Alice, I liked the article on faith is a homonym and didn't realize it is gone.  Glad you picked it up.  Good choice.  

Wanderer replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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I make it a bit of a mission to point out to fellow atheists that we do not ever have to use the word "faith" to mean anything other than unjustified belief, specifically religious beliefs. And we should not either, because they try to confuse the issue as much as possible, and this is one of their key strategies. Instead of saying you have "faith" in others, say what you mean, that you trust them, and that this trust is a reasonable belief based on the available evidence. When they break your trust, you adjust that trust a reasonable amount as well, relative to the severity of the breach. Non-contingent faith, as you put it, is just the belief/hope that things are the way you want them to be, and is independent of evidence. So, as you point out, it is worthless, and irrational, and unjustifiable. "Contingent faith" does do a good job of avoiding the problems the religious would cause us, but why operate on their terms, with their terminology, if we don't have to? Just call it trust, or justifiable belief, or beliefs contingent on evidence. We should never use the word faith in any other context other than to make the religious aware that they are being irrational!
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Kevin C Jenkins replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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There's contingent faith and non-contingent faith. I have contingent faith in the relationships in my life, whether they're family, friends, or lovers. I know that it's possible for them to let me down, but I place a sort of hopeful trust in them that they'll do the best they can to help rather than harm me. My belief in their goodwill is falsifiable, but in general they validate it. Faith in god(s) is not falsifiable, because there's always some excuse when things don't work out, no matter how bad things get. The religiously faithful will still claim good things as validation of their faith, but I contend that it's meaningless to do so if there's no way to be let down. Non-contingent faith is worthless.
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Donny replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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I would tend to agree that faith and theory are words that are very misunderstood.  Faith to me implies acceptance without proof. Theory, as I just hear on a Richard Dawkins video, to the non-scienticic something that may or may not be true. Thus a theory of faith.

 I c&p this definition of theory, because I hate to type: A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be...: "Darwin's theory of evolution" or A set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based: "a theory of education"; "music theory".

So faith in the flying spaghetti monster is a matter of personal conviction while belief in the theory of evolution is based on verifiable fields knowledge. So it seems more than faith that the sun will rise in the morning just as it is not magic when a solar eclipse occurs.

I do agree with Charles that most Christians don’t understand their own religious beliefs. This group tends to cherry pick it’s beliefs from their bible, to bolster whatever their argument is.    
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John Hayes replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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Again, I agree with Wanderer and Alice. Should we add the word evil to this category too, or does that deserve it's own post. It drives me nuts when politicians talk about evil things. Evil is a word, in my opinion (and without having done any diligent research on the word), belongs to church and religion. In things such as politics, shouldn't we talk about good and bad, moral and immoral, legal and illegal, good doers and criminal; not good and evil, not heaven and hell?
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Kevin C Jenkins replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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Well, I do mean it as trust based on hope rather than evidence.  I would say it applies in all sorts of interactions with other people, just to a lesser degree than it does with those I know better.  Just passing someone on the street takes a bit of contingent faith that they aren't going to suddenly attack you.  They could falsify that hopeful trust you extended to them, and while you may assume it's unlikely, you really have no evidence to base your trust on if it's the first time you've ever seen that person. 
I don't tend to use the word 'faith' without some explanation of the difference between contingent and non-contingent types... and it's more of  way to get a theist to consider how meaningful their faith could possibly be if good things are considered validation while bad ones are excused.  Comparing it to a real-world relationship points out just how unbalanced a system that is.
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Wanderer replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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I agree with you there John. And yes, it is an entirely separate topic, but the idea itself seems to have no merit whatsoever. I can't understand how religious believers don't realize the problem therein - if "God" created everything, and evil exists, then he created evil. It is just such an astounding error in reasoning. But I guess if they adhere to their beliefs based of faith, then this really shouldn't be so much of a surprise, should it?
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Wanderer replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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On the other hand, one can make rational inferences about people's behavior in general. How often have you, or anyone you know of, been randomly attacked in the street in broad daylight? It doesn't take any leap of the imagination to assume you are safe, or any undue trust. By that logic, we would have no justification whatsoever for any of our beliefs. This logic is the one that says that the future is in no way dependent upon what has happened in the past. Safe things become just as dangerous as very dangerous things, our knowledge of the world reduces to zero, and, in a turn the religious would very much welcome (and have exerted much effort to argue is in fact the case!), every belief of ours is simply an act of faith. And that goes for the belief in reason as well. I've had this argument with a very clever believer before. And there is the trap, because once you have agreed that even the belief in reason takes a leap of faith that reason allows us to have reliable beliefs about the external, mind-independent world, then faith is introduced even before we are permitted the use of our reason! By this line of argument, faith becomes justified on the basis that we "need it" even to use reason. It is for this very reason that I shout out, do not let them get away with this! Do not grant them the use of the word faith as having any credibility whatsoever, or it will undermine every attempt at using reason to demonstrate the utter lack of justification they have for their beliefs. 
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Kevin C Jenkins replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
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Amos 3:6
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
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Lamentations 3:38
Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
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Of course, you can expect apologists to do their usual semantic contortionist act if you point out any of those, but even if you replace 'evil' with 'calamity' or 'suffering', it amounts to the same thing.  Either "mysterious ways' or some kind of metaphysical victim-blaming is used to excuse their god's infliction of suffering on people.
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Kevin C Jenkins replied to charles defrates's discussion "faith is a homonym" in ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN on Atheist Nexus

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Actually, I have been randomly attacked by a stranger, though I was on a train rather than a street.  I had to pin the guy until security came and took over so they could put him off at the next stop.  For about a year after, I was constantly running "what if this person attacks me?" scenarios in the back of my mind whenever I met someone I didn't already know well.
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Just let me know if any of you are not happy with me posting your previous responses and I'll delete them.

hello alice ans all others.

 

 I improved my blog faith..

    I knew their was something wrong my whole Christian life with the word faith. I first thought that when i was 19 years old, and it was like a riddle i just would bring it up every so often (maybe twice a year) and try to find the answer. I am really so proud of myself today for unravaling the churches word play. expachally since it plays such an important part in the daily lives of the christian. Hea!for the free thinkers! I truely hope this thing spreads throught the world, because it truefully strikes at the heart, the base, the foundation of religion. Now how do I get the whole world to read it, that is the big question????? please respond i really need input now!!!

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