Does everyone have faith in something?

As many know, I am a Christian and have faith in Jesus Christ, Who I believe is God. I know there are many other religions which have followers with faith in various gods. But what about agnostics, atheists, etc. Do you have faith in luck, fate, chance, love, or some other kind of good-will-always-beat evil philosophy? I tend to think that a skeptic here would have faith in some sort of “overwhelming force of good” or you probably wouldn’t be on a message board to fight ignorance. That does require faith in the common sense of fellow man, does it not?

Nope, no faith whatsoever. I don’t follow why fighting ignorance has anything to do with belief in the inherent goodness of mankind. All I can figure is that fighting ignorance presupposes that people will actually change their minds based upon logic and evidence. Frankly, the evidence is strongly against this idea. However, a distinct minority of people is willing to consider new evidence. They are why I am here.

I, as an agnostic, don’t really have much faith in anything. At the moment I don’t think there is a God. The was a time, however, when I did and there may be a time in the foreseeable future whenI will become reconciled to my faith. At the moment, however, I do not think there is a divine entity and I’m pretty sure in my thinking. Therefore, I suppose the only thing I have faith in is the popwer of my own mind and decision making process. As regards those factors you mentiones, fate, chance, love, etc… I would say that I, and probably most agnostics, would have some sort of trust in them, however this is not the same as true faith in the theological sense.

Well, basically my answer, too, and much better put than I could have ever said it. So I’ll just say “ditto.”

Faith is faith.

You don’t know your mind will always make the best decision. In fact, in that post the faith you have in your mind failed because you didn’t spell the word “power” correctly. This would also indicate your decision making process may not be able to comprehend the existence of a perfect deity since you are not processing on a perfect level. This would seem to make your assumption of “No deity” to be rather arrogant.

Yes, it is. Theology teaches us we came from God’s creation. Humanism replaces theology and teaches we came from evolution which ‘happened’ by force and matter. Evolution is exactly fate/chance.

I believe that it’s time for me to get another beer :stuck_out_tongue:

I am an atheist, but I have faith in science. I believe that that rock will fall to the ground. I believe in things in the absence of direct evidence. Such things as evolution (macro,not just Darwin’s finches) and logic (that everything has a rational explanation) demand a certain faith the my feelings are right and that there is no higher power pulling the strings.

It is faith in God when there is no evidence. It is not faith in sceince to think that the earth will continue to spin around the sun (i.e.-to think the sun will rise tomorrow). Faith is based on lack of evidence one way or the other. Beliefs are based on observations and tested hypothesis.

That said, people most likely always have faith in something. When pressed to to explain many of their beliefs I have found that, in the end, people don’t know why they believe many things, including myself. Still, once that is realized, an athiest would most likely stop believing in such a thing or attempt to justify these assumptions by observation. To not do so is to take it on faith.

I once considered axioms to be a form of faith, but I have since stopped thinking that. (axioms in math) For example, you can assume, say, euclid’s axioms then proceed to build a reasonable bridge. This is sort of implicit testing, not explicit. However, faith is usually termed in things religious. Assuming God exists has no effect on reality, just on the mind. This shows that

  1. god exists and has changed you; or,
  2. you have changed yourself by lightening up and allowing things to happen, “knowing” that god will take care of things.

Anyway, in light of the lack of physical evidence of god, the latter is more likely (imo). Anyway, it is definitely unsupported and so is faith.

Faith in anything is faith, aynrandlover.

And how do you know the earth will continue around the sun tomorrow? You make an obervation with your limited resources (you have never seen, felt, tasted, smelt, or heard the earth travel) and yet you accept it as a fact. I’m just wondering why your faith in science isn’t carried over into some type of religion since both seek to justify actions/response/origins of Earth.

My faith causes me to assume God does exist and has an effect on reality. Please show me some evidence that God doesn’t exist. It’s an awfully vast universe ya know.

We have exceedingly good evidence that the earth will continue around the sun tomorrow. It has for the past 4.5 billion years. Furthermore, the principles of physics tell us that unless the Earth is diverted from its course by some outside force, it will continue its orbit around the sun. We have not observed any such force (such as a giant asteroid) in sight. Thus, we are justified in assuming with very high confidence that the Earth will continue circling the sun for the foreseeable future.

Shifting the burden of proof. You have to prove that God does exist and exercise some effect on the universe. It is not up to atheists to show the opposite, unless they are strong atheists. Unless you’d like to show me evidence that there isn’t a tea cup circling Nepture right about now.

Oh goody. A creationist who thinks that evolution is simply fate/chance. Is there some special manual they hand you guys entitled “101 Things to Say About Evolution to Embarass Yourself and Demonstrate your Ignorance”?

I could show you an article which explains why you are dead wrong, but my experience is that the odds of changing a creationist’s mind through logic and facts are about the same as the Earth not continuing its orbit around the sun tomorrow.

Epistemology. Learn it, love it, and know that what you know you really know.

Faith by definition involves a lack of evidence. Clearly, having seen the sun rise day in and day out can, by any standard, be considered as evidence.

First of all, it doesn’t have an effect on reality. It has an effect on what you think. This should be clear. Since you’ve come to have faith in god, the rest of the world and universe went on as if nothing had happened. This means, I’m sure this is clear, reality has not been effected. To contrast, we make an assumtion (axiom) of geometry and assume it to be true. We incorporate this axiom into our plans for building a bridge and the bridge falls. Clearly our assumtion was shown to be wrong; this is an effect on reality: our real bridge really didn’t stand. If we instead make an assumption that all unicorns are actually asexual, this is not testable. It is an act of faith to continue to think so.
I’m not saying there isn’t a chance you are right, I’m saying you can’t show it. If you cannot prove something one way or the other, that is faith to continue to believe in it.
You cannot show me that unicorns don’t exist. You can’t show me that the core of the sun is really made of ice-water. I can sit here all day and invent things that you cannot prove to be true. This sn’t to slight your belief in god, just to make the point: faith is based on lack of observation.
Of course I can’t prove god doesn’t exist, if I could I’d be the most famous bastard in the world and then the pope would assasinate me in a murder-suicide. What I can do is show that believing in god is not something that effects reality, because I used to believe in god, and now I don’t. The world at large, however, remains the same.

You know, I’m a lapsed Catholic who has faith in GOD, but not in religion. Because RELIGION is manmade…


I believe what he is saying, aynrandlover, is that God exists and has an effect on reality, not exactly faith.

Y’know, I think maybe my brain is wired wrong or something . . .

I learned in school that JC is the Son of God, but not God himself. You’ve got Gon the Father, Who made JC. You’ve got God the Son, who is JC, and God the HS.

But to believe JC is God . . . JC’s nature wsa both divine and human. God ain’t human. So I fail to see how JC is God.

Or maybe I’m just really tired and my brain isn’t working properly. The Trinity has always confused me (for good reason).

But as for Evolution is chance . . . um, I would say “prove it”, but we’ve any number of evolution/creationism threads that sunk to the bottom of GD and GQ. And I sure as hell don’t want to be blamed for getting into another.

God was part of three-the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Confusing to me, too.

Oh well, what can ya do?

(Definitions courtesy of the American Heritage Dictionary.)


“1. A confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.” – Sure, I have def. 1 faith in lots of things.

“2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence: faith in miracles.” – Nope. Or I at least try hard not to have def. 2 faith.

“3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one’s supporters.” – Sure.

“4. Belief and trust in God and in the doctrines expressed in the Scriptures or other sacred works; religious conviction.” – By definition, no.

“5. A system of religious beliefs: the Moslem faith.” – No. I am not an adherent of any def. 5 “faith”. I reject the idea that humanism is a “faith” per def. 5 because, while humanism certainly involves faith per def. 1 or def. 3, it does not involve faith per def. 2 or def. 4.

“6. Any set of principles or beliefs: ‘Realism has been his literary faith from his earliest days’ (Alfred Kazin).” – By this definition, of course, humanism could be termed a “faith”, and I would therefore be an adherent to a faith. Personally, I wouldn’t use this term, though, because I think it would mistakenly give the impression that humanism is a faith per def. 5, resting on faith per def. 2 or def. 4. Incidentally, some of the other “isms” which often get pigeonholed as “religions” may not be def. 5 faiths–does Buddhism involve faith by def. 2 or def. 4, or only by def. 1? I don’t know–nobody ever leaves Buddhist treatises in my motel room.

Everybody has Faith in something or other. Even if it’s only that the sun will come up, your food isn’t poison, your Mom really loves you Etc. You can’t really prove any of those things, but what else are you going to do?

If you meant the Girl who plays Faith on the Buffy the Vampire Show, No, I don’t have any of that, but I would like some.


And referring back to my first post: scientists may have faith that evolution has occured, or that the Sun will come up (or that Earth’s rotation will continue so as to allow direct observation of the Sun, currently obstructed by the bulk of the planet), or that their mothers really love them. But all of these are faith in the sense of “confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing”, not in the sense of “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence”. They are not properly analogous to religious dogmas.

No, I cannot prove you spell “the” t-h-e to illiterates. I cannot prove that even if I fully describe the fundamental difference between faith and a supported conclusion that people will understand. There are, indeed, many things to have faith in.
Faith that the Straight Dope, some day, will have finished fighting ignorance; now that is an act fo faith.

MEBuckner: nice. Very good to clear up a post such as this. Then again, as I have found, there are those among us who aren’t troubled by things like defenitions, so the battle never ends. [disclaimer: not referring, necessarily, to anyone in this thread]

No, faith entails the lack of PROOF. It does not mean a complete lack of evidence, which is entirely different.

For example, I have faith that my mother would willingly sacrifice her life for me. I have no absolute proof of that, but I do have evidence, based on past demonstrations of her love.

Similarly, I have faith that my best friend can be trusted with all my vital secrets. I don’t have absolute faith of that, but I have evidence that he is a trustworthy fellow. After all, he has demonstrated this in times past.

It is a common fallacy among atheists to equate “evidence” with “proof.” They are NOT the same thing. At a murder scene, for example, a smoking gun would be considered evidence. However, it would not be considered absolute proof of anything.

As a theist, I contend that there is evidence for God’s existence, but there is no absolute proof. Let’s keep this this distinction in mind, shall we?