Originally Posted by jazzguru
Clearly our perceptions of faith and its applications are different. I've tried to explain my point of view as best I can.
You will note I have not attacked you or made any assertions as to your intent or beliefs.
I stand by my statement that atheism requires just as much faith as any religion.
But it's a misleading statement. Even assuming your warped definition of faith is correct, if faith could be assigned mass, I'd say it would take a picogram of faith to be an atheist while it takes several gigagrams to be religious. The two are so many orders of magnitude apart they shouldn't be discussed in the same sentence.
Let's break down what you're saying here:
1) Atheism requires faith.
2) Faith can be quantified.
3) Atheism and religion require the same type of faith.
4) Atheism and religion require the same amounts of the same type of faith.
Ok, now let me respond:
1) Atheism is the default position. Non-belief is what you start with. You are told to believe in something and then you determine whether to accept said beliefs or reject them and remain where you began. Atheism is about saying "Based on what you have presented to me here, I do not find your arguments to be logically compelling or supported by hard evidence. I will thus disregard your conclusions. Have a nice day."
2) Well, I suppose you could measure faith qualitatively, but you also must then delineate the different types of faith as not to confuse the units. Religious faith requires one unit while trust based on past experience requires another. There is no direct conversion factor between the two because the two are entirely unrelated.
3) Atheism is about examining evidence (or the lack thereof) put forth in favor of religion and saying "nope, not convincing." Religion is about accepting certain things to be true even in the absence of said evidence. Atheism is founded upon needing evidence. Religion is founded upon foregoing the need for evidence. Thus, if faith were to be associated with atheism, it would have to be of the trust variety and not of the belief without evidence variety.
4) Since they don't require the same type of faith, they can't require the same amounts of the same type.