I'm not trying to deflect Bob. Allow me to explain.<quoted text>
I am aware of the use of the word.
But make no mistake-- we are speaking of **religious** faith here.
In that meaning of the word, no atheist has any of that-- by definition.
So your attempt to deflect my points is not going to work.
I suppose I could have been more specific:
All **religious** faith is based on nothing.
If they had **facts** they would not need to depend on faith.
I think the word faith has been given multiple definitions over the years based upon mistaken perceptions. My blunt opinion is that faith=trust. For some reason, people like to think they're separate, and I don't think they should be separate. Religious beliefs shouldn't be the criteria by which we define the word, even though in history, that's exactly what happened. I blame the Catholic church for it's dogmatic and at times forceful methodology in discouraging inquiry. Because of this rigid dogma, converts were discouraged from asking questions and just told to accept whatever the Vatican decreed. This was still the attitude at the Catholic school I attended as a young boy. This was a huge disservice to converts, and was one of the major factors behind the Protestant Reformation.
I firmly believe that the early church fathers (the Apostles and their disciples) used the word faith in the way I do. Trust. They trusted because they honestly believed they had seen the risen Christ.
When I look at the total body of evidence, the big picture, I see how it all comes together, and how I can trust (have faith) in the probability. I think that the Christian church of the 21st century is starting to realize this mistake, and is replacing the word faith with trust. For many of us, they are one and same.