Faith

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There are various concepts of faith which have different connotations. In the dictionary, the first two definitions are:

  1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
  2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

Both are legitimate definitions in a discussion, but the confusion between the two definitions often leads to the use of the equivocation fallacy among those who wish to assert that atheism is based on faith.

The Bible clearly adopts the second definition in Hebrews 11:1 Bible-icon.png, which says: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Mark Twain also created a classic definition in his book, Pudd'nhead Wilson: "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

Many atheists regard faith as the act of coming to a conclusion first, and then filtering the facts to match your expectations. In a sense, this is the opposite of science.

Faith in the Bible

In one classic Bible story, Doubting Thomas does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus appears to Thomas and gives him the opportunity to touch his wounds, after which Thomas becomes a believer. However, Jesus admonishes Thomas' skepticism, saying: "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29 Bible-icon.png).

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