Thursday, June 28, 2007

Faith: Definition Creep

It seems that there are still plenty of people who want to argue that there is no difference between atheism and theism with regards to the requirement and nature of faith.
Sometimes this seems to be due to a naive conception of atheism that claims absolute knowledge of the non existence of god. There are very few atheists who actually think this way in my experience though. Another common reason is the collection of arguments regarding extreme scepticism and the foundations of knowledge. It is argued that we must have faith in, say, the Uniformity of Nature in order to live our lives. Well, an argument can be put for that but it seems to rest on an equivocation to me. Faith in this sense does not seem to bear much of a resemblance to the kind of faith required to believe six impossible things before breakfast.