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No Faith

Woman from TFL came around this evening to do some consumer research (they'd sent me a letter saying she'd be coming last Saturday, which I found when I got back on Sunday).

Was interested by the fact when it came to beliefs they had chosen to use the term "no faith" for atheists. Have now got images in my head of atheists going around not trusting anything.

I know I can be a bit of a coward at times, but I think that might be taking it a bit far...

I may be an atheist, but that doesn't mean no faith. I have faith that the seat I'm sitting in is going to hold my weight and isn't faulty and about to fall apart without me knowing for example.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
11th May, 2006 22:41 (UTC)
Atheism and skepticism correlate quite well round here, but there certainly are people who believe in a supernatural afterlife but no gods; do they fit in the chart at all?
11th May, 2006 23:19 (UTC)
yes, I'd assume they'd come under 'other'
12th May, 2006 02:13 (UTC)
12th May, 2006 11:22 (UTC)
Yes, they were the main example (though atheists who believe there are flying saucers and that tarot works and so on mustn't feel left out).

Someonelse: But that's stupid. Atheists don't believe in an afterlife.
Me: *drops Tibet on your head*
12th May, 2006 12:30 (UTC)
*ponders visiting Tibet*
*wonders where it is*
*discovers google maps isn't very good for finding that out*
*finds a map here: http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ASIANOW/east/01/08/tibet.lama.01/map.china.tibet.gif *

... that's funny. a day or two ago I was thinking it would be cool to visit China. This PhD thing gets in the way, doesn't it?
11th May, 2006 23:00 (UTC)
Do you have belief or faith?

When I last checked the dictionary as an atheist I had belief but not faith. Of course YDMV.
11th May, 2006 23:18 (UTC)
Both, as both terms have meaning outside religion.
12th May, 2006 10:21 (UTC)
Thanks to <lj user='flurble' />
belief n. 1. the act of believing 2. something firmly believed 3. trust, confidence in. 4. acceptance of a doctrine etc., one's religion. [f. BELIEVE]

believe v.t./i 1. to accept as true or conveying truth 2. to think, to suppose 3. to have (religious) faith; to have faith in; to have confidence in ---believer n. [OE]

faith n 1. complete trust, unquestioning confidence 2. strong belief, especially in a religious doctrine; a system of beliefs, a religion. 3. loyalty, trustworthiness ---bad faith, dishonest intention. faith-cure, -healing,, etc., a cure etc. depending on faith rather than on medical trueatment. good faith, sincere intention [f. AF f. L fides] </div>

Although both can be used in a non religious manner both in common usage and from the dictionary definition it seems that faith refers to a certainty that is either religious in nature or extremely strong.

I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow but I don't have faith that it will as I can imagine situations where it might (for scientific reasons) not. When I was a Christian I had faith (in the sense that it was absolute) that Jesus Christ was God, was coming again, and was going to send all the non Christians to hell.

It is all semantics after all, and we are the masters of words not the other way around. I think this distinction in common usage is helpful though.
12th May, 2006 10:44 (UTC)
Re: Thanks to <lj user='flurble' />
Ah! This is where you wanted those for. Though I think their possible meanings are too broad and multilayered to say "that's faith" or "that's belief" without specifying more exactly what you mean.
12th May, 2006 10:47 (UTC)
Re: Thanks to <lj user='flurble' />
Not so for the people who visited you... or me...
12th May, 2006 11:25 (UTC)
Re: Thanks to <lj user='flurble' />
OK, to use correctly :) But no, actually. If you want to ask "Do the thoughts I have constitute belief" then you need to work out what would and wouldn't be a positive answer to that question. But if you want to say "You don't have faith [in Jesus] [and we want you to]," then the meaning is perfectly clear and correct.
12th May, 2006 12:00 (UTC)
Re: Thanks to <lj user='flurble' />
it's a side issue, but over Easter one of the things we did was a very brief introduction to bible translation from the original greek. By "very brief" I mean that a few specific paragraphs were selected, some words highlighted, and Tim tried to explain the nuances of what the Greek words meant.

anyway, two words he was trying to highlight for us, one was something angelofthenorth blogged several times during Lent, "righteous" or "just", or whatever your bible version says; the other was faith/belief, and the fact that bible translations often use "believers" and "to believe" where the original greek verb was closer to "to faith", which we don't have. My king james tended to say "to have faith" or something though ;-)

erm, maybe I had a point.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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