Faith and trust are a couple of words that theists like to throw around with wild abandon.
They even like to tell us godless types that we require more religious faith to cling to our belief in the non-existence of God.
Let’s have a little look at that, shall we?
In the bible, we have such quotes as:
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
2 Chronicles 20:20: Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
All well and good, if that’s your bag. After all, the basis of all religions are trust and faith.
Yep. You trust that your religion is indeed correct and yours is the one true god, also you have faith that your particular mythical deity figure actually exists at all!
But this is probably not news to anyone.
Before I continue, I just want to show a couple of dictionary definitions of each of these words:
So as you can see, these two words are completely interoperable under the right circumstances, much as some people might say otherwise… Even some atheists:
Surely both are based on feelings and neither is based on reality. After all to have confidence is an emotional or intellectual state. The universe doesn’t care where your confidence lies, it just does what it does regardless of how you may feel about it.
Now on to the theist assertion that as an atheist, I require more faith than they do in order to maintain my religious position.
You see, theists apply another one of the definitions to these words. Pretty much the same as the those above, but with the addition of the phrase, ‘without proof’. And they mistakenly apply this definition to all situations that could require the words ‘faith’ or ‘trust’.
To that, all I can say is, bollocks!
Atheism is but one facet of my persona, and it requires absolutely no faith or trust. None at all, as it makes no assertions requiring either.
Yes, I have faith and yes I trust. But the theists’ error lies in their mistaken feelings of trust and faith are the same as their religious belief.
This is simply not the case.
Theists have faith and trust in their deity of choice, in the face of absolutely no evidence to support their position.
My atheism requires no faith or trust as I am making no claims, I am simply asking the theist to provide evidence of theirs… I say this a lot!
What can I say? I’ve even written a post about the futility of debating theists.
Having said that, I would like to explain how trust and faith do have a place in my life. And how it has nothing to do with my rejection of the existence of any mythical deity.
As an example, I will pick text books. The backbone of scientific learning in school, colleges and universities everywhere.
I freely admit that I trust text books.
I have faith in text books.
But my trust and faith are far from equitable with a religious belief.
Simple. All the trust and faith I place in text books is based on the fact that they are the culmination of hundreds (if not thousands) of years of leaning, experimentation, observation, extrapolation an understanding of the world around us.
Not only that, but each one is written, proof read and scrutinised by any number of experts, well qualified in the subject covered by an individual book.
Also,should a text book slip through the cracks that contains erroneous information, there are literally thousands of people around the world who would be qualified to point the errors out and either have the book replaced, or ensure an errata sheet is included.
So my faith in textbooks is not misplaced. How many religions can say the same?
How many can state without a shadow of a doubt that the information contained in their holy books is the irrefutable truth? Verified and established as fact.
Oh look! It’s none of them. Otherwise, there would be only one holy book and there would be no one who could gainsay it.
There would be one religion and no atheists.
There is only:
- One system of mathematics.
- One science of biology.
- One science of physics.
- One science of chemistry.
How many religions?
How many gods?
Yes I have faith and yes I have trust. They are completely interchangeable terms, but they have absolutely nothing in common with the very narrow boundaries that theists seem to insist on placing around them.