It depends entirely on what you do have belief and faith in!
well, I believe and have faith in myself, because basically i think we are all 'gods' of our own lives, like we decide what we do and so on. but also in say my nieces and nephews, that they will have a great life and make all the right and wrong choices they'll need as they grow. same goes for my parents and sisters and close friends. I also believe and have faith in every one, that eventually ignorant people will open there eyes and so on again.
I know the world can be a terrible place, but vice verse is also true, and I believe one day everyone will be able to share that state.
I know this is just the thoughts of an optimist, but what does that make me then?
It makes you exactly what you wrote; it makes you someone who has a positive outlook. Simply that.
You have faith in your family because they have demonstrated to you, perhaps not always in conscious ways, that you can put your faith in them. Those demonstrations are proofs. Your faith in them isn't blind, as it would be with a deity.
It's like the old christian argument that believing your wife/husband loves you is just as much faith-based as having faith in god. But of course it isn't. You feel that your partner loves you because of what they do every day; they're with you, they help you, they support you, etc. These are all 'proofs' that lead to your faith in them.
Personally, I don't agree that there will be a blanket cessation of ignorance, but that's based on evidence and proofs provided by history. So, yes, from my perspective, you're an optimist too.
You've answered all your own questions.
Remember that the term faith doesn't have exclusively religious connotations.
Indeed, if you were looking for an -ism, humanism might be interesting to you.
"I also believe and have faith in every one, that eventually ignorant people will open there eyes and so on again.
I know the world can be a terrible place, but vice verse is also true, and I believe one day everyone will be able to share that state."
Buddhists also strongly believe this, it's just that in Buddhism 'the state' you refer to is called enlightenment, otherwise it's the same.
You might be interested in looking at Buddhism. For example, Therevadan Buddhism says that " insight must come from the aspirant's experience, critical investigation, and reasoning instead of by blind faith"
... Hahaha! Thank you David, it seems I just needed a bit of perspective, I guess I all ways thought of faith as associated with religion in a way.
Glad I could be of help :)
Well done to you all!
Wow, Thanks guys. I got more help from this place in a day than I got from real life in years.
Both Followings seem really great, Ill do more research into both fields and Ill let you guys know what happens...
Of course, I can only speak for myself but I do believe Atheists can and do have beliefs and faith, just not in religious faith. For example, I believe and have faith that the computer I am typing on is made of plastics and other chemicals which are made of elements. These elements consist of a nucleus surrounded by electrons all held together by electrical and covalent bonds. I can't see or prove any of that to anyone. I believe the mathematics and physics behind these concepts even if I do not have the depth of knowledge to prove or fully understand complex concepts such as quantum mechanics. I believe all this because I have faith in rational thought and the scientific method.
What I don't believe or have faith in are ridiculous concepts such as magical, invisible people or creatures which are the hallmarks of all religions. Belief in those crazy concepts are particularity perplexing when those beliefs are in direct conflict with rational, scientifically provable truths such as the age of the earth (4.5B years vs 6,000 years in the Christian doctrine). I do feel sorry for the poor people who are so emotionally shallow that they need to cling to an imaginary friend so strongly that they completely dismiss rational thought.
"For example, I believe and have faith that the computer I am typing on is made of plastics and other chemicals which are made of elements."
The word 'faith' certainly has different connotations compared to the words 'belief' and 'trust'. The word 'faith' alone is very commonly used to describe religious faith. Therefore we do not have much freedom in giving it a different meaning to it. When we talk of a computer, we may use words like 'I know' , 'I believe' or 'I trust' but we never say that I have a faith that this is plastic. The term 'Faith' may not have any "exclusive" connotations in the sense of it's dictionary meaning, but that is not so in it's practical use. If we search all the discussions on AN, we are likely to find many instances in which it is used to mean religious faith. The belief, or trust, in electrons and mathematics is never described as a faith.
You are so right MADHUKAR KULKARNI
If “faith” is belief without evidence, is it really an exercise or an engagement of “faith” when speaking about your family, or the components of your computer,or yourself? Mathematics and physics are the last things that would require an engagement of “faith”.
I think you have made an extremely important point, MADHUKAR in distinguishing between faith and belief, and it is strange to me that in forums on a web site named Atheist Nexus that we are so sloppy with the language we use when discussing the essential subject of this site and these forums.
I am of the notion that once an atheist can dispose of faith in the existence of god(s), it is a clear path to rid oneself of the excess baggage of faith altogether.
Perhaps a better way of wording Jonathan Christie’s question would be, for example, “I do not have faith in the existence of god(s). so what would I be considered as?
The answer is, of course, “You are an atheist”.
Once you learn how to ask the question, the answer is quite simple.
Jonathan, just for the sake of making it convinient, make a distinction between faith on one hand and belief, trust on the other hand. Without worrying about the dictionary, this will make things easy. God whatever name he may have, is always supposed to be a supernatural power. If you do not believe in such a supernatural power then you are a true atheist. Just think of what other attributes an atheist should have to make him a good citizan of this world. If you posses these, then you din't have to ask the question. The answer is already given. If you are unware of the addittional required attributes, just find them and aquire them, and this will make yo a fine man. Nothing to worry!