“Faith” as defined by freethinkers

It’s no secret that a believer’s perspective on religious faith tends be something rather different than that of a reasoned skeptic. In fact the fringe characteristics of theistic ‘faith’ have become so evasively nebulous in conversation, that faith itself almost seems magically enabled. In my “Nailing Down Faith” post, found HERE, I explore the expanding usages of faith, the believer’s all-in-one tool.

That endeavor inspired me to inquire how the skeptics and critics of religion actually define the same ‘religious faith’.  I honestly expected to find that 75% or more would submit a variation of the solid “Believing in gods, without evidence.”, but only a about 25% were similar. Instead, most utilized a creative variety of harshly revealing and scathing language to make a statement about faith. It became apparent that there were so many failings of faith, experienced by these 50+ contributors, that they naturally gravitated in all directions.  The following definitions and interpretations are atheist, humanist and skeptic in origin, and are are in no particular order. ENJOY!

1. “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.” -Richard Dawkins

2. “Unconditional adherence to unproven, undemocratic authoritarian overlord’s wishes for unconfirmed and deferred, discretionary reward.” @CrispySea > He breaks down different definitions HERE to arrive at what you see.

3. “The conviction to live your life by your own rules, and tell the world they are divine. And believe it!” -@The1Voyce

4. “Religion is faith. Faith is belief without evidence. Belief without evidence cannot be shared. Faith is a feeling. Love is also a feeling, but love makes no universal claims. Love is pure.” -Penn Jillette

5. “Being comfortable in not knowing or asking questions about life/existence with a side of sinful self-righteousness. Faith “knows” that there is only one answer to every question when one is instructed to never question.” -@HEATHENRABBIT

6. “Religious faith is a choice to believe a purpose of existence and world for which there is no evidence.” -@hamildn

7. “Faith is Irrelevant. One could have an infinite amount of faith, and it would still be the equivalent of nothing” -unknown

8. “Pretending to know what you know isn’t so.” @dracdrum

9. “Trust in something beyond substantiation or verification to the point of denial of contradiction or disconfirming evidence.” -@TheTrueSoml

10. “However, though belief on faith alone may be comforting, it is wholly arbitrary and thus does nothing to ensure that you are more correct than anyone else. So it cannot properly be described as knowledge, but rather as a mere wish, a desire that something be true or false, or else it is a naive trust in guesswork or hearsay.” -Richard Carrier

11. “Religious faith is the rejection of evidence to unintentionally support the arrested development of one’s mind.” -@DeanModified

12. “Faith is the excuse people give for believing something when they don’t have evidence.” -Matt Dillahunty

13. “Unquestioning belief in a set of imaginary deity inspired traditional guidelines that can be out of accordance with modern values.” @ATHE1STP0WER

14. “Faith is believing in a divine entity for coercive reasons, rather than valid ones. It also helps you justify that your current disdain, oppressiveness and interference is what God wants too.” @FreeAtheism

15. “Blind adherence to doctrines without skepticism of tenets or evidence of its claims.” -@SensiblySecular

16. “Belief, despite lack of, or in spite of, evidence, that there is a god. (However they define that God)” -@aidan_wiseman 

17. “Religious faith: The willful suspension of critical thinking, specifically applied while communally embracing dogmatic ideologies and tenets often derived from supernatural answers to current gaps in scientific understanding.” -@AtheistRexBlog

18. “Where philosophy starts with questions, faith starts with The Answer, which is immutable and “known” to be true, and tries to justify it. This internalises bias, so that any argument, no matter how flawed or circular, can support the pre-conceived “truth”. Faith is always there to prop it up.” -@AbandonFaith

19. “Faith is the surrender of the mind, it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other animals. It’s our need to believe and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. … Out of all the virtues, all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.” -Christopher Hitchens

20. “The practice of believing, without good reason, justification or verifiability, that the universe is the deliberate creation of an all-powerful being who cares what people on earth do.” -@MrOzAtheist

21. “A psychological coping mechanism triggered by Fear, Guilt, Anger and desperation.” -@NoorAzharMurad

22. “Religious faith is the belief in a supernatural power based on wants, rather than evidence or logic.” -@ShawnTheAtheist

23. “Brainwashing through threats” -@MissRoni76

24. “Religious faith is a grasp for comfort to ease a fear of reality.” -@memywords

25. “Religious Faith: Belief that an organisation knows how you should think.” -@Dlanorx

26. “Self reinforced conditioning, designed to help believers maintain good relations with an entirely imagined magical, cosmic guardian.” -@The_Faerie_King

27. “An emotional attachment, a psychological hook. -@celtasia

28. “Faith is yielding to fear by adhering to the local superstitions instead of common sense. ” -@Ms_Pretty_Nails

29. “Religious faith is our innate desire to explain the unexplainable and escape our finite existence” -@JoSantisteban

30. “Religious faith is an excuse for a life of unreason, delusion, wishful thinking, and bad choices.” -@Religulous

31. “Blind acceptance of – and belief in – a concept, in the face of no supporting evidence whatsoever” -@atheist_andy

32. “Religious faith – a belief in your own personal imaginary friend. Which enables the believer to distort/change/fit the religion around them.” -@SecularScarlet

33. “Faith is an emotional crutch for irrational and unjustified beliefs. It convinces the believer that questioning the beliefs is not necessary, and that all they need to satisfy their doubts is more faith. It’s an excuse to close the mind to questions and shield the beliefs from scrutiny.” -@AbandonFaith

34. “It is a desperate wish-fulfillment response to the inevitability of oblivion.” -@DarwinLass

35. “Completely surrendering reason and science to a Stone Age ideology that people used to explain their world.” -@Redone68

36. “A surrender of mental faculties to absolute dogma promoted by whichever sect one adheres to, without question or reason.” -@BJPrice1

37. “Religion & Faith is a mental illness inculcated through culture & genetics causing believers to claim myths are true” -@JWeismonger

38. “The false belief (via indoctrination), that all ideas of God are real, must be adhered and acted upon or face eternal damnation.” -@HUMANIMPERATIVE

39. “A false sense of knowing based on antiquated, unfounded beliefs.” -@SkepticNikki

40. “Fear based desperate effort by early man to explain natural phenomena & other events science had yet to uncover.” -@sixthextincti66

41. “Pretending to know things you don’t actually know.” -Author Peter Boghosian, submitted by @WorldlyAtheist

42. “Religion is an ancient, uneducated attempt to define the awe about our existence. It’s doctrines are based on ignorance, fear & superstition, the fuel of faith.” -@_Thinker_Bell__

43. “Religious Faith is unthinking superstition or deluded fantasy.” -@RAGNAR2020

44. “Fear of the boogeyman. In other words, 10lbs of horseshit in a 2lb bag.” -@dazbagg

45. “Acceptance of a supernatural dogmatic viewpoint without evidence or despite contrary evidence.” -@GKenna49

46. “I tend to stick with established definitions. So for “Religious Faith” I’d use the second definition of faith found in Oxford: Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. People that argue a position based on their own personal definition of a word are being dishonest. It strips credibility, hinders communication & risks invalidating their entire point. Words have meanings…people should use them.-@Atheist_Eh

47. “A belief in an idea with no supporting evidence, or despite contrary evidence.” -@Ellif_DWulfe

48. “Believing without any evidence.” -@cherokee_autumn

49. “Religious faith is the desensitizing of the masses through a declaration of a mob’s infiltration of all devices.” -@In2Dionysus

50. “Faith is to the human what sand is to the ostrich.” -Unknown

51. “Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable…. A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill.” -H. L. Mencken, writer. 

52. “To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.” -Isaac Asimov   *My thanks to @freeotis for the past 3 quotes via his massive collection HERE.

53. “Faith is an exaggeration of hope.” -@itzmeufool

53. “Religious faith is the one species of human ignorance that will not admit of even the possibility of correction…” -Sam Harris

54. “The need to find a “lifeline” when science and realism are too difficult to understand.” -@LouiseT76094094

55. “I just go with the dictionary definition (Oxford): Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.-@SecuLawyer

56. “Belief in a higher/supernatural power and its associated dogma.” -@StaunchA

57. “Faith is a feeling that one has, in the absence of evidence. Usually based on a preconceived belief.” -@ACreativeMuggle

58. “unquestioning acceptance of supernatural claims, promoted as a virtue.” -@godFreeWorld

59. “An indoctrinated stance that enables one to defend a position that requires no facts and/or evidence. ” -@IRaiseUFacts

60. “The mental house of cards that shelters one’s fear of the unknown.” -@PhyllisCopeland

61. “Religious faith: an ideology based on a book (collection of ancient urban legends, hearsay & myths) passed from generation to generation and assimilated by a group of people who gather in a church/synagogue/mosque/temple, with the purpose of attracting more followers.” -@Brasilmagic

62. “A strong belief in a selection of ideas that is not supported by scientific evidence.” -@ProAtheism

63. “Belief in, or worship of, without any evidence, a god or gods.” -@caspmax

64. “Faith means believing something with your feelings, and ignoring basic information to hold on to your belief.” -@Hexecutioner404

65. “Faith = believing without or in spite of evidence = gullibility & credulity.” -@ASkepticAtheist

For the other side of the coin, visit my Nailing Down Faith post, HERE, where  I explore how believers blur and reshape the meaning of faith.

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The President of the Universe Campaign

official seal copy

Download the official seal. See below for clear PNG version and official letterhead

Are you ready to run against the god myths which everyone fears and loves?  I offer you an opportunity to stand up and challenge not only religious delusions, but the gods themselves, for the Presidency of the Universe!  Indeed one must have some serious balls and an ego the size of the moon to pretend to be qualified for such an office.  Perhaps nobody on Earth has ever been qualified, but this concept is about the running and showing up to be heard. Running for the office of the President of the Universe, is about the perception of the masses.  There is no apparent god giving us commands, yet people follow a divine authority and its mythical rules, because some bunch of important goat herders had declared it to be so, way back when.  This campaign is meant to expose these imagined governors of the universe, for the horrible set of ideas that they typically represent and replace them with a superior model of moral kindness and real hope.  As there has been no governing entity to speak to (apparently for millennia) this attempt to reset the perceived ultimate laws and guidelines must be done from within the masses.  No, I don’t suppose there will be an actual, final election until we’ve heard from candidates throughout the universe, but we can certainly work out our own ideas until then.

What about Yahweh, Allah or the Faerie King?  If they exist, they are welcome to run for president of the universe too.  Of course, if one or more show up, he, she or it will have quite a variety of black marks, (from global suffering to irresponsible, immoral rules to answer for) which will make them easy fodder in critical review.  No, surely no god myths will throw their hats into the ring, due to that pesky character flaw we call nonexistence.  This all too apparent fact doesn’t change the need to tear down the faulty perception of ideas like:  “tyrannical gods are somehow loving, questioning or criticizing gods is a crime, women and gays are not considered equal with all others, that acting immorally in the name of a god is acceptable, believing in gods without evidence is a virtuous achievement, non-belief in gods is worthy of torture, etc.”  Candidates should expect to challenge these notions and more, in an effort to inspire myth believers to see a better way.

billboard mything morality copyYes, I am running for President of the Universe and I challenge others to run as well, even if you feel as under qualified as I do!  Many of us know that the current myth based rules need to be challenged and perhaps in the process of our public challenge, many believers will realize that there’s no need to fear their god myths any longer.  So, my fellow free thinkers, declare your candidacy, state your position with graphics, get a running mate or run on your own and start tearing down the perceptions, by challenging the competency of gods!  ABSOLUTELY make it known that your ideas are better than any god’s have ever been and ask voters to give you official authority over those old god myths.  Yes my friends, stand taller and more sure than any myth and rattle perceptions about who truly gives purpose to so many lives… the people themselves.

 I will keep a list of candidates so LET ME KNOW where people can find your related blogs, graphics and posts.  DM me info at @freeatheism or email at freeatheism@gmail.com.  Perhaps start with #UniversePresident hashtag and I will add more if they emerge.  Below there are more graphics for candidates to use if they wish.  Click on them to see the full DPI images.

Official letterhead

Official letterhead

official seal open version copy

Clear PNG version

F.A.Q.’s

  1. Isn’t declaring humans and yourself capable of such a high office more than a little presumptuous and inappropriate?  Yes, if I were serious about the the election end of things.  What I intend here is a show of defiance against the perceived ruling structure in the universe.
  2. Do my graphics have to be professional looking or look presidential or represent my country?  Not at all, but better graphics will make for better show.  You may use the official seals on this page as well as the letterhead if you desire.  Or just create something stating whatever name or nickname or @name you prefer and “for President of the Universe” like I did.  I mimicked the US presidential race, but feel free to use whatever theme.  HERE are mine so far… have fun with it.
  3. Is there an official presidency logo I can use… we can all use?  Yes, the 2 logos on this page, but it’s not a requirement.  Feel free to use them for your purposes during this campaign. (not to be used for profit)
  4. How long will this go on for and how will it end?  This idea was originally to mock the US Presidency campaign, packed with religious chuckleheads, so perhaps it can follow that timeline.  Maybe the candidates will be able to come up with a final NO CONFIDENCE vote (personal blog entries) in the current perceptions of gods.
  5. The idea of running against gods’ authorities and laws will surely insult.  Can you handle the waves this will make?  Probably.  This may never be big enough to be noticed, but if it does cause problems, it can always be halted.  Immoral or angry reactions to this campaign will only prove our point however.
  6. Will there be debates?  There certainly can be.  I’m penciling in one with Yahweh right now, but I expect he will be a no show.
  7. Will you allow people with theistic backgrounds to run?  Sure, but do you know any who will run for an office which ultimately challenges the authority of gods?
  8. Do I have to be myself or can I be a made up character (alien, living energy, flying spaghetti monster) to add some universal diversity?  Sure, but please keep to the concept of challenging the current perceptions of a universe authority.  Being colorful is what we already do on this subject of god myths anyway.

My new logo!

Just testing my moving gif logo… ;o)  Does he look free and proud?!

Want a logo too?  …or do you just want yours to move?   Let me know.  I won’t charge much.  It all depends on the difficulty of your request.  Thanks for stopping by!  -Artie

LOGO-2015-moving

Plea of a “nice guy” with a veiled threat

I recently received an email from a known habitual liar & manipulator known as Sacerdotus, which I posted below.  Here is his background: https://sacthevirus.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/warning-online-virus-of-a-person-called-sacerdotus/  A rather large number of people both Christian and nonbelievers have challenged his lies and caught him in many deceptions.  In fact this email is from a proven fake identity controlled by Sac himself.  His veiled threats are very common. He vaguely promises all kinds of legal action to get challengers to back off.  Since I don’t care for his threats and stealing of my graphics, I have asked for his case number for my lawyer to review.  I expect he will make many excuses as always to not share ANY details of his claim.  After all a liar lies.  And by the way, I haven’t been bothering with him at all recently, so this is probably ALL to drum up attention for his blog. So anyway, here is the email… what would you do?
(Oops as I wrote this he responded to my request with a mountain of excuses;
https://plus.google.com/+SacerdotusSacerdotvs/posts/Th2d4pEdF7b )

“Artie,

I really don’t understand what is your problem with Michael.  You really need to stop it.  He has already contacted an organization of Catholic lawyers who assist Catholics pro bono.  Others are documenting every tweet and blog post that you and your friends produce and are clearly aware that you and your friends are the problem.  Do you really want a legal case against yourself?  Can you afford legal fees etc?  Think about this carefully.  Is all of this worth it?  All Michael does is post blog links.  While they may be extremely critical of atheism, there is no harassment.  He never mentions people randomly insulting them and often ignores mentions and comments on social networks.  There is no way you can claim that he is abusive.  The evidence is just not there for your case. 

On the contrary, he has lots of evidence via tweets, appearances by you and Ellif on his Google +, blog posts etc showing the abuse, libel and harassment against him.  In a court of law, you and your friends will lose.  Depending on your area and its statutes, you can be liable for millions if a case is won against you.  In light of the lawsuits regarding religious freedom, Michael can really do damage against you and your friends.  Again, think about this.  Is this worth it?  My advice is for you to let it go, remove all of the defamatory and harassing content which can and will be used against you in a court of law.  Again, Michael has done nothing wrong and you know this.  Each of you are spiteful because he managed to get Esther permanently suspended.  Had this not occurred, none of you would have taken time out of your lives to dedicate to libelous blog posts and tweets; not the mention the stalking on Google +.  The pattern is clear. 

After his suspension, he went to Google + and immediately Ellif followed him, joined the same community and began harassing him there.  He would even spam threads created by Michael with links so that members would not view his original post.  This is clearly malicious intent and is considered damages. Then you appeared a month later attacking him over a debate which had nothing to do with you.  All of this is being documented.  You and your friends may think we are just ignoring it, but we are all collecting the information and forwarding it to this Catholic lawyers organization.  In regards to the graphic you claim Michael misused, you are incorrect.  I have explained to you about fair use in regards to parodies.  You do not have a case of copyright infringement, moreover, you have not demonstrated legal copyright ownership. 

I am hoping you will be an adult about this and let it go, remove all the harassing content and try to be at peace.  Michael is a good person. He may appear abrasive, but he is a good person and will help anyone even another atheist.  Unfortunately, you are only seeing things via this child’s play game Esther (Rosa) created.  It has to stop before it gets worse, legally speaking.

Regards,

Jeffrey T. Follon, M.A. phil    “”

Sac and the Strawman Debate

ATTN Sacerdotus… Rosa Rubicondior (who reveals your long term dishonesty HERE) never agreed to your Easter 2015 debate changes. This is a fact. What happened was you never agreed to Rosa’s terms and then set up a STRAWMAN DEBATE, which was your venue and rules, 100% without Rosa’s agreement.  You then promoted this event as agreed upon by both parties. A CLEAR LIE.  Obviously you were afraid to face Rosa and, like a child, had to manufacture the only debate in which you could ever defeat her… a fake one.  Pure cowardice.
image

As anyone can review here https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EllifDWulfe/posts/cPHRbLnqDzh around 2/3 of the way down the thread, Rosa issued a formal debate offer with FULL DETAILS and you immediately changed the venue WITHOUT Rosa’s agreement.  You also never agreed to the rest of her parameters, rules or content.  You, like a demanding 4 year old, insisted that Rosa HAD accomodated you, even making a self narrated video STATING THAT SHE AGREED!?  The video “evidence” never shows Rosa’s agreement despite you claiming it does…  An OUTRIGHT LIE.

So you posted that the debate was arranged and agreed upon and you predicted that Rosa would back out.  BACK OUT OF WHAT you lying turd?  She never agreed to your FAKE & DISHONESTLY arranged changes or venue.  Now that Easter had come and gone you victoriously post claims that Rosa has run away from debate again, when all you’ve done is create a type of STRAWMAN DEBATE!  You pretended that YOUR venue and rules for debate were actually what was taking place. Your dishonesty and despicable behavior, just to make some folks believe that you are winning or are an intellectial, is absolutely mind blowing!

Clearly you are not one to be trusted with things that require integrity. Its a good thing that there are people like Rosa who challenge such childishly dishonest, religious folks as yourself.

*For anyone wanting details of Sac’s recent antics I suggest theblindwulf.blogspot.co.uk/ or if you want to see warnings about Sac: https://sacthevirus.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/warning-online-virus-of-a-person-called-sacerdotus/