Our position on faith is as follows:
Firstly, the term ‘faith’ needs some clarification as it is an everyday word that has several meanings depending on the context in which it is used. The following two main dictionary definitions are given as examples of common usage and understanding:
1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something: this restores one’s faith in politicians.
2. Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
The New Oxford Dictionary of English.
Atheism is solely concerned with religious faith as described in definition 2 above.
Faith is belief without evidence. Particularly in a religious context, it can be belief despite evidence to the contrary. An example of this is faith that God created all life on Earth no more than 6,ooo years ago (Creationism), despite the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution and natural selection.
Evidence can be scientifically investigated, supported or refuted. Faith through religious indoctrination or ‘spiritual apprehension’ does not, by its very nature, provide any credible evidence to investigate.
Religious apologists often use faith as evidence for their theistic claims (sometimes referred to as the ‘argument from faith’). This is meaningless. Faith, by its very nature, provides no evidence whatever and exists solely in the mind of the believer.
Atheism’s ultimate goal is the end of religious faith – the false and irrational belief that God exists – and of religion, the social manifestation of faith.