How Do You Define "Faith"?

Read time: 33 minutes

This article describes an informal survey which was conducted to see if and how the definition of the word "faith" has changed over time. The survey is non-exhaustive and spans 14 dictionaries (including different editions) and 250 years. The impetus for this survey was continued disagreement between especially Christian theists and atheists on the former group's use of the word. The latter group generally insists that to have faith means to abandon all reason and logic. The former group contests that they are able to have faith exactly because of reason and logic. This article concludes that the "negative" view of faith developed gradually over time and was probably driven by growing apostasy and eventual anti-theism. However, the application of the word remains broad and a narrower, more precise term is available for the latter camp to use. Read more …