Brent Meeker writes:

> >This cannot be explained away by
> > "faith" in the sense that one can have faith in the gravity god or a
> > deist god (because no empirical finding counts for or against such
> > beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of simultaneously
> > believing x and not-x.
> >
> Seems like "faith" to me - belief without or contrary to evidence.  What is 
> the "x" you refer to?

There is a subtle difference. It is possible to have faith in something stupid 
and still be consistent. For example, I could say that I have faith that God 
will answer my prayers regardless of whether he has ever answered any 
prayers before in the history of the world. However, I think most religious 
people would say that they have "faith" that God will answer their prayers 
because that it what God does and has done in the past. In so saying, they 
are making an empirically verifiable claim, at least in theory. They can be 
to come up with a test to support their belief, which can be as stringent as 
like; for example, they might allow only historical analysis because God would 
not comply with any experiment designed to test him. I suspect that no such 
test would have any impact on their beliefs because at bottom they are just 
based on blind faith, but given that they do not volunteer this to begin with, 
shows them up as inconsistent and hypocritical.

Stathis Papaioannou
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