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So why do you think some AFers objected to you using the term "faith"?

Probably a knee-jerk reaction. "Faith" today is associated with "the Christian Right". These are the politicians who claim you can't be a real citizen if you aren't a believer, the evangelicals who tell you that God/Jesus loves you (and you'll go to he|| if you don't believe, and by the way be sure to add a couple more zeros to that check), the people that claim there is a vast conspiracy of science to discredit God and turn people from the "real Truth" (with a capital "T"!!). Thus the word has acquired a lot of very negative baggage to many people, and they react negatively to it.

I'm somewhat in that camp, too. However, I realize that we all have faith in something. The only question in my mind is whether you can back it up with anything. Not "proof" (since if you can prove it then faith isn't needed), but rather a demonstrable consistency with the observable universe*. I have faith that if I drop my can of Coke it will fall towards the ground (and make a mess). Why? Because of eons of people dropping things and having them fall down, and because this has led to the notion of "gravity", and it so far has been demonstrably consistent. Can I prove it? Only by dropping the Coke, and I still wouldn't be able to prove that the next can I drop (since I just lost one, I'd have to break out a new one!) will do the same (without testing it again). Rather than waste all my Coke I take it on faith that this gravity thing works consistently, largely because it always has (so far). If ever it doesn't then an adjustment of world view may be needed.


*Yes, I know...the observable universe is also a faith of sorts. The solipsist believes the universe is a figment of someone's imagination, as I recall. And when the dreamer stops dreaming, it's all over. Nothing we perceive is real. Probably where they got the story idea for "The Matrix".
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