A mate sent me this today. It makes some interesting points.
Without any type of faith everyone would be agnostic. but as we know not everyone is.
Bottom line: if you are not agnostic, then you have faith in something.
We have to be careful about the word proof, it’s usually reserved for mathematics and in that context a proof has the status of being true with no room whatsoever left for doubt. Proof cannot be used in the same way when it comes to thinking about how evidence in the world relates to a truth claim. Instead we then take proof to mean ( from Merriam Webster): The cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact b : the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning.
So do I have firm belief in anything which is inadequately supported by evidence and reason? Not that I know of.
The closest thing I can think of is that I helplessly and habitually assume that the fundamental ‘laws’ with which we try to describe how the universe behaves, will still be relevant tomorrow. For instance, I assume that if I drop a pen it will fall to the floor. But if I’m thinking carefully, I’m aware that this assumption is not grounded in evidence.
To use David Hume’s expression, it seems that the assumption that the universe will remain fundamentally the same from moment to moment is a ‘habit of thought’ (one which is necessary for survival). So although there’s a sense in which I could be said to ‘believe’ in the uniformity of nature, I think it would be misleading to call this a ‘firm belief’.
The more we hear atheists claim that they base their atheism on science the more we are being alerted to the fact that what they are really admitting is that they are purposefully restricting that which they consider acceptable to consider. This is the very opposite of freethought; this is restricted well-within-the-box-group-think adherence.
They are purposefully restricting their vision and then concluding that there is nothing more to see