Lately, I’ve been distancing myself from the loaded word “Atheist”, even though for all means and purposes I am indeed that; one can even call me an anti-theist when it comes to the human-invented folkloric gods with their obvious manly despotism.
But, the label does not define me, nor do I totally agree with everything it represents.
I am an Apistevist.
In other words, I do not make decisions based on “Religious Faith”.
However, some present the argument that I have “faith” too.
Here is one argument from the site “The Thought Zone”:
“When it comes to a testing of the Apistevist philosophy, I don’t think there is any better an example to use then Air Travel (…). When you get on board a plane, the moment that airplane starts taxiing out to the runway, you have put your life in the hands of the pilots. For better or for worse, you’re largely out of control of your fate. (…) unless the plane is also being flown by a familiar pilot, you’re still basing your assertion on faith. Even if unknowingly.”
Isn’t that a bit misleading?
I think so. It’s certainly an equivocation.
This comes from the idea that “faith” is a synonym of the word “trust”.
It can be, so maybe I need to be more precise because there are different usages of the word.
(Also see this following article.)
Most fundamentalist religions present the lack of Faith as punishable.
Religious Faith is not open to being corrected nor can it be criticized. One does not have Religious Faith with a healthy dose of skepticism! That’s absurd.
If this is the kind of faith we are talking about, it does not fit the usage of reasoned trust that I am using for myself (like others do also).
So, when I go on a plane, although I have reasonable expectations that the flight will end well (reasoned trust based on statistical evidence), I still have enough doubt in me to know it could go wrong.
It’s not an obsession, I barely think of it. But still, subconsciously, my trust is not a certainty. There still exists a wee bit of a gamble.
In no way does that fit the usage of the word “Faith” as it relates to trust with religious fervor.
People who have faith in God claim to “know” he exists, usually based on the presupposition that their cultural God is real and had no beginning. Religious Faith demands no evidence, and any evidence that would contradict this brand of Faith will be rejected. (See video below.)*
So, when I fly, I am an apistevist.
I do not use religious Faith in any way—I still mainly use doubt and skepticism with a healthy dose of reasonable expectation—enough to know the odds are in favor of the trip ending well, while not being 100% sure it will.
—That is not even close to resembling the usage of “Faith” as in “religious certainty”.
My brand of “trust” is just “Reasonable Expectation”, supported by a track record and empirical evidence.
Do I KNOW the sun will rise tomorrow?
Do I have reasonable expectation it will?
—I think it’s important to define and agree on usage before arguing semantics.
Words have no intrinsic meaning. Usage defines words—and that’s why dictionaries adapt their definitions to usage, and not the other way around.
“Awful” used to mean “awesome”—now the definition is totally contrary to the original definition. Why? Because language evolves and usages change.
Sometimes, a same word has different usages. So it behooves us to settle and agree on what we are talking about before a conversation.
—Link to the page I argue: