Ok, everyone. Lend me your ears!
Many atheists want to define atheism as “lack of belief in god(s)” and faith as “believing without evidence”.
Many theists want to define atheism as “the belief that god does not exist” and faith as “confident trust based on knowledge”.
… aaaand the conversation starts and stops there.
The goal of a conversations is NOT to strong-arm the other person into accepting your definition of a word. The goal of conversations is to discuss the issues reasonably and ultimately… discover the truth.
Stop this senseless bickering over definitions.
I can’t imagine someone thinking, “faith is belief without evidence? Christianity is a lie!” or “atheism is the belief that god doesn’t exist? Christianity must be true!”
If someone says they have faith, ask, “what do you mean by faith?”
If someone says they’re an atheist, ask “what do you mean by atheist?”
Accept their definition and move forward.
In this particular instance, suspend your inner analytic philosopher and channel your inner pragmatist.
This is a plea to everyone.
Let’s all work to move the conversation forward. Stop getting stuck arguing definitions. And stop defining your opponents position into irrationality.
Ps. This is not some kind of post-modern “words don’t have definitions” appeal. Words do have meaning. But we want to continue the conversation, not stop it because we can’t agree on the basics.