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What does faith mean when used as in faith in a deity and that deity's teachings?
This Sunday’s question: what does faith mean when it is applied to a deity? At first blush, it seems that should be easy to answer. After all, the word is in every decent dictionary.
1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
“this restores one’s faith in politicians”
synonyms: trust, belief, confidence, conviction; More
example: Our faith in the government has been badly
shaken by the recent scandals.
2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion,
based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
synonyms: acceptance, certinty, surety, certitude
antonyms: disbelief, agnosticism, skepticism, unbelief
example: No evidence could shake her faith in God.
3. (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief, ideology,
creed, teaching, doctrine
synonyms: religion, church, sect, denomination
example: Muslims are reluctant to switch faiths
because Sharia Law requires death for apostasy.
Yet even though we have a pretty succinct dictionary definition of the word, its meaning can prove terribly difficult to pin down. First, there are several completely separate meanings that apply to different contexts. It doesn’t help that religious apologists from various faith-based religions have worked tirelessly trying to obfuscate the meaning of the word, and conflate it with things it is not. Such apologists’ efforts to confuse and conflate the meaning of the word “faith” as applied to their chosen deity have likely been the source of more deepities than any other epistemological pursuit on Earth, philosophy included. That is not helpful in pinning down the word’s meaning. So as we approach a definition of the word, faith, let’s note each deepity when it’s offered and dismiss it as not helpful in providing a definition we can understand.
I don’t want to say more than that in the question details, because I am interested in seeing what my fellow Jellies have to say about the difference in the word’s multiple meanings and the specifics of its meaning relating to acceptance of a deity or deities. It may prove similar to nailing Jell-O to the wall, but let’s have at it and see where the discussion leads. What does faith mean when used in reference to the belief in god/s?