I was talking with a group earlier tonight and we were confused about the definition of this word. I decided to look it up. These are the definitions that I found:
“An atheist who is “soft” on religious belief, and tolerant of even the worst intellectual and moral excesses of religion: atheist accommodationist.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=faitheist
“An atheist who thinks faith should not be criticized.” http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/faitheist
These definitions confuse me. What does it mean to be soft on religious beliefs? Does it mean not jumping head first into a debate whenever we come across a theist? Does it mean being unwilling to take a school to court because they make the children pray? Does it mean not talking about ones atheism? Does it mean volunteering with a moderate religious organization? Or group? Or person? What would one have to do to qualify being a fatheist?
What does it mean by not criticizing faith? What is the definition of faith? The religious people that I talk to all have different definitions. One defines faith as trust. So if I use his definition, does that mean that I’m a faitheist if I don’t think someones trust should be criticized?
Chris Stedman is called a faitheist. He even calls himself a faitheist. But he’s perfectly happy to criticize faith. I’m sure he is considered a soft atheist to most. He’s certainly no Dawkins. But he also doesn’t accept every belief that his religious colleagues hold. Instead he has created a safe space where he can question someone’s belief without it being taken as a personal attack. So is he not a faitheist, then?
Where did this word come from? Is it common in some circles? I’ve never heard it used except in Stedman’s book and in a couple blog posts. And most importantly, why are we trying to discourage different ways of approaching atheism? Why are we creating a “no true Scotsman”? Just because we aren’t all the Hitchens/Dawkins/Harris/Dennet type of atheist, doesn’t mean that we aren’t all equally atheists. And has nobody stopped to think that maybe having more types of atheists will open us up to a broader audience? Not everybody is convinced in the same way. We need different personalities to do different jobs within the community. We should be embracing diversity, not dissuading it.
May 26th, 2014 at 2:11 am
[…] Source: What is a Faitheist? […]
May 25th, 2014 at 1:25 pm
See, I would have thought a faitheist is someone who dogmatically doesn’t believe in a god, and that it would be used as a pejorative.
But I guess theists would never stain their prize word “faith” by associating it with atheism.
May 26th, 2014 at 1:47 am
Lol. That would make so much more sense. Unfortunately “faitheist” is a word that certain atheists are using to dismiss others, so I suppose they likely don’t care what the theists think