Apparently this week Twitter is my muse. The latest tweet addresses another one of those irritating memes (though it does so critically). I speak here of the meme that says faith is something like belief without adequate evidence. When it comes to public figures propagating this meme, the most egregious offender in recent years is arguably Peter Boghossian. In the past I’ve even listed this meme in various forms as one of the worst arguments against Christianity.
But this article isn’t about atheist offenders. It’s about Christians. Here’s the tweet from Harrison Jennings:
It's interesting that so many apologists insist that "faith" doesn't mean lack of evidence, and yet still they say stuff like this https://t.co/bb1D80zIe9
— Harrison Jennings (@hhjennings) December 15, 2016
And here’s the tweet he’s responding to:
Why I don't have enough faith to be an atheist https://t.co/9e5IVcXElb
— Ratio Christi (@RatioChristi) December 15, 2016
Excellent point! When Christians say they don’t have enough faith to be an atheist (as in the title of this article and Frank Turek’s popular book) they implicitly draw on the definition of faith as a disposition to believe in the absence of appropriate evidence.
And just in case my atheist friends think this meme provides tacit evidence that Christians really do define faith in this manner, let me be the first to pop your balloon. In point of fact, this doesn’t reflect common Christian usage. Rather, it is little more than a rhetorical boomerang, an attempt to hoist atheists with their own petard.
But as Jennings points out, that hardly excuses it.