[quote author=“burt”]One of the ways to distinguish “faith” (in the sense I’ve been using it) from “dogmatic belief” is that people who have real faith can joke about themselves and their beliefs.
I think there’s some merit to that position, but it doesn’t really defend faith at all ... just makes what I think is a valid distinction between genuine faith and what faith really is in most cases (a free pass with a microscopic veneer of honor and virtue that like-minded believers give each other to believe that for which there’s no valid basis to believe). Believers who have genuine faith (if there really is such a thing) have to accept that others who cite faith may very well be correct in doing so (at least theoretically) even when faith is cited to validate a belief system that contradicts their own.
Genuine faith is a bit on the intellectually problematic side (putting it kindly), but still there’s what I think is a valid issue of degree between the facade of faith (“standard issue” faith—I presume those who agree with me are right ... we call it faith) and “genuine” faith (I believe faith is a valid form of epistemology). I’d argue that under the context of honest naivety “genuine” faith isn’t an indication of a character weakness (a lack of intellectual integrity), whereas I’d argue it is in most cases (which still may be a pretty insignificant flaw even though it may have very significant effects).