1."The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1)
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." -Benjamin Franklin
You see, faith is a poor discriminator of what is right and wrong, faith is belief despite evidence, and in spite of evidence to the contrary. Faith is knowing there's an answer to all the discrepancies and problems arising against beliefs, all the evidence to the contrary must have a workaround, because beliefs are powerful things, and aren't easily swayed, even when they should be. Faith, even according to the bible, is the evidence of things unseen, or rather things unobserved. This includes miracles of the bible that we can't recreate, God, spirits, angels, demons, souls, heaven, hell, the myths of the bible that we have no evidence for, and plenty of evidence against, and the healing power God's supposed to give people. The unobserved also includes the flying spaghetti monster, griffins, unicorns, invisible pink unicorns, and everything else that doesn't exist. To have faith in something that doesn't exist is not evidence of it, contrary to the book of Hebrews, evidence is only in observation. If anything, the things you have faith in are proved to be as real as that which doesn't exist, faith is a rather useless term.
The evidence for religious things is insufficient, it needs the concept of faith to boost it to credibility. Religion is well aware of its
lack of credibility, and faith is a term used almost exclusively in religion to explain why people believe absurd things. Believing something hard enough is not the way to prove it, or even a reason to continue believing. It strikes me as extremely odd that very few religious people want to even examine other beliefs. The reason has been revealed to me over the years, however, in my own search. Learning about other religions and the problems with one's own faith, and critical analysis of beliefs is the opposite of faith, but it's what any good scholar, researcher, expert, teacher, and student should do when learning about something. Faith is ignoring all of the tools we have for searching for truth.
The search for truth is a tremendously difficult one. History is filled with labels and myths and fables, and strewn with foggy memories and missing data. To rely on less than this though, less than history indicates, and instead believe stories made up by nomads to explain life's mysteries is ridiculous. One can hardly learn history and reason from religion, much less morality and civility. And it's striking to see the limits of faith. Faith is stepping on the water and knowing one will walk. Faith is not blind ignorance in the face of many problems and errors, it is not willfully disregarding all other points of view and thinking one must be right, out of all the millions of beliefs, and indeed billions of personal beliefs and interpretations. No one that I know of really rests on faith, or even rests their beliefs on faith, despite their claims that all should. They all look for the worldly signs and pastors words and believers' anecdotes to back up their flailing faith. No one knows what the truth is, no one can receive it mystically from God, because even if one did, it's impossible to separate if from one's own thoughts and desires. Your imagination is wild, and untrustworthy, and to confuse it with the will and voice of god can lead to disaster.
One must eventually realize, to be intellectually honest with oneself, that no religion is special, they all require faith. Most believers will then point out the problems of the rival religions, claiming they make people into terrorists or baby killers or Satan worshipers, or whatever. This does not imply in any way that one's own religion is true though, in fact it helps show that all religions are likely fallible and problematic in some major way, all can be easily criticized.
The default belief one has found should not be considered perfect, and proved once all others are disproved or disregarded, beliefs should be rigorously tested and tried and criticized as well, and if they're found lacking, they should be left in the distance, a remnant of a broken and outdated system of relying on a greater power instead of the one thing we forget to use the most-our own efforts. Our own two hands are far more powerful when working than praying. God will never solve a war, or end a famine, or even save the orphans, we must realize. Having faith that he will help only leads us into acceptance and normalizing of horrible problems. If all problems are caused by sin and a fallen nature, and will only be fixed when God comes to scorch the earth, there's no reason to care and work towards a better tomorrow. Believers want a worse tomorrow! "It's always darkest before dawn," many a believer has said concerning the "end times" and they embrace that, perhaps egg it on, because that's the way the world will be fixed. That every believer is not out right now helping and uplifting and caring for others, especially the most desperate and pitiful of humans, the fact that a child will die every 5 seconds of a preventable cause in this world, the fact that the richest few own more than the massive amounts of poor just shows that if religion does anything, it makes people complacent. It doesn't egg them on to action, it doesn't make the world better, it does however help facilitate 9/11, it helps facilitate a thousand years of backwardness and intellectual stifling. It helps make otherwise good and moral people bomb abortion clinics and persecute nonbelievers. It divides and subjugates, it causes wars rife with raping and pillaging. It robs us of ancient and awesome cultures, and devastates in the name of God.
What good does your faith do? It proves nothing. It motivates you no more than I am motivated by empathy and sympathy for the plight of others. That should be our goal even without religion, just as decent humans who have plenty to give. Your God offers no hope or help to those who don't know Him, and don't beg at his feet. He supposedly created everyone, yet leaves the vast majority to suffer in ways most people reading this never will. Where is God in crisis? Where is God in suffering? Omnipresent? Is He there in the tsunami that kills and makes homeless the already-poor? Is He there in the suffering of genocide? Is He there when unjust wars are waged in His name? Those who stand up to help the poor, that is their humanity, their empathy shining through. That's not God, that's simply humanity. And religions label humanity as decrepit, sinful, corrupt, fallen, evil, in need of salvation.
To leave off, the biggest problem I have with faith is, as my future step-dad proudly put it while defending his faith, faith just "isn't logical," and I think that's the thing I can most agree with believers on. Though they may see it as meaning that faith relies on something more than raw reason and logic, I see it as an admission that believing with no evidence really does make no sense, really is just a grasping in the dark for something to hold onto when standing in a world of suffering and making a difference is just too hard to motivate oneself to do.