"Further, the existence of a single fact -- someone named Jesus did exist in Roman times -- even if true, doesn't provide proof "
Ok come on now, surely you don't expect me to write pages and pages of facts and evidence on slashdot. Give me some leeway here ... that was *an example* of a fact ... surely you can respect me enough to at least assume I'm being brief for the sake of a discussion. Anyone who thinks Jesus existed and becomes a Christian based on that *sole fact* is a fool. Ok?
"I have a series of books about a talking bear and his friends. The book exists. The stories exist. But is the bear real? I believe that he does. Do you? If not, prove it."
Of course I can't prove that he doesn't exist, just as you can't prove that god doesn't exist. But I can look at the world around me and find evidence that points me strongly in one or the other direction.
I agree this is often a semantics issue on how people use the term "faith". My main problem with this arises when you link religious faith to the realm of "silly things that science can't prove", such as talking bears. Your belief that there is no god is just as strong as someone's belief that there is a god. Defaulting to the opinion that since science can't prove it, let's not believe it, is a lazy position in my opinion. Either there is a god, or there isn't. One of those options is true, and science cannot answer it. It remains for you to investigate the question, look at historical evidence, current people's experiences, etc. etc., to come to the most plausible answer. However, if you choose not to investigate simply because "science can't prove it" ... yes, that is a blind faith position.