You seem to have misread much of my post. I have not said most of what you think I have said.
Science is not identical to logical positivism
Indeed, that was my point. Positivism is not a scientific position, but it is held by many who think that it is. It is still not clear to me whether you fall into that category or not.
but it does have axioms. Who said it does not? You can reject these axioms and blab all day to your philosophy class about the matrix. Meanwhile, scientists send people to the moon.
I am surprised. You seem to think that I reject the axioms of science, and reject that the universe is real. Not at all! Exactly the opposite, actually, and I apologize if this wasn't sufficiently clear.
I did state that both the axioms of science and the existence of a real universe are nonempirical claims. But my point was that these are knowably true without being empirical. Therefore:
If you ask me to prove an axiom I will laugh at you. If you ask me to reason without axioms I will laugh at you. What are we left with? A choice between the axioms of scientific reasoning and insanity.
Yes, we are agreed that one cannot prove axioms. Yes, we are agreed that we cannot reason without axioms.
But your conclusion does not follow. It is a false dilemma presented by positivism. On what basis do you adjudicate that no other axioms are justified except the axioms of science? Such a belief would be an axiom, and not a scientific one. In the same vein:
And what of questions that can't be defined in a scientifically meaningful way? We can only conjecture as to the answers. We cannot gain confidence in the accuracy of the answers.
Your conclusion only follows if you also demand that "meaningful" be limited to "scientifically meaningful," which again is good ol' positivism.
And again, the canonical counterexample is the existence of the universe, a question that cannot be scientifically investigated. But I think the universe is real, and I reject the idea that we can only "conjecture" about that. If I understand you correctly, I think you reject that idea also. Therefore, there are at least some statements that are simultaneously: (a) meaningful, (b) true, and (c) not scientific.
But please, don't let me interrupt the blabbing.
Keep in mind that ridicule is not an argument. HTH!
As for your claim that you know the one and only "christian" definition of "faith," you are simply lying.
If by "lying" you mean that I've made a factual error, you're welcome to claim that. If by "lying" you mean that I know better and have written a deliberate falsehood, I'd challenge you to present empirical evidence of such. =)
That said, you may have a point if by "Christian" (including the scare quotes) you mean the range of things that are taught in churches. So let me clarify by analogy: I trust that you do not consider "science" to be the range of things that are taught in science classes. Throughout grade school I knew more science than most of my teachers (I imagine you did also), and they were decidedly not receptive to being corrected. But that hardly prevented me from thinking that my own conclusions were correct.
So when I say that "Christianity teaches X," I mean that I've made an objective determination of what the primary source documents (the biblical texts) are stating, without regard to whatever anyone might teach. Of course I could be wrong, and anyone is welcome to examine my reasoning.
Now, perhaps you think that the interpretation of a text (especially a religious text) is necessarily subjective; I don't agree. Under most circumstances, the "one and only" correct interpretation of a text is whatever the author meant, and therefore we can often reasonably conclude that "Christianity teaches X" or "Dawkins teaches Y." And if you think I have made a mistake in interpretation, you'll have to cite the text and not things you've heard people claim about the text.
In this instance, the definition and usage of the word pistis really isn't controversial. It is the word used in the text, and its meaning is accepted Greek scholarship: to be persuaded of a truth, empirical or otherwise. For the purposes of this discussion, I rephrased it as: to be persuaded of one rational axiom over another rational axiom. Observe that this understanding of faith excludes "believing irrational things" and it also excludes "believing things without good reason". So I find it more than reasonable to state that any Christian who teaches those things has simply failed to do their homework.
But putting all that aside, you haven't yet addressed one central claim of my post: based on the definition I gave, faith is rational. And not only rational, but unavoidable and unproblematic. And especially unproblematic when one relinquishes the positivistic fallacy that nonempirical evidence (such as moral evidence, philosophical evidence, or spiritual evidence) aren't legitimate.
Instead, you are trying to argue that the definition I gave is not "Christian." Perhaps it is because of your unpleasant experience with particular Christians and churches that you so wish to accuse Christianity of being anti-science. But you have yet to argue that point directly.
Result: churches undermine scientific reasoning in the public mind.
Many probably do. No argument there. But so do many other things. They all need to stop. This isn't where we disagree, hm?
Indeed, the above explanation of faith is stridently pro-reason and pro-science. As Whitehead famously observed, "science... is an unconscious derivative from medieval theology."