The Oxford Concise English Dictionary defines faith as follows:

  1. complete trust or confidence; and

  2. strong belief in a religion based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

Scientists trust empirical evidence; the two definitions are exact opposites. Lumping evidence-based belief with beliefs based on spiritual conviction together as faith-based is dishonest.

Disbelief in supernatural entities is not an act of faith. It is a rational position held by the extensive evidence that natural forces created the universe. We cannot prove the Earth will continue to rotate tomorrow, but the historical, empirical, and statistical evidence justifies the belief that it will.

Accepting ideas on faith curtails important questions, dissuades people from dissecting the universe, and can influence people to take actions they otherwise would not. The Salem Witch Trials involved people who accepted witchcraft accusations as true, rather than demanding substantiated empirical evidence that supported those accusations.

Faith is no more a virtue than lies and threats are virtues.