Faith is not an answer. I don't mean that it isn't an acceptable answer, I mean that it simply isn't an answer at all. Fundamentally, faith is an opinion, because it's impossible to prove or confirm.
Faith is not an opinion, at least in how religious people generally define it. Faith is a religious synonym for "trust," specifically as it pertains to a relationship with a deity. Thus, it is a decision
. Critics of theism tend to use the definition of "belief without evidence/proof," but this is not an accurate assessment of most believers' experiences of it.
Of course, you may very well claim that a decision made based on belief is not an acceptable answer to why that belief is held. Which is both true and not true: it's true in that faith does not explain the source of the belief, but false in that it provides the mechanism through which that belief is held.
To me, this indicates a difference in priority rather than a failure to provide a direct answer. As Lori points out, for the believer this is the simplest, direct, most accurate explanation - but it's not what the skeptic wants. The skeptic wants the epistemological basis for that belief, which to most believers is self-evident. Thus, I think that many believers only think to parse the part of the question dealing with why the belief is held,
to which the simplest answer is "faith."
In essence, atheists are asking why you believe something - that is to say, what reason you have to believe it. Saying "I believe and have faith" doesn't actually answer the question. You're just saying that you believe and have faith that you're correct, you're not answering why you believe and have faith. In other words, if someone is trying to get a factual answer out of you, answering with an opinion isn't going to work.
I'm not sure why you quoted me in your post, other than the fact that I objected to the OP's premise. My answer in that quote did not mention faith, and you'll note that I preemptively ignored myself when responding to nogodsforme by not mentioning faith at all because I like breaking my own rules.
I see what you're saying about context, but it seems like your answer was more directed at Lori than me. I didn't even have faith in mind when I made that post. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit less forum naive than many of the theists brought in by the YouTube videos, or perhaps it's because I'm weird. I dunno.
If I had time I would take on #3....the rest are beyond my pay grade.#3 is actually the most deceptively simple of the bunch. Just ask Admiral Ackbar.
Ask him what? If religion is a TRAP?
If #3 is a trap, obviously.