I think this might be a good time for you to step back Saria and take a break from the discussion.
You are mistaking clarity and boldness for anger. It's a common mistake. But one does not need to be riled up to spot the fallacies in someone else's argument, explain in detail why they are fallacies, and how to avoid them. I would think that when someone does that - repeatedly - the correct thing to do is step back and think more carefully about what you're saying, rather than trying to chase off the person pointing out the errors.
I am not sure anyone would argue that total faith is ever a good decision making policy. There has to be some reason/evidence to support a decision even if the remaining factor is faith.
Not always! Sometimes
there's nothing wrong with using faith to make a decision. Speaking technically, faith is never a good
way to make a decision, but it's not always a bad
For example, there are two peaces of cake left on the plate, and just you and one other person left to grab a slice. The two pieces are identical; there is no evidence that you should pick one or the other; there is no rational reason to prefer one over the other. There's nothing wrong with letting the "Holy Spirit guide you", and picking the piece you think God wants you to pick.
See, faith is benign whenever there is no reason or evidence to make a choice. In other words, if you've got a choice that you can make by flipping a coin, then you could just as well use faith. Faith only really becomes a problem when there is evidence or reason. For example, back to the cake: if one of those two slices has a peanut on it, and you know the person behind you has a peanut allergy, then it would be bad to listen to the word of angels and take the other slice.
I have faith that my car will start tomorrow. There is no way for me to know, for sure, until I try it tomorrow. But, this is not complete faith because I have all those other days it started as 'evidence' that it will do the same tomorrow.
Ah, you gotta be careful. "Faith" is an overloaded word; it means multiple things. "Faith" can mean "belief without reason or evidence" (which is how I've been using it), but it can also mean confidence or trust ("I have faith in Jim" or "We are negotiating in good faith"), and it can also mean one's religion ("My faith is Hindu").
When you say you have faith that your car will start tomorrow, you don't mean that you believe without evidence or reason, you mean you have confidence. As you said, you have plenty
of reasons to believe that your car will start tomorrow, and plenty of evidence to back those reasons up. Obviously you can't be 100% certain, but you can be some percentage of certain, and just trust in those odds.
To me, this seems to make faith merely a matter of expedience. It also explains why in insignificant circumstances, we are all more likely to take something on faith. I say I have a dollar bill in my pocket. People are willing to give me the benefit of the doubt. If I say I have a message from god that they need to listen to, the skeptics start oozing out of the woodwork.
Does it follow that faith is good for expedience and low risk?
This is another case of using 'faith' in the sense of confidence and trust, not "belief without reason or evidence". Our experiences with most people have taught us that most people don't lie all the time, especially over trivial matters (and reason backs up that observation: if everyone lied all the time randomly, we couldn't have formed stable societies). So when someone says they have a dollar bill in their pocket, in the absence of any reason or evidence to believe otherwise, odds are they're telling the truth. So, most people would trust the odds.
Now, if there were reasons to believe you were lying - like that dollar bills had gone out of circulation years ago - or if there were evidence to indication you often lied - like that you were a known pathological liar - then most people would probably not
give you the benefit of the doubt, right?
I would say that it's not really about expedience and low risk, for two reasons. First of all, if it were merely a matter of expedience, it's just as much effort and time consumed to believe you don't
have a dollar bill in your pocket, or that your car won't
start tomorrow... and then be pleasantly surprised when that belief turns out wrong. I mean, why is it any more expedient to believe that Allah doesn't want you to eat pork, right? Quite the opposite, I'd say often faith-based religious beliefs are far from expedient, and require significant mental gymnastics to justify. As for the risk thing, there are often situations where you trust the odds in situations that are extremely
risky. Instead of whether or not your car will start, what about trusting that your brakes are working? Or that your airbag won't malfunction and suddenly deploy while you're doing 100 klicks on the highway?
So I would say no, faith (that is, belief without reason or evidence) is not good merely for expedience of low risk. I would say that the only time faith is good is when there is no reason or evidence for or against believing something. When there's no reason or evidence to believe A or B, then you could either flip a coin, or you could use faith to "feel" which one of A or B is the right choice. And this can be true even in situations of high risk. If you're defusing a bomb and you have to choose to cut the red wire or the blue wire - and there's no reason or evidence to pick one or the other - there's nothing wrong with either flipping a coin... or "listening to the spirits".
In the context of religions, I don't see a problem with believing that spiritual beings - gods, angels, etc. - exist. The problems only start to arise when something about those beliefs starts to wade into areas already covered by reason or evidence. For example, there's usually no harm in believing that God exists and wants you to wear blue shoes. There is
a problem when you believe God exists and wants you to tell strangers who they can and can't have sex with.
In other words, if religions showed respect for reason and evidence, and operated only in the areas where they don't have anything to offer, rather than trampling over them, we'd have no problems with religion.