I must insist on keeping faith, however, and I must insist on using the specific definition I provided.
Except you're misusing
that definition, and seem as thoroughly confused about it as you appear to me to be about "reason."
What it means, quite simply, is that by taking something on faith - by accepting something based on insufficient or bad evidence - you're being unscientific, let's say. You're acting contrary to the type of scientific skepticism for instance Carl Sagan advocated, where, in the absence of evidence, you withhold judgment until the evidence is in.
First of all, this is basically just a restatement of your earlier contentions that faith is the absence of doubt and that faith is the "abandonment" of reason. It's just as silly and factually inaccurate as those earlier statements, and for the same reasons. Faith does not
in fact require the absence of doubt, nor does the acceptance of a faith proposition automatically mean it is uncritically accepted in perpetuity. Faith is, as I've already said, simply the backdrop of non-rational propositions against which reason works (this usage of the term is, BTW, perfectly in agreement with the defintion you keep insisting on, something you seem not to have noticed). Strictly-speaking there is no
act of reasoning that doesn't start from a faith proposition, even if that proposition is as basic as "there is an objective reality to investigate." And again as I've already said, a great deal of the history of science and of rational philosophy is actually to be found in the pursuit or support of what at first appear to be irrational
propositions... including but of course far from limited to propositions of religious belief. Faith and reason are fundamentally intertwined, neither mutually exclusive nor separate, as much as you would like them to be. That's just a fact.
To address some of the meta-stuff beyond that basic issue: The Demon-Haunted World
was a lovely book and all, but basically any time you take a limited polemic like it too seriously and imagine it to apply too widely, you will get into trouble. Carl Sagan was great at explaining the nuts and bolts of how scientific investigation and skepticism should work, and is of course correct: faith propositions should
be examined skeptically (not an idea that is exactly new to me, if you've paid any attention to what I've written up-thread). However, the man was not a philosopher. He was not
good at confronting and accounting for what in fact has historically been a fairly important role of faith in science, which is something pretty important to be able to account for if you're going to have an informed opinion about faith and reason. And you cannot ultimately rely on polemics from the trenches of America's culture wars as a complete guide to vastly complicated issues like this.
Most of all, the ideal of a world where science could work untouched and unimpeded by all that messy "faith" stuff is an unrealistic fantasy that disregards both human nature and the actual workings of real-life science. If in the West we had had to wait for a "science" produced in 100% pure faith-free fashion, we would still be in the Dark Ages at best, since our scientific tradition was a creation of faith
at its root. Neither faith or skepticism is inherently a "virtue" -- such things are just tools, and can be used to good or bad account -- but nevertheless I think most of us would agree that having science at our disposal is something of a result. To want to impeach faith with the responsiblity for its role in charlatanism and evil while being squeamish and evasive about admitting its countervailing role in more positive phenomena like the discovery of the scientific method is to falsify and deny the facts. It's dishonest, and any skepticism really worth its salt should be concerned with avoiding that kind of dishonesty.