"Tops is your belief that the Bible is a divinely inspired book that allows you to make predictions about the end of the world. Given all evidence to the contrary, if you allow that meme to stay in your head, youll keep banging your head up against failed prophecies."
I believe the Bible is divinely inspired yet had enough sense to realize that Camping and his followers are false prophets.
"You often label this practice faith and argue that it should be respected. It shouldnt."
Everyone lives by faith whether they realize it or not. Everyone has faith in something. To sneer about it is foolishness.
"This is why it is important to promote an Enlightenment culture that values the virtue of rationality and critical thinking above all else."
Wrong! Rational, critical thinking is not strictly the terrirtory of the atheist/humanist. God gave us a functioning brain to think but also gave us a spirit to commune with Him. It is not one or the other. "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." 1 Cor 3:19
That's really what irks me the most about Harold Camping... I wonder if the MSM hyped up his blasphemous BS just to score more hit points against Christianity.
I mean a particular approach to knowledge. In this context faith might best be understood if preceded by the words leap of. It means believing something for which there is very little evidence or strong evidence to the contrary. It is this approach to knowledge that distinguishes uniquely religious beliefs from other beliefs, including beliefs about morality that one might derived philosophically, for example, from mans nature as a creature with a rational capacity and free will.
Aquinas distinguished natural law, which is discovered through reason, from divine law, which is revealed directly in the Bible. But there is no rational way to determine whether the revelations in the Bible are any better than those in the Koran or those expounded by Hindu or Buddhist mystics.
Later thinkers tried to understand God as revealed in nature via reason. This line of thinking ended in Deism, with a god as a prime mover/designer force who is not involved in any way in the day-to-day operations of the universe or the world of humans.
Some religious folks argue that those who accept that our knowledge about objective reality must come through rational inquiry are acting on faith just as much as someone who believes every word of the Bible (or any other holy book) is revealed wisdom and instant knowledge. But thats playing a word game because the two approaches to knowledge are very different.