A-believerism or A-deism?
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25-02-2013, 07:03 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(20-02-2013 08:17 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  The denial is strong with this one.
Oh Obi-Wan, please do enlighten! ;-) What exactly am I denying? The inestimable wisdom of your logic?
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25-02-2013, 07:05 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(20-02-2013 08:41 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 08:11 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  HAHA! You and I have very different definitions for faith.
And that's precisely why the rest of your post is moot.

Unless we all agree upon a specific definition of the term "faith", we don't have any common ground for a discussion about its usage.
HAHA, sure! We could go that route. But why do I get the impression that you don't really want to? OH, I know! Because you could have offered a step towards resolving the issue rather than flatly calling my post "moot." Does that mean that you didn't read it? ;-)
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25-02-2013, 07:12 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(25-02-2013 05:07 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  The passage of time does not convert faith to evidence. Try again.
I never said it did. Read again.
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25-02-2013, 07:13 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(25-02-2013 05:09 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  If it did, then Roswell and the aliens are real Wink
As far as I know (and care) they could be. I don't take a hard stand on things I have no specific knowledge or evidence of.
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25-02-2013, 07:41 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(25-02-2013 06:05 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(25-02-2013 05:05 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Haha, DLJ, you prove my point for me. 14 years ago, AT THE TIME, it was faith.
...

Actually, in all seriousness, I had evidence that she would divorce me because she had done that to two other guys before me.

But it didn't bother me.
Her child needed a stable environment so I agreed to marriage.

It was no surprise when it did happen.

Yes, it all depends on the definition we choose for 'faith'.

In the arena of governance, risk, compliance and management ... my fields of interest (and income), we use terms like confidence, assurance and trust.
These are all evidence based terms and the term 'faith' is avoided.

Do we have faith that a course of action will bring about a defined outcome? No. We have 'reasonable assurance' based on evidence. There is still subjectivity. No assessment is completely objective. But evidence is gathered by defined processes to support a position / recommendation / opinion.

After the event, assessments are made that help refine those defined decision-processes.

Even the assessment processes are continually refined based on evidence that is accumulated over time.

Ditto with manufacturing processes. See e.g. Deming and Six Sigma.

See also ISO standards.

There are plenty of International Standards that cover quality (ISO9000), risk (ISO31000), governance (ISO38500), management (ISO2000), security (ISO27000) and assessments (ISO15504) etc.

It is no surprise that there are no International Standards that cover religion.

Thumbsup

So, I'd be happy to refine my terminology. I like using "faith" just to prod out the fact that the same kinds of confident-positive-expectation-building things like trust, confidence, assurance, etc. don't suddenly change their nature with a change of object.

If we trust the plan, trust the brake pedal, or trust gods, it's still trust. It works in the same way. Same with confidence, assurance, and I would still argue, faith. For example, if someone encourages you to "have a little faith" in yourself or your plan or a friend, I'm sure you would understand what he means and find it valid, even if you decided it wasn't a good idea. We have faith in friends and loved ones in exactly the same way that we have faith in gods, except maybe for the misanthropic cynics among us. The cognitive processes are the same no matter what we apply them to. That's the beauty of my preferred approach (see my response to Vosur.)

You might be interested in a paper I recently read, in which the researcher claims that the trust model widely accepted among researchers is universally applicable, "Going back to the source: Why do people trust each other?" http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21515581.2011.603514

The process of assessment, planning, evaluation, etc., that you described are the same as the process I use all the time under the label "faith"--including my dealings with god/cosmos/universe/life/source/self. Dealing with myself can sometimes take incredible faith, LOL! I think an argument could be made that everything we do in a relationship to an organization (as an entity) is cognitively similar (if not exactly the same) as the way that believers conduct their "relationships" with gods.

haha, yeah, no surprise about lack of religious "standards." Standards are developed cooperatively, or in cases of de facto standards (whose development is preemptive rather than cooperative) at some point competing standards raise the white flag and people get on board. No one thinks that multiple standards are a good idea as a rule (Mac/PC excepted.) The Brits (was just there) tease American's for not adopting metric, and yet they still measure in miles. Go figure... Religions would need to be about cooperation to develop/adopt standards. I never discovered much cooperation there. ;-)
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26-02-2013, 01:56 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(25-02-2013 07:05 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  HAHA, sure! We could go that route. But why do I get the impression that you don't really want to? OH, I know! Because you could have offered a step towards resolving the issue rather than flatly calling my post "moot." Does that mean that you didn't read it? ;-)
I most certainly read it. Pointing out that we are using different definitions of "faith" is the very first step towards resolving the issue. The second one would be to discuss which definition both of us can agree upon.

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26-02-2013, 02:14 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(25-02-2013 07:01 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Haha, thanks! The whole stage? Hope I don't freeze up! ;-)

I began that comment with "My position is located in a very different paradigm than the god debate takes place in." My paradigm is a first-person-shooter POV. I'm exploring phenomenology, because it seems to match my interests somewhat.

My question is not like the aerial-view questions, "Does God exist?" or "What is God like?" but--from purely a cognitive process point of view--HOW do we deal with the fact that our wiring presupposes the need for gods or something like them?

It's always seemed flippant, even arrogant, for atheists to dismiss 99.9% of human experience as somehow misguided, defective, or delusional; especially when atheists engage in the same cognitive processes that believers resolve with gods. I don't care so much what we resolve them with. I just want to stop fighting over it and learn how to do it better, or learn how to stop doing it if that's better.

My big AHA! a few years ago was to realize that neither believers nor atheists actually share my interest. I'm interested in improving something we all do. They seem more interested in eradicating each other.

We instinctively resort to "a higher power" (or powers) when we need to. When in need or under duress, we naturally appeal for help to powers "outside of" and "beyond" ourselves. We long to contribute to and be connected to causes, purposes, or meaning that is greater than ourselves. As a
bizarre example of appealing to a higher power, lately I hear the term "evolution" used in exactly the same places that Intelligent Design folks use "God" and "natural selection" in the same places ID-ers use "miracle of creation." Go figureā€¦

We can point at our appeal to powers greater than ourselves and call it a "weakness," but then we'd have more than three fingers pointing back to us: science, engineering, politics, business admin, just name your preferred field of academic research. All are attempts to create/harness/control information smarter and powers greater than the average human. More and more writers these days comment on the eerie aspect that science is taking in the public mind, often supported by scientists who should (and do) know better. It's becoming the post-modern religion of choice, complete with elitist governance, rituals, accouterments, and official garb. We all know the reverence that white lab coats and stethoscopes hanging around the neck evoke.
I can't identify with your generalizations. Neither do I need to presuppose the existence of something god-like for my wiring, nor do I instinctively resort to a "higher power", nor have I ever seen the terms "evolution" and "natural selection" used religiously. While it is certainly possible that other people fit this description, I really have no reason to think that these notions are accurate if there is no empirical data (ex. opinion polls) to support them.

(25-02-2013 07:01 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  So my question isn't a what is there question, but how do we effectively and beneficially manage the fact that we think that something is there, whatever we decide it is and what we call it? That's a very different question based on different assumptions.

I think this approach has some huge advantages, one of them being that it takes the discussion much closer to real life, since we're talking about how to manage experiential cognitive processes we all share. If the reason we don't like the music is due to problems with the equipment and/or the way we're using it, it makes more sense to talk about fixing equipment and processes than argue about the music we'd better listen to.

Even more importantly, if our perception of the music is flawed (for example, my folks' attitude towards rock-n-roll back in the day!) changing music, player, or play operation is not going to help. Think about how "abstract art" was regarded by most in the early 20th century compared to how we regard it now. It's still the same artwork. Nothing changed except our appreciation of it, i.e., our perception.

I'm really interested in that angle because of the cost-benefit ratio: HUGE effects for little real risk doing something that works without moving a muscle or spending a dime. Although things like dance, physical risk-taking, sex, and psychedelics can help! ;-)

What do you think? :-)
You will have to clear up a couple of things for me before I can give you my thoughts on this. Who is "we" in your question and what makes you think that "we" believe "something" to be "there"? If you are talking about humanity in general, I have no objections because the vast majority of humans are religious after all. Otherwise, please elaborate.

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26-02-2013, 03:49 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(26-02-2013 02:14 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(25-02-2013 07:01 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Haha, thanks! The whole stage? Hope I don't freeze up! ;-)

I began that comment with "My position is located in a very different paradigm than the god debate takes place in." My paradigm is a first-person-shooter POV. I'm exploring phenomenology, because it seems to match my interests somewhat. [etc., etc.] It's becoming the post-modern religion of choice, complete with elitist governance, rituals, accouterments, and official garb. We all know the reverence that white lab coats and stethoscopes hanging around the neck evoke.
I can't identify with your generalizations. Neither do I need to presuppose the existence of something god-like for my wiring, nor do I instinctively resort to a "higher power", nor have I ever seen the terms "evolution" and "natural selection" used religiously. While it is certainly possible that other people fit this description, I really have no reason to think that these notions are accurate if there is no empirical data (ex. opinion polls) to support them.

(25-02-2013 07:01 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  So my question isn't a what is there question, but how do we effectively and beneficially manage the fact that we think that something is there, whatever we decide it is and what we call it? That's a very different question based on different assumptions. [etc., etc.]
I'm really interested in that angle because of the cost-benefit ratio: HUGE effects for little real risk doing something that works without moving a muscle or spending a dime. Although things like dance, physical risk-taking, sex, and psychedelics can help! ;-)

What do you think? :-)
You will have to clear up a couple of things for me before I can give you my thoughts on this. Who is "we" in your question and what makes you think that "we" believe "something" to be "there"? If you are talking about humanity in general, I have no objections because the vast majority of humans are religious after all. Otherwise, please elaborate.
You can't... Neither do you... nor do you... nor have you... And you really have no reason to...

That's a whole lotta denial my friend.

No, actually, I don't have to clear up anything at all. My statements were clear enough. Sorry you don't seem able or willing to follow them.

I came here for intelligent discussion, not to play cat and mouse. After all I wrote precisely in order to elaborate for you, you offer no substantive contribution and ask me to elaborate further? Haha, you have a pretty high estimation of your thoughts to think that they are worth that much trouble. I've already put all I'm going to towards eliciting them. Fine by me if you keep them to yourself. LOL!
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26-02-2013, 03:55 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(25-02-2013 07:41 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  ...
"have a little faith"
...

OK, point taken. As a vague expression, in polite conversation... fair enough.

Except I would be more likely to say "trust yourself".

Particularly so on this forum where there is general consensus that faith = belief without evidence but also when teaching standards and best practices (the de facto standards) because in that context "a leap of faith" implies a deficient position.
For example, today I just come back from a day talking about designing metrics over the lifecycle of services and said (I quote myself) "If you have not determined, designed, implemented and are operating the appropriate metrics and measurement tools your future decisions might as well just be a leap of faith". And the students were well aware it was meant in a derogatory sense and no one objected. They nodded.

(25-02-2013 07:41 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  ...
We have faith in friends and loved ones in exactly the same way that we have faith in gods,
...

OK, sure, by your definition.
But I think the point has been made by now that the 'faith' we have in people who we can see, touch and smell is based on a track record of evidence i.e. their previous behaviour and also the behaviour of other people we know that creates a 'baseline'; whereas there is no such track record for gods - which we can be fairly certain are the inventions (and therefore the extensions of) comparatively ignorant peoples.

So I would argue that the cognitive processes are not the same.

(25-02-2013 07:41 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  ...
I think an argument could be made that everything we do in a relationship to an organization (as an entity) is cognitively similar (if not exactly the same) as the way that believers conduct their "relationships" with gods.
...

And here is where I must excuse myself from the conversation. I am not a believer so I have no first hand knowledge or experience of how or why believers conduct their "relationships" with gods.

I never had an imaginary friend and I never had a comfort blanket. I cannot get into that mindset.

And I count myself fortunate for that.

Thumbsup

(25-02-2013 07:41 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  ...
The Brits (was just there) tease American's for not adopting metric, and yet they still measure in miles. Go figure
...

As a Brit (who incidentally thinks in km), I can assure you that any excuse to tease the Yanks will be grabbed, tied up and mounted.

In fact, we don't even need an excuse.

Heart

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26-02-2013, 04:00 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
Thanks everyone! That was a helpful discussion, for the most part. Even the dismissive comments and the ad hominem quips were informative. You do realize that engaging in that kind of response is the equivalent of, "OK, I don't have anything better or smarter to say, so..." don't you? I'm always amazed when people think that sort of thing will get them anywhere.

I check in on atheist boards once in a while to see if the rank-and-file thinking has progressed. This board was a huge improvement on the one I checked out a few years ago. There the ad hominem crap started almost right off the bat. Here it took more than four pages of relatively interesting discussion before it started. That's a compliment, in case you didn't notice. :-)

Unfortunately, I see that atheistic thinking still mirrors believer thinking as far as justification and form go. You play a different song using the same logic, just starting from different premises heading in a different direction. What's obvious, even overwhelmingly clear, is that neither side knows how to listen very well, especially when presented with well-reasoned information that doesn't fit their preferred mold. That gets old really fast.

All the best! I might check back in after another few years! Cheers!
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