"Faith is like love" -help needed.
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20-02-2013, 12:40 AM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2013 02:07 AM by kim.)
"Faith is like love" -help needed.
I need your help in a discussion.
From time to time, me and my religious buddy, have a discussions, on FB, about religion.
Usually I have the answer for everything he says, but this time I have a problem.
On my wall I quoted stuff from Seth's podcast: "You don't loose your faith -you quit it."
My religious bud answered: "True. It's the same decision as love."
My respond was:
"And this is an interesting topic for discussion.
Even the very term "decision" could be discussed, but I'll skip this case.
(I would love to see Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris talking about it.)
This can be done in several ways to approach ... In my opinion, faith and love working in a different ways and they are the result of different conditions.
Well, OK. Let's do that experiment.
For example: faith as wife's love to a husband who abused her...? Yes. That's a good comparison.
Wife loves her husband, which is basically OK, but sometimes he beats her up, then saying something like, "See what drove me, this is all your fault!" His wife gives him a right. It's actually her fault ... She did not comply with husband's commands and now bears the penalty.
But religion goes much further than this example. The wife is suffering not only because of her transgressions, but also because of the failure to comply with recommendations by her great-great-great-grandmother... and, for that would be to suffer the forever and ever. Well, unless she considers her husband as generous, omniscient and omnipotent lord and ruler, which will be strictly subordinated to, then she MAY be forgiven.
With this kind of comparison of faith and love, I would agree.
Let's the other side:
-Love in a happy and healthy relationship...
It's not easy for me to compare faith and love in this version... can you establish a happy and healthy relationship when one party lies to the other, who with great gusto and joy lives in illusion and delusion, accepting everything uncritically...?
- "Listen John, your Mrs. gives you the shaft, do not you see? She's telling you that the man standing at the traffic lights, in front of her, suddenly turned on the reverse and drove into her car, while CCTV shows that she didn't press a break on time, and hit him."
- "How can you say that?, My wife is a wonderful, lovely person! If she says it is the true, it is the true! I do not care about some stupid CCTV, I see it differently! Why are you doing this to me? Why do you want to take my happiness from me?"
Such comparisons can be multiplied and somehow I can not figure out a mutually positive comparison ..."


(very imperfect translation from polish)

What are your thoughts about comparing faith and love by religious people?

"Everyone was born as an atheist."
http://www.facebook.com/hagios44
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20-02-2013, 08:30 AM
RE: "Faith is like love" -help needed.
Now this comparison is based upon my believe that believe and faith (in the religious variant) are essentially the same with the difference that the latter does not need any evidence at all but can be built upon some hot thin air your parents blew into your mind as a kid or whatever:

I would disagree with his statement.

Faith is based on your general underlying knowledge or experience however faulty it may be.

Love is based on core human nature (reproduction). It is like a chemical addiction and you can't just quit as a choice. Sure you can make the decision to get rid of it, but your body will still remain "in love" until it slowly wears off over time. This may also happen naturally purely through the passing of time.

Faith on the other hand won't wear off just because time passes. It may "hibernate" until needed again but you won't change your faith this way. New Information is the factor here. With information you'll change your underlying reasons for your faith. While it may be true that you quit your faith I would still argue it is only a formal quitting because your faith became undeniably disproven through your increased knowledge.

The follow-up emotions may be the same but this is imo not because you're addicted to your faith or because you have a great bond and a history with it but because with faith there almost always is an added package of "god" and you lose the relationship/bond with this imagined personality.


Some extended thoughts:
So while it is imo true that you can't quit both from one moment to the next the WHY you can't "quit" and the HOW you "quit" them are very different.
With love you at least can make the voluntary decision to stop it and then take actions towards this goal.
With Faith it is the other way around. Before you can quit your faith you have to have more knowledge. And, as we all know, certain mechanisms are quite effective to hinder us from gaining said knowledge.
I don't think one can radically change a believe without foregoing new information (and of course actual reflection) - after all: why would you change a believe in something that makes sense to you? There is no volontary decision you can make that will change your "inner core" without enough data to base this decision upon - because everything you "know" speaks to the contrary. But by the time you have gained this data and reflected it - is it really still a decision you yourself make? In my opinion it isn't. You quitting your faith at this point is nothing more than acting upon an already made conclusion. Maybe you can formally hold on to your faith, but your "core believe" already changed. Which is btw also why it is imo ridiculous to say atheists simply have to choose to believe or "you have to have faith"

conclusion:
Love: deciding to quit loving is voluntary possible. this Can be a pre-action decision with this particular goal in mind
Faith: You may acquire new knowledge voluntarily but it is at least highly unlikely that you decided to quit your faith before you acquired the information. This is a post-action decision without this particular goal in mind (and imo not even a real voluntary decision anymore)

This is why I wouldn't agree on their similarity - neither the why nor the how are alike in regard of quitting.


huh... longer than I thought.... hope it makes some sense...
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20-02-2013, 08:17 PM
"Faith is like love" -help needed.
Maybe we need to find synonymous for both to find their core difference.

Remember that we are using the platform English which is very arbitrary in semantics.


Love is a feeling, an emotion...

Faith is an idea or illusion, delusion, decision...

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20-02-2013, 08:57 PM
RE: "Faith is like love" -help needed.
Sure Faith is like Love. If by Love you mean something like 'spousal abuse'.
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20-02-2013, 09:54 PM
RE: "Faith is like love" -help needed.
Love is an involuntary response to virtue. We do not choose to love a person. Their virtue causes us to fall in love with them and unless or until they prove to us that their virtue is false, we can not stop loving them.

Faith is the belief in something for which we have insufficient evidence for acceptance but that we simply choose to believe in spite of the lack of evidence.


The abused spouse or child might profess love, but they're really professing the faith that if they don't cause a problem, there will be no more problems.
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21-02-2013, 09:24 AM
RE: "Faith is like love" -help needed.
Love is generally felt for a living entity we've actually met.
If they disappoint, hurt or bore us, we sometimes fall out of love, or love is destroyed, or we keep feeling love but decide to quit the relationship.

Faith is generally felt for some supernatural entity we've only heard about.
There is no relationship: all effort, all feeling, all gestures go one way.
When we realize how futile that is, we lose faith and/or quit practicing a religion.

What's alike in those two conditions is that they're human feelings and that they can both end.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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21-02-2013, 11:32 AM
"Faith is like love" -help needed.
(21-02-2013 09:24 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Love is generally felt for a living entity we've actually met.
If they disappoint, hurt or bore us, we sometimes fall out of love, or love is destroyed, or we keep feeling love but decide to quit the relationship.

Faith is generally felt for some supernatural entity we've only heard about.
There is no relationship: all effort, all feeling, all gestures go one way.
When we realize how futile that is, we lose faith and/or quit practicing a religion.

What's alike in those two conditions is that they're human feelings and that they can both end.

If we replace religion with relationship makes sense too...

We loose faith in a relationship... Does it work?

Smile. Ahhhh semantics!

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21-02-2013, 08:31 PM
RE: "Faith is like love" -help needed.
Quote: If we replace religion with relationship makes sense too...
No, it doesn't. A relationship is between two entities who can both feel, communicate and participate. Religion the adoration of something absent, that does not communicate or participate.
Quote: We loose faith in a relationship... Does it work?
Do you mean lose faith? You shouldn't have faith in a relationship in the first place. You should build a relationship together and you should both trust the other person. If you lose trust - presumably because the other person lied or cheated - the relationship no longer work. If, asfter somebody's cheated and lied, you put the relationship on faith basis, it still doesn't work, but you become a big sucker.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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21-02-2013, 11:26 PM
"Faith is like love" -help needed.
(21-02-2013 08:31 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  
Quote: If we replace religion with relationship makes sense too...
No, it doesn't. A relationship is between two entities who can both feel, communicate and participate. Religion the adoration of something absent, that does not communicate or participate.
Quote: We loose faith in a relationship... Does it work?
Do you mean lose faith? You shouldn't have faith in a relationship in the first place. You should build a relationship together and you should both trust the other person. If you lose trust - presumably because the other person lied or cheated - the relationship no longer work. If, asfter somebody's cheated and lied, you put the relationship on faith basis, it still doesn't work, but you become a big sucker.

Huh? I'm not debating your statements, I'm just thinking about how the words are commonly used. People use "faith" to describe their position in a relationship... I guess my point is that believers usually have more tolerance for using words for whatever they need despite their meaning.

Like, I have faith on my baseball team. Nothing supernatural there.

(Don't assume I like baseball, it's an example)

Oh, you may see some typos coming out of this damn tapatalk thingy. Smile

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