Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
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23-01-2014, 02:49 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
Quote:anidominus said:
Everything your saying leads me to believe that you grew up having no idea what faith was. Faith isn't going to prove anything. I will explain best I can what faith is.

Faith is believing this item you just made will earn you a million dollars and then maintaining the confidence, the behavior, swagger, and work ethic as if this is true without doing something stupid like writing a check for a million dollars without the money being in the bank first.

People use faith all the time, atheist alike. Its how everything huge gets done. Faith got us to the moon.
So, have Faith in God. I don't know how else to explain it.

Anidominus - There are different ways to use the term faith - the way you are using the term "faith" is somewhat like the pragmatist approach of William James. This usage of faith is basically laying down a probability for a likelihood and then acting as if the likelihood will happen based on some justification for the original probability (Not proven certainty)

eg in your example if the business plan is good, the product is worthwhile and a work ethic is applied then there is no guarantee you will make a million, however acting with faith may improve the chances of the outcome you want (successful business & millions in the bank)

Of course all sorts of calamities unexpected could happen and sabotage the business. I personally prefer the word hope & trusting ones abilities, plan, stratergies or those of key associates & colleagues in this scenario.

However with this usage of faith when applied to God - how does it work ? What are the underlying assumptions or probabilities than make God a likely scenario & justified ? What are they in your case ?
There must by some assessment for a probability otherwise the faith is just delusional for example someone wants to be a billionaire begging on the streets with no business plan, no work ethic, addicted to narcotics and hoping a win fall will fall from the sky. In some cases belief in God seems like this beggars scenario with people wanting to live forever in Heaven just for believing some mythological story in an ancient book.

In the case of scriptures however the concept of faith is different to the pragmatic approach (call it the William James approach) People believing in scriptures with "faith" sometimes use faith as an epistemology - a method or source of knowledge about the reality. In such cases there are direct contradictions between what we know about the world or reality and what scriptures state - faith is no longer a justified probabilistic approach to action but an irrational absurdity.
Eg someone "having faith" the Story of Noach flood is a real historical event. There is no probability that the Noach Flood occurred - we know today enough geology, biology & ecology to reveal the story is myth & not history.

So the question for you - whilst you cannot "Prove God" what are your underlying assumptions suggesting the God hypothesis may be likely & worth the time, confidence & effort to invest ones energy following ? Is it just a useful crutch, a useful myth - that inspired confidence, well being and a sense of purpose ?
What if there was an alternative way to be inspired, feel a sense of purpose and achieve well being ?

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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23-01-2014, 03:10 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 02:18 PM)anidominus Wrote:  Everything your saying leads me to believe that you grew up having no idea what faith was. Faith isn't going to prove anything. I will explain best I can what faith is.

Faith is believing this item you just made will earn you a million dollars and then maintaining the confidence, the behavior, swagger, and work ethic as if this is true without doing something stupid like writing a check for a million dollars without the money being in the bank first.

People use faith all the time, atheist alike. Its how everything huge gets done. Faith got us to the moon.

So, have Faith in God. I don't know how else to explain it.

It doesn't matter "which God".

Merely hoping that a product of mine will make me millions, and then treating that concept as a goal, is an ambitious endeavor, but not a good representation of what I mean by religious faith. As you conceded yourself, having faith in the million dollars to come did not make the probability of making that money 100%. Faith in and of itself does not make something true, only evidence and proofs can do that, in this case, checking the bank account. You point out, and so you should, that a faith in the self is valuable and necessary, and even an Atheist might comfortably engage in such faith. I have no issue with this. My criticism is reserved for a more harmful form of faith displayed by religious fundamentalists, and even protected by their more moderate comrades.

My entire point is that faith in god does not make him real, no matter my own desire either way. To be a grown adult person and to say "I believe in god as literally existent and Christianity as being literally true because I have faith that this is so." is ridiculous and childish. Evidence, reason, and proofs, if they exist, are far superior as means of discovering the truth of any proposition. In fact, in no field of study, other than religion, is faith considered an acceptable explanation for a belief. When a mathematician or scientist comes to a conclusion, he must present his evidence or proofs for examination and criticism. When the average citizen purchases a new car, he is not willing to merely trust in the salesman as to the features of his purchase, he usually inspects the vehicle, asks relevant questions, and conducts a test drive in order to make the most informed decision. If this is the standard by which we purchase a vehicle, why are we not using such a system in pursuit of a far more important truth? Why is enough merely to assume god is real, and one particular religion is literally true?

Even if one manages to get that far, why does it not matter which god? Is it not true that believing in Allah is directly in violation of belief in Jehovah? Does this not condemn every Muslim to hell, provided that Jehovah is, in fact, the one true god? In what way does this not matter?

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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23-01-2014, 03:36 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 01:54 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 01:09 PM)anidominus Wrote:  Well, I guess I should have said, Science doesn't have to prove anything, in particular, religion, God or anything else in order for those things to be real.
No, but it does beg the question why it's written in one of the gospels that Jesus performed the miracles (and many others not written down) so that others would believe.
They believed even before they saw miracles. Many times before to do a miracle Jesus would ask if they believe. When they answer was "yes" their so an evidence/proof. This way their faith became even stronger/was magnified.
But many who didn't believe didn't change their minds even though they saw miracles. They came up with all kinds of excuses.

(23-01-2014 01:54 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  One wonders why, supposedly, 2,000 years ago, God was performing verifiable miracles in a small corner of the world to gain followers, but that he then stopped.
Because it was His only chance to live on earth as mortal man. While He WALKED on Earth He showed His power to those Who FOLLOWED Him. Many people on earth at this time had no knowledge of Jesus and miracles.

(23-01-2014 01:54 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  It's not so much a matter of whether or not we can disprove God with science; it's more a matter why he isn't readily apparent. The whole notion of faith being super important is an ad hoc justification to explain the fact that people can't actually see this super-important being... despite him going way out of his way to prove his own existence to a few people two thousand years ago.
One of the reasons why mortals can not be in the presence of God is because they are fallen. We are NOT worthy now to see God.
The only times when mortal men could see God is when God had to give important message. And people were always transfigured when they saw God in His glory.
No mortal man can see God/His glory without being transfigured and live. So it is dangerous. So God PROTECTS us. God is a source of strong light and I assume of radiation. It would kill us.

English is not my native language.
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23-01-2014, 04:33 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 03:36 PM)Alla Wrote:  One of the reasons why mortals can not be in the presence of God is because they are fallen. We are NOT worthy now to see God.

It's weird to consider us "fallen" when your belief system states that we came down from heaven to earth to be tested.

God: "I want to test you. Part of testing you is making you terrible."
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23-01-2014, 05:03 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
Quote:Anidominus - ...This usage of faith is basically laying down a probability for a likelihood and then acting as if the likelihood will happen based on some justification for the original probability (Not proven certainty)

Nope

Quote:Of course all sorts of calamities unexpected could happen and sabotage the business. I personally prefer the word hope & trusting ones abilities, plan, stratergies or those of key associates & colleagues in this scenario.

"Ooooooooo K"


Quote:However with this usage of faith when applied to God - how does it work ? What are the underlying assumptions or probabilities than make God a likely scenario & justified ? What are they in your case ?

How do you explain what a TV is to someone who's never seen one and get them to exactly understand what it is if you don't have one with you to show them?

Quote:There must by some assessment for a probability otherwise the faith is just delusional

Wow, we are just soooo far apart on this issue. We have two completely different understandings of faith. I think what you're describing could be considered hope but I think you already said that.

Quote: for example someone wants to be a billionaire begging on the streets with no business plan, no work ethic, addicted to narcotics and hoping a win fall will fall from the sky.

That classifies as stupid. I've covered that already in my definition.

Quote:In some cases belief in God seems like this beggars scenario with people wanting to live forever in Heaven just for believing some mythological story in an ancient book.

I'll just rewrite your comment above in such a way I can respond to it instead of just ignoring it because its ridicules.

"In some cases people seem to believe in God for the sole purpose of experiencing some grand afterlife in which all their problems go away."

This is true... And?

Quote:Eg someone "having faith" the Story of Noach flood is a real historical event. There is no probability that the Noach Flood occurred - we know today enough geology, biology & ecology to reveal the story is myth & not history.

You don't know what you're talking about. In order to say that you would have to have experience dealing with global floods and their consequences. No one has....

Quote:So the question for you - whilst you cannot "Prove God" what are your underlying assumptions suggesting the God hypothesis may be likely & worth the time, confidence & effort to invest ones energy following ? Is it just a useful crutch, a useful myth - that inspired confidence, well being and a sense of purpose ?
What if there was an alternative way to be inspired, feel a sense of purpose and achieve well being ?

That's like somebody asking me to convince them Beyonce is beautiful. You either believe it or you don't. There is a reason "We hold these truths to be self evident..." is in the declaration of independence because if you don't see these truths just by looking, then we can't help you.
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23-01-2014, 05:14 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 03:10 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 02:18 PM)anidominus Wrote:  Everything your saying leads me to believe that you grew up having no idea what faith was. Faith isn't going to prove anything. I will explain best I can what faith is.

Faith is believing this item you just made will earn you a million dollars and then maintaining the confidence, the behavior, swagger, and work ethic as if this is true without doing something stupid like writing a check for a million dollars without the money being in the bank first.

People use faith all the time, atheist alike. Its how everything huge gets done. Faith got us to the moon.

So, have Faith in God. I don't know how else to explain it.

It doesn't matter "which God".

Merely hoping that a product of mine will make me millions, and then treating that concept as a goal, is an ambitious endeavor, but not a good representation of what I mean by religious faith. As you conceded yourself, having faith in the million dollars to come did not make the probability of making that money 100%. Faith in and of itself does not make something true, only evidence and proofs can do that, in this case, checking the bank account. You point out, and so you should, that a faith in the self is valuable and necessary, and even an Atheist might comfortably engage in such faith. I have no issue with this. My criticism is reserved for a more harmful form of faith displayed by religious fundamentalists, and even protected by their more moderate comrades.

My entire point is that faith in god does not make him real, no matter my own desire either way. To be a grown adult person and to say "I believe in god as literally existent and Christianity as being literally true because I have faith that this is so." is ridiculous and childish. Evidence, reason, and proofs, if they exist, are far superior as means of discovering the truth of any proposition. In fact, in no field of study, other than religion, is faith considered an acceptable explanation for a belief. When a mathematician or scientist comes to a conclusion, he must present his evidence or proofs for examination and criticism. When the average citizen purchases a new car, he is not willing to merely trust in the salesman as to the features of his purchase, he usually inspects the vehicle, asks relevant questions, and conducts a test drive in order to make the most informed decision. If this is the standard by which we purchase a vehicle, why are we not using such a system in pursuit of a far more important truth? Why is enough merely to assume god is real, and one particular religion is literally true?

Even if one manages to get that far, why does it not matter which god? Is it not true that believing in Allah is directly in violation of belief in Jehovah? Does this not condemn every Muslim to hell, provided that Jehovah is, in fact, the one true god? In what way does this not matter?

If you have to have proof or evidence your girlfriend won't cheat on you before you marry her, you'll never marry her.

When dealing with people and personalities, all you have is faith. According to Scripture, God is a personality and you have to make a choice whether you're going to believe him via whatever method he uses to communicate or not. Its your call.

You work for two weeks and have faith you'll get your check on Friday. In fact, your faith in this is so strong you don't even call it faith. But let someone tell you a story about them not being paid because the company went bankrupt and perhaps you'll understand better.

Banks have faith that people who sign a 30 year mortgages will be able to pay them. I could go on and on.
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23-01-2014, 05:17 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
Quote:
Quote:Eg someone "having faith" the Story of Noach flood is a real historical event. There is no probability that the Noach Flood occurred - we know today enough geology, biology & ecology to reveal the story is myth & not history.
'anidominus' wrote:
You don't know what you're talking about. In order to say that you would have to have experience dealing with global floods and their consequences. No one has....

I don't know what I'm talking about ?
We know the effects of mega-floods from studying geology and disciplines such as fluid dynamics, ecology and biodiversity. Of course we have the experience of dealing with the consequences of mega-floods including ones much larger than anything we have "directly" experienced within human written records.
EG: The lake missoula flood 12,000 years ago. There were no humans around to "record the experience" but the geological records tells us vast amounts of knowledge regarding the extent, reasons, ecological changes and consequences for such a flood.
Basic point is there is a trail of evidence left behind from flooding - and no evidence for any biblical or for that matter any "global flood"
If minor floods leave evidence, and megafloods leave huge amounts of evidence even from 12,000 years ago then even more so any global flooding.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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23-01-2014, 05:24 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 03:10 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You point out, and so you should, that a faith in the self is valuable and necessary, and even an Atheist might comfortably engage in such faith. I have no issue with this. My criticism is reserved for a more harmful form of faith displayed by religious fundamentalists, and even protected by their more moderate comrades.

I felt that I was clear here. Religious faith is the issue for me, not faith in one's own person, or others whom one chooses to trust. Faith in the supernatural is what I am criticizing.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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23-01-2014, 05:35 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 05:17 PM)Baruch Wrote:  
Quote:'anidominus' wrote:
You don't know what you're talking about. In order to say that you would have to have experience dealing with global floods and their consequences. No one has....

I don't know what I'm talking about ?
We know the effects of mega-floods from studying geology and disciplines such as fluid dynamics, ecology and biodiversity. Of course we have the experience of dealing with the consequences of mega-floods including ones much larger than anything we have "directly" experienced within human written records.
EG: The lake missoula flood 12,000 years ago. There were no humans around to "record the experience" but the geological records tells us vast amounts of knowledge regarding the extent, reasons, ecological changes and consequences for such a flood.
Basic point is there is a trail of evidence left behind from flooding - and no evidence for any biblical or for that matter any "global flood"
If minor floods leave evidence, and megafloods leave huge amounts of evidence even from 12,000 years ago then even more so any global flooding.

A mega flood is not a global flood.
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23-01-2014, 05:43 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 05:35 PM)anidominus Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 05:17 PM)Baruch Wrote:  I don't know what I'm talking about ?
We know the effects of mega-floods from studying geology and disciplines such as fluid dynamics, ecology and biodiversity. Of course we have the experience of dealing with the consequences of mega-floods including ones much larger than anything we have "directly" experienced within human written records.
EG: The lake missoula flood 12,000 years ago. There were no humans around to "record the experience" but the geological records tells us vast amounts of knowledge regarding the extent, reasons, ecological changes and consequences for such a flood.
Basic point is there is a trail of evidence left behind from flooding - and no evidence for any biblical or for that matter any "global flood"
If minor floods leave evidence, and megafloods leave huge amounts of evidence even from 12,000 years ago then even more so any global flooding.

A mega flood is not a global flood.

There is no evidence at all of a global flood of any kind. What's more, we have abundant evidence of other processes that preclude even the possibility of a global flood at any time.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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