What is faith?
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06-02-2013, 12:35 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 12:27 PM)Hennepin Wrote:  I like your definition Lucius and I'm liking this particular thread quite a bit. Although I think these two concepts faith and confidence get confused quite often. It seems your definition leans more toward faith as a type of "a priori confidence" (a priori: being without examination or analysis : formed or conceived beforehand) whereas I think those in the religious community take it a step further into "a priori certainty" because they may not have anything conclusive that proves their point, whether it's about life after death or the beginning of the universe(or any other popular religious position), but they're quite certain that they KNOW the answer based on their faith.

I am in full agreement with you there. I like the label "a priori certainty". That's accurate and quite interesting!

When I used to attend church, I remember looking around during the praise-singing section of the day's activities, seeing everyone jump up and down and clap their hands, singing loudly and proudly, and I would wonder to myself "How can you people be so absolutely certain? How is there not even a shred of doubt in your minds? What is it that I am missing?" Turns out, I see absolutely fine. Its what they don't, or refuse to, see that is the problem. Tongue

Regards,
Lucius

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
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06-02-2013, 12:42 PM
RE: What is faith?
Mm.
Confident = an open word. Allows doubt.
Certain = a closed word. Disallows doubt.

Words can become an interesting web. Probably why books contain so many.

Communication of meaning can become quite jumbled through translation and time, among other things.




Pay no attention; just having a ponder. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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06-02-2013, 12:58 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 12:42 PM)kim Wrote:  Pay no attention; just having a ponder. Drinking Beverage

I like open pondering. I tend to think out loud a fair bit which makes some people, particularly those who don't know me well, think I'm crazy Tongue

Regards,
Lucius

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
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06-02-2013, 01:22 PM
RE: What is faith?
Quote:Could you please elaborate on "forbidden"? If this "evidence" you speak of is indeed forbidden, why then do Christians always try to exercise conversions on others? This is rather contradictory, don't you think? And one more thing, you mentioned "forbidden to me as someone who is not interested in trusting Jesus". How do you know for a fact that I am uninterested in trusting in Jesus? How would you know if any non-believer is truly uninterested? Just to share with you, I have attended church regularly at one point in my life. I have also participated in Sunday school and in Friday cell group meetings. Personally, I have always wanted to find out what it is that makes religious individuals believe with such a passion but also with such blind faith.
1) It is forbidden to a person to understand what New York pizza tastes like without biting it for themselves. I can tell a guy from Iowa who has only enjoyed Domino's or Papa John's some things about the crust, sauce and cheese but until he eats, he has "blind faith" it may taste good. After, he has full confidence of NY Pizza faith!
2) You answered your own question regarding evangelism with your next statement. I don't know who is uninterested until we speak on the matter, and I never know who might seem uninterested today and be a believer tomorrow.
3) Is participation in cell group meetings, or studying for the priesthood, or reading the Bible, or giving money to charity, etc. universally done by someone who is trusting Jesus? Are any of those things universally done by everyone who has trusted Jesus? Rather, aren't those things the definition in part of what some Christians have done before their conversion, as referred to in their testimonies? I'm sure everyone has heard the story of the religious person who "got it" and then became a "real Christian". If I am unable to discern whether you are truly uninterested, how then could I know from a brief review of your behavior whether you are truly interested? True Christianity leans on Jesus and not religious performance, how or why would I assess your candidacy to become one of the initiated who trusts Jesus by your works?
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06-02-2013, 01:30 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 12:58 PM)Lucius Wrote:  
(06-02-2013 12:42 PM)kim Wrote:  Pay no attention; just having a ponder. Drinking Beverage

I like open pondering. I tend to think out loud a fair bit which makes some people, particularly those who don't know me well, think I'm crazy Tongue

We have the "they think I'm crazy" gene or they have the "I think they're crazy" gene... either way, crazy is on our side. Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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06-02-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 11:30 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, BD.

Quote: So, when I say that someone who has actual faith is of a belief without
thinking about it, I am not trying to be bigoted, but I am trying to
say that they really don't accept whatever they are claiming based on
faith. Because they will look for evidence, reason, ration, and logical
arguments to justify it. And that is either not faith, or not having
faith in the concept of faith.

Everyone's faith is tested at times. Doesn't mean it isn't there or it won't survive.

Quote:So, I don't understand what people really mean when they say 'faith'
because I don't think they really know. My guess is that it is a word
and a concept they are told is a virtue. Something that if they have
(primarily related to religion but this certainly applies to politics
too), they are told is a good thing. So they claim they have it, but
they don't really accept the proposition on it alone, and if you don't
accept it off of faith alone, then it isn't faith.

I can't get behind this idea.

I was involved pretty heavily in the protests at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City back in 2001. It was the height of the anti-globalisation movement (which was summarily crushed along with all other questioning and dissent on September of the same year). And report after report suggested that of the 75 000 or so protesters on the street, most of the "kids" didn't even understand what they were protesting against. Exfuckingscuse me? That's patently ridiculous. They go out of their way, go to another city, square off against the largest police deployment in Canadian history (at the time, it's since been shattered) and they don't know why they're there? BS. It was simply a way to dismiss them.

I feel the same thing here. I think that people have far more intimate relationships with their faith than you give them credit for.

Sure, there's the credulous everywhere. But the idea that the majority of some six billion faithful people world wide just don't have a clue seems nonsensically reductive and dismissive to me.

Quote:He did not really have faith he would be an NHL player, otherwise the
hard work and dedication he put in to be like professional hockey
players would have been deemed unnecessary. He knew that getting there
would mean lots of hard work, practice, dedication, and commitment to
himself and his dream. Those are actions and a positive mindset, but not
faith.

Dedication and commitment to himself and his dream is not faith? We live on different planets.

Having faith doesn't mean sit there like a lump and don't do anything and everything will be handed to you. Like, it just straight up doesn't.

LOL. Your monkey story didn't exactly clarify things for me, brother. Try again?

OK, I'm going to stop you right there because I never said complexity is the gutter. Re-read what I wrote... Actually, now that I read the rest of what you wrote, you pretty savagely mixed metaphors there. That's of no value to either of us.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Whenever people talk about their "faith being tested", it always sounds like they had a moment of reality hit there where they realized that what they believed based on faith, might be wrong. To me, that is logic trying to override the impulse to believe without evidence. It truly is a test, and those that say they still have faith afterwards, failed.

It is reductive but I don't think it is nonsensical. Most of the people on this planet believe for reasons they can't explain, and then call it faith. That is not a reasoned belief, it is a belief for irrational reasons. But they will still look for some rational reason to believe. They will pursue some system or some "evidence" to back-up their belief/hopes/dreams. That then would be a failing of their faith by trying to apply logic and evidence to it. They lost faith in faith as a means by which discerning truth from fantasy.

I'm not surprised you don't agree, I would have been if you had. I don't expect any believer to agree either, because they feel that their beliefs are reduced into irrelevancy, and they don't like that. But if that is true and they don't like it, their feelings don't matter.

It's not quite the same as the story you quote because maybe most of the kids did not, but maybe the adults did. The media was most certainly biased and trying to dismiss it, but I am implying that people use the word "faith" in the wrong situations. And that if they used it correctly, most would stop using it altogether. Trust, belief, conviction, promise, dreams. These are not faith and do not require faith, and I contend most do not use faith for them, but think they do.

Dedication and commitment to oneself is not faith, it is...dedication and commitment to oneself. It is setting a goal and working towards it and hoping your skills and talent are enough to reach your goal. You hope to achieve, instead of having faith it will come true.

I had hoped with the monkey analogy you would have already have read that story once, a bad assumption it seems. Here we go.

The monkeys who never experienced any negative reaction to trying to get the banana, still do not pursue it. They do not do so because the group has taught them to avoid it, even though they no longer know why. They blindly trust those before them to be correct, and obey without pursuing the question of "why?". Faith is a meme. It started out as such in our society as a means by which to avoid some harm or explain some phenomenon (lightening and the eventual Zeus or catastrophic hurricanes and Poseiden). The observation is sound (lightening = bad, hurricane = bad), the causes given for these is incorrect (Zeus does not hurl lightening obviously), the reaction to the information (even though the means by which it occurs is wrong) is to avoid thunderclouds or to take shelter. Fearing a god and having faith in your authority figures to be giving you a good answer, was better than not. Because those who did not believe, got selected against.

I'm not sure how the random walk analogy I tried to elaborate on failed. The drunk has a trajectory. We can describe his past trajectory but cannot predict his future trajectory. Our inability to predict does not mean he lacks one, we just lack the ability to predict it since the possibilities are near infinite. But the reality is that his path will ultimately have one trajectory.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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06-02-2013, 02:11 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 11:14 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Late to the party but,

Faith = Trust. "I have faith in my friends, I have faith in my grandma."

Blind Faith = Ignorant trust. "I have faith I can fly by flapping my arms."

Biblical Faith in Jesus = Reasoned trust. "I have faith I can fly on a plane from the Delta airline fleet."

The issue that has been commented on, the zeal for born again Christians to marry reason to faith, is the desire to make all faith decisions based on evidentiary reason. For example, should I accept a particular job offer? Data - The job requirements conflict with God's revealed will in the scriptures. Do not accept this job or if no conflict with scripture, accept it. Trust or faith decisions become binary and simple in some, not all cases. Life gets smoother...

Fornication, e.g., is not the biblical pattern for a happy marriage and lack of venereal disease. Abstinence, the biblical pattern, leads to an obvious greater chance of fidelity in marriage and lack of disease, etc. The same with fidelity within marriage versus adultery. “A faithful spouse” doesn’t cheat. “A faithful witness” tells the truth and is trustworthy.

What I find curious, however, is this, and it appears even on this thread, when people state there is no evidence for the truth of Christianity. Sorry, but despite our openness and willingness to share the always good news of Jesus’s death and resurrection so that trusting Him we have eternal life instead of perishing, there are elements of Christianity that make it a mystery religion. For example:

Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. 13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth. 14 The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. 15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net. – Psalm 25:11-15

Many times, many of those statements have come true for me. I have evidence that satisfies me. Can those statements come true for someone who is currently a freethinker and was never born again?

If you think in relative manner you’d have to say, “Christianity is true for Christians.” If you think about it in a scientific manner you ought to say, “Hypothesis: Christianity is true (or false)… I’d have to observe it in nature or else reproduce it in a controlled environment.” Since the Bible is clear in this matter, no non-Christian can see Jesus working or make Jesus work against their own free will to be a disbeliever.

I guess my question for readers is, “Shouldn’t you redact your assertion that there is no evidence for Jesus to: Christians say they possess evidence that is forbidden to me as someone who is not interested in trusting Jesus?”

We can then move from there to have you say, “How convenient!” but then, the Bible asserts that this mystery religion is only fully revealed to its adherents. Again, convenient but we want to be consistent here.
PleaseJesus
Faith = Trust. "I have faith in my friends, I have faith in my grandma."

Blind Faith = Ignorant trust. "I have faith I can fly by flapping my arms."

Biblical Faith in Jesus = Reasoned trust. "I have faith I can fly on a plane from the Delta airline fleet."



This is more in line with what I am trying to get across. See, this guy confuses "faith" with "trust" right at the beginning, and then adds the word "blind" to it, even though that is redundant. The portion of "biblical faith in Jesus" is not faith or trust at all, it is belief based on evidence and has nothing to do with religion or religious reasoning. You trust the plane from Delta to fly because aeronautic engineers using science designed it to do so and have extensively tested it to ensure it is safe to do so.

The rest is all some attempt to assert that the bible is true and god exists, but I guess since I am not a christian I won't get it, so why comment... Dodgy

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
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06-02-2013, 02:16 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2013 02:24 PM by TrulyX.)
RE: What is faith?
(05-02-2013 11:46 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(05-02-2013 10:44 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  [Image: untitle.JPG]
Then explain the difference.

Ultimately, you are going to have to argue out the definitions of the words. Here is a go, tell me what you disagree with:

Belief is accepting something as a truth.

Faith is a belief (accepting something as a truth) without reason, or irrationally.

Hope is a desire for, usually strong, or wanting a particular outcome, circumstance, etc.

Trust is having a reliance on something, usually someone, usually describing when the reliance is willfully placed; that can be without, actually, also, accepting something else as a truth, or having hope.

If you are a "hockey player" and you accept it as a truth that, one day you have the chance to play professionally. That would be what I would call a belief, and it would be reasonable assuming: you actually did play and practice hockey and your skills, athletic potential, the availability of hockey as a profession and other things similar to those things.

Now, if you are a hockey player and you accept it as a truth that you will actually play professionally, one day, at that point, it could be called faith.

If you just had a strong desire to play hockey professionally, one day, wanting that as the outcome of your endeavor in the sport, regardless of whether or not you just had a belief in the chance or belief that it would actually happen, you would have hope.

And, finally, if you gave your best friend a new hockey stick, and put a reliance in him to take care of it, to not break it and to give it back to you in a reasonable condition, then regardless to whether or not you accept that he will, or will not, fulfill that reliance, to whatever standards you are setting, you are trusting your friend with your hockey stick.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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06-02-2013, 02:18 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 02:16 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(05-02-2013 11:46 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Then explain the difference.

Ultimately, you are going to have to argue out the definitions of word. Here is a go, tell me what you disagree with:

Belief is accepting something as a truth.

Faith is a belief (accepting something as a truth) without reason, or irrationally.

Hope is a desire for, usually strong, or wanting a particular outcome, circumstance, etc.

Trust is having a reliance on something, usually someone, usually describing when the reliance is willfully placed; that can be without, actually, also, accepting something else as a truth, or having hope.

If you are a "hockey player" and you accept it as a truth that, one day you have the chance to play professionally. That would be what I would call a belief, and it would be reasonable assuming: you actually did play and practice hockey and your skills, athletic potential, the availability of hockey as a profession and other things similar to those things.

Now, if you are a hockey player and you accept it as a truth that you will actually play professionally, one day, at that point, it could be called faith.

If you just had a strong desire to play hockey professionally, one day, wanting that as the outcome of your endeavor in the sport, regardless of whether or not you just had a belief in the chance or belief that it would actually happen, you would have hope.

And, finally, if you gave your best friend a new hockey stick, and put a reliance in him to take care of it, to not break it and to give it back to you in a reasonable condition, then regardless to whether or not you accept that he will, or will not, fulfill that reliance, to whatever standards you are setting, you are trusting your friend with your hockey stick.
I suppose I could agree with that definition and example for faith. It seems to hit the nail on the head. Giving you a rep for that one.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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06-02-2013, 03:29 PM
RE: What is faith?
(05-02-2013 11:46 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(05-02-2013 10:44 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  [Image: untitle.JPG]
Then explain the difference.
Re Randhi's quote.
Facts can't negate unthought of possibilities; science, while great, should not, and does not, in general, lock itself into its own self constructed absolutes. Scientism's apologists seem to do that.
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