What is faith?
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06-02-2013, 03:30 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 03:29 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(05-02-2013 11:46 AM)Impulse Wrote:  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.
I think I agree with this but I don't know what scientism is nor whom its apologists are.

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06-02-2013, 03:46 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 03:30 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(06-02-2013 03:29 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  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.
I think I agree with this but I don't know what scientism is nor whom its apologists are.
Some people claim that scientism uses science to make claims that are stronger than science actually maintains,relevant to scientific enquiry.
A stronger claim is that scientism seeks to become the New Religion. (Not my claim)

Some people claimed to be pushing scientism are Dawkins, and to a lesser degree Sam Harris ( some Buddhist links) and Daniel Dennett, who is all over the place.

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06-02-2013, 06:01 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 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.
I gave a definition of faith previously, which was:
"Faith is a strong belief, with or without evidence, when there is no way to be absolutely certain; and it's not specific to religious beliefs."

TheBeardedDude said I was confusing faith with trust. So those are really the two terms I was discussing.

There is so much I disagree with in your post and I'm sure we could discuss all of it at some length, but in the interest of not straying too far from the thread topic, I'd rather stick with faith vs. trust.

I don't agree that faith must be without reason or irrational. It simply must be without proof. The lack of proof is at the core of faith, but that's not the same as lack of any supporting evidence. I see your hockey player examples illustrating your conception of belief and faith differently. In those examples, what you call "belief" in the first one, is really hope. The one that is belief is the second one that you called faith. Neither of those are what I would call faith.

Religious faith is a bit different from most other examples of faith because most other examples of faith are founded in at least some facts which in turn lead to the faith. You have faith that your spouse won't cheat on you because you know your spouse's general character. That faith isn't irrational or without reason, but it's faith nonetheless. It's also belief and it's also trust. And it's based at least in part on the evidence from demonstrated character traits. Religious faith may be the only example of faith that actually exists in the absence of any evidence. But even it has some things that believers see as evidence - "answered" prayers, for example.

The problem is these words all (except maybe hope) overlap in meaning. If you look them up in the dictionary, each has multiple variations of what it can mean. One definition of faith actually is trust and vice versa in some dictionaries. Because some variations of each word will agree in meaning (making the words synonyms) while others won't, we could argue endlessly about whether they are truly equivalent. I'm not even sure they actually mean the same things to different people regardless of what the dictionaries say. So this entire discussion is somewhat futile.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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06-02-2013, 06:01 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 01:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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!

I'm sorry but how is being forbidden the evidence of a benevolent being comparable to that of pizza? There is no logical manner in which you can make such a contrast.

(06-02-2013 01:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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?

I am not trying to prove my interest personally to you. Rather, I am trying to make the point that your previous statement is running on the assumption that if I disbelieve I am automatically uninterested. Assumptions are never a good thing.

(06-02-2013 01:30 PM)kim Wrote:  
(06-02-2013 12:58 PM)Lucius Wrote:  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

Either way, I like it! 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, 06:03 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 03:29 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(05-02-2013 11:46 AM)Impulse Wrote:  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.
Sorry, but I have no clue how this relates to anything I said or therefore why it was a reply to me. Blink

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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06-02-2013, 08:34 PM
Re: What is faith?
I don't have faith in my spouse not to cheat, I trust her to not do so based on the promises made to one another.

You throw in this word "proof" but I don't know what you mean by that. How does one prove something outside of mathematics?

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06-02-2013, 09:04 PM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 06:01 PM)Impulse Wrote:  I gave a definition of faith previously, which was:
"Faith is a strong belief, with or without evidence, when there is no way to be absolutely certain; and it's not specific to religious beliefs."

A lack of proof and not having absolute certainty, with a belief, in my view, does not correspond, directly with faith because of the word know/knowledge. Any time you have absolute certainty, you are describing knowledge, in my view. I guess that's the distinction between my definition and yours. If you equated something not giving you absolute certainty and proof, with faith, that might as a result equate belief with knowledge, or faith with belief, and I feel they all need a proper, philosophical and linguistic, distinction.

There are other things in you post, I kind of see as being slightly contradictory, and I definitely think it's irrational to assume your wife won't cheat on you, in most realistic situations, but I'll just keep it sort of simple.

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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07-02-2013, 08:49 AM
RE: What is faith?
Quote: 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...

The original thread had to do with why born again Christians are so into adding "evidence" to faith. It's because faith and belief in the English Bible are pisteuo in the Greek scriptures and are better rendered as "trust". Here's a classic example from Hebrews 11:1 - if we wish to discuss the Christian view on this matter -

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

In other words, trusting Jesus for future blessing that we cannot see is based on things we can observe now.

Blind faith = Blind belief = Blind trust

Hebrews 11:1 faith = Hebrews 11:1 belief = trust is based on what Jesus has done in the past (not easily accessible to nonbelievers as has been described).

For a very specific example, it's a challenge for me to believe in mechanistic evolution because I've observed a lot of evidence in design that challenges my notions of randomness and the finite abilities of selection and mutation. I trust that Jesus can do anything based on my experience of Him and from reading the scriptures, and I trust that He was able to do a special creation by His immense power.

I'm not trying to change the thread here to creation, just pointing out that I have reasons to trust Jesus re: creation and that becomes a faith or trust bias when I look at evolution evidence and creation evidence. It's a bias, but a bias informed by the successful past experiences of trusting Jesus.
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07-02-2013, 08:57 AM
RE: What is faith?
(07-02-2013 08:49 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: 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...

The original thread had to do with why born again Christians are so into adding "evidence" to faith. It's because faith and belief in the English Bible are pisteuo in the Greek scriptures and are better rendered as "trust". Here's a classic example from Hebrews 11:1 - if we wish to discuss the Christian view on this matter -

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

In other words, trusting Jesus for future blessing that we cannot see is based on things we can observe now.

Blind faith = Blind belief = Blind trust

Hebrews 11:1 faith = Hebrews 11:1 belief = trust is based on what Jesus has done in the past (not easily accessible to nonbelievers as has been described).

For a very specific example, it's a challenge for me to believe in mechanistic evolution because I've observed a lot of evidence in design that challenges my notions of randomness and the finite abilities of selection and mutation. I trust that Jesus can do anything based on my experience of Him and from reading the scriptures, and I trust that He was able to do a special creation by His immense power.

I'm not trying to change the thread here to creation, just pointing out that I have reasons to trust Jesus re: creation and that becomes a faith or trust bias when I look at evolution evidence and creation evidence. It's a bias, but a bias informed by the successful past experiences of trusting Jesus.
You would do well not to switch it to evolution vs. creation.

You are asserting that the bible is correct and that what it says is true and can be believed without any actual evidence. You put your faith in a book AND that books stories. There is no evidence either are true but you use the book as evidence. If you use something as evidence that you can demonstrate has even a shred of validity, then your evidence is anecdotal at best and myth in all likelihood.

I can see how someone who is a believer might perceive that as evidence that is not contradictory with their faith. But that is because it takes faith to believe the evidence.

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07-02-2013, 10:49 AM
RE: What is faith?
(06-02-2013 08:34 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I don't have faith in my spouse not to cheat, I trust her to not do so based on the promises made to one another.

You throw in this word "proof" but I don't know what you mean by that. How does one prove something outside of mathematics?
Of course you trust your spouse, but in doing so you also have faith in her that she won't cheat. As I said before, those words overlap in meaning.

As for proof, countless things have proof. When you stand inside your house, do you have any doubt that you are really in your house? No, because you can plainly see it in front of you. That's proof. (Sure, we could start a philosophical discussion about "Is it really a house?" or "Is the house really there just because you see it?" or "Could we be in a matrix?", but I hope we're not going down that road with this discussion...)

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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