What is faith?
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11-02-2013, 10:49 AM
RE: What is faith?
(11-02-2013 09:53 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  And what empirical evidence would satisfy both your requirements as an honest, open-minded skeptic who does not wish to become a Christian and Jesus's clear statements that evidence is not forthcoming to those who don't want to trust Him?
I cannot answer this question until you either support or get rid of its two underlying presuppositions (bold text).

That aside, I'm still waiting for you to answer my question as to whether or not you think that the Bible is inerrant.

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11-02-2013, 10:57 AM
RE: What is faith?
(07-02-2013 03:45 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(07-02-2013 02:33 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I hate that "agree to disagree" line. That gets us nowhere. It is not about drawing a line in the sand and sitting on either side yelling at one another, it is about dialogue.

I'm not trying to go down some philosophical road. I'm trying to make a point based on scientific reason. In science, using the word "proof" is often frowned upon. Not because of any argument regarding reality or any other such abstract idea. But plain and simply that nature does not deal in absolutes. Boundary conditions do not exist. And "proving" something means establishing that something is true and that means showing other possibilities are false. The former position is more agreeable. We can agree that evidence for the existence of something (or the occurence of something) shows that in all likelihood it exists and/or existed/occurred at some point in time. But that only gets us halfway there towards proof that it is true, because I have no idea how to prove a negative or how to positively prove the nonexistence or nonoccurrence of something. As such, I can say that thing A is more likely than not, but I have not proven it. I can say B is not likely to have occurred, but I have not disproved it.

In the context of what you were saying with faith, we want proof for our beliefs. But proof is a rare thing (and may only really exist in mathematics) and instead, we rely upon evidence for our beliefs or perhaps a lack of evidence for those things we do not believe.

I contend that faith is an attempt to circumvent proof and evidence in order to believe something. And that the reason why faith remains enigmatic to me, has been highlighted by responses from Ghost and PleaseJesus. They contend faith is real and can be based on some sort of evidence. But that undermines faith as a concept. It undermines the means by which something is believed based on faith. But still they defend faith as some rational means by which to hold a belief. When pressed for examples though, they mince words and blur concepts/definitions. The bible becomes evidence to support faith, but the bible is believed on faith. So we come back to circular reasoning and that example falls apart since the bible is not evidence, it is a claim in and of itself.

And as for examples given by Ghost, the play here is by trying to use faith in a more general sense. Now faith is used as a belief of something without verifiable evidence or a belief based on a personal promise (either to oneself or another human). A belief that you hold yourself to for your life's direction and/or your dreams, is (I contend) not faith. It is instead a goal or an ambition. If it is seen however as TrulyX put it "Faith is a belief (accepting something as a truth) without reason, or irrationally." Where his example was:


"...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. "


Then I am more inclined to agree that this statement or belief would meet the criteria of being faith (although I think he meant "without rationality" instead of "irrationality"). But even this is more a fantasy than a belief. If you believe your fantasy to be true and need no evidence to verify it (either you do not need or you recognize none exists) then I would accept that as a belief based on faith. But I think we can agree that such a belief is not rational and is not based on valid logic or critical thinking skills (even if it is not an extraordinary claim or belief).

So, the reason I contend that most who use the word "faith" do not know what it means, is because they misuse it. They either see faith as something that has evidence or sound logic and reason behind it, or they misuse the concept of evidence as a way of blurring what they mean. And then they become unable to realize that their "evidence" is not evidence and that their beliefs are not supported by anything.
That fact that you don't like to agree to disagree doesn't change the fact that it is what we will end up doing even if we embark on an endless argument over semantics. It's clear to me at this point that your concept of these words and mine are different and I have neither the time nor desire to spend on endless posts disagreeing. If we were face to face, I'd be happy to have the discussion and we would be done in a matter of hours and one side or the other might even come to a new understanding. But, on a messageboard, where conversation is far more limited, it's not going to happen.

And, by the way, as much as I like science, not everything is suitable for scientific examination. I don't need science to prove to me that I'm standing in my house. Sure, I could examine it using science, but why do so? Unless, of course, you want to go down that philosophical road, but you said you don't...
I'm saying we can disagree, but not that we should agree to do so. That means not talking about it or arresting all discussion on that topic. Never leave topics off of the table for discussion. Maybe one day you and I will have that conversation, but it might not be the two of us conversing with one another.

And

"not everything is suitable for scientific examination."

I don't understand that because

"I don't need science to prove to me that I'm standing in my house. Sure, I could examine it using science, but why do so? Unless, of course, you want to go down that philosophical road, but you said you don't..."

You are using scientific examination to make that determination. You may not be writing it down and you may not even be acknowledging it. But, you are making an observation, constructing a hypothesis, and then testing it by making more observations. Just because it occurs so fast that you don't take time to recognize each step, does not mean it was not a scientific determination. I wake up in my house when I am sick and slightly delirious from the medicine (allergy medicine can really put me through the ringer) I have to do these steps a little more explicitly to ensure I really am in my house.

Do you have a better example of something science can't explain? Because science is a means by which we observe and explain the physical universe (physical is a bit redundant). Is there something within our universe that exists but shows no signs of existence?

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11-02-2013, 11:03 AM
RE: What is faith?
Quote:I cannot answer this question until you either support or get rid of its two underlying presuppositions (bold text). That aside, I'm still waiting for you to answer my question as to whether or not you think that the Bible is inerrant.
1) Correction, you choose not to answer this question, not you cannot.
2) I'm not sure how the Bible being inerrant or not is relevant. If the Bible is only 33% accurate, you are standing up against thousands of verses encouraging you in the love of Jesus and the necessity of salvation.
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11-02-2013, 11:14 AM
RE: What is faith?
(11-02-2013 11:03 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:I cannot answer this question until you either support or get rid of its two underlying presuppositions (bold text). That aside, I'm still waiting for you to answer my question as to whether or not you think that the Bible is inerrant.
1) Correction, you choose not to answer this question, not you cannot.
2) I'm not sure how the Bible being inerrant or not is relevant. If the Bible is only 33% accurate, you are standing up against thousands of verses encouraging you in the love of Jesus and the necessity of salvation.
If the bible is wrong about any one point, then the rest of it is subject to being complete and utter bullshit too. If you can't demonstrate that it is all true, then you can't demonstrate that any of it is true.

Following that point. Either the whole thing is true or the whole thing is myth. And since we know that the Earth is not 6,000 years old, that there was no global flood, the jews were not enslaved by the Egyptians, the Earth is not flat, etc...we can rule out the first possibility and that leaves us with...

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11-02-2013, 11:44 AM
RE: What is faith?
(11-02-2013 11:03 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  1) Correction, you choose not to answer this question, not you cannot.
No, the reason why I cannot answer your question is that it's a loaded question.

(11-02-2013 11:03 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  2) I'm not sure how the Bible being inerrant or not is relevant. If the Bible is only 33% accurate, you are standing up against thousands of verses encouraging you in the love of Jesus and the necessity of salvation.
It's about as relevant as it can get when the topic of discussion is the existence of contradictions in the Bible.

I'd like a simple "yes" or "no" answer from you, if that's not too much to ask.

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11-02-2013, 11:51 AM
Re: What is faith?
Prepare for ducking, dodging, weaving, and apologist acrobatics that make pommel horse look like child's play.

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11-02-2013, 12:40 PM
RE: What is faith?
Quote:No, the reason why I cannot answer your question is that it's a loaded question.

Of course it is. But are you really unaware that Jesus spoke about hidden knowledge that was only revealed to His disciples?
Quote:It's about as relevant as it can get when the topic of discussion is the existence of contradictions in the Bible.
If there are 100 contradictions in the Bible there are still over 100,000 verses to be contended with. And millions of Muslims say Jesus is a prophet. Millions of Hindus say He's some type of avatar or ascended master. I'm not hear to hijack the thread and talk about biblical errancy/inerrancy but rather, what trust is. The Bible defines faith and belief as trust. Are you able to provide any verses in context that say faith is blind trust, or unreasoning trust, or irrational trust, or spurious trust?
Thanks.
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11-02-2013, 12:58 PM
RE: What is faith?
Matthew 21:21

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done."

Aka, don't think about it, just believe because you are told.

Matthew 14:31

"Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?""

Don't doubt or you will fall because you are not smart enough to understand it. Just believe on faith.

Hebrews 11:1

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Don't worry about the future, just pray it goes the way you want. And don't worry about believing something without evidence, just have faith you are doing the right thing without thinking.

2 Corinthians 5:7

"We live by faith, not by sight."

Don't worry about all those facts out there, just believe anyways.

1 Corinthians 16:13

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."

Whatever someone says, believe anyways. Don't think about what they are saying or doubt your faith.

1 Corinthians 2:5

"so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."

Do I even have to keep going anymore? Or am I being ignored?

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11-02-2013, 01:21 PM
RE: What is faith?
(11-02-2013 12:40 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Of course it is. But are you really unaware that Jesus spoke about hidden knowledge that was only revealed to His disciples?
"Of course"? Questions aren't supposed to be loaded.

As for your other question, no, I am not unaware of that. However, it is of little importance for our discussion since we were talking about empirical evidence and not about some sort of "hidden knowledge" that is only available to a certain group of people.

(11-02-2013 12:40 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  If there are 100 contradictions in the Bible there are still over 100,000 verses to be contended with. And millions of Muslims say Jesus is a prophet. Millions of Hindus say He's some type of avatar or ascended master.
What's your point? Besides the blatantly obvious appeal to popularity, that is.

(11-02-2013 12:40 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  I'm not hear to hijack the thread and talk about biblical errancy/inerrancy but rather, what trust is. The Bible defines faith and belief as trust.
I think I'm done here. I have repeatedly asked you to give me a simple "yes" or "no" answer to a simple and unambiguous question and yet here you are, dodging it once again. I neither have the time, nor the patience to deal with this sort of behavior.

(11-02-2013 12:40 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Are you able to provide any verses in context that say faith is blind trust, or unreasoning trust, or irrational trust, or spurious trust?
I think that the TheBeardedDude beat me to that.

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11-02-2013, 01:47 PM
RE: What is faith?
The Bible is inerrant and looking at in Greek and Hebrew, and in the historical context, sure helps!
Matthew 21: You omitted the context of faith of a mustard seed. Context.
Matthew 14: Peter had just seen thousands fed. His trust was just an unfortunate little. Context.
Hebrews 11: The versions I've quoted here say "faith is the evidence of something [yet] unseen. Context.
2 Cor 5: We trust God for the unseen future, not we trust Him blindly despite the present circumstances. Context.
1 Cor 16: Be on your guard against anti-Christian doctrines, against the Christian faith, not an individual's trust. Context.
1 Cor 2: Trust what you know from your experience of God's power, not the "wisdom" of the men of the age, e.g. this forum! Context.
I feel I must remind everyone here that Satan brought Jesus verses pulled from their context in temptation... I apologize, but it is a failure of Western Christianity that churches likewise pull verses like little tidbits of wisdom out of context. But for anyone here who deconverted, it's just not that surprising that you did if you're pulling sentences out of context.
It's like saying that two Psalms tell us there is no God, when they say in context, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'"
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