The Trouble With Faith

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Miles
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The Trouble With Faith

Post #1

Post by Miles »

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As a proclaimed concept faith is the excuse people give for believing something when they lack good reason for it. If they had good reason then such reason would be adequate and faith would be superfluous.

In fact, faith is not a pathway to establishing any kind of truth. Even having faith that something is true is on unsound ground---no better than flipping a coin. Why? Simply ask yourself, "Is there anything that can't be taken on faith?" Could you not take it on faith that fairies and gnomes live in the woods existing on lichens and mold? Of course you could. Would that faith make it true? Of course not. So right away one's faith could just as easily be false as true---go ahead, flip your coin.

Consequently, faith is not a virtue, but a flaw in one's belief system, likely the result of gullibility. "I don't have to have evidence or good reason to believe Martians landed in my back yard (or that I'm going to heaven), I can simply take it on faith and therefore declare or honestly believe it to be true."

Thing is, it is evidence and logic that determine whether or not our perception of reality is reasonable and in conjunction with the world as it is. In the end, other than occasionally providing a false sense of security, faith is a worthless, perhaps even a crippling concept.


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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #2

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Miles in post #1]

Agreed. Though I'd like to comment on a couple points.
...faith is the excuse people give for believing something when they lack good reason for it.
Of course, but there are those that would take exception to what's 'good reason'. Some would claim they have good reason to believe, even if you or I don't see it that way. Used here, 'good reason' seems rather ambiguous.
Would that faith make it true? Of course not.
100%. I've always said one can believe (have faith) in anything they want.
In the end, other than occasionally providing a false sense of security, faith is a worthless, perhaps even a crippling concept.
100%. But for some, rightly or not, a 'false sense of security' is all they really want.
So many christians claim they want to go to heaven and live with god for eternity. I would challenge they have zero concept of that at all. People can't grasp 'forever', much less understand heaven. Many christians say they can't wait to get to heaven to see their lost loved ones, but is that what heaven really is or is for? Some christians claim heaven is only there for people to worship god. Imagine doing NOTHING but worshipping god for ever.

I always wondered, and have yet to receive, a good answer as to why god requires faith instead of providing absolute proof. Seems the 'faith set up' is nothing but a set up for failure, when it's not necessary. God could surely have made it so faith isn't necessary. Thus, one of the reason this god makes no sense.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #3

Post by bluegreenearth »

[Replying to Miles in post #1]

The word "faith" generates a disproportionate amount of confusion in conversations. Colloquially, the word "faith" is interchangeable with the word "trust." The accusation that we all exhibit faith in our sources of knowledge is grounded on an equivocation with the concept of trust. If the meaning of "faith" always directly paralleled "trust" in its meaning and if everyone shared the same understanding of what it means to trust, then this would resolve much confusion. For example, people might trust (i.e. have faith) that the Jesus described in the New Testament (NT) refers to a historical person who existed at some point during the 1st century despite our inability to go back in time and observe if this claim is false or not. The foundation of their trust, in this case, is based on implicit empirical evidence of people having existed during the 1st century (e.g. archaeology), and some of those people were named Jesus (i.e. written records from the 1st century). Therefore, the application of faith here is not entirely unreasonable. However, having a reasonable faith in a claim does not mean the claim is demonstrably true. There is still a non-zero possibility that the specific Jesus described in the NT could have been based entirely on a 1st century "mystery" cult motif despite the existence of real people who were named Jesus.

Conversely, we have no reliable demonstrations of people being supernaturally resurrected from the dead. As such, the claim lacks the implicit empirical foundation upon which faith (i.e. trust) in the claim would be justified. In fact, our experience with dead bodies is that they consistently and predictably begin to decompose after only a few hours. Therefore, we have neither the conceptual nor implicit empirical basis to justifiably trust the claim that a 1st century man named Jesus was supernaturally resurrected from the dead. The available conceptual and implicit empirical evidence which is available to us would better justify trust (i.e. faith) in the claim that the NT accounts were written by people who sincerely but mistakenly believed a supernatural resurrection had occurred.

Now, consider how the word "faith" is used in the following statement, "It is by faith that people can know Jesus was supernaturally resurrected from the dead." Here, faith is given as the method (epistemology) used to distinguish knowledge from belief. When the word "trust" is substituted for the word "faith" in this context, the statement suggests people can acquire such knowledge by trusting the event happened exactly as described in the NT. However, there is no objective reason given to justify why that particular claim should be trusted. Therefore, a decision to trust the claim must be either arbitrary or influenced by some form of undisclosed bias. As such, people could equally choose to not trust that particular claim for some arbitrary or biased reason and apply their "faith" towards a competing or contradictory claim instead. This ability to achieve two different or contradictory conclusions through the application of the same method exposes the unreliability of using faith as an epistemological foundation for acquiring a functional knowledge base.

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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #4

Post by nobspeople »

bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:50 pm [Replying to Miles in post #1]

The word "faith" generates a disproportionate amount of confusion in conversations. Colloquially, the word "faith" is interchangeable with the word "trust." The accusation that we all exhibit faith in our sources of knowledge is grounded on an equivocation with the concept of trust. If the meaning of "faith" always directly paralleled "trust" in its meaning and if everyone shared the same understanding of what it means to trust, then this would resolve much confusion. For example, people might trust (i.e. have faith) that the Jesus described in the New Testament (NT) refers to a historical person who existed at some point during the 1st century despite our inability to go back in time and observe if this claim is false or not. The foundation of their trust, in this case, is based on implicit empirical evidence of people having existed during the 1st century (e.g. archaeology), and some of those people were named Jesus (i.e. written records from the 1st century). Therefore, the application of faith here is not entirely unreasonable. However, having a reasonable faith in a claim does not mean the claim is demonstrably true. There is still a non-zero possibility that the specific Jesus described in the NT could have been based entirely on a 1st century "mystery" cult motif despite the existence of real people who were named Jesus.

Conversely, we have no reliable demonstrations of people being supernaturally resurrected from the dead. As such, the claim lacks the implicit empirical foundation upon which faith (i.e. trust) in the claim would be justified. In fact, our experience with dead bodies is that they consistently and predictably begin to decompose after only a few hours. Therefore, we have neither the conceptual nor implicit empirical basis to justifiably trust the claim that a 1st century man named Jesus was supernaturally resurrected from the dead. The available conceptual and implicit empirical evidence which is available to us would better justify trust (i.e. faith) in the claim that the NT accounts were written by people who sincerely but mistakenly believed a supernatural resurrection had occurred.

Now, consider how the word "faith" is used in the following statement, "It is by faith that people can know Jesus was supernaturally resurrected from the dead." Here, faith is given as the method (epistemology) used to distinguish knowledge from belief. When the word "trust" is substituted for the word "faith" in this context, the statement suggests people can acquire such knowledge by trusting the event happened exactly as described in the NT. However, there is no objective reason given to justify why that particular claim should be trusted. Therefore, a decision to trust the claim must be either arbitrary or influenced by some form of undisclosed bias. As such, people could equally choose to not trust that particular claim for some arbitrary or biased reason and apply their "faith" towards a competing or contradictory claim instead. This ability to achieve two different or contradictory conclusions through the application of the same method exposes the unreliability of using faith as an epistemological foundation for acquiring a functional knowledge base.
I've always found 'faith' and 'trust' to be used differently.
To me, faith is used when something can't be demonstrated as true, real, reliable.

For examples:
One can have faith that 'the sun will rise' but once they see it, it stops being faith and becomes trust.
You don't have faith the car will start every time once you've seen it start once.

Additionally, I normally see faith used mostly in reference to religion, while trust is used in most other aspects.
Moreover, I've noticed, in regards to christianity, a lot of times they use 'know' instead of 'believe' or 'have faith in', which, to me, have entirely different meanings, even though the concept may be the same. Words have meanings and we have to use the right words at the right times without changing their definitions.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #5

Post by bluegreenearth »

[Replying to nobspeople in post #4]

My post is a response to theists who attempt to argue that their application of "faith" is equivalent to an application of trust. I'm fine with however my interlocutors choose to define and use their terms, but I will conduct an internal critique of their argument by using the terms in the way they define them. In this case, if they want to equate "faith" with trust, then I simply demonstrate where they have no justification to trust the supernatural resurrection claim in the same way they trust their car will start tomorrow morning. So, they will either have to redefine "faith" to mean something else or provide a justification for trusting the supernatural resurrection claim in the same way they trust their car will start in the morning.

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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #6

Post by nobspeople »

bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:15 pm [Replying to nobspeople in post #4]

My post is a response to theists who attempt to argue that their application of "faith" is equivalent to an application of trust. I'm fine with however my interlocutors choose to define and use their terms, but I will conduct an internal critique of their argument by using the terms in the way they define them. In this case, if they want to equate "faith" with trust, then I simply demonstrate where they have no justification to trust the supernatural resurrection claim in the same way they trust their car will start tomorrow morning. So, they will either have to redefine "faith" to mean something else or provide a justification for trusting the supernatural resurrection claim in the same way they trust their car will start in the morning.
I understand. I find this particular topic interesting and thought I'd offer my 2¢. If that was fallacious, my apologies. 8-)
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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #7

Post by Dimmesdale »

At this point I'm sticking to the psychological aspect of faith more than the metaphysical.

And it has served me thus far.

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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #8

Post by Miles »

Dimmesdale wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:49 pm At this point I'm sticking to the psychological aspect of faith more than the metaphysical.

And it has served me thus far.

Image

So the nature of faith isn't as important to you as what it does for you. Okay.


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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #9

Post by Dimmesdale »

Miles wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:54 pm
Dimmesdale wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:49 pm At this point I'm sticking to the psychological aspect of faith more than the metaphysical.

And it has served me thus far.

Image

So the nature of faith isn't as important to you as what it does for you. Okay.


.
Perhaps so.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein

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Re: The Trouble With Faith

Post #10

Post by bluegreenearth »

[Replying to nobspeople in post #6]

No fallacies or worries. :approve:

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