Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

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bluegreenearth
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Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

Post #1

Post by bluegreenearth »

For example:
Hebrews 11:3

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
There are numerous verses following the one above that equally proclaim, "By faith," something is understood or known to be true. Therefore, in this context, "faith" is being encouraged for use as an epistemology. How does "faith" function to reliably distinguish true claims from false claims or does it fail in that regard? What would demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Christian community that "faith" is not a reliable tool for discovering what is true or false?

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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

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Post by The Tanager »

[Replying to post 1 by bluegreenearth]

How do you define 'faith'?

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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

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Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to post 1 by bluegreenearth]

Let's compare some beliefs which would require "faith", opposed to some beliefs which would not require "faith", in order to believe.

I do not need one bit of faith, in order to believe that Jesus was a real historical figure, who walked the face of the earth. I do not need depend on faith in order to believe that this man was crucified. I do not need faith in order to believe this man died, was buried, and that the tomb he was laid in was found empty. In fact, it requires no faith at all for me to believe this man resurrected from the dead.

You see, the reason none of these things require faith on my part, is because there are facts, and evidence which would support such a belief, and therefore, my belief in such things is not based upon faith, but rather upon the facts, and evidence which support this belief, and I can look at, analyze, study, and weigh this evidence.

What would require faith to believe, if that these events, actually atoned for my sin. In other words, I need faith in order to believe in the forgiveness of my sin. Because you see, I cannot see, touch, feel, study, analyze, or weigh, forgiveness. Rather, forgiveness must be accepted by, faith.

So then, when we look at the creation of the world, I have no way to analyze how this may have occurred, and even the scientists can only speculate upon these things, and cannot in any way demonstrate how the universe would have come into being, but I do believe science seems to agree with the Bible, in that it indeed came out of nothing.

So then, as you can see, there are certain Christian claims which would require no faith at all to believe, while there would be other things which would require faith, but the same could be said about any, world view.

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Post by ttruscott »

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is an unproven hope, not proof of any truth. Your secularist pov misses the mark. Christians live by faith, not proof in that we hold our skepticism in abeyance for this time being because our personal experience moves us to put our trust in the hope spoken of in the bible.
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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Post #5

Post by Zzyzx »

.
ttruscott wrote: Faith is an unproven hope, not proof of any truth.
Exactly, just hope what you have been told is true – can’t verify
ttruscott wrote: Your secularist pov misses the mark.
My ‘secularist POV’ works in the real world – learning what is true and accurate about the world and working to accomplish objectives rather than hoping or praying. I find no value in speculating about supernatural entities.
ttruscott wrote: Christians live by faith,
Does this speak for all Christians?
ttruscott wrote: not proof in that we hold our skepticism in abeyance for this time being
Once doubt and skepticism are no longer held ‘in abeyance’, reality may set in as evidenced by the many Ex-Christians posting here and at the many Ex-Christian websites (Google search if unfamiliar)
ttruscott wrote: because our personal experience moves us to put our trust in the hope spoken of in the bible.
Indoctrination may lead one have psychological personal experiences
.
Non-Theist

If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you'll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it's tax deductible"

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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

Post #6

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Realworldjack wrote:
I do not need one bit of faith, in order to believe that Jesus was a real historical figure, who walked the face of the earth.

Oh but you do, at least "faith" by the biblical definition*. Hebrews 11 defines faith as believing that which one cannot see, unless you claim to have seen Jesus your belief that he existed is a matter of faith.

*Which is why ttru did Well to ask by whose definition you were going by
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

Post #7

Post by bluegreenearth »

The Tanager wrote: [Replying to post 1 by bluegreenearth]

How do you define 'faith'?
The word “faith� generates a disproportionate amount of confusion in conversations about epistemology. 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 the meaning of “trust�, then it would resolve much confusion assuming everyone has the same understanding of what it means to trust. For example, you might trust an apple exists at the grocery store despite the fact that you are not on location to observe it. The foundation of your trust in this case is based on implicit empirical evidence you have collected from previous visits to the grocery store where you consistently observed apples in the produce section. Therefore, the application of faith here is reasonable because it refers to a conceptual truth as supported by an implicit empirical foundation. However, having a reasonable faith in a claim does not mean the claim is empirically true or that you can claim to know it is empirically true.

Conversely, if you had no prior knowledge of apples being sold at the grocery store, you would lack the implicit empirical foundation upon which your faith in the claim would be justified. Likewise, if your prior experiences with grocery stores were that they never maintained a supply of apples in the produce section, trusting the aforementioned claim would not be reasonable because the implicit empirical evidence contradicts it. Similarly, if a grocery store advertises an apple for sale with the capability of stopping in midair after it is thrown, you would have neither a conceptual nor implicit empirical basis to have faith in the advertisement. In fact, the available conceptual and implicit empirical evidence would better justify faith in the alternative claim which suggests the grocery store is advertising an optical illusion which creates the misperception of an apple stopping in midair.

Now, consider how the word “faith� is used in the following statement, “It is by faith I know the apple stopped in midair after it was thrown.� 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 I acquired such knowledge by trusting the event happened exactly as described. However, there is no objective reason given to justify why that particular claim should be trusted. Therefore, my decision to trust the claim must have either been arbitrary or influenced by some form of undisclosed bias. As such, I could have equally chosen not to trust that particular claim for some arbitrary or biased reason and applied my faith towards another 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: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

Post #8

Post by bluegreenearth »

Realworldjack wrote: [Replying to post 1 by bluegreenearth]

Let's compare some beliefs which would require "faith", opposed to some beliefs which would not require "faith", in order to believe.

I do not need one bit of faith, in order to believe that Jesus was a real historical figure, who walked the face of the earth. I do not need depend on faith in order to believe that this man was crucified. I do not need faith in order to believe this man died, was buried, and that the tomb he was laid in was found empty. In fact, it requires no faith at all for me to believe this man resurrected from the dead.
Actually, the possibility that the Jesus character from the Bible is entirely fictional has not yet been disproven (Personally, I think it is reasonable to believe the Jesus character from the Bible is probably based on a historical figure but am willing to consider the alternate possibility). So, we can't know the historicity of Jesus is 100% factual. However, assuming a historical Jesus, there is absolutely no way to demonstrate the claims about an empty tomb are true. Furthermore, even if this legendary empty tomb were somehow preserved from the moment the woman (or women) ran frightened away from it saying nothing to anyone, there is no way to demonstrate that a supernatural resurrection as opposed to some unknown natural cause was responsible for the missing body. Since we can't go back in time to observe the event for ourselves, the claim is unfalsifiable and requires faith to be believed.
You see, the reason none of these things require faith on my part, is because there are facts, and evidence which would support such a belief, and therefore, my belief in such things is not based upon faith, but rather upon the facts, and evidence which support this belief, and I can look at, analyze, study, and weigh this evidence.
We've already been down this logically fallacious road and determined that no amount of facts and evidence can prove an unfalsifiable claim is true.
What would require faith to believe, if that these events, actually atoned for my sin. In other words, I need faith in order to believe in the forgiveness of my sin. Because you see, I cannot see, touch, feel, study, analyze, or weigh, forgiveness. Rather, forgiveness must be accepted by, faith.
No disagreement here.
So then, when we look at the creation of the world, I have no way to analyze how this may have occurred, and even the scientists can only speculate upon these things, and cannot in any way demonstrate how the universe would have come into being, but I do believe science seems to agree with the Bible, in that it indeed came out of nothing.
Science does not claim the universe came out of nothing; only that it evolved from a highly dense and hot quantum state into the universe we observe today. Science has not yet been able to determine what the state of the universe was prior to the Big Bang. Also, science does more than speculate on such matters in that it can test falsifiable hypotheses. For example, if the Big Bang hypothesis was false, we would not observe all other galaxies moving away from us and each other at an increasing rate. Of course, once it became possible to make those measurements, the results were unable to falsify the Big Bang hypothesis.
So then, as you can see, there are certain Christian claims which would require no faith at all to believe, while there would be other things which would require faith, but the same could be said about any, world view.
Yes, there are some falsifiable Christian claims, but all the ones you've been supporting thus far have been unfalsifiable. Certain claims about Christian prayer, for instance, can be falsified depending on the exact nature of the claim.

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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

Post #9

Post by William »

[Replying to post 1 ]

bluegreenearth: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?
For example:



The Script: By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

bluegreenearth: There are numerous verses following the one above that equally proclaim, "By faith," something is understood or known to be true. Therefore, in this context, "faith" is being encouraged for use as an epistemology. How does "faith" function to reliably distinguish true claims from false claims or does it fail in that regard? What would demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Christian community that "faith" is not a reliable tool for discovering what is true or false?

William: The Script itself asserts something which only recently - if believed - had to be done so on faith.
Quantum Science has now revealed that indeed - we understand now that the Universe is - undoubtedly - made out of something unseen.

I find this exciting for that.

So essentially faith is useful for helping us to understand there is more to life than meets the eye.

And when Science confirms what faith alone has borne the burden of for centuries, this should have the effect of not only removing the faith (for now the fact is established) but also in strengthening ones understanding that indeed - there may well have to be an entity which created 'what is seen' from the stuff of 'what is not seen.'.

That is still faith of course, if one persists in pursuing that possibility - but each confirmation-through-science adds to the solution to the puzzle by [strike]discarding[/strike] placing those pieces which no longer require faith - together- in the 'non-faith' department.

So in answer to your question, it is Science rather than faith which determines truth - at least in relation to what we experience which is objectively real.
What is subjectively real can and does determine for the individual applying faith the type of truth regarding the Metaphysical...in this case - " to understand that the universe was formed at God’s command"

"God" in all cases - defined as "the Creator of our Physical Universe"

It is another story as to which defined 'God' - if any - is that actually Creator...although it is not unreasonable to place some focus upon the idea of the GOD which is attached to the particular Script....a Characterization not entirely clear to everyone equally...a fact that does not assist faith...I digress...

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Post #10

Post by The Tanager »

[Replying to post 7 by bluegreenearth]

A few more questions to make sure I get your point. Are you talking about gaining complete certainty of the truth of some proposition or less than 100% certainty is okay? Whatever level of certainty you are talking about, are you saying that giving objective reasons A, B, etc. why one trusts X is true is not a reliable tool for that person to reasonably believe something is true? Are you saying that faith involves having no objective reason to justify why claim X should be trusted, but that it is trusted anyway?

The reason I ask the last question is because of your apple stopping in midair scenario. In your example you say that faith involves no objective reason given to justify why that particular claim should be trusted. I would say there is a difference between having an objective reason and stating the objective reason for one's trust. Silence on the objective reason does not mean one does not have one. Now, if one does not hold an objective reason for X to be true, then I would not call that trust, but something more like hope.

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