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?

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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?

Realworldjack
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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

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Post by Realworldjack »

Danmark wrote:
Realworldjack wrote:
Danmark wrote:
Realworldjack wrote: Why there are folks who continue to want to make such comparisons is beyond me, since one would have nothing whatsoever to do with the other? The question is, "what did Paul gain, or have to gain"?
1st, the comparison is obvious. Both men created religions.
2d, To gain power, prestige, influence, fame, support of a growing community.

But it presents a false question to imply there is only a single motive or that such people are purely logical.


1st, the comparison is obvious. Both men created religions.
RWJ:
This is completely, and utterly false. As we have it recorded, Paul was out to put to stop to a particular religion, and then converted to this very same religion, demonstrating that he did not "create this religion".
This is your opinion, but that is all the credence I can give it. Certainly Saul was, according to 'Luke', an enemy of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. But that does not mean Christianity had been established as a religion. There were a variety of opinions about who Jesus was, and his significance. Then Saul had his sunstroke, or epileptic fit, or whatever it was that induced his claim to have had a supernatural vision which he reported after 3 days of delirium and blindness. He then went about the region preaching and writing about his experience and new belief which became the cornerstone of the new religion we today call 'Christianity.'
This is precisely the same pattern Joseph Smith followed in creating the religion known today as LDS. Whether either or both were crazy or frauds or a mixture of the two is not the point. That they, like L. Ron Hubbard, or Muhammad, created new religions is not rationally disputed.

What IS disputed is whether any of these religions accurately relate or faithfully explain the existence of a supernatural 'God.' I am certain you are not persuaded by my response, but ask yourself 'What would have happened to Christianity if 'Luke' and Saul had written nothing.?'


This is your opinion, but that is all the credence I can give it.
Well according to what we have recorded, it would be a fact. Unless of course you have some other sort of facts, and evidence to dispute it.
Certainly Saul was, according to 'Luke', an enemy of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.
Correct, along with other evidence that would support this as being a fact.
But that does not mean Christianity had been established as a religion.
Oh really? Well according to the evidence we have, it was very well established. Because you see, once Paul converted, and began his journeys, there was a dispute, and therefore Paul was said to go to Jerusalem, and when he arrived it says,

"The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter".

It then goes into detail concerning the judgement the council came to, and they sent Paul out with their blessings. So, it would seem the facts are against you here, and the Church seemed to be well established.
There were a variety of opinions about who Jesus was, and his significance.
Are you talking about inside the Church we have already seen was established?
Then Saul had his sunstroke, or epileptic fit, or whatever it was that induced his claim to have had a supernatural vision which he reported after 3 days of delirium and blindness. He then went about the region preaching and writing about his experience and new belief which became the cornerstone of the new religion we today call 'Christianity.'
Again, let us recall that Paul had to go before the council in the Jerusalem Church, in order to obtain their blessing. So then, it was not like Paul was out there on his own. The religion was established. Paul attempted to put a stop to it. Paul converted to the very religion he attempted to stop. Paul obtained the blessing from the very same folks, and Church he was attempting to abolish.
This is precisely the same pattern Joseph Smith followed in creating the religion known today as LDS. Whether either or both were crazy or frauds or a mixture of the two is not the point. That they, like L. Ron Hubbard, or Muhammad, created new religions is not rationally disputed.
Yeah, it is real easy to throw out these things as if they would even compare, but I highly doubt you would really want to make the comparison, but I will be happy to do so, if you wish.
What IS disputed is whether any of these religions accurately relate or faithfully explain the existence of a supernatural 'God.
I would agree, and the thing is, it has not been demonstrated either way. In other words, I cannot demonstrate what I believe to be true. What I can do is to explain what it is I believe, along with the facts, evidence, and reasons why I believe as I do. And I can assure you that it would have nothing to do with comparing one claim, to another claim, because I am fully aware that one claim, would have nothing whatsoever to do with the other, as far as truth is concerned.

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Danmark
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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

Post #392

Post by Danmark »

Realworldjack wrote: Danmark:
This is your opinion, but that is all the credence I can give it.
Well according to what we have recorded, it would be a fact. Unless of course you have some other sort of facts, and evidence to dispute it..
Here you have very clearly revealed why you consider faith a reliable epistemology; you insist on a logical flaw (or a poor definition of what makes a 'fact').
It is a gross error to insist that whatever was recorded automatically becomes 'fact' unless there exists evidence contra.
Mere statements do not become facts just because they are recorded. But there is more. I gave you evidence to the contrary. Certainly one can trace the origins of the religion of Christianity to the teachings of Jesus, but as to when it became a 'religion' separate from Judaism is a matter of diverse opinion. The early followers of Jesus certainly saw themselves as Jews who followed Jesus, not as members of a new religion. Jesus certainly did not consider himself a 'Christian.' On the contrary, he was a Jew who preached 'The Kingdom of God.' Saul persecuted these people who were according to Saul, apostate Jews since he disagreed with the tenets of this Jewish sect.

Paul's early letters, 1 Corinthians and Galatians, are the earliest writings we have that made it into the New Testament. Paul is instrumental, pivotal in developing an obscure Jewish cult or sect into a burgeoning religion by preaching to gentiles. Even by the 4th Century there were great disputes among the various communities until Constantine intervened. Many of those disputes and more continue today. I recommend The First Coming : How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity, Thomas Sheehan.
It's available for free:
https://infidels.org/library/modern/tho ... rstcoming/

I HEREBY offer it as exhibit 'A' and as 'fact' according to you, since none of it has been rebutted. :)

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Re: Is faith a reliable method for determining truth?

Post #393

Post by brunumb »

[Replying to post 385 by Realworldjack]
Ergo, the overwhelming majority of what is contained in the NT can be demonstrated to be letters addressed to those who would have already been believers.
All of a sudden the allegedly inspired words of God sound a lot more like collected junk mail.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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