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Faith, Reason And Other Ways Of Knowing, Is it reasonable to have Faith?
MonsterEnvy
post Apr 9 2006, 10:37 AM
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QUOTE(arche @ Apr 9 2006, 01:05 PM) [snapback]376771[/snapback]

QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ Apr 9 2006, 09:08 AM) [snapback]376730[/snapback]

That example confuses 'belief' and 'faith.' For the purposes of this discussion, let's classify a 'belief' as an idea that comes about as a result of reasoning or knowledge... Let's classify 'faith' as a similar idea, but one that comes from no specific reasoning....

In a sense, I'm challenging this very distinction. A belief statement is in a sense a faith statement. It's just that faith is such a negative term in our current language that it is disassociated with belief statements. I do not agree that faith is taken without reason at all. In fact much of the literature on faith would look toward faith as the extension of reason and based on reason.

If you think about the history of science, you will notice that every time there is a major change in paradigms that is finally overwhelmingly accepted, the textbooks change to eliminate the conflicts that resulted earlier. This eliminates the debate on ideas that have been accepted. In other disciplines, this is not usually the case. For instance, the idea that the earth revolves around the sun is considered "resolved". There could still be cases that could be brought up against this view, but no one wishes to rehash it constantly. In fact, you will never see a rational argument given again about any non-accepted scientific finding. Because of this, the very assumptions that we have regarding methodology and findings are assumed based on historical acceptence by "experts".

Also remember that many of the concepts brought out by scientific work are beyond the layman. If you are not as smart as those making the conceptual discoveries (discoveries of things no one can actually see, but logically are implied via mathematics, etc...), you simply have to just trust that scientists got it right. In a very real sense, some of those who "push" scientific thinking upon others are the same as those religious people who "push" religious beliefs. The scientific beliefs are not provable to the common person in the same way that religious beliefs are not provable to the common person. Perhaps there are people who have a special understanding of spiritual and religious life just like the scientists who write theory that is beyond the common man's abilities to actually verify.

I was simply using belief and faith to distinguish what I see as a belief in something supernatural vs. a belief in something natural, or a belief in something without obvious logical cause vs. a belief in something with.

In scinece, even though some people might not be able to understand some of it, it is theoretically possible for it to be explained or for the person in question to do the same work and come to the same answer. This makes science fundamentally different from religion in that when one poses a metaphysical question, two people might start from the same information and have completely different answers.

There are, in fact, well thought out cases as to why the law of universal gravitation and things like it are untrue. These are surprisingly common, but most of these theories are refuted by other evidence from scientists, or deemed inappropriate via Occam's Razor.

Yes, those who push scientific thinking on others are as bad as those who push religious thinking on others, but there is a fundamental difference, again. The religious people often try to push religion onto science, whereas the scientists rarely try to force science into religion. The two disciplines simply are completely different, and there is no comparison between them. Science comes from logic and observation, whereas religion comes from... I don't really know. Another type of logic inspired by wonder, I suppose. Not being religious myself, and never having had any sort of religious experience in my short fifteen years, I can't explain it, or even speculate as to what it might be, but it's completely different from science, and this brings me back to the point that I made in my first post.

When science tries to reason religion, it cannot understand it, and when religion tries to believe in science, it finds itself unfullfilled. They're like yin and yang. They're polar opposites that, in conjunction, make a better thing than either.


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FullMetal Shrimp
post Apr 9 2006, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ Apr 9 2006, 10:22 AM) [snapback]376776[/snapback]

When science tries to reason religion, it cannot understand it, and when religion tries to believe in science, it finds itself unfullfilled. They're like yin and yang. They're polar opposites that, in conjunction, make a better thing than either.


I like to think of them exactly the opposite. I think that without religion there would be no science, and no science without religion.

These are the definitions of religion and science according to dictionary.com.

Religion
1
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4, A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=religion

Science

1
a. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
b. Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
c. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.
2. Methodological activity, discipline, or study: I've got packing a suitcase down to a science.
3. An activity that appears to require study and method: the science of purchasing.
4. Knowledge, especially that gained through experience.
5. Science Christian Science.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=science


Phenomena can be thought of as an observable fact or event (Again, according to dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=phenomenon ) And science is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of phenomena. And, nature is a phenomena, and religion explains nature and science can explain religion, thus they must all exist together.

And, I've asked Void to let me back on the forum several times, and he would like me to wait 4-5 years when I know more about Science... XD


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MonsterEnvy
post Apr 9 2006, 11:39 AM
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Well, I think that you're arguing your points a lot better (and providing links and things.)

Anyway, there has been religion without science before. This was something called the dark ages. Eventually, people figured out how to do scientific reasoning again, and society took off from there. Science can also exist without religion- whether there's a God or not, we'd still be able to figure out the law of gravity.

Also, you are incorrect in saying that science can explain religion. Classic scientific logic simply does not work in a religious setting. No matter what (in a religious forum using scientific arguments), faith will always trump science, because there is no basis for it, so it cannot be disproven. On the other hand, science will always trump religion, because of the exact same reason. It all comes down to faith. Science and religion both offer explanations for a different aspect of nature. Neither really explains all of it completely satisfactorily (for most people. Some could be perfectly happy without a spiritual belief in nature, or a way to explain any of it other than that 'God did it.')


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Popogeejo
post Apr 9 2006, 11:44 AM
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QUOTE
I like to think of them exactly the opposite. I think that without religion there would be no science, and no science without religion.


I have to dissagree.Humans are curious by nature.With or without religion we're going to try and explain how the world works.
Poor science created religon but now belives heavily that the old belifes are wrong.
There is Science without religon but no religon without science.


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ἀρχή
post Apr 9 2006, 12:43 PM
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Using dictionary definitions and/or encyclopedia entries is bad form for a discussion like this. Lexical definitions, which are what a dictionary provides, assume much about culture and useage that complicate issues.

The same type of issue is true of encyclopedia entries. In essense you are appealing to someone else's interpretation of linguistic issues without having wrestled with them yourself. You have much faith in their ability to accurately present and interpret the information considering Wiki is an internet based encyclopedia laugh.gif

It's best if you make an argument for or against what your thoughts are regarding the definition of any terms if the definition is the relevant portion of the problem.


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mura_no_baka
post Jul 31 2010, 09:45 AM
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Faith is the surrender of reason.


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Disasterpiece
post Jul 31 2010, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE (mura_no_baka @ Jul 31 2010, 10:45 AM) *
Faith is the surrender of reason.


So we should all give up on life? On anyone we rely?

Reason alone does not make humanity whole and should not define it.


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Popogeejo
post Aug 1 2010, 09:18 AM
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QUOTE (Disasterpiece @ Aug 1 2010, 02:00 AM) *
So we should all give up on life? On anyone we rely?

Faith is not life. Faith is not your friends or family. You can live pretty happily without faith. The fact you think that without faith you reject life and people to rely on is pretty worrying.


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Broken Chouchou
post Aug 3 2010, 12:37 PM
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QUOTE (Popogeejo @ Aug 1 2010, 06:18 PM) *
You can live pretty happily without faith.


Pretty happily? Heck, you can live just as happily!


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Disasterpiece
post Aug 3 2010, 10:09 PM
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You all subconsciously put faith in people every day. Faith entails trustworthiness. Therefore you put faith in the train conductor or whoever drives the train, you put faith in your parents for them to be there for you, etc happy.gif


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Popogeejo
post Aug 4 2010, 07:57 AM
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No I don't. I know trains run fairly on time because people get paid to make sure they do so. I know the train can drive a train because that's why he got hired. No faith, just logical and reasonable assumptions.
I put trust in my friends, not because of faith, but because I know what they are physically, intellectually and mentally capable of.


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Chiyo
post Aug 4 2010, 08:31 AM
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I agree, that's logic, not faith. The train conductor probably wants to live, so does what he has been trained to do. In a perfect world you might put complete faith in your parents...but remember we are just animals...they want to keep you alive so their genes live on. I never rely on faith, I think it is foolish to. I'd rather trust in my own logic and knowledge. I wouldn't walk in to a road blindfolded with good faith the cars would stop for me...logic would say "fool, get out the road!"


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Razzy
post Aug 4 2010, 09:27 AM
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QUOTE
In a perfect world you might put complete faith in your parents...but remember we are just animals...they want to keep you alive so their genes live on.
Though if you say that, that we're just animals, wouldn't you have to say that love doesn't exist either? Since humans just have to survive (so we say we love our parents, and those who take care of us) and reproduce (so we say we love our significant others) as a species, one could say we just use the word "love" as a justification for our instincts. So saying that faith doesn't exist because our parents are just taking care of us, for the sake of their genes living on, is like saying love, friendship, fear can all be regarded as just feelings based on our basic instincts to survive. Though I think those feelings have evolved over time, and I don't like to think of it that way. I would say that I do have faith in my parents, because they look out for my best interests. And, even as an animal, I would definitely like that someone looks out for my best interests. laugh.gif

I do believe logic is the most important thing, when it comes to faith vs. logic. However, faith exists, and it is also important. I'm religious, so I have faith in God, though I also have faith in others. Trust and faith are really almost the same things to me; if you trust someone to do something, then you'll have faith in them to do that.

I have complete faith in my parents, and I also have some faith in my friends. My parents take care of me, they schedule college visits and driver's ed classes, they drive me to and from school if I ever need it. And they've always taken care of me, so it makes sense that I have faith in them. They're also a lot more capable than me, so that's also why I put my faith in them.

Which brings me to another point: It's easier to have faith when someone is more capable than you are. I'm really not an independent person; I can't drive yet, I can't cook, I can't do laundry. I also sometimes lack the ability to think quickly, and I get panicky easily. You could call me lazy, or childish, or just plain stupid. laugh.gif But people like me have an easier time putting faith in others, and that makes sense, doesn't it? Incapable people sometimes don't have a choice but to have faith in those who are (or are claiming to be) more capable.

If I don't know how to navigate through NYC, I have faith in my friend who has a lot of experience with walking through the city. And I follow them. Because I have no idea what I'm doing, I have faith that my friend will take me in the right direction. Even if I don't know that friend well, I have faith in them, because they're more capable than I am. If I didn't have my friend with me, (even with a map) I'd get lost. If I want to walk through the city, what other choice would I have than to put faith in my friend, or in the random strangers who I ask directions from?


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Broken Chouchou
post Aug 4 2010, 10:54 AM
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Okay, you realise you're basically saying (admitting) it's easier to have faith if you're lazy, childish or stupid? That's what I read from what you said anyway, please correct me if I'm wrong. happy.gif


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Razzy
post Aug 4 2010, 11:13 AM
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No, I was jokingly calling myself stupid and childish and lazy. (Sometimes it's embarrassing for me to admit that I don't do many of the things my friends have been doing for years. I feel very much like a child when my parents do many of these things for me. But whatever.) It had nothing to do with my argument; I made a wrong choice of words, sorry.

I meant that people who are incapable of doing certain things would probably find it easier to have faith in others who are capable of doing those things for them/helping them.
But that's not the only reason people have faith. That's just an example. I have faith in things for reasons OTHER than that, but I think that would be more convincing argument; more convincing than my other argument, which was "sometimes you just have to believe".
I don't mean that people who have faith are stupid or anything. I have faith in many things. So I'm all for having faith. I don't think I'm stupid for having faith in God, my family, or friends. And I don't think anyone else is either.


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