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ἀρχή
The Evolution/Creation thread is having conversations like this, but because of the topic, it muddles the real discussion too much. Here is a more appropriate place to discuss what is a legitimate way of knowing anything.

In a sense this is a science vs. religion thread, but hopefully people won't be so polarized on the topic.

Here you go, have fun confessing your thoughts to the larger forum community. Is it reasonable to have faith? Is faith nonsense talk? Is it necessary to have faith in reason?
MonsterEnvy
Yes, the evolution debate does get off topic...
So, to address your questions...
1.Is it reasonable to have faith?
Yes. Faith, for some people, is very necesssary to have a sense of self and purpose. There's no problem with faith, unless it makes one bigoted and unreasonable.
2.Is faith nonsense talk?
Sometimes. When it's pervasive, it can make peole talk nonsense. Really, though, most of the time it depends on belief. Most people who think one ting would believe that another's beliefs are nonsense.
3.Is it necessary to have faithin reason?
Definitely. Human reason is the only thing that can truly hellp us make sense of the world. Faith is good too, but reason is more important for the common man. Let's take a look at Dante's divine comedy.

Virgil, as human reason, guides Dante through hell and Purgatory, and is able to show him the way through reason. For much of these canticles, Dante shows hoe reason is the only thing that can keep us on the true path of good and knowledge throughout the worldly domains, Hell and Purgatory. However, as soon as Dante enters Paradise, he is met by Beatrice, or Divine Love and Faith. Beatrice allows him to penetrate the meaning behind the farce that is life.

So, reason and faith are both useful in their own way. The problem is when people try to use faith to reason, or try to reason faith. Reason cannot understand faith, and faith transcends reason.
ἀρχή
QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ Apr 8 2006, 10:35 AM) [snapback]376385[/snapback]

So, reason and faith are both useful in their own way. The problem is when people try to use faith to reason, or try to reason faith. Reason cannot understand faith, and faith transcends reason.

Does this actually make any sense though?

Let's take this statement:

1. Ken believes that the apple is on the table

Can we know whether this statement is based on faith or reason? Obviously if we are in the same room and near the table in question, we can just look and see if there is an apple on the table. If there is, then we would think that Ken's belief is true. But what basis did Ken have for believing that the apple is on the table? At what point will we question Ken's ability to have a reasonable belief.

For instance, what if Ken didn't see an apple on the table, but just heard someone say, "I will put the apple on the table". Regardless of whether the apple is on the table, is Ken's belief rational?

Popogeejo
Thats more philosophy of existence than religous faith.

I'd say having a religon is ok.You belive that if you do good you will go heaven or belive in reincarnation but you can't let these rule your perception of the world.
The problem with organised religion is that you all have to belive the same things.I takes away the ability to think freely.

I've just woken up and am kind of muddled still so excuse if I'm not saying anything of use.

Religon is ok but you can't let it be the single factor that defines your perception of the world.
Carnal Malefactor
QUOTE(arche @ Apr 8 2006, 11:51 AM) [snapback]376388[/snapback]
Regardless of whether the apple is on the table, is Ken's belief rational?

It's rational, but it's also unreasonably optimistic, because if Ken devotes a large portion of his life to the belief that the apple is on the table, and lives under that pretext, but he later finds out that the apple was never on the table, or that the word 'apple' was a substitute for something else that was placed on the table, he wasted that large chunk of his life.

Worse still if he spends time trying to convince others of the power of the apple, because it'll make those others resent him.
MonsterEnvy
QUOTE(arche @ Apr 8 2006, 08:51 AM) [snapback]376388[/snapback]

QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ Apr 8 2006, 10:35 AM) [snapback]376385[/snapback]

So, reason and faith are both useful in their own way. The problem is when people try to use faith to reason, or try to reason faith. Reason cannot understand faith, and faith transcends reason.

Does this actually make any sense though?

Let's take this statement:

1. Ken believes that the apple is on the table

Can we know whether this statement is based on faith or reason? Obviously if we are in the same room and near the table in question, we can just look and see if there is an apple on the table. If there is, then we would think that Ken's belief is true. But what basis did Ken have for believing that the apple is on the table? At what point will we question Ken's ability to have a reasonable belief.

For instance, what if Ken didn't see an apple on the table, but just heard someone say, "I will put the apple on the table". Regardless of whether the apple is on the table, is Ken's belief rational?

That wasn't my point. I was mainly arguing that faith is useful philosophically, and reason physically. Ken's belief that the apple on the table simply because he decided it was was, to put it simply, stupid. The fact that the apple is on the table or not does not help him live his life or make better moral judgments. it would simply confuse his physical sense of things. This is false faith.

In the second scenario, he does not have a belief, per se, he has instead a well-reasoned hypothesis. Since someone has said that an apple will be on the table, he can assume that an apple is being put on a table, and, in a short amount of time, he can assume that the apple will be on the table. This is true reason.
asunder
Heh well even though i've been on the science side of things in the different threads, I'm actually a fairly religious person but to me religion is something that is personal. In general, you shouldn't be forcing your religious ideas down other people's throats. This is both disrespectful and intolerant. This actually goes into the differences between so called eastern religions and western religions as well as how people apply religion into their lives and cultures.

Maybe I'll go further into that another time....

I actually have faith, but I'd say this is mostly because of culture and family...I've also been on religious pilgrammages where I can say that I've felt "spiritual energy" at certain locations.

And that said, people can have faith...and all that is fine and dandy. But sometimes I feel like people I know should be taking medication or speaking to a psychologist.....

People who regularly "talk to God" .....Why would you say this is disturbing? Because they insist that God speaks to them...... Now let me take this a step further....people who claim to talk to God or ask God for help in Blockbuster late fees or car insurance troubles....[Actual examples from a friend who is > 21 years old.]
PS: While I was playing Zelda 2, I realized one of the enemies names is 'arche'....is that where your username is from?
ἀρχή
QUOTE(asu @ Apr 8 2006, 03:44 PM) [snapback]376448[/snapback]

PS: While I was playing Zelda 2, I realized one of the enemies names is 'arche'....is that where your username is from?

The username is from the days when I used to do Biblical exegesis. arche is from the greek αρχη which means "beginning" (among other meanings).

Let me now alter my example a little. I believe that the earth revolves around the sun. I have no actual basis for this belief except for the fact that I learned it from a young age. I also see that everyone else believes that the earth revolves around the sun. My instincts would tell me that the sun moves and not the earth as it's obvious that the sun starts in one position in the sky and ends in another during the day. So I've trained my instincts to now accept that the earth moves and not the sun because of the conditioning of my education and others. But I have no actual first hand knowledge of this being the case and I have no intention of actually attempting to "prove" this because I'm not interested in the astronomy necessary to do so.

So let's look back to our Ken. If everyone told him and he read throughout his life that the apple was in fact on the table even if he never saw it, he probably would believe it. In fact, even if he never had a chance to prove this (i.e. see it) for his entire life, he would probably still hold the belief that the apple was on the table.

This is a way of seeing that the knowledge we gain from science requires trust in the textbooks, teachings and methods of others, which we do not have the time or ability to verify. I do not have the money to purchase the machinery necessary to verify most scientific statements.
MonsterEnvy
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, such as the belief that people evolved. Let's classify 'faith' as a similar idea, but one that comes from no specific reasoning, such as faith that an omnipotent deity created the world and all of the animals.
Ken can assume that the apple is on the table because he would have come to this belief through logic- the people who were telling him this had been shown to be reliable (to the best of his knowledge) before, it's perfectly reasonable that an apple would be on the table, and- this is important- he could go and check if the apple was on the table at any time. The difference between that belief and faith (in the way that I define it here) is that the person who has faith can never go and check on the apple. He must simply believe in the apple without any other knowledge, even though he would have come to the belief the same way Ken did in the first example.
The point is, that even if we don't have the time or money to verify results, we can verify them if we want to, and repeat the work of others, and test it for errors, making 'belief' different crom 'faith.'
FullMetal Shrimp
I think faith is very reasonable. As for Ken and the apple, I think that as long as Ken believes that the apple is on the table, then I think it's 100% fine for him to believe that. Now, let's say that there was an orange on that table, and there has been many studies of that orange being on that table and it has been proven very much that the orange could have been on the table, and there's more proof for that than there being an apple on the table. I don't think that the orange being on the table would disprove that there was an apple on the table, it may even just help the idea that the apple is on the table.

And let's then say that there were people that believed the orange was there, and some that the apple was there. But it's possible that they could both have been on the table, and let's say that the studies, the apple, and the orange are all in agreement, then it is possible that they were both on the table, and some things from the apple may help the orange and some from the orange may help the apple.

Now this is just starting to sound sill when you put fruit in it. happy.gif;
Popogeejo
Just don't try and force others into beliving the apple is there or claiming the apple is the only reason the table is there in the first place.
MonsterEnvy
Wow, creation vs. Evolution again... Now, even though you're an apple and I'm an orange, let's keep that sort of discussion to the Creation vs. Evolution thread, huh?

Maybe if you ask Void very nicely he'll let you back in. It was more fun that way...

But, as to your points on belief- Ken would have to believe that the orange was on the table if there was considerably more evidence that the orange was on the table. However, he could have faith (see def. above) that the apple was also on the table, as long as the apple didn't contradict the orange (eg. he can't believe that they're both in the near right corner, but he could believe that the orange is in the center and the apple is a bit to the right of it). So, the believing that the orange on the table through reason will help him because it's supported and it's true, and having faith that the apple is on the table will help him because he wants it to be that way, so he might as well believe in it. He might love the crunchy taste of Original Sin...
Popogeejo
Also don't get all pissy if someone makes a cartoon/rude comment about your particular fruit even if it's against your fruits rules to depict/mock it.

Free Speech pwns Fruit.
ἀρχή
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.

It may be that you want to disallow those who believe in things that have no basis such as believing that God will speak to someone regarding which type of ice cream one should have. I'm not as concerned with this type of thinking as it's not meaningful in my opnion. My personal goal is to blur the lines between the idea of rational thought and belief (faith). In a very real sense, we must just believe without proof that things are the way they are.

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 don't want to create a safe haven for those religious weaklings who just spout out beliefs that are not thought through, but I also don't like science talk that is "blind" and doesn't realize the amount of trust (belief, faith, etc...) that is involved. As a result, metaphysics is not good to decide based on science. Science is pragmatic and not the only way of explaining or understanding the actual reality.
Popogeejo
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=faith

QUOTE
# Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief. See Synonyms at trust.


http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=belief

QUOTE
Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something


MonsterEnvy
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.
FullMetal Shrimp
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
MonsterEnvy
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.')
Popogeejo
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.
ἀρχή
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.
mura_no_baka
Faith is the surrender of reason.
Disasterpiece
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.
Popogeejo
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.
Broken Chouchou
QUOTE (Popogeejo @ Aug 1 2010, 06:18 PM) *
You can live pretty happily without faith.


Pretty happily? Heck, you can live just as happily!
Disasterpiece
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
Popogeejo
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.
Chiyo
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!"
Razzy
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?
Broken Chouchou
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
Razzy
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.
Broken Chouchou
QUOTE (Razzy @ Aug 4 2010, 08:13 PM) *
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.


And again; the parallel to religious faith, even if unintended, is so obvious it's slapping me in the face. While this (having a weak character) may not be, or IS not, the only reason for having faith in god, in some cases I do believe it might play a part in it.
Little Washu
QUOTE (Broken Chouchou @ Aug 4 2010, 11:54 AM) *
QUOTE (Razzy @ Aug 4 2010, 08:13 PM) *
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.


And again; the parallel to religious faith, even if unintended, is so obvious it's slapping me in the face. While this (having a weak character) may not be, or IS not, the only reason for having faith in god, in some cases I do believe it might play a part in it.

Out of curiosity, what have you got against religion? Does it bother you that much what other people have faith in as opposed to yourself?

Also, I believe in God. I assume that makes me a weak person? Just because I'd like to think there's some reason for the existence of myself and everything?
Broken Chouchou
QUOTE (Little Washu @ Aug 4 2010, 09:35 PM) *
Out of curiosity, what have you got against religion? Does it bother you that much what other people have faith in as opposed to yourself?


What people believe in doesn't bother me at all, as long as it doesn't hurt others.

QUOTE (Little Washu @ Aug 4 2010, 09:35 PM) *
Also, I believe in God. I assume that makes me a weak person? Just because I'd like to think there's some reason for the existence of myself and everything?


Read what I said again ;/
Chiyo
Razzy - very true, I don't believe in "love" in such a sense. We choose a partner based on what we look for as a positive genetic code. But that's off the subject.

Be careful everyone not to blur the lines between faith and having a faith. Believing in something does not automatically mean religion, having faith in yourself for example. People's religion is a delicate subject so (for future reference) lets be clear that people are allowed to voice how they feel but that does not mean they project their beliefs on others.
von Hohenheim
No, faith is not reasonable. By definition, it is not. If we define knowledge as anything that has to be true, then faith has not so much to do with obtaining knowledge, so much as discerning truths from falsehoods. In which case, one can say that faith is not systematic enough to be able to be used to determine whether or not something is true.

A more reasonable approach is to start by admitting that you don't know anything. Then use logic and the scientific method to discern truth from falsehood; the latter works particularly well because of its rigor and success in science itself. And at the end of it, if you can't determine a truth from a falsehood, after all the logic and testing you've done, all you can do is admit you don't know anything about it. Pretending you know something to be true doesn't change the fact that you don't know anything about it; you'd just be lying to yourself if you relied on faith.

If we concern ourselves with subjective things that have no truth values, then it constitutes no real truth other than the existence of the statement itself.

Here's another way of looking at it from the popular biologist, PZ Myers:

We have bad brains. We cannot rely on our senses. We get drunk, we see things that aren't really there, we dream, and the whole works. We cannot rely on anything our senses tell us. Instead, we must use a rigorous method like the scientific method to "know" anything at all.

I differ from this perspective because even if we had good brains, it still doesn't mean we know anything--how good or bad our brains are only influences our ability to interpret knowledge.
Edward Cardinal Elric
It really bothers me that some individuals treat those who "have faith" in some tenet or system of beliefs as irrational, uneducated, immature blockheads who are incapable of thinking systematically and logically. A plain reading of the definition of faith reveals that although faith does not require proof, it is also not the polar opposite of reason. Faith may not rely on truth, but it also does not exclude it. Faith is, at least ideally, meant to be guided by reason and spawn organically from rational and logical thought processes.

What I do like from an overall read of this thread is that many commenters seem to be alluding to the idea that there is a single unified body of facts that make up truth. As ideological relativism is another of my pet peeves, I am glad to see that some at least appear to espouse the concept of objective truth. I would go so far as to argue that the validity of the existence of God in some form is really a question of reason and not faith, but introducing that postulation would likely derail this thread and result in quite a bit of tedious debate. This being the case, I will save that point for another place and time.

QUOTE (Popogeejo @ Aug 4 2010, 10:57 AM) *
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.


It seems to me that by making any sort of assumption you are in fact using a form of faith. In a strict sense, any belief held without direct, systematic proof lies outside of the realm of reason. In the above example, you are actually putting faith in the overarching system by which train transportation operates. Your assumptions may be logical and guided by reason, but yet they fall short of being proven in any scientific sense. An educated guess remains a guess nonetheless, after all.

QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Aug 5 2010, 04:19 AM) *
We have bad brains. We cannot rely on our senses. We get drunk, we see things that aren't really there, we dream, and the whole works. We cannot rely on anything our senses tell us. Instead, we must use a rigorous method like the scientific method to "know" anything at all.


I would argue that this statement isn't even internally consistent. One's senses are the only means by which one is able to gather concrete information about the world and its contents. It orders to employ the scientific method, one needs to use one's senses. I need to utilize the sight provided to me via my eye to read a graduated cylinder, after all.

von Hohenheim
QUOTE (Edward Cardinal Elric @ Aug 17 2010, 02:49 AM) *
It really bothers me that some individuals treat those who "have faith" in some tenet or system of beliefs as irrational, uneducated, immature blockheads who are incapable of thinking systematically and logically. A plain reading of the definition of faith reveals that although faith does not require proof, it is also not the polar opposite of reason. Faith may not rely on truth, but it also does not exclude it. Faith is, at least ideally, meant to be guided by reason and spawn organically from rational and logical thought processes.


People who rely on faith may or may not be blockheads; it's not up to me to decide if they are. However, relying on faith does not lead to an unclear form of truth. If this is restricted to the individual's personal beliefs and opinions that do not affect public issues, that's not a problem. But now if you were to suggest that faith is alright to affect reason, in the sense that we allow faith to affect our decisions where things like science, government, and the general public are concerned, then I think it is not a good idea. Faith is arbitrary. It cannot help us make informed decisions--it prevents us from becoming informed because it says we should be content with not knowing, even if it is possible to discover the truth.

Faith does not require proof because it is not falsifiable. However, the fact that it is also not falsifiable means that it falls outside of the realms of rationality and reason. We require falsifiability in reason because if something cannot be falsifiable, there is no point in testing or even considering it--you can't talk about if it could be wrong, or under which conditions is the statement false. It doesn't matter if you think faith is guided by reason or not; you can't get anything much out of having faith.

QUOTE
What I do like from an overall read of this thread is that many commenters seem to be alluding to the idea that there is a single unified body of facts that make up truth. As ideological relativism is another of my pet peeves, I am glad to see that some at least appear to espouse the concept of objective truth. I would go so far as to argue that the validity of the existence of God in some form is really a question of reason and not faith, but introducing that postulation would likely derail this thread and result in quite a bit of tedious debate. This being the case, I will save that point for another place and time.


I would disagree because no one has a clear definition of what god is. Such an inquiry becomes meaningless unless you have a definition of god that can be tested, is meaningful and unambiguous. But when you have interpretations of god that include a 900 foot statue of Jesus, metaphors of nature, and not even deciding which religion best describes god, it is not a useful inquiry to ask if god exists. And when you stick to one definition, religious people shift goalposts, and change the definition of god.

QUOTE
I would argue that this statement isn't even internally consistent. One's senses are the only means by which one is able to gather concrete information about the world and its contents. It orders to employ the scientific method, one needs to use one's senses. I need to utilize the sight provided to me via my eye to read a graduated cylinder, after all.


Ja, but the scientific method is there to circumvent the problems with our senses. By using logic, we do not need to rely on our senses. Our senses are only a means of perceiving information; however, it is not the only way in which we can make observations or measure them. For example, we create rulers, telescopes, scales and other such devices--we cannot by ourselves determine the length of something just by looking at it with our senses because it is not consistent among different people what length an object has. Instead, we create a universal standard (the metric system) that is consistent among different people, and we analyze the differences (perhaps my ruler is off by a tiny 0.1micrometers. Not a big deal, according to certain statistical analyses...). This standard does not rely on our senses. It doesn't matter how long or how short you think an object is; it has the same length because we measure it according to the same standards. Now it's not exactly important what this standard is, as using the metric system or using the imperial system isn't a big deal--you can convert from one system to the other using math. The whole point of having this system is that you can measure something with consistently sized units rather than arbitrary ones created by your senses.

And while you may need your senses to read the results of an experiment, yours aren't the only ones--there will be other people performing a similar experiment, and who may either see the same result, or something slightly different. And here is where the problem of our senses gets resolved--when you have lots of people converging on the same result, it is most likely true. The probability that people arbitrarily agreed on the same result is not a coincidence--most people who have conducted the same experiment are doing so independently of each other, and you therefore cannot expect their sense to be the same (ie, they may all be unreliable). However, the fact that their results converge on a singular value indicates that there is some truth. Again, there are mathematical and statistical analyses for determining the validity of these results. It is precisely because we cannot rely on our senses that we do not know 100% whether or not these results will yield a truth, but science does not concern itself with obtaining absolute truth, so much as refining and improving what we know.

It is for this reason that I like mathematics. It works, regardless of how bad your senses are. You can doubt something all you like in mathematics. But by using a few logical principles, things that are true (or false) no matter how unreliable your senses are, you can prove things in math, and use them over and over again. Mathematics is not based on our senses; it is based off of abstract ideas.
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