Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On the acceptance of Faith as an answer.

Why should faith be seen as anything close to proof? Accepting it as anything more than a cop out and an admission that they don't care whether or not their beliefs are true seems a mistake. I care whether what I believe is true. I want to believe the most true things and the fewest false things. And if they don't care whether their beliefs are true, then there's no real argument to be had. One can't simply claim faith, and suffice that settle the matter. Unless one also concedes that by doing so, they is more likely accept something likely false over something likely true, and this is acceptable to said person.

After all, if you care whether your beliefs are true, you necessarily must use the only known method for properly determining truth from falsehoods, namely the rational weighing of evidence. One is entitled to forgo a functional epistemology, but in so doing they need to accept their beliefs are going to contain, on average, less truth and more falsehoods, and they must be okay with that and understand that I am not. -- That is after all what they mean by faith.


Followup: Apparently in context what I mean by 'faith' has been questioned. Apparently since a commenter can equivocate what he means when he says faith, my consistent usage is therefore wrong. So just for the information purposes, what I mean by faith is as follows (from Merriam Webster):

(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof  

I'm sure none of you were confused, but it's best to clarify.  More specifically faith as used in the context:


Why do you believe in God?
-- I have faith.


Such context is addressed above.

16 comments:

Buster said...

Actually what you describe as faith is describing a belief.
Belief is something held to be true, but holding something to be true leaves the door wide open for discussion for of it depends on what is the basis of your belief and there are a untold things you can believe to be true or false until proven otherwise.

Faith cannot be adequately described for all have faith in their own beliefs. As you rightly say faith in something could be true or false, but using faith in this manner is incorrect you are using a belief.

Faith is a key and to find and unlock the door that it fits is up to you. No one can tell you where that door is, only you can find your own door.

Tatarize said...

Faith is often used is a justification for a belief. That it's okay to accept something because that's "your own door" but really it doesn't justify squat. Your ability to believe something on the basis of no or terrible evidence doesn't make your beliefs one jot more likely to be true.

In fact, you should outright reject it as a justification for any belief if you care whether your beliefs are true or not. The truth is unscathed by your faith in nonsense. And if you care about truth, you must reject faith.

Buster said...

It is sad to learn that you like so many others do not know the difference between Faith and Belief.

You say there is no God. The Agnostics say that at some future date this could possibly be proven true or false. So this makes your knowledge tenuous and a belief in which you have faith that it is true. Which in turn asks how do you reject faith based on the truth.
This argument merely shows "faith" as believing something.

"Faith" can be used in so many ways.
When used as a key it is logical to conclude that there is a door it unlocks. To have faith in believing that this door can be found makes faith a driving force.

I shall not attempt to explain "your own door" to you, because to attempt to describe you to yourself cannot be done. I can only say your own door is discovering yourself.
Truth is in the eyes of the beholder for it is based on his internal perception of the truth and yet again he has faith in his beliefs.

Once again just another way to use the word "faith"

Buster said...

When considering discovering yourself even if this is off topic, and on another subject it has IMHO striking relevance:-

"Excerpt from Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn Ph.D.

But the paradox is that you can only change yourself or the world if you get out of your own way for a moment, and give yourself over and trust in allowing things to be as they already are, without pursuing anything, especially goals that are products of your thinking. Einstein put it quite cogently: "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." Implication: We need to develop and refine our mind and its capacities for seeing and knowing, for recognizing and transcending whatever motives and concepts and habits of unawareness may have generated or compounded the difficulties we find ourselves embroiled within, a mind that knows and sees in new ways, that is motivated differently. This is the same as saying we need to return to our original, untouched, unconditioned mind."

This is just another type of "Faith" in things that created problems in the first place. We have lived with it all our lives so we have faith in the fact that we think it is the truth, which of course reverts to a "Belief" and not "Faith"

Tatarize said...

>>You say there is no God.

Just as I say there's no werewolves or leprechauns.


>>The Agnostics say that at some future date this could possibly be proven true or false.

Agnostics say they don't know. It might be proven true (it can never be proven false). You could produce a werewolf or a leprechaun. But, no amount of not finding such critters proves anything except about their rarity should they exist.


>>So this makes your knowledge tenuous and a belief in which you have faith that it is true.

It takes as much faith to say there is no God as it requires to say there are no werewolves. Faith in no God vs. Faith in God is the difference between believing that the sun will rise in the morning vs. the belief that I have elves in my pants.


>>This argument merely shows "faith" as believing something.

You can believe things by way of inductive arguments. The sun has always risen, therefore the sun, tomorrow, will rise. Likewise, God has never manifested, so God will never manifest. After 13.75 billion years, we don't suddenly need mythological figures.


>>When used as a key it is logical to conclude that there is a door it unlocks.

That's not faith. That's simple inductive reasoning.

>>Truth is in the eyes of the beholder

Truth is that which accurately describes reality. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, it doesn't go away. It's not a subjective thing. You can have your own opinions, you can't have your own facts.


>>Once again just another way to use the word "faith"

Equivocating doesn't mean it's a very versicle thing, it means you're using the word to describe different things and wrongly equating them. Accepting locks have keys, is different then supposing without evidence that Godzilla will crush Tokyo.

Tatarize said...

I don't get the relevance to the vague be more than you are new-agey manta. But, certainly the suggestion isn't a new use of the word faith. It's just another misuse by you.

Clearly when I said faith, I referred to religious faith. Not belief, not acceptance, not induction, not trust. -- You're just misusing the word. Go ahead and define faith as you are using it, then compare it to how I am using it.

Faith is the excuse religious people give for believing things on the basis bad or embarrassing reasons, because the virtue of accepting something on no evidence is more palatable than the actual reasons which are intellectually insufficient and even, upon reflection, embarrassing.

That failing, I'll take the definition in Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Buster said...

You play with words so why can't I.
The ways I described it is mainly to be found in Merriman - Now Websters dictionary.

I repeat Faith as used by you is in almost all cases using it in place of belief.

Again you are acribing your beliefs to others tut tut. I do not talk of my faith so your interpretation is far more tenuous and off the mark. I talk of faith as it appears in the Websters dictionary, you talk of it as something of which you have the purest knowledge way beyond others.

Except in the one instance where I said faith is a key. Regretfully like many others you do not understand this because you are caught up in a religions/atheist warped argument.

>>"Agnostics say they don't know.It might be proven true (it can never be proven false)".
Quite a contradiction of your terms. You say a thing is either true or false. For you to say a thing is false when you have been proved incorrect by the evidence auytomatically makes you idea thereof false. is quite frankly one of the best jokes I have heard in many years.

>>"It might be"
Synonyms are "it may be" "It could possibly" So lucky for you it is what the Agnostics say and you are only quoting them to bolster your argument which automatically makes it your argument and you are then agreeing with what I said.

Your quotation of Hebrews 11.1 just made me inquisitive so I went to my neighbour and borrowed his bible. Quite some interesting reading before and after this quote of yours. It would appear that both Hebrews 11.1 and you incorrect for this quote is not the whole picture. By removing it from its surroundings it is out of context and as such becomes a meaningless. A half truth meant to deceive is worse than the most blatant lie.

"The truth is not simply what you think. It is also the circumstance in which it was said, and to whom, why, and how it was said.
— Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic"

What this all amounts to is I use the word as I please and so do you.
The only difference being I try to explain how I used it and you use it as club. Unfortunately the club is too heavy for you and you keep hitting yourself on the foot.

Tatarize said...

Faith in M-W.

a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2
a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

3
: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

It's used pretty much like belief or trust sans regard to evidence. That's the way the dictionary you claimed to agree with it used it. 2b1 more generally is the sense I used it in the above post.

Tatarize said...

>>I repeat Faith as used by you is in almost all cases using it in place of belief.

Ofcourse. That's largely how it's used. As justification for a belief or a reason to hold such a belief especially a religious one. That's not far from the mark.


>>I do not talk of my faith so your interpretation is far more tenuous and off the mark.

I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about 'you' the general 2nd person pronoun interchangeable with 'one'. This is the way faith is used, generally.


>>you talk of it as something of which you have the purest knowledge way beyond others.

I talk about it like it means what people tend it to mean. Why do they believe in God? They have faith.

>>you are caught up in a religions/atheist warped argument.

Very a plague on both your houses. The important thing is that you've found a way to pretend to be superior to both sides.

>>You say a thing is either true or false.

Yes. Things are either true or false.

>>For you to say a thing is false when you have been proved incorrect by the evidence

What evidence? Is there suddenly evidence that God exists? And when was something I said proved incorrect? I'll be happy to look at the proof and change my mind if necessary.


>>So lucky for you it is what the Agnostics say and you are only quoting them to bolster your argument which automatically makes it your argument and you are then agreeing with what I said.

It might well be. I'm an agnostic in the weak sense and an atheist in the strong sense.

>>so I went to my neighbour and borrowed his bible.

Hm. Not sure what to make of that.


>>Quite some interesting reading before and after this quote of yours.

The quote is quite likely by Paul. But, it seemed an apt definition.

>>It would appear that both Hebrews 11.1 and you incorrect for this quote is not the whole picture. By removing it from its surroundings it is out of context and as such becomes a meaningless. A half truth meant to deceive is worse than the most blatant lie.

Um. No. That's really clearly wrong. I know the context and after it Paul goes on to the points of faith like the ascension of Enoch and the offering of Abel. Those are things people could today take on the basis of faith.



>>What this all amounts to is I use the word as I please and so do you.

I'm using it in a very specific and consistent manner. You don't get to say that I'm using it consistently and therefore you can equivocate.


>>The only difference being I try to explain how I used it and you use it as club.

I point out that it's use as an answer to a question is wrong. I don't remotely intend my use of it to be ambiguous.


>>Unfortunately the club is too heavy for you and you keep hitting yourself on the foot.

No. I'm using it consistently in a manner that it's often used by religious people.

Buster said...

Naomi Judd in her book - Naomi's Breakthrough Guide says - Hebrews 11:1 states, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
A vastly different translation to the one you quoted which I surmise indicates she was using a different or more up to date translation.
"Things hoped for" One hopes to live to a ripe old age. This may not happen but it rids one of the fear that one may die tomorrow much to long before one has done what one hoped to do.
"Evidence of things not seen" - Can you see:- The air that you breathe. Love, hate?. I cannot see so many things but I can see their manifestations, like trees swaying as the air moves etc .

"Me - "For you to say a thing is false when you have been proved incorrect by the evidence"
"You - What evidence? Is there suddenly evidence that God exists? "
This is what I quoted as said by you - >>"Agnostics say they don't know. It might be proven true (it can never be proven false"
"it can never be proven false" - If the evidence that something which is regarded as true proves it to be otherwise then it has been proven to be false.
So what is this extraneous argument about God that you are dragging into the disccusions ?

1. >>"Clearly when I said faith, I referred to religious faith. Not belief, not acceptance, not induction, not trust."
2. >>"That's not far from the mark."
1. This I perceived in your opening statement.
2.but thereafter in many cases you used the word faith as a synonym for belief to which you now agree.

>>"Very a plague on both your houses."
Nice little curse you are attempting to cast upon me, if I were to believe in such nonsense. May I retort by using the Chinese saying "May you have an interesting life"

>>"The important thing is that you've found a way to pretend to be superior to both sides."
To see and accept some of the truths of both sides does not make me pretentious, it does however leave me with more knowledge. When "Both sides" refuse to acknowledge the truths revealed by others it leaves them egotistical and with their own bits of incomplete knowledge. When the ego no longer reigns then one can learn from all sources.

Buster said...

I have learned from Agnostics, Atheists, Christians, Buddhists, Yoga and many religions and non-religions. Yes I have learned from you, from four year olds, from my peers, parents and the aged.

All have shown and acknowledged FAITH in their own way. Even blind faith proved better for their peace of mind, than no faith. It is their life I do not say their beliefs are wrong nor belittle their beliefs for should I do so I belittle myself and detract from my humanity.

Tatarize said...

>>A vastly different translation to the one you quoted which I surmise indicates she was using a different or more up to date translation.

Her version is from the KJV. Mine is taken from NIV. My version is generally taken for clarity and correctness. That version dates to the 1600s. Mine is from 21st century (as the NIV is still putting out versions). I'm actually fine with either version because neither are far from the mark.

They are both fine in context. You are using them with the most bizarre sorts of logic. Different words do not convey different intent. Faith is what we want, but not what there's evidence for.


>>"Evidence of things not seen" - Can you see:- The air that you breathe. Love, hate?.

Paul wasn't an idiot. He actually meant what he said. Christians around the world accept that. You can look up the definition if you want. My interpretation of faith is not alien, at all. My rejection of it as an answer is atypical.


>>"Me - "For you to say a thing is false when you have been proved incorrect by the evidence"

>>If the evidence that something which is regarded as true proves it to be otherwise then it has been proven to be false.

No. That's a logical fallacy. If you say the tides are the result of the Earth spinning, and thus proves sun is the center of the solar system. If I show that the tides are the result of the moon's gravity, I haven't therefore proved that the Earth doesn't spin and doesn't revolve around the sun. (Galileo and ancient helocentrists both attempted this argument concerning tides).

>>2.but thereafter in many cases you used the word faith as a synonym for belief to which you now agree.

You're the one who claimed it meant other things. I said it meant a justification for belief. And gave a variety of definitions to support this usage as rather orthodox.


>>"Very a plague on both your houses."
>>Nice little curse you are attempting to cast upon me, if I were to believe in such nonsense.

The line "a plague on both your houses, is taken from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, spoken three times by Mercutio in the context of screw you both. In English the phrase is used to imply somebody condemning both sides of some particular argument.

No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
church-door; but 'tis enough,'twill serve: ask for
me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I
am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o'
both your houses! 'Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a
cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a
rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of
arithmetic!


>>To see and accept some of the truths of both sides

One can do that without trying to wrestle the word faith from context. The fact is I'm far better acquainted with religion than you and I know what that side has to offer, and it's not that much.

>>When the ego no longer reigns then one can learn from all sources.

I know a heck of a lot from studying religion. I also know the important thing about them: they are false.

Tatarize said...

>>I have learned from Agnostics, Atheists, Christians, Buddhists, Yoga and many religions and non-religions. Yes I have learned from you, from four year olds, from my peers, parents and the aged.

Your ability to learn is only paralleled by the majority of the rest of the planet.

>>All have shown and acknowledged FAITH in their own way.

Really? Even me? What praytell is the substance of things wished for and sans evidence that I apparently accept? What are these sorts of unjustified beliefs that fit my worldview? Faith is generally a religious belief without regard to evidence. I want evidence for my beliefs because I care whether what I believe is true or not. What I hope for should, ideally, have no bearing on my beliefs. Things not without evidence should be things not believed.


>>Even blind faith proved better for their peace of mind, than no faith.

Accepting a comforting lie over the truth is never justified.


>>It is their life I do not say their beliefs are wrong nor belittle their beliefs for should I do so I belittle myself and detract from my humanity.

Really? Would you say the same for their beliefs in aliens? What about reptoid conspiracy theories? What about their beliefs about politics or sports? What about their beliefs concerning the existence of leprechauns? -- Would you perhaps dissuade them from believing that Jews are Christkillers and should be wiped from the Earth? Or would saying that belief is wrong, belittle their belief and detract from your humanity?

Why is it we can rationally engage with beliefs about sports, art, theater, history, justice, law, politics, war, philosophy, and every subject great and small under the sun, but disagree with somebody's religious beliefs and you're detracting from your own humanity. If I say that Ty Cobb wouldn't even make the Major Leagues in Modern Baseball, it it dehumanizing when somebody disagrees?

Why does religion get special non-arguing privileges? If I say that 9/11 wasn't an inside job, but rather planes hitting the buildings were the reason the buildings fell, I'm not dehuman. But, if I say God sacrificing Himself to Himself to give Himself permission to forgive His creations doesn't make any coherent sense, suddenly I should be ashamed of myself!

Buster said...

You are starting to ramble.

Do not presume that you know more of the Bible than I. For every time you have read it with your jaundiced eye, you can multiply the number of times I have read it, without blinkers, with a minimum of twenty. (being as presumptuous as you.)
To no longer have a bible does not mean that I have not had many in times gone by.

I have investigated more things than you would care to know and therefore you regard much of what I say as if it were in a foreign language and then you translate it to what you think I said. You even try to twist what you said as if it originated from me.

A curse remains a curse irrespective of where it came from.
It is obvious that you did not comprehend the meaning thereof when you said it to me.

As I said I have learned from you. You too are a seeker.
I can looking at what you have unknowingly taught me of you and can say that I have faith that you will transcend your present existence. This is not blind faith. It is not faith in the impossible. It is not hope for things to be. If my faith in this regard does not bear fruit then it is not my faith that failed me but the object of my faith.
This is a paradox. You can try to fault my faith but in doing so you will fault yourself. (Which is something I am incapable of doing)

As Theunis and I_Daniel say: Peace be with you.

Tatarize said...

>>Do not presume that you know more of the Bible than I.

Sorry I already have. You're free to explain how you can fathom that the KJV must be a newer version or why you'd have to borrow one, but from pure circumstantial evidence it doesn't see that hopeful.

>>A curse remains a curse irrespective of where it came from.
It is obvious that you did not comprehend the meaning thereof when you said it to me.

I didn't say a plague on your house. I said said that that was very a-plague-on-both-your-houses of you. Meaning that you were damning both sides. No reading would support your claim. It's plainly absurd.

>>...I have faith that you will transcend your present existence. This is not blind faith. It is not faith in the impossible.

If it isn't blind, and it is impossible, then what evidence could you have to support the assertion? Because to say it's not blind faith, is to say that you must have a good evidenciary reason to believe it.

To be an atheist you don't need to have proof there is no God. You only need to understand that the evidence for God is on par with the evidence for werewolves. I see no reason why your faith couldn't be placed in werewolves just as easily as gods. As such I don't accept it as an answer. Because, again, I care whether my beliefs are true or not.

It seems we've gone full circle and you're claiming faith is a justification. Well then the main post is quite relevant. You can claim that it is more virtuous to accept what is more likely to be false over what is less likely to be wrong. But, you should understand that I personally object to doing so myself, and my objection arises from caring whether my beliefs are true or not.

Tatarize said...

11:1 Ἕστιν δὲ πίστις ἐλπιζομένων ὑπόστασις πραγμάτων ἔλεγχος οὐ βλεπομένων

Says the same thing in Greek. I'm fine with any proper translation in any language. Any proper translation supports my position. Faith is used as the justification of beliefs in things not seen. That's what I reject.

And I apologize for using "you" as I do. I'm using as a 2nd person pronoun. "You (plural, indirect) can use a wrench to remove a nut." Doesn't mean, 'you' (personally). It's used interchangably with 'one'. "One can use a wrench to remove a nut." - Whereas "You are wrong about that." isn't interchangable with "One are wrong about that." It's a rather special case. There's very clear differences between you (direct, sigular) and you (indirect, plural). You are misunderstanding.

It's become rather clear to me that most of your objections to my statements are simply errors in translation.

Faith does mean what I claim it means. It's used as a justification for a belief, it is not a valid justification.

Good day.