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Author Topic:   Faith by Definition
Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 149 (251383)
10-13-2005 6:12 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Thugpreacha
10-13-2005 1:49 AM


I'm glad you bumped this.

If faith is defined as "belief, in spite of the evidence", and God demands faith, then what does that mean for the Christians who state that they came to or maintain their beliefs because they have found naturalistic explanations of the world unconvincing?


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12414
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 17 of 149 (251417)
10-13-2005 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Funkaloyd
10-13-2005 6:12 AM


What does it mean?
It means that they are on a wobbly chair. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things notseen.

It is not an excuse to ignore things that are plainly seen. IMHO.


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 149 (251445)
10-13-2005 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Funkaloyd
10-13-2005 6:12 AM


If faith is defined as "belief, in spite of the evidence"

Anyone having faith in this sense could be categorized as insane. People have faith because they think, however erroneously, that they have good reasons for their "faith."


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mikehager
Member (Idle past 4631 days)
Posts: 534
Joined: 09-02-2004


Message 19 of 149 (251446)
10-13-2005 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


I like this definition...
To quote Mark Twain, "faith is believing what you know ain't so."
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 20 of 149 (251478)
10-13-2005 2:27 PM


Have we misunderstood what is faith?
This thread got me thinking.

We have a word "faithful" which is surely related to "faith".

Suppose my friend and I had started on a project. Unfortunately my friend died. By continuing with that project, I would be faithful to my friend. It does not require that I believe he is alive or in heaven. My faithfulness would be in my continued work on that project we started together.

Could it be that we have the meaning of "faith" wrong? Maybe to have faith in Sherlock Holmes, is to follow his principles of evidence, and it doesn't matter that he was a fictional character. Maybe we could have faith in the invisible pink unicorn, if only the IPU had left us some principle to follow.

Could it be that there is more faith among scientists in their principled investigation of the nature of the world, than there is among those who blindly believe in the literal truth of some ancient stories?


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Ben!
Member (Idle past 1786 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 21 of 149 (251523)
10-13-2005 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by nwr
10-13-2005 2:27 PM


Re: Have we misunderstood what is faith?
Hey nwr,

With all due respect... what you're saying seems totally backwards to me. You can't be wrong about faith. Faith is a behavior, an internal state, a reality.

Maybe you can ask if we're using the word "faith" to mean something that doesn't fit with previous or alternate definitions. But to say that we misunderstand faith itself... that has nothing to do with words, but rather how we conceptualize what it is we do.

Are you suggesting that faith, in the manner described here, doesn't exist? Or are you just suggesting that the label we have applied to an existing behavior or concept is the wrong one?

Maybe you're trying to be poetic or artistic, and I'm totally missing it. But ...

Ben


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 22 of 149 (251528)
10-13-2005 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Ben!
10-13-2005 5:55 PM


Re: Have we misunderstood what is faith?
Are you suggesting that faith, in the manner described here, doesn't exist?

I'm wondering whether the usage of the word has changed over time, and hoping that someone more familiar with the languages and culture of the time can tell us what it meant to the early Christians.
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 149 (251579)
10-13-2005 8:43 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by nwr
10-13-2005 6:10 PM


Re: Have we misunderstood what is faith?
I'm wondering whether the usage of the word has changed over time

In my reading of older texts, I have sometimes gotten the impression that "faith" did not mean a belief in God's existence (which was considered self-evident) but a belief in God's mercy. Technically, in the RCC, I think this particular belief is called "hope," (as in faith, hope, and charity)but I think the word faith was often used in its stead.

But I have no examples from texts at the moment to illustrate this.


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Hawkins
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 150
From: Hong Kong
Joined: 08-25-2005


Message 24 of 149 (251949)
10-15-2005 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by robinrohan
10-13-2005 8:43 PM


Re: Have we misunderstood what is faith?
To me, "believe" is about what's in your mind, "faith" is about what's in your soul.
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 149 (251991)
10-15-2005 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Hawkins
10-15-2005 10:36 AM


Re: Have we misunderstood what is faith?
To me, "believe" is about what's in your mind, "faith" is about what's in your soul.

I make no distinction between mind and soul.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 149 (252099)
10-16-2005 3:50 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by mikehager
10-13-2005 12:43 PM


Re: I like this definition...
mikehager writes:

To quote Mark Twain, "faith is believing what you know ain't so."

FAITH, n.
Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.


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Hawkins
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 150
From: Hong Kong
Joined: 08-25-2005


Message 27 of 149 (252281)
10-16-2005 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by robinrohan
10-15-2005 2:05 PM


Re: Have we misunderstood what is faith?
quote:

I make no distinction between mind and soul.

No surprise, that should be the case within your life time. :P


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12414
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 28 of 149 (285408)
02-10-2006 2:58 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by nwr
10-13-2005 2:27 PM


Re: Have we misunderstood what is faith?
nwr writes:

This thread got me thinking.
We have a word "faithful" which is surely related to "faith".

Suppose my friend and I had started on a project. Unfortunately my friend died. By continuing with that project, I would be faithful to my friend. It does not require that I believe he is alive or in heaven. My faithfulness would be in my continued work on that project we started together.

Could it be that we have the meaning of "faith" wrong? Maybe to have faith in Sherlock Holmes, is to follow his principles of evidence, and it doesn't matter that he was a fictional character. Maybe we could have faith in the invisible pink unicorn, if only the IPU had left us some principle to follow.

Could it be that there is more faith among scientists in their principled investigation of the nature of the world, than there is among those who blindly believe in the literal truth of some ancient stories?

Good point, NWR...but I'm quite certain that my Faith is strong! I would agree, however, that many empiricists are more tenacious than the majority of religious folk.


Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil. --Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

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iano
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 29 of 149 (285634)
02-10-2006 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


I suppose I see it in the following way.

Faith can be pictured as a highway between myself and God. God establishes that highway. And what he sends down that highway is belief in him, forgiveness etc. Or should I say, the ability to believe in who he is and what he says and to know I am forgiven. It is also the means by which I communicate with him. It is less that I have faith or belief in God and more that I know he exists because I have 'seen' him establish this highway and have experience of receiving goods sent along it. But whilst the flow of goods in either direction can wane (or seem to) and the highway itself doesn't appear to be as clear as it could be, my knowing doesn't alter.

Once I know, I know forever. Like knowing 1+1=2 no matter what happens. Which is why I am always curious about people who say they have lost their faith. That may happen but can that mean losing your knowledge of Gods existance? How can one know God exists then unknow it?

Maybe I am fortunate in that the evidence was so compelling that I can think of nothing short of mind meltdown which would alter that fact. Bring on the lions...

{abe}

So what I understand by 'strong faith/belief' is that the personal relationship (for that is what it is ultimately about) between a person and God is running on all cylinders. And vice versa

This message has been edited by iano, 11-Feb-2006 12:33 AM


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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 30 of 149 (285761)
02-10-2006 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


Faith was
Faith was how I first approached Jesus. I accepted him by faith.

But after I felt what I belive to be the Holy Spirit, I feel I now believe in Jesus, and have faith that God will do what he promised.

quote:

Acts 1
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Says there after experiencing the Holy Spirit you will be a witness. Sounds like a step beyond faith to me, and that is what it feels like to me.

Good subject Phat!


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