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# The Essence Of Faith & Belief.

Author Topic:   The Essence Of Faith & Belief.
Stile
Member
Posts: 4042
Joined: 12-02-2004

 Message 31 of 189 (630965) 08-29-2011 4:15 PM Reply to: Message 29 by Dogmafood08-29-2011 4:01 PM

Re: The nature of gods
 It has always astounded me how child-like our gods are.

I like the progression of Gods as seen as a child's arguement:

God can smash you with one hand! (My Dad's the strongest!) - Greek/Roman gods
God can destroy entire worlds! (My Dad's stronger than yours!) - OT Christian god
God is omnipotent! (My Dad's the best times infinite + one!) - NT Christian god

...it just seems so... mundane-ly developed.
The progression is made just in order to "be better than the other guy" and not made with any thought in mind to the consequences of such claims. Consequences such as... omnipotent gods just plain don't exist or they are laughably unworthy of being acknowledged.

 This message is a reply to: Message 29 by Dogmafood, posted 08-29-2011 4:01 PM Dogmafood has acknowledged this reply

 Replies to this message: Message 34 by Larni, posted 08-29-2011 5:09 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

iano
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005

 Message 32 of 189 (630970) 08-29-2011 4:52 PM Reply to: Message 26 by Stile08-29-2011 3:11 PM

Re: This is not my idea.
Stile writes:

quote:
God doesn't have morals?

I wouldn't be supposing so. If you are light and if in you there is no darkness then evil you are incapable of. Moral agents can choose between good and evil.

-

quote:
How many innocent lives do you think should be tortuously ruined beyond imagination, just so you can freely choose chocolate ice-cream for dessert?

That's not a very good answer. I don't think it's possible to answer that question. And I think you know that.

-

quote:
Again, how many women would you allow to be raped so that you can have "free will of the highest order?"

That's best answered with a question. How many women would you deny the potential joys that come with freewill by clipping the wings of it?

-

quote:
The point is that the evil that exists in this world simply isn't worth the free-will that provides it.

If you think it is, please, let me know:

In order to think I have to have the freewill you don't think is worth it.

It's a kind of a non-question really. God has chosen to create us. He has chosen to place us in an environment which will provide us with the balanced conditions required in order that each make his own choice re: postion before God. Good and evil are utilised in that set up.

In order to decide whether that was good or not you'd have to blow the dust off the standard of good you measure things by (cue a 1000 debates of old). And since my standard is "what God finds good I find myself warming to.."

-

quote:
It's pretty obvious that the free-will available just doesn't balance with the amount of evil present.

As I say, I don't really think you can quantify that. It's truly impossible to measure. And truly impossible to wash the subjectivity off it even if you managed to tot it up.

It is the way it is, is about all that can be said.

 This message is a reply to: Message 26 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 3:11 PM Stile has responded

 Replies to this message: Message 35 by Dogmafood, posted 08-29-2011 5:11 PM iano has responded Message 50 by Stile, posted 08-30-2011 8:24 AM iano has responded

Larni
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Posts: 3999
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005

 Message 33 of 189 (630972) 08-29-2011 5:07 PM Reply to: Message 28 by jar08-29-2011 3:59 PM

Re: This is my idea.
If the evidence is sufficient to convince the individual then it is hardly faith.

My idea of faith is belief in something despite evidence to the contrary.

 This message is a reply to: Message 28 by jar, posted 08-29-2011 3:59 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

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Larni
Member
Posts: 3999
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005

 Message 34 of 189 (630973) 08-29-2011 5:09 PM Reply to: Message 31 by Stile08-29-2011 4:15 PM

Re: The nature of gods
In the world of RPGs we call that 'power creep'.

 This message is a reply to: Message 31 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 4:15 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 85 days)
Posts: 1815
Joined: 08-04-2010

 Message 35 of 189 (630974) 08-29-2011 5:11 PM Reply to: Message 32 by iano08-29-2011 4:52 PM

Re: This is not my idea.
What about all of the suffering that is caused by the conditions of the Universe that do not involve us or our freewill. I would not lay blame at god’s foot for the malfeasance of man but what of the sick child or the victims of nature?

Indeed, are we not all victims of nature with her limited resources, fierce competition and piss poor hygiene? Are these not the roots of ‘evil’ in man?

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iano
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005

 Message 36 of 189 (630982) 08-29-2011 5:41 PM Reply to: Message 33 by Larni08-29-2011 5:07 PM

Re: This is my idea.
 Larni writes:If the evidence is sufficient to convince the individual then it is hardly faith.My idea of faith is belief in something despite evidence to the contrary.

That's a Dawkinsian definition of faith (unsurprisingly).

The Bibles definition of faith is, as you would expect, the polar opposite of Dawkins.

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

Ho hum

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

 This message is a reply to: Message 33 by Larni, posted 08-29-2011 5:07 PM Larni has responded

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iano
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005

 Message 37 of 189 (630983) 08-29-2011 5:47 PM Reply to: Message 35 by Dogmafood08-29-2011 5:11 PM

Re: This is not my idea.
Dogmafood writes:

quote:
What about all of the suffering that is caused by the conditions of the Universe that do not involve us or our freewill. I would not lay blame at god’s foot for the malfeasance of man but what of the sick child or the victims of nature?

Like the good in man that counters his evil, nature too consists of a balance: the good in nature that provides for us and gives us much joy, is tempered and balanced by the contamination caused by mans evil.

Combined, the stage is set for our being exposed to a sense of heaven and a sense of hell. The question is set: which will we chose.

-

quote:
Indeed, are we not all victims of nature with her limited resources, fierce competition and piss poor hygiene? Are these not the roots of ‘evil’ in man?

I honestly don't think so. I know myself too well to blame it on something external to me. There are all kinds of sub-players in this game - but the chief villan when it comes to me is pride. My pride.

And when you track back to the root of the trouble in the world it's the same thing the world over.

 This message is a reply to: Message 35 by Dogmafood, posted 08-29-2011 5:11 PM Dogmafood has responded

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Phat
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Joined: 12-30-2003
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 Message 38 of 189 (630989) 08-29-2011 6:25 PM Reply to: Message 37 by iano08-29-2011 5:47 PM

Is It Worthwhile To Have Faith In Humanity?
 Dogmafood writes:Does it make any sense, at all, that an eternal creator would require a book to manifest itself in the world?

Especially considering that 95% of the world couldnt read when the book was first compiled. (Iano, you have yet to reply to my other post to you)

 Iano writes:...I know myself too well to blame it on something external to me. There are all kinds of sub-players in this game - but the chief villan when it comes to me is pride. My pride.And when you track back to the root of the trouble in the world it's the same thing the world over.
Which is a good argument in favor of Western Christianity and the Creation/Fall/Redemption paradigm.

Humans have had well over 2000 years to get it all right...yet we still show the seven deadly sins to each other on a constant basis.

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nwr
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Posts: 5792
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6

 Message 39 of 189 (630993) 08-29-2011 7:20 PM Reply to: Message 14 by iano08-29-2011 12:32 PM

Re: This is not my idea.
 Nobody seems to have a problem with an omnipotent God who is incapable of producing square circles.

A mathematician can have square circles any time that he wants, just by using the spaces $\fg_FFFFFF L^1$ or $\fg_FFFFFF L^\infty$

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

 This message is a reply to: Message 14 by iano, posted 08-29-2011 12:32 PM iano has acknowledged this reply

Larni
Member
Posts: 3999
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005

 Message 40 of 189 (631039) 08-30-2011 3:19 AM Reply to: Message 36 by iano08-29-2011 5:41 PM

Re: This is my idea.
 Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

As you say, evidence. There is always some evidence to convince the person. Faith cannot exist without evidence.

Basically the faithful say "x means y", never change their position and when asked why they never change their position they say "I have faith that x equals y".

It's like the faithful person's brain become feature locked.

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iano
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005

 Message 41 of 189 (631044) 08-30-2011 3:47 AM Reply to: Message 40 by Larni08-30-2011 3:19 AM

Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes:

quote:
As you say, evidence. There is always some evidence to convince the person. Faith cannot exist without evidence.

and

quote:
My idea of faith is belief in something despite evidence to the contrary.

It could be that the evidence which undergirds the faith exceeds the evidence that exists to the contrary. It would explain why..

quote:
Basically the faithful say "x means y", never change their position and when asked why they never change their position they say "I have faith that x equals y".

It's like the faithful person's brain become feature locked.

(where 'feature locked' is the only thing to do when you've found that evidence in direction A exceeds evidence in direction B.)

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iano
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005

 Message 42 of 189 (631045) 08-30-2011 3:53 AM Reply to: Message 38 by Phat08-29-2011 6:25 PM

Re: Is It Worthwhile To Have Faith In Humanity?
Phat writes:

quote:
Which is a good argument in favor of Western Christianity and the Creation/Fall/Redemption paradigm.

Humans have had well over 2000 years to get it all right...yet we still show the seven deadly sins to each other on a constant basis.

I dunno. Survival of the fittest (a.k.a what is fit survives) explains it equally well.

 This message is a reply to: Message 38 by Phat, posted 08-29-2011 6:25 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Larni
Member
Posts: 3999
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005

 Message 43 of 189 (631047) 08-30-2011 4:17 AM Reply to: Message 41 by iano08-30-2011 3:47 AM

Re: This is my idea.
But 'feature locked' means that further evidence is ignored because the actor has faith that even if the new evidence is persuasive it will be wrong.

To paraphrase your good self "what I believe is true because I know it is". This blinding to new contradictory evidence is the very essence of faith.

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iano
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005

 Message 44 of 189 (631049) 08-30-2011 4:31 AM Reply to: Message 21 by Phat08-29-2011 1:33 PM

Re: Human Beliefs regarding Gods Plan
Phat writes

quote:
Faith & Belief often involve a belief in God. Some would argue that the uninitiated only know about God, much like a philosophical construct of the human mind, whereas initiates (those saved and/or born again) actually have a personal relationship with (internal communion, if you will) with the Creator of the universe.

Western Christianity seemed to lean towards a Creation/Fall/Redemption paradigm.

Eastern Christianity placed less significance on a Fall, and had more of a Creation/Awareness/Decision paradigm.

A Western Christian such as yourself may argue that humans are incapable of the ability to even decide proper behavior without a Redeemer. (or the action/decision of redemption.)

Eastern Christians may argue that humans are now aware and have the decision to accept the responsibility of a life dedicated to serving others.

It would seem I fall into neither camp. I believe the creation/fall/redemption paradigm and believe we are possession of awareness sufficient* to make a decision w.r.t. God. I don't see a conflict between redemption offered and our choosing in regard to it.

*The awareness isn't a direct awareness of God. Rather, it is a veiled awareness involving our knowledge of good and evil, our sense of significance, our recoiling from death, our desiring the good even when immersing ourselves in evil, etc.

-

quote:
I have a question for you, Ian. Were God taken out of the equation, what would people even have as far as Belief goes? Whom would we believe in?> Ourselves? Humanity? Would it work?

In what sense is he being taken out of the equation? Actually taken out > would mean there are no people. Taken out (in the sense that atheists take him out) > would mean people believe the kind of things atheists believe.

I'm not sure I've grasped the question.

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iano
Member (Idle past 932 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005

 Message 45 of 189 (631052) 08-30-2011 4:37 AM Reply to: Message 43 by Larni08-30-2011 4:17 AM

Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes

quote:
But 'feature locked' means that further evidence is ignored because the actor has faith that even if the new evidence is persuasive it will be wrong.

To paraphrase your good self "what I believe is true because I know it is". This blinding to new contradictory evidence is the very essence of faith.

No harm. Arrival at any truth necessarily means the train pulling in at the terminus. One might step out of the train and investigate the lay of the land but to suggest that there are no terminus' and that the journey is necessarily perpetual is to deny the existence of truth.

Which is faith position.

You could visualise it as reaching escape velocity and leaving the gravitational pull of earth behind you. Future evidence of the gravitational kind have no relevance. You'd have entered a different orbit where the old evidences don't apply any more. That said, you do know that I permit that I could be a brain in a jar and that all my knowing is but the probing of a mad scientist.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

 This message is a reply to: Message 43 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 4:17 AM Larni has responded

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