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Author Topic:   What to believe, crisis of faith
Aztraph
Member (Idle past 4338 days)
Posts: 53
From: Seymour, Indiana, United States
Joined: 07-25-2005


Message 1 of 302 (243547)
09-14-2005 9:35 PM


How does one know what to believe/trust/put their Faith in? Science or the Bible?
I am familiar with both and discovered that I have a have a problem deciding what to believe in. I grew up in a Christian home and I do believe in God (whether or not that is the same God as the mainstream Christianity, I do not know); it wasn't till I got to college that I started learning things about mainstream Christianity that made me question a few things.
I have trouble believing that the Bible is the Word of God; it was inspired by God for certain, but taken down, written and translated by man. Man is fallible, man is corrupt, and man has a tendency, in all things, to serve their own interests.

So how can I trust the Bible? I have also studied the history of the Bible, when the pope of the Roman Catholic Church decided that all the Roman Catholics were now Christians and had to find new reasons for celebrating the holidays already in place. The winter celebration (forgive my lack of spelling this) saturnalia (?) became Christmas. The giving of gifts merely a ploy to boost a subdued winter economy.

Easter, there is a good one; they didn't even change the name! Easter is the name of the pagan god of fertility, the rabbit and eggs too. What better holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Now for the real kicker, I have spent the last decade a student of science theory, formulating ideas and classifying myself as a real free thinker (just not a real good speller). But a few days ago I realized that I was basing most of my ideas on other peoples work, and I fall back into the trap of questioning motives if not reliability. How can I believe in something created by man? Oh I'm sure there’s a lot of evidence, but the interpretation of that evidence, even basic observations, gets skewed. I can't trust what others have observed (and I don't know the math well enough to go and get my own.

Is there a solution to this quandary? I believe in God and I believe in science, but I can't put my faith in any one of them because of mans influence. Sometimes I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland when faced with 2 doors, one that could not tell a truth and the other that could not tell a lie.

What’s the right question to ask?

spellcheck by PB

This message has been edited by AdminPhat, 09-15-2005 06:35 AM


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 09-14-2005 9:50 PM Aztraph has responded
 Message 6 by nwr, posted 09-14-2005 10:33 PM Aztraph has responded
 Message 12 by arachnophilia, posted 09-15-2005 12:46 AM Aztraph has not yet responded
 Message 13 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-15-2005 1:40 AM Aztraph has not yet responded
 Message 16 by TheLiteralist, posted 09-15-2005 2:00 AM Aztraph has responded
 Message 17 by TheLiteralist, posted 09-15-2005 2:05 AM Aztraph has responded
 Message 21 by iano, posted 09-15-2005 7:22 AM Aztraph has responded
 Message 23 by PaulK, posted 09-15-2005 8:25 AM Aztraph has responded
 Message 24 by Thugpreacha, posted 09-15-2005 8:47 AM Aztraph has responded
 Message 32 by purpledawn, posted 09-15-2005 9:42 AM Aztraph has responded
 Message 38 by Rahvin, posted 09-15-2005 1:01 PM Aztraph has responded
 Message 65 by Ben!, posted 09-16-2005 12:14 AM Aztraph has responded
 Message 294 by Damaris, posted 10-01-2005 2:33 AM Aztraph has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 302 (243553)
09-14-2005 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 9:35 PM


How do you know what to believe/trust/put your Faith in?

There's your problem right there. You need to get out of this mindset that you need to have "faith" in something.

Whats the right question to ask?

"What's the best way for me to arrive at accurate conclusions about the world around me?"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 9:35 PM Aztraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 9:54 PM crashfrog has responded

Aztraph
Member (Idle past 4338 days)
Posts: 53
From: Seymour, Indiana, United States
Joined: 07-25-2005


Message 3 of 302 (243555)
09-14-2005 9:54 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by crashfrog
09-14-2005 9:50 PM


[There's your problem right there. You need to get out of this mindset that you need to have "faith" in something.]

Could you elaborate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 09-14-2005 9:50 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by crashfrog, posted 09-14-2005 10:09 PM Aztraph has responded
 Message 26 by Thugpreacha, posted 09-15-2005 9:00 AM Aztraph has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 302 (243564)
09-14-2005 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 9:54 PM


Could you elaborate?

Faith is a trap that religion springs on you. Religion tries to convince you that it's better to make up a belief and hold it with perfect certainty than to develop tentative, evolving conclusions based on what information you can gather about the world around you.

Science cannot deliver anything but tentative conclusions. The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not that's going to be good enough for you. If believing in an absolute truth and not having any doubt whatsoever is what you want then stick with religion.

On the other hand, if you'd rather be mostly right, and getting righter, than eternally and unchanginly wrong, then that's what science has to offer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 9:54 PM Aztraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 10:22 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 14 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-15-2005 1:49 AM crashfrog has responded

Aztraph
Member (Idle past 4338 days)
Posts: 53
From: Seymour, Indiana, United States
Joined: 07-25-2005


Message 5 of 302 (243567)
09-14-2005 10:22 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
09-14-2005 10:09 PM


On the other hand, if you'd rather be mostly right, and getting righter, than eternally and unchanginly wrong, then that's what science has to offer.

I think what I really want to know is the truth, and know it's right. Whatever that might be.

But does it exhists?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by crashfrog, posted 09-14-2005 10:09 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by crashfrog, posted 09-14-2005 10:55 PM Aztraph has responded
 Message 42 by Silent H, posted 09-15-2005 6:30 PM Aztraph has not yet responded

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


Message 6 of 302 (243572)
09-14-2005 10:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 9:35 PM


Now for the real kicker, I have spent the last decade a student of science theory, formulating ideas and classifying my self as a real free thinker (just not a real good speller). But a few days ago I realized that i was basing most of my ideas on other peoples work, and I fall back into the trap of questioning motives if not reliability. How can I believe in something created by man?

Here's the thing. Scientists are, by nature, skeptical. So there is nothing wrong with being skeptical of science.

As a practical matter, you cannot go out and do all of the experiments yourself. But there are lots of things you can check. For example, you travel by automobile, airplane, etc. That should give you a lot of confidence that the science behind these forms of travel is sound.

Where you cannot get supporting evidence yourself, you can look around for alternative sources of information. One scientist might be mistaken. Maybe two or three to could get together and conspire to fake some data. But when there are thousands of researchers working independently -- you can't have a conspiracy that large without being found out.

And you can even remain a Christian. There are many Christian scientists. You have already recognized that the Bible was written by men, even if inspired. They were writing based on the understanding of the world from ancient times. With that in mind, you can reach an understanding of the Bible that is consistent with science.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 9:35 PM Aztraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 11:15 PM nwr has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 302 (243579)
09-14-2005 10:55 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 10:22 PM


I think what I really want to know is the truth, and know it's right. Whatever that might be.

I'm not familiar with an epistomology that will allow that to be the case. How can you be sure that you're not in the Matrix, or just a brain in a jar recieving fake input, or even in a world of your own creation controlled by your own godlike powers?

The best you get from empiricism is an accurate but tentative model of the universe that appears to be around you. The best you get from religion and other epistomologies of the same sort - divine revelation, dreams, drug-induced hallucinations - is indistinguishable from fiction, but you can choose to believe in it absolutely.

You'd like the best of both worlds, I understand that - absolute belief in what is absolutely verifiable. The reason you're in the quandary you are is because there's no way to get that. It sucks but its true.

So you have your choice. Which do you prefer? Tentative rightness, or absolute belief in what cannot be verified? Heck, you can even pick and choose. Take scientific evidence for what you believe can be verified and absolute faith in what you believe cannot. Plenty of people do it that way, too. I don't, personally.

This message has been edited by crashfrog, 09-14-2005 10:56 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 10:22 PM Aztraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 11:41 PM crashfrog has responded

Aztraph
Member (Idle past 4338 days)
Posts: 53
From: Seymour, Indiana, United States
Joined: 07-25-2005


Message 8 of 302 (243593)
09-14-2005 11:15 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by nwr
09-14-2005 10:33 PM


But there are lots of things you can check. For example, you travel by automobile, airplane, etc. That should give you a lot of confidence that the science behind these forms of travel is sound.

- True, but my consernes do not include the internal combustion
- engine. And they are constantly improving these mods of transit, the
- current being more sound than it's predicessor.

Where you cannot get supporting evidence yourself, you can look around for alternative sources of information. One scientist might be mistaken. Maybe two or three to could get together and conspire to fake some data. But when there are thousands of researchers working independently -- you can't have a conspiracy that large without being found out.

- But a thousand different researchers could have a thousand
- different results, all based on one assumption and all
- conflicting with the others theories

And you can even remain a Christian. There are many Christian scientists. You have already recognized that the Bible was written by men, even if inspired. They were writing based on the understanding of the world from ancient times. With that in mind, you can reach an understanding of the Bible that is consistent with science.

- ok, i'll buy that one(to prove my point) because i personally
- like that very much, but i don't currently have one. but i can
- imagine that it would be harder to find than a solution to the
- quantum gravity solution of the GUT theories


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by nwr, posted 09-14-2005 10:33 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by nwr, posted 09-14-2005 11:24 PM Aztraph has responded

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


Message 9 of 302 (243594)
09-14-2005 11:24 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 11:15 PM


- But a thousand different researchers could have a thousand
- different results, all based on one assumption and all
- conflicting with the others theories

But that isn't what happens. Science seems to get good consistent answers, and where mistakes are made, they are corrected with further research.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 11:15 PM Aztraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 11:38 PM nwr has not yet responded

Aztraph
Member (Idle past 4338 days)
Posts: 53
From: Seymour, Indiana, United States
Joined: 07-25-2005


Message 10 of 302 (243598)
09-14-2005 11:38 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by nwr
09-14-2005 11:24 PM


But that isn't what happens. Science seems to get good consistent answers, and where mistakes are made, they are corrected with further research.

That is a VERY good point. Thankyou, i stand corrected.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by nwr, posted 09-14-2005 11:24 PM nwr has not yet responded

  
Aztraph
Member (Idle past 4338 days)
Posts: 53
From: Seymour, Indiana, United States
Joined: 07-25-2005


Message 11 of 302 (243599)
09-14-2005 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by crashfrog
09-14-2005 10:55 PM


So you have your choice. Which do you prefer? Tentative rightness, or absolute belief in what cannot be verified? Heck, you can even pick and choose. Take scientific evidence for what you believe can be verified and absolute faith in what you believe cannot. Plenty of people do it that way, too. I don't, personally.

Very clarifying, i appreciate that. i guess i've gotten tired of thinking so hard on the problem, this gives me a little perspective. I'm curious, where do you stand on the EvC thing? whats your take?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by crashfrog, posted 09-14-2005 10:55 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-15-2005 1:54 AM Aztraph has not yet responded
 Message 20 by crashfrog, posted 09-15-2005 7:21 AM Aztraph has not yet responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 118 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 12 of 302 (243639)
09-15-2005 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 9:35 PM


education does this.

keep a few things in mind:

believing in god does not require believing in the bible at all, let alone as the literal word of god. faith should be independent of books, imho.

god and science are not totally incompatible -- they're just different realms. it is totally possible that there is something supernatural even if science is 100% right about everything. science deals with the natural -- the how. religion deals with the supernatural -- the why.

the bible can be a really interesting book if you stop believing in it and just try to understand it. and science can speak a lot better about the majesty of god's creation if you understand one and believe in the other.

so you're not faced with two doors -- you're really faced with a whole lot. there are really any number of acceptable compromises, as well as entirely separate belief systems.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 9:35 PM Aztraph has not yet responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 302 (243649)
09-15-2005 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 9:35 PM


Reply from a similarity

How do you know what to believe/trust/put your Faith in?

We seem similiar. I went to 12 years of Catholic school before goin to a public college and diving deep into science. I immediately lost my faith, even considered atheism, but then I realized there was something about my life that science couldn't explain. This is when I turned back to the teachings of Jesus, which most of faith is based on. It seemed to me that Jesus had a very good explanation for the things that I was qustioning and I turned back towards Catholicism. Basically, I believe Jesus.

So how can i trust the Bible?

Personally, all those jewish stories of the old testament don't make a lot of sense to me. The teachings of Jesus do. The assumption I'm making is that what the bible says Jesus said is what he did say, even though its been overly translated, the message itself is righteous.

How can I believe in something created by man?

Well, scientifically speaking, it doesn't matter if our observations are absolutely true, it matters that the same observation can be repeaed. This is all we can absolutely know, is what we can replicate, otherwise it doesn't matter. You can have the absolutely truthful observation that the lock ness monster exists, but unless science can repeat the observation, it will assume that it does not exist.
I can't trust what others have observed

I don't belive this, I think you can. Have you actually crossed the Pacific Ocean to see that there's other continents over there? Or do you trust what others have observed? (might be a poor analology) my point is that you can trust many of the observations that others have seen. Understand?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 9:35 PM Aztraph has not yet responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 302 (243650)
09-15-2005 1:49 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
09-14-2005 10:09 PM


Religion tries to convince you that it's better to make up a belief and hold it with perfect certainty than to develop tentative, evolving conclusions based on what information you can gather about the world around you.

CF, you sound like a creationist explaining evolution, but visa versa.

Science cannot deliver anything but tentative conclusions. The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not that's going to be good enough for you.

Thats good enough for me.

If believing in an absolute truth and not having any doubt whatsoever is what you want then stick with religion.

Cmon now...."not having any doubt whatsoever"? Thats bullshit.

Is this still the new Crashfrog, or the old one?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by crashfrog, posted 09-14-2005 10:09 PM crashfrog has responded

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 Message 22 by crashfrog, posted 09-15-2005 7:24 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 302 (243652)
09-15-2005 1:54 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Aztraph
09-14-2005 11:41 PM


I'm curious, where do you stand on the EvC thing? whats your take?

To speak for CF, he's a secular humanist (click)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Aztraph, posted 09-14-2005 11:41 PM Aztraph has not yet responded

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