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Author Topic:   Degrees of Faith?
Phat
Member
Posts: 18388
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 31 of 86 (377607)
01-17-2007 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by JustinC
01-17-2007 4:32 PM


Re: Prediction a means to the Truth?
JustinC writes:
I think one of the things scientists believe that may be considered a form of "faith," or atleast the most likely candidate, is their belief that if a model is predictably accurate, then that supports the models authenticity.
I still don't see how science and faith can be synthesized.
The sciptures say that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This to me means that it was never intended for Jesus to be a provable archaeological dig. It was never meant for the holy Spirit to be measured on some type of machine out of GhostBusters! It was never meant that science be the yardstick for every single aspect of human reasoning, soulfulness, and identity.
Our identity is better found in the realm of faith than as a simple chemical equation. Degrees of faith? A degree would imply a measurable amount. Faith either is or is not. There are no degrees.

Convictions are very different from intentions. Convictions are something God gives us that we have to do. Intentions are things that we ought to do, but we never follow through with them.
* * * * * * * * * *

"Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system. I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance."-
--Sir Isaac Newton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by JustinC, posted 01-17-2007 4:32 PM JustinC has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by JustinC, posted 01-17-2007 5:04 PM Phat has not replied

  
JustinC
Member (Idle past 4920 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 32 of 86 (377614)
01-17-2007 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Phat
01-17-2007 4:44 PM


Re: Prediction a means to the Truth?
quote:
The sciptures say that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This to me means that it was never intended for Jesus to be a provable archaeological dig. It was never meant for the holy Spirit to be measured on some type of machine out of GhostBusters! It was never meant that science be the yardstick for every single aspect of human reasoning, soulfulness, and identity.
I think this is kindof besides the point. I'm not saying that what science tells us is all there is to know about the world, but I'd say it is all we can know about the world. (Or, more technically, all we can approximate about the truth of the world).
You may believe anything else you want to about the world, but there is no way to know whether what you believe in an accurate. It would be, therefore, faith. Maybe true, maybe not, but ultimately unknowable. This must be the case when you get conflicting accounts of the world based on "faith," unless you doubt the veracity or truthfulness of those who ascribe to a different faithful interpretation of the world than yourself.
quote:
Our identity is better found in the realm of faith than as a simple chemical equation. Degrees of faith? A degree would imply a measurable amount. Faith either is or is not. There are no degrees.
I'm not sure what to say. Do you agree with the argument presented in the opening?
"It is true that I may have faith in the Bible (God, church, etc.), but everyone has to have faith in something. For instance, you have faith in the scientific method (or empiricism, tentative knowledge, etc.). So pointing out that I have faith is not a criticism, since you are guilty of the same crime"
Are you saying, "I don't think scientists are guilty of the same "crime," i.e., faith, but saying I have faith is not a criticism because it is another means to the truth."
Our identity is better found in the realm of faith than as a simple chemical equation. Degrees of faith? A degree would imply a measurable amount. Faith either is or is not. There are no degrees.

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 3534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 33 of 86 (377657)
01-17-2007 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Kader
01-17-2007 10:38 AM


Re: But Is It Always Right?
quote:
I think that the main point is that science is by far the most accurate system we have.
So when Science and faith collide, usually, it is science that prevail.
But that's not the point of this thread and I'm not saying that it isn't.
See Message 1:
By that definition, is belief in the scientific methods ability to elucidate the truth considered a form of faith? If not, why?
If it is, is it a more "reasonable" faith. Can faith be categorized in degrees of reasonableness? For instance, is a faith in Santa Clause less reasonable than a belief in a creator? Is a faith that our perceptions give us a more or less accurate picture of the world a more reasonable type of faith than a belief in a creator?

"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz

This message is a reply to:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 3534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 34 of 86 (377668)
01-17-2007 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Omnivorous
01-17-2007 3:45 PM


Re: But Is It Always Right?
quote:
Faith, in particular, explicitly rejects systematic, independent review and correction.
No, faith per the definition does not. Since there are people of faith who are scientists, that isn't a completely true statement. Specific beliefs systems may, but faith in general doesn't.
quote:
I'd say that we have confidence that scientific methodology is the approach most likely to yield useful approximations.
That's faith.
quote:
And I don't see how one could consider the current outlook on science in the U.S. and conclude that the average person has unquestioning "faith" in science; indeed, there seems to be a greal deal of skepticism.
I didn't say unquestioning and neither did the OP. The medical realm is starting to lose its shine, but I think money and politics have caused most of that problem.
quote:
The essence of faith, in contrast, is static, unchanged from the tribal time of animal sacrifice and public stonings.
No it isn't. A belief system may be and someone who has faith in that belief system maybe, but the essence of faith isn't. Even the meaning of the word has changed from ancient times. Faith-Belief
The theological usage has only been around since the 1300's. So how can the essence of "faith" be static, unchanged etc., when the meaning we are using in this discussion supposedly wasn't how the word was used in those times?
quote:
A hometown fan may have faith that their team (which is 0 and 30 again this year) will win their final game; the rational observer who notes that their opponent is 30 and 0 will reach the contrary conclusion, and it is absurd to call both perspectives "faith."
The one fan had faith in his team, the other one didn't use the scientific method so I don't see your point. He made an observation, but didn't run any experiments for others to replicate.
quote:
I'd also suggest that this is not an unreasonable position: the track record of the scientific method justifies a greater confidence in its results than the results of religious dogma, folklore, or other mystification.
Agreed, I'm not saying it is unreasonable. Faith doesn't have to be unreasonable.
quote:
The average person is capable of reasonable conclusions about scientific hypotheses: when need awakens the will, reason rises to the challenge. Most people are persuaded by a powerful track record to rely on a general scientific consensus, an outlook that is neither conditioned nor faithful but rather experienced and confident.
It is still faith. People can find a powerful track record in religion also. Obviously not for understanding the natural world, but for spiritual needs. My observations concerning the average person are obviously different.
Sure we're conditioned to trust science. When the need awakens what do they look at? Scientific data. We've grown up with it. Why do you think the media touts scientific studies to promote something. We have faith in science.

"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Omnivorous, posted 01-17-2007 3:45 PM Omnivorous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Omnivorous, posted 01-17-2007 10:37 PM purpledawn has replied
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nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 35 of 86 (377673)
01-17-2007 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by purpledawn
01-16-2007 11:48 AM


Re: But Is It Always Right?
quote:
Agreed, but the method is only as good as the observation. If the observation is flawed or limited, then the answer will be flawed or limited.
All human knowledge has always been, and will always be, flawed and limited.
The point is, methodological naturalism allows for flaws to be corrected, and limitations to be reduced, although we will never have perfect knowledge, since humans are not omnicient.
I fail to understand how this is important, however.
quote:
So scientists still have faith in the system even though it allows for wrong answers.
I'd say that scientists "trust in the reliability" of the scientific method, to be more accurate.
If you want to use "faith" as shorthand for "trust in the reliability of", fine, but I think that muddies the waters when comparing that to religious "faith".
quote:
IMO, the average person has become conditioned to accept that scientists find the right answers. That's why people get distressed when scientists in the media contradict each other. (The same way people get distressed when preachers contradict each other.) The average person usually doesn't have the means to determine who is right.
That's rather true in the United States, but rather less true in other countries where people are taught to think better and receive more science education.
Personally, I blame the Conservative politicians that made it fashionable to dislike and disparage academics and other educated "elites".
Indeed, you are joined by many, many people in this country in your decision to, in part in your case I gather, reject science in favor of non-science-based remedies and medicine. You believe, wrongly, that science has ruined our environment and our health. All in all, you have displayed a great deal of resistance to scientific thinking in the recent threads regarding healthcare.
You mistrust the FDA so much that you don't want any of the "natural" drugs or treatments or therapies to undergo the same scientific testing that all other drugs, treatments, or therapies undergo.
I'd say that you are pretty typical of the "average person" regarding their trust of science and scientists.
Edited by schrafinator, : No reason given.

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Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 4001
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 36 of 86 (377678)
01-17-2007 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by purpledawn
01-17-2007 9:33 PM


Re: But Is It Always Right?
quote:
Faith, in particular, explicitly rejects systematic, independent review and correction.
No, faith per the definition does not. Since there are people of faith who are scientists, that isn't a completely true statement. Specific beliefs systems may, but faith in general doesn't.
What definition of faith allows for independent review and correction? When does faith consider any verifiable/falsifiable evidence? We have been speaking of scientific methodology and religious faith: that some individuals can embrace both does not eliminate the bright line that delimits the two methods. Scientists who are also people of faith are not doing science if they approach their research with the mindset and methods of faith.
quote:
I'd say that we have confidence that scientific methodology is the approach most likely to yield useful approximations.
That's faith.
So you keep saying, without any logical or evidential support. When I believe something because "my heart tells me to" even though I can see or cite no evidence, that's faith; when I believe science yields true information about the world because planes fly and antibiotics work, that's confidence.
Science yields predictable results and offers the tools of verification/falsification to all. Faith offers acceptance or be damned.
quote:
And I don't see how one could consider the current outlook on science in the U.S. and conclude that the average person has unquestioning "faith" in science; indeed, there seems to be a greal deal of skepticism.
I didn't say unquestioning and neither did the OP. The medical realm is starting to lose its shine, but I think money and politics have caused most of that problem.
True, you said:
IMO, the average person has become conditioned to accept that scientists find the right answers.
My point stands--the conditioning seems of little efficacy. And I don't see modern medical science losing its shine--I see 45 million Americans desperate for access to it.
quote:
The essence of faith, in contrast, is static, unchanged from the tribal time of animal sacrifice and public stonings.
No it isn't. A belief system may be and someone who has faith in that belief system maybe, but the essence of faith isn't. Even the meaning of the word has changed from ancient times. Faith-Belief
The theological usage has only been around since the 1300's. So how can the essence of "faith" be static, unchanged etc., when the meaning we are using in this discussion supposedly wasn't how the word was used in those times?
My depiction of faith as static and unchanged focuses on the contrast between science and religious faith: no matter how many theologians you get to dance on their pens, faith denies the primacy of evidence and reason. In that regard, faith has remained unchanged since the first hapless victim was sacrificed to a god.
quote:
A hometown fan may have faith that their team (which is 0 and 30 again this year) will win their final game; the rational observer who notes that their opponent is 30 and 0 will reach the contrary conclusion, and it is absurd to call both perspectives "faith."
The one fan had faith in his team, the other one didn't use the scientific method so I don't see your point. He made an observation, but didn't run any experiments for others to replicate.
That's just silly, PD. The point was that one observer based his prediction on close observation of the world, and the track record of past performance; the other relied on his desire for things to turn out just so. No, the former wasn't doing formal science, but he was using evidence and reason, not faith, to make a more accurate prediction of the likely outcome.
quote:
I'd also suggest that this is not an unreasonable position: the track record of the scientific method justifies a greater confidence in its results than the results of religious dogma, folklore, or other mystification.
Agreed, I'm not saying it is unreasonable. Faith doesn't have to be unreasonable.
Faith is not rational. You can repeat your equivocation of faith and confidence all you like, but it will not change the fact that they differ. My grandson had faith that Santa would bring him a Blue Mater truck; I had confidence that I could get one somewhere in time for the holiday. Those are neither equivalent states of mind nor equally efficacious ways of garnering accurate info about the world.
quote:
The average person is capable of reasonable conclusions about scientific hypotheses: when need awakens the will, reason rises to the challenge. Most people are persuaded by a powerful track record to rely on a general scientific consensus, an outlook that is neither conditioned nor faithful but rather experienced and confident.
It is still faith. People can find a powerful track record in religion also. Obviously not for understanding the natural world, but for spiritual needs. My observations concerning the average person are obviously different.
No, PD, it still isn't. Yes, religion has a powerful track record of persuading people to believe the most amazing things without any evidence whatsoever. When I think my surgeon can successfully fuse my wrecked cervical spine and brace it with titanium, because he has done it successfully hundreds of times, that's confidence; when someone thinks the Amazing Nontouching Surgeon of the Philippines can removes tumors with passes of his hands, that's faith.
Sure we're conditioned to trust science. When the need awakens what do they look at? Scientific data. We've grown up with it. Why do you think the media touts scientific studies to promote something. We have faith in science.
What was the process of this conditioning? Since reinforcement is the essence of conditioning, tell me what rewards conditioned people to trust science? What punishments prevented their questioning of it? My reply, again (and again and again, as many times as you equivocate faith without evidence and confidence with evidence), is that we have been rewarded with the successes of science, with the material gains in quality of life, and those who reject the towering achievement of human intellect are punished with the consequences of their choice. Nothing more is necessary.
Edited by Omnivorous, : No reason given.
Edited by Omnivorous, : No reason given.
Edited by Omnivorous, : typos galore!

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at any time, madam, is all that distinguishes us from the other animals.
-Pierre De Beaumarchais (1732-1799)
Save lives! Click here!
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC!
---------------------------------------

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by purpledawn, posted 01-17-2007 9:33 PM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by purpledawn, posted 01-18-2007 9:22 AM Omnivorous has replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 37 of 86 (377681)
01-17-2007 10:47 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by purpledawn
01-17-2007 9:33 PM


Re: But Is It Always Right?
Faith, in particular, explicitly rejects systematic, independent review and correction.
quote:
No, faith per the definition does not.
Sure it does.
When the scientific method is applied to faith, faith will always lose.
Or, rather, science will always lose, since God is unfalsifiable.
There's no way to "prove" somebody's faith "false".
That is a rejection of correction.
quote:
Since there are people of faith who are scientists, that isn't a completely true statement.
LOL! But the people who are scientists who are also belivers don't apply the scientific method to their faith.
If they did, and accepted the outcome, they wouldn't have faith anymore.
I'd say that we have confidence that scientific methodology is the approach most likely to yield useful approximations.
quote:
That's faith.
I you want to call "trust based upon experience, but subject to revision if needed after testing" "faith" then fine.
If you think this is a problem, explain what the problem is.
If you want to call that "faith" (as in "religious faith", then it is a completely fickle "faith".
A hometown fan may have faith that their team (which is 0 and 30 again this year) will win their final game; the rational observer who notes that their opponent is 30 and 0 will reach the contrary conclusion, and it is absurd to call both perspectives "faith."
quote:
The one fan had faith in his team, the other one didn't use the scientific method so I don't see your point. He made an observation, but didn't run any experiments for others to replicate.
The point was, I think, that there are different kinds of faith.
And the second fan IS doing using basic science; he's making predictions about the natural world based upon evidence.

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 3534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 38 of 86 (377761)
01-18-2007 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Omnivorous
01-17-2007 10:37 PM


Faith With or Without Evidence
quote:
What definition of faith allows for independent review and correction? When does faith consider any verifiable/falsifiable evidence? We have been speaking of scientific methodology and religious faith:
No the OP, as I understand it, is talking about faith in something.
OP writes:
"It is true that I may have faith in the Bible (God, church, etc.), but everyone has to have faith in something. For instance, you have faith in the scientific method (or empiricism, tentative knowledge, etc.).
In Message 9 RAZD gave a nice list of the definitions of the word faith with the comment that the thread is discussing #2.
Not #4, #5, or #6.
faith -n.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.
Again I'm not saying it is all or nothing. Many people have faith in the scientific method because of evidence, others have faith in science because it is what they are used to. Most people don't even know what the scientific method entails. I didn't until I heard it on this site and looked it up.
The same with religion. Some people have faith in a religion due to evidence based on personal results, others have been raised in the religion and have faith because it is what they are used to.
People can also have faith in certain aspects of their religion and not have faith in other aspects, the same with science.
quote:
My depiction of faith as static and unchanged focuses on the contrast between science and religious faith: no matter how many theologians you get to dance on their pens, faith denies the primacy of evidence and reason. In that regard, faith has remained unchanged since the first hapless victim was sacrificed to a god.
I understand that which is why I said: No it isn't. A belief system may be and someone who has faith in that belief system maybe, but the essence of faith isn't. Even the meaning of the word has changed from ancient times.
The theological usage has only been around since the 1300's. So how can the essence of "faith" be static, unchanged etc., when the meaning we are using in this discussion supposedly wasn't how the word was used in those times?
So that you understand I am not and neither is the OP.
quote:
No, the former wasn't doing formal science, but he was using evidence and reason, not faith, to make a more accurate prediction of the likely outcome.
Actually the fan wasn't exercising faith as in definition #2 which is what the OP is dealing with, but with definition #3. So neither one really falls into this discussion. People have always used observation, evidence, and reason before the current scientific method evolved. You said in Message 5:
The essential difference is that the scientific method requires replicable evidence.
quote:
What was the process of this conditioning? Since reinforcement is the essence of conditioning, tell me what rewards conditioned people to trust science? What punishments prevented their questioning of it? My reply, again (and again and again, as many times as you equivocate faith without evidence and confidence with evidence), is that we have been rewarded with the successes of science, with the material gains in quality of life, and those who reject the towering achievement of human intellect are punished with the consequences of their choice. Nothing more is necessary.
You pretty much answered your own question. Again you have an all or nothing tone which is not what I'm saying. BTW, you don't have to have evidence to have confidence in something either.
Quality of life has gained in some areas, but lost in other areas. Technology has brought its own problems to our quality of life.
Those on the fringe who question mainstream science in whatever area aren't always greeted with open arms.
You also said in Message 5 that: Also, science requires the perpetually open mind, the willingness to examine and accept valid falsifying evidence.
Wright Brothers
After their Kitty Hawk success, The Wrights flew their machine in open fields next to a busy rail line in Dayton Ohio for almost an entire year. American authorities refused to come to the demos, and Scientific American Magazine published stories about "The Lying Brothers." Even the local Dayton newspapers never sent a reporter (but they did complain about all the letters they were receiving from local "crazies" who reported the many flights.) Finally the Wrights packed up and moved to Europe, where they caused an overnight sensation and sold aircraft contracts to France, Germany, Britain, etc.
Warren S. Warren
Warren and his team at Princeton tracked down a Magnetic Resonance anomaly and found a new facet to MRI theory: spin interactions between distant molecules, including deterministic Chaos effects. Colleagues knew he was wrong, and warned him that his crazy results were endangering his career. Princeton held a "roast", a mean-spirited bogus presentation mocking his work. Warren then began encountering funding cancellations. After approx. seven years, the tide of ridicule turned and Warren was vindicated. His discoveries are even leading to new MRI techniques. See: SCIENCE NEWS, Jan 20 2001, V159 N3, "spin Control" (cover story)
The scientific world is not always as open minded as some would believe.
Sometimes the consequences (depending on what you are rejecting) are being separated from the community or losing jobs. Survival is a very strong motivator.
quote:
Faith is not rational. You can repeat your equivocation of faith and confidence all you like, but it will not change the fact that they differ. My grandson had faith that Santa would bring him a Blue Mater truck; I had confidence that I could get one somewhere in time for the holiday. Those are neither equivalent states of mind nor equally efficacious ways of garnering accurate info about the world.
Interesting. You strengthened your grandson's belief in Santa unless, or course, you let him know the toy was from you. If the Mater truck was presented as a gift from Santa, then that confirms his belief. He will replicate asking Santa for a gift each year and if he receives that gift from "Santa" then it confirms his faith. He doesn't know he is working with false information. Once he learns that Santa is not the one bringing the gift his focus of faith will change. So his faith really is based on evidence. He just doesn't know that adults control what he observes.
The word faith as per the OP has nothing to do with acquiring information concerning the natural world neither does the word confidence. They are different ways of saying trust. Again, not talking about religion.
If you can't separate a Faith as in religion from having faith in something, then our discussion probably won't progress.

"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Omnivorous, posted 01-17-2007 10:37 PM Omnivorous has replied

Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 39 of 86 (377764)
01-18-2007 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by purpledawn
01-18-2007 9:22 AM


Re: Faith With or Without Evidence
quote:
If you can't separate a Faith as in religion from having faith in something, then our discussion probably won't progress.
How ironic.
You've been consistently equivocating on the different definitions of the word "faith" in your posts in this thread, and yet here you are, telling Omni that HE can't separate them!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by purpledawn, posted 01-18-2007 9:22 AM purpledawn has not replied

  
Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 4001
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 40 of 86 (377848)
01-18-2007 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by purpledawn
01-18-2007 9:22 AM


Re: Faith With or Without Evidence
If you can't separate a Faith as in religion from having faith in something, then our discussion probably won't progress.
Heh.
I am content with our exchanges as they stand. I invite any interested parties to make their own determinations on the question of equivocation.

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at any time, madam, is all that distinguishes us from the other animals.
-Pierre De Beaumarchais (1732-1799)
Save lives! Click here!
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC!
---------------------------------------

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by purpledawn, posted 01-18-2007 9:22 AM purpledawn has not replied

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 3534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 41 of 86 (378055)
01-19-2007 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by JustinC
01-12-2007 4:29 PM


Faith The Word
For some reason on this board when people say the word faith, they automatically jump to the definition that denotes a belief in God or the doctrines of a religion, a faith.
The definition you provided is not that definition. The definition you provided was belief not based on proof. Example: to accept a statement on faith. This definition is not indicative of a belief in a God or religion. We can accept what we read in the Bible on faith, we can accept scientific statements on faith, etc. This odd definition may have developed out of slang usage of the word faith (trust, confidence) by clergy when they asked people to trust doctrines that were not logical or clearly backed up by Scripture. They asked them to trust with no proof. Simply put, faith is trust.
Now the way the word faith was used in the counter argument and your question also doesn't fall under your definition. Your usage falls under the first definition in Message 9. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
By that definition, is belief in the scientific methods ability to elucidate the truth considered a form of faith? If not, why?
So by your original usage in the sentence, faith (confident belief...) in the scientific method is not a form of faith (belief in God or the doctrines of a religion).
I think we do have different levels of trust, and we definitely have several meanings for the word faith today so we need to be aware of how we are using the word.
According to the etymology of the words faith and belief, the uses of the words with respect to religion have changed places over time.
Belief used to mean "trust in God," while faith meant "loyalty to a person based on promise or duty" (a sense preserved in keep one's faith, in good (or bad) faith and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of L. fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to "mental acceptance of something as true," from the religious use in the sense of "things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine" (c.1225).
Today we have several meanings for the word faith as shown in Message 9.
So really the problem with the counter argument you provided is that it isn't addressing the real criticism.
"It is true that I may have faith in the Bible (God, church, etc.), but everyone has to have faith in something. For instance, you have faith in the scientific method (or empiricism, tentative knowledge, etc.). So pointing out that I have faith is not a criticism, since you are guilty of the same crime"
Unfortunately I don't know how the original argument is worded, but my guess is that the criticism is aimed at what the person has faith in. If not, it should be.
People don't always need concrete proof to trust, but then people also have different ideas of what they will accept as proof.
Some have faith in the scientific method and won't accept anything else depending on the situation, others will rely on feelings or experiences for verification, again depending on the situation. Sometimes people put their trust in the individual giving them the information as opposed to looking for evidence to trust.
Right now the only thing that makes something a faith is belief in God or the doctrines of a religion.

"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by JustinC, posted 01-12-2007 4:29 PM JustinC has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by JustinC, posted 01-19-2007 3:28 PM purpledawn has replied

  
JustinC
Member (Idle past 4920 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 42 of 86 (378111)
01-19-2007 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by purpledawn
01-19-2007 12:05 PM


Re: Faith The Word
quote:
Now the way the word faith was used in the counter argument and your question also doesn't fall under your definition. Your usage falls under the first definition in Message 9. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
That is the question we're trying to elucidate. Is there an equivocation of terms in the counterargument? You are asserting that there is without argument.
The question is, when going deep enough into our logic and reasoning is there a point where we have to accept something on faith, as defined by my definition?
I proposed maybe it is faith to think that the scientific method can elucidate the truth. I reject this of course, but it was just an idea of the kind of thing I was trying to find, not the entire subject of this thread.
Another I proposed was the idea that we have faith in logic, because by necessity you can't believe it based on reason since you'd have use logic to justify you're belief in logic.
Another is do we have faith an absolute truth about the world.
Saying that we are just "confident" about these seems unjustifiable until I see why you are confident about them.
Now is there a point in our line of reasoning we're we have to accept something purely based on faith? And if so, in what ways is this different than a religious person's faith?
One thing that might come up is that a religious person's faith might be "without regard to reason," but also "in spite of counterevidence." This type of argument may work against most or all of their claims, but when they necessarily define their faith so it cannot be attacked by counterevidence, is that faith still less reasonable than our faith in logic (supposing, of course, that you accept that logic might be considered a form of faith).
To reiterate, is there a point where us secularists have to accept something purely on faith?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by purpledawn, posted 01-19-2007 12:05 PM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by purpledawn, posted 01-19-2007 7:34 PM JustinC has not replied
 Message 49 by Archer Opteryx, posted 02-12-2007 4:53 AM JustinC has not replied

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 3534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 43 of 86 (378170)
01-19-2007 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by JustinC
01-19-2007 3:28 PM


Re: Faith The Word
quote:
That is the question we're trying to elucidate. Is there an equivocation of terms in the counterargument? You are asserting that there is without argument.
Yes, IMO the way the sentence is worded it isn't really saying anything of consequence, but manages to avoid the issue.
quote:
The question is, when going deep enough into our logic and reasoning is there a point where we have to accept something on faith, as defined by my definition?
I don't think so. I think we always have something to base our trust on, whether knowledge, experience, feelings, etc.
quote:
Another is do we have faith an absolute truth about the world.
I'm not sure what you are saying in this sentence.
quote:
Saying that we are just "confident" about these seems unjustifiable until I see why you are confident about them.
Unfortuantely that's all that the word faith really means.
quote:
One thing that might come up is that a religious person's faith might be "without regard to reason," but also "in spite of counterevidence." This type of argument may work against most or all of their claims, but when they necessarily define their faith so it cannot be attacked by counterevidence, is that faith still less reasonable than our faith in logic (supposing, of course, that you accept that logic might be considered a form of faith).
I would not consider logic to be a form of faith (religion). I don't think faith (trust) in a religion is truly without reason. When our reasons are internally motivated whether concerning a religion or anything else we choose to do in life, we don't always have the best defense when confronted with opposition. Religion is very personal and people don't like their personal choices attacked.
quote:
To reiterate, is there a point where us secularists have to accept something purely on faith?
As I said in the other post, I think the concept of believing without regard to reason or proof was a concept born out of clergy trying to get people to trust doctrines that weren't logical or clearly backed up by scripture. They asked them to trust with no proof. They made it something it wasn't. IMO, even the Biblical use of the word faith (trust) did not require trust without reason.
We may have to accept that we don't know everything, but no one can make us trust in something.
There are probably instances in everyone's life where they trusted in something or someone without regard to reason concerning that thing or person, but the reason was based on someone they trusted. Our children trust in Santa Clause because parents teach them to. Since most children trust their parents, they trust what their parents tell them.

"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by JustinC, posted 01-19-2007 3:28 PM JustinC has not replied

  
JustinC
Member (Idle past 4920 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 44 of 86 (382602)
02-05-2007 11:59 AM


After listening to Paul Davies speak at the Beyond Belief symposium, I'd like to come back to this issue with, hopefully, a little clearer understanding of the issue.
First off, I want to reiterate the definition of faith i'm using, which is "belief without regard to reason." Now, I think some previous posts got a little off topic because they were interpreting reason as synonomous with cause. I'm not saying that there isn't a cause for our beliefs, whether genetic or environmental; that claim would almost certainly be false.
By reason I'm basically saying "deductive, inductive, or the empirical." This of course, opens the whole can of worms of inductive logic, which might end up being the point of this thread: do we have faith in inductive logics ability to elucidate the truth? I don't want that question to be the sole focus, though. Any potential faith statement which can be thought of will do.
Now, Paul Davies aptly puts the idea I'm trying to get at in an analogy:
A lecturer is giving a talk about how the universe works, and a man raises his hand and says,
"Sir, what you are saying is wrong. I know how the world works. The earth is seated on the back of an elephant which is standing on the back of a turtle"
The lecturer replies, "Ah...but what is the turtle standing on?"
To which the man replies, "You can't fool me, sir. It's turtles all the way down"
Now, in this analogy, as I interpret it, the world is the truth, and the elephant is our world view or our conception of truth. The turtles are our justification of the world view.
Now, unless you accept there is an infinite regress of justification, meta-justication, ad infinitum, evenetually you are going to have to bottom out somewhere and say, "I cannot justify this statement." Or, in the spirit of the metaphor, there has to be a levitating super-turtle.
Now, a contender for where secularists, in fact most worldviews, bottom out may be logic, since you can't use logic to justify logic. The only way out of this might be to say that we can justify logic using empericism. In other words, logic is just a matter of fact observation about certain relationships amongst symbol. But then can we justify our observation as being accurate?
So, as Davies says, you get to the point where different world views are pointing at others levitating superturtles and laughing at their absurdity, but they fail to see they are standing on their own levitating superturtle.
His "idea of an idea," or metaphysical research program, is that maybe there can be a loop of justification that doesn't need to appeal to a levitating superturtle. As an example (not his)can the empirical justify the logical and vice versa? Or, his example, can the universe justify its own explanation?
To recap:
1.)Do secularists bottom out?
2.) Is this bottoming out less troubling than a theist bottoming out with a transcendental god? Why?
3.)Is a loop of justification tenable?
I'd also recommend people to watch Paul Davies' in Session 5 of Beyond Belief.
Edited by JustinC, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by purpledawn, posted 02-11-2007 1:06 PM JustinC has replied

  
JustinC
Member (Idle past 4920 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 45 of 86 (383596)
02-08-2007 4:35 PM


bump, any thoughts on the previous?

  
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