How do you define FAITH? (Mod edit - moved to Atheist vs. Theist)

Timf1234
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How do you define FAITH? (Mod edit - moved to Atheist vs. Theist)

 

WARNING/ALERT: English is my second language and I am a lousy typist. Sorry. What could be the most comprehensive, generic definition / explanation of "FAITH"?Sorry for bunch of new threads. But these threads are relevant and necessary to make my point that many atheists have faith on different thing. Question of Free Will is the most important one.


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Merriam-Webster dictionary

Merriam-Webster dictionary (espescially pay attention to definitions 2 and 3:


 

Main Entry: 1faith ">
Pronunciation: 'fAth
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural faiths "> /'fAths, sometimes 'fA[th]z/
Etymology: Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust -- more at BIDE
1 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 <the Protestant faith>
synonym see BELIEF
- on faith : without question <took everything he said on faith>


Timf1234
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BGH,  I think most of us

BGH,

 I think most of us know the dictionary defintion of FAITH. I asked your defintion of FAITH.

Please also see my other post subject: Dictionary Definition versus Logical Definition.


silentseba
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To trust: Believing a
  • To trust:
    • Believing a certain variable will act or has the potential to act a specific way despite the potential influence and probability of known or unknown change.
      • To have faith in ones spouse that he/she will keep a promise of commitment
      • To have faith that the world will someday be peaceful
      • To have faith in a person to pay you back
  • To believe without reason:
    • Believing impulsively, or believing based upon personal hopes

BGH
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My definition is the same:

My definition is the same:

firm belief in something for which there is no proof 

&

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


Timf1234
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BGH wrote: My definition

BGH wrote:

My definition is the same:

firm belief in something for which there is no proof 

&

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

 

Do you believe in Free Will?

Please go on record by posting your response at

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/freethinking_anonymous/9124


silentseba
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What is the point to all

What is the point to all these posts you are making? Why do you keep redirecting people to the Free Will thread?


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I understand faith to be a

I understand faith to be a decision to believe something to be true with little or no evidence to support it. Faith is the opposite of rationality.

I was explaining to my niece recently that I no longer believe the Bible to be evidence that Jesus existed. She said, "You just got to have faith that it's true." She was telling me to forget about the evidence and just believe it anyway.

 

Frosty's coming back someday. Will you be ready?


Timf1234
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Silentseba, My agenda is to

Silentseba,

My agenda is to show that some atheists have faith.

The reason I am directing people to the "Free Will" Question is because i think that is the most important one. All these questions are linked.

I will post my understanding hopefuly tomorrow. You folks will be the judge.

For now I am collecting data.


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I would define it as

I would define it as believing something to be true without or in spite of evidence.


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RickRebel wrote: I

RickRebel wrote:

I understand faith to be a decision to believe something to be true with little or no evidence to support it. Faith is the opposite of rationality.

I have to say that I like this definition very much.  It points out that to have faith is a conscious choice.

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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Timf1234

Timf1234 wrote:

Silentseba,

My agenda is to show that some atheists have faith.

The reason I am directing people to the "Free Will" Question is because i think that is the most important one. All these questions are linked.

I will post my understanding hopefuly tomorrow. You folks will be the judge.

For now I am collecting data.

 

Yeah, Silent, didn't you know that being a polyglot with a poor grasp of the secondary language gives a person free rein to dictate how to respond to vague questions and to be astonishingly rude?  Give Tim some room.  He's going to manifest Truth in a way that we lowly atheists have never imagined possible.  So, we must remain willing to answer his vapid inquiries and accept his behavior, even if it does verge upon abusive.  Gosh!

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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I would define it pretty

I would define it pretty much the same way most people here already have:

 

To believe in something whose evidence is severly lacking or non-existant.

 

In my opinion faith is not a virtue and should be discouraged wherever it may appear.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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Timf1234

Timf1234 wrote:

 

WARNING/ALERT: English is my second language and I am a lousy typist. Sorry. What could be the most comprehensive, generic definition / explanation of "FAITH"?Sorry for bunch of new threads. But these threads are relevant and necessary to make my point that many atheists have faith on different thing. Question of Free Will is the most important one.

Definition of 'faith':

Faith is George Michael's first solo album which was released in 1987. The album hit number 1 on the Billboard charts and it was the first album by a white solo artist to hit number 1 on the R&B charts.

alright j/k

Real Definition:

Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. (that's a good definition IMO).

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."--Stephen F. Roberts


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I have to say, I'm really

I have to say, I'm really anxious for tomorrow's new thread. Some say the OP is a theist in disguise, ready to pounce on atheists for having faith, and then slink away as his argument is laid bare like so many other theists. Some say it's a language thing, that he simply is not understanding us or we him, and that we agree on the foundations of belief.

Perhaps he is the antichrist, come to test the faithful...

Maybe he is the second coming of Bertrand Russell, here to shore up the arguments of the faithful (word chosen carefully!)...

Tomorrow we'll see...

 

Anyway, i've already defined faith for you in another thread, but I'll do it again.

 

"Faith" has two separate and distinct meanings.

1. Reasonable expectation, based on past evidence and probability. 'I have faith that this chair will not collapse when I sit in it.'

2. Belief in something despite a lack of evidence, or evidence to the contrary. 'I have faith in the bible, because I have faith in god, and the bible says the earth is 6000 years old, so that's how old the earth is.'

I've been hoping to stave off the inevitable "Atheists have faith" post, but I suspect it's a lost cause. Here's the answer, anyway. I may not bother responding if I'll just have to repeat myself.

Atheists do have faith, and it's definition #1. Given the fact that syllogism cannot prove that the sun will come up tomorrow, we do have a certain 'faith' that it is so, but that is properly defined as 'belief that the sun will come up based on extensive scientific observation and overwhelming probabability based on pased events.'

We also have 'faith' that Dawkins knows what he's talking about. We don't know as much as he does about evolutionary biology, so when he tells us something, we believe him, even though we don't earn our PhD in biology as a means to check his data. This again is definition #1. We've read science journals. We know that old universities in England don't just hand out degrees. There is overwhelming evidence that his credentials are good, so we can be assured beyond reasonable doubt that he is, in fact, an authority, and that what he says is most likely accurate.

In fact, we could go on for hours following that chain: How do we know old English universities don't just hand out degrees? Well, we don't, at least first hand. At least I don't. I've never attended one, nor have I been present for all the award ceremonies. But there's AMPLE evidence! It's so hard to imagine how the whole thing could be a hoax that it's just not worth considering! Overwhelming evidence points to the credibility of English universities. How do we know science journals are really conducting fair peer review? This could go on for days, actually.

Point being, at every step of the way, we are going to take something someone says, and believe it, despite not having first hand knowledge of the thing. This is NOT faith in the theist sense, since we are basing our acceptance on 1) the reliability of the person in question, which we base on past empirical evidence, and 2) how this information corresponds to our own knowledge, which has passed the same test!  It's not a logical syllogism, and we can't say with 100% certainty that it is true, but syllogism is the beginning of logic, not the end. In day to day life, we deal with many leaps of logic. The brain is programmed that way. Cognitive psychology devotes quite a lot of time to discovering the nature of these leaps, and how the neural pathways form. Leaps of logic, however are formed from logical steps. It's like in algebra, when you learn after three or four repetitions of a pattern, and from then on, you just skip three steps because they always work out the same way.

Theist faith, on the other hand, is belief in god DESPITE EVIDENCE, not BECAUSE OF EVIDENCE!

I don't know how to stress this enough. A 1000 level logic course will give you the necessary tools to discover that the word, "supernatural" is incoherent. Anything described as supernatural cannot exist. It takes half an hour at most to explain this, and yet, faith in god remains. This is belief DESPITE EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY.

To the OP: Be careful when you make your post tying free will to faith. As has been pointed out, free will is very elusive to define, and unless you're extremely careful with your definition, your entire argument is going to be pointless. I'm interested to see how you're going to approach it, but I'll be surprised if you cover new territory. The fact is, free will can only be defined so many ways, and it is either not relevant to the question of faith, or it creates a circular argument, where the conclusion of the argument requires the presupposition of its existence.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Probably one of George

Probably one of George Michael's better albums.


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The computer at my bar has

The computer at my bar has about 3 or 4 George Michael songs on it.  (All from "Faith" if I'm not mistaken)  What caught my eye last time I was putting together a playlist was that someone went in and changed the genre from "Pop/Rock" to "Gay."

I chuckled for at least five minutes.

(adopting Seinfeld voice: "Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hopefully, in few hours

Hopefully, in few hours from now I will post my answer/explanation of:

1. FAITH

2. Brain Washing Vs, Understanding.

3. Dictionary Definition vs. Logical (forced) definition

4. Why we do not steal. (I already have posted. I have nothing more to add to that.)

5. and more importantly "Free Will" issue

6. New topic: Conclusions, Connections between above topics

 

The Patrician wrote:

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.

 

Please go one level deeper.

here it is:

No one can force any understanding on anyone's throat even at gun point. You can make other say something, make others do something, make them act in certain way but you can never make anyone understand. You can even pour it into their head, brainwash, but can't make them understand.

I am for understanding.


The Patrician
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Timf1234 wrote: Hopefully,

Timf1234 wrote:

Hopefully, in few hours from now I will post my answer/explanation of:

1. FAITH

2. Brain Washing Vs, Understanding.

3. Dictionary Definition vs. Logical (forced) definition

4. Why we do not steal. (I already have posted. I have nothing more to add to that.)

5. and more importantly "Free Will" issue

6. New topic: Conclusions, Connections between above topics

 

And if you're lucky some people might even care.  Personally I'm going to exercise my free will not to and my faith in humanity to hope others won't either. 

And Hamby, George may bat for the other side but he wrote some good songs.  Especially Outside.

Although that wasn't on Faith. 

Uh... anyway... yeah. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Quote: And Hamby, George

Quote:

And Hamby, George may bat for the other side but he wrote some good songs.  Especially Outside.

Although that wasn't on Faith.

Oh, I dig a lot of George's stuff.  I'm one of the ten people I know of on the planet who, when they use the word "gay" mean "gay," as opposed to "lame" or "stupid."

Don't ask me to name the other nine.  I just made that up.

(and I agree Faith was his best album)

to the OP: I'm waiting for your post, because I'm genuinely curious whether or not you're going to present anything we haven't seen.  It's possible, of course, but the topics you've mentioned have been presented a LOT, and in great detail, by experts in philosophy, neurology, and linguistics.

Anyway, don't let a few piss-pots stop you from posting.  We keep them around so that we can play good cop/bad cop.

(Oddly, I'm not sure which I am... today I'm the good cop, I guess.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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"And if you're lucky some

"And if you're lucky some people might even care.  Personally I'm going to exercise my free will not to and my faith in humanity to hope others won't either. "

 

Bons mots!

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Quote: "And if you're

Quote:

"And if you're lucky some people might even care.  Personally I'm going to exercise my free will not to and my faith in humanity to hope others won't either. "

 

Bons mots!

pssst...

The sooner he comes out with his thesis, the sooner we can stop answering the same questions in different guises.  Then we can say with certainty that we've heard it before, and be done with it.

Don't discourage him!

(P.S.  I studied piano with a Russian for two years, so I have a broad tolerance for perceived insult and language difference.  Until I know I've been insulted, I assume it's a language thing.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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*Gives Hamby a knowing

*Gives Hamby a knowing wink*

I get ya, Guv'nor. 


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Timf1234 wrote: What could

Timf1234 wrote:
What could be the most comprehensive, generic definition / explanation of "FAITH"?

 To quote british comedian/atheist Pat Condell:

"faith is nothing more than the deliberate suspension of disbelief. it's an act of will. it's not a state of grace, it's a state of choice. because without evidence, you've got no reason to believe apart from your willingness to believe." 

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


Timf1234
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 Here is my answer.Degree

Here is my answer.

Degree of Faith!

I agree with many of you that Faith is basically belief without evidence, proof etc. I just wanted to go a level or two deeper than that.

Evidence and proof also related to, to be able to answer questions such as how, why etc. We know there is always (or at least most of the time) a reason behind a reason. So, where to stop? To explain something a theist could stop at a very high level like, well, I feel like there is a god therefore, there is a god. That is pure faith to me.Next, a person might go a level deeper and try to explain things using human common behavior. And let’s say he stop there. Example: well, majority of the world population belief there is a god therefore, there is a god. Above is also faith to me. But definitely it is better than the first one.Third might go even deeper, and stops at genetic level, 4th might stop at molecular level, 5th atomic, particle level, considering entire universe as well and so on.

Therefore, degree of faith depends on how deep one goes in explaining things. In addition explanation has to be coherent. Please see my post on “Brain Washing vs. Understanding”.I advocate that we should go as deep as the accepted FLN (Fundamental Laws of Nature) (physics). If one explains things using FLN then I like to consider that “not faith based”. One doesn’t have to clarify up to FLN every single time (that would be too time consuming) but as long as his/her explanation’s chain of logic has reach up to FLN without violating it. In another way, I am describing FAITH in terms of “State of Mind” not how the information got there. Coherency, constancy, no-contradiction are the required attributes. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter if it is true or not.

More accurately, there is no way to find out if something is true except with consistent logic.Notice the connectivity of meaning of understanding of “brain wash and understanding” and Logical definition/explanation of “Faith” and of importance of “logical definition” over “dictionary definition” and why stopping at “ we do not steal because it is against our morality” is a kind of FAITH to me unless you explain that something similar to how Hamby did. Link: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/freethinking_anonymous/9085 

 

Viper41 wrote: In my opinion faith is not a virtue and should be discouraged wherever [Tim’s addition: If a better explanting is available, Occam ’s razor Principle] it may appear. 

 I determine if a person has FAITH,  not on the basis what he said about certain thing like (God) is true or false but by noticing the coherency, consistency or lack thereof among EVERYTHING he/she said to prove or disprove God.

One could have FAITH on false and true things both alike. It is the state of mind, coherency that determine the degree of FAITH.