Faith as Justification

Hambydammit
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Faith as Justification

For the sake of argument, let's run with faith for a minute.

Faith, i.e. belief in a thing based on strong personal conviction despite logical or scientific evidence to the contrary, is necessary to be a Christian, right? I don't like quoting the bible, so can we just take it as read that Paul did, in fact, mention something about faith from time to time, and that Jesus famous reference to the smallest seed on the planet did have something to do with faith? Did not Jesus reward those who had faith in him? So faith is truly important.

So... belief in god is dependent on faith when big bad atheists like us come out with our science and logic. Right?

Ok. Let's run with that for a second. You're right, we're wrong.

Are the Muslims wrong?

They have faith that Allah demands faith. Their holy book says so. In fact, to an outside observer, their faith is very, very similar to Christianity. They have their prophet, and you have yours. Theirs preaches a slightly more violent approach to unbelievers than yours, at least some of the time. You've got heaven, they've got heaven.

So, what is it that makes you right and them wrong? Faith?

You are certain that you are correct, right? Because you feel it in your heart when you pray? Or because when you read the bible, you notice all the stuff about loving your neighbor, and you're sure that god is that way because you have faith, right?

Guess what. If faith is the justification, then they're correct. When's the last time you flew a plane into a building? Clearly, they have enough faith to follow through with their beliefs. Their belief is strong! They are certain enough to kill themselves for god! How much more faith can you get?

How do you know that god is a merciful, just, loving creator? You feel it in your heart? The Muslim extremists feel that god is a vengeful, angry god who wants you to die. They feel it in their heart. What makes you more right than them? Because you feel certain? So do they.

Now, remember that we're conceding the point that faith is valid for choosing religions. Here's the question:

I'm not a believer in any deity, but I'm granting that faith is valid, and I'm going to choose a religion. I've got Christianity and Islam in front of me. Both promise really bad shit if I don't choose the correct one. Both promise eternal reward if I choose correctly. Both demand faith. I've got you Christians on one side telling me to believe you because if I do, I'll know in my heart that it's right. The Muslims on the other side are telling me the EXACT SAME THING.

How do I know who to believe?

 

 

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

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Quote: Theirs preaches a

Quote:

Theirs preaches a slightly more violent approach to unbelievers than yours

I beg to differ. They just have not been affected by the influence of secularization to the extent that the Christian West has, hence they have not yet lost their taste for amputation. Yet I can assure you that neither religion is particularly more or less violent than the other, being that they both subscribe to the same patriarchal murderer. The Holy Roman Empire once achieved an almost transcendent level of cruelty against heresy. Thumbscrews across the eyes, lips, and anus, slow immolation while being larded to burn more slowly. Hung by the wrists with weights on the feet to double-break the arms, boiled in lard vats, finger-amputation and slow cauterization. The Catholics had perfected the art of torture to such extent that thousands of thousands confessed to the fictional crimes of blasphemy and heresy and witchcraft (even if, in the case of the former, they weren't guilty) so they could face the gallows instead of the perferiti. 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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I don't disagree with

I don't disagree with anything you've said.  In the interest of avoiding the inevitable "Yeah, Christianity has done bad things, but it's good now" argument, I made that little caveat.

I don't want to steal any theist thunder, though.  I'm really interested in what theists think about this.  How should I choose between these two religions, both of which assure me that I shall burn in a hell that would make me wish for Catholic Medieval treatment if I don't pick correctly.

 I'd like to know which I should have faith in, and how I should decide.

Clearly, I ought to choose one of these as opposed to Buddhism, because if I choose Buddhism, I get two chances to go to hell.  If I choose either Christianity or Islam, I get one chance to go to hell.

 

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Well, you could always draw

Well, you could always draw lots.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Hmmm... maybe I could cast

Hmmm... maybe I could cast chicken bones about. But, if I did that and they indicated Christianity, I'd be in trouble, because then I'd have to get stoned for being a witch.

Unless the bible was prophetically referring to pot. I'm not a fan, but it would be better than dying from having rocks thrown at me while buried in the sand up to my ribcage.

 [Edit:  Incidentally, I heard someone talking about Islamic law once who said that the deal with stoning is that if you can get away before you die, then that's proof that you're innocent, or something like that.  Of course, you're buried up to your ribcage, and people are throwing rocks at your head, so there's not much chance.  The same person said that to spare women the "humiliation" of having a rock hit their breast, they bury them up to their armpits... which kind of decreases the chance of them being innocent.  Do you happen to know if that dude knew what he was talking about?]

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

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Then, of course, I'd be in

Then, of course, I'd be in trouble if I chose Islam, too.  They have the same warnings of divinations and witchcraft, if I recall correctly.

So, I'll just have to ferret out some faith from somewhere, and hope that my particular certainty is the correct certainty.

If only some theists would explain to me how I can know what to choose, since I won't know until after I choose, and am filled with Jesus' wonderful presence in my heart, or Allah's blessings fall upon me.

 

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

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ask your parents

ask your parents


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  This is one of my major

  This is one of my major points I try to bring up in topics.  When someone can use faith to validate their beliefs, then are we to determine which belief is right.  I used an example of something related to this in a question a couple of days ago. 

Here is the link

    http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/9452

Sounds made up...
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You ought to believe neither

You ought to believe neither of them, of course. Never trust a man who claims to have the truth. And never trust the truth, either.


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Hambydammit wrote: For the

Hambydammit wrote:

For the sake of argument, let's run with faith for a minute.

k

Quote:
 

Faith, i.e. belief in a thing based on strong personal conviction despite logical or scientific evidence to the contrary, is necessary to be a Christian, right? I don't like quoting the bible, so can we just take it as read that Paul did, in fact, mention something about faith from time to time, and that Jesus famous reference to the smallest seed on the planet did have something to do with faith? Did not Jesus reward those who had faith in him? So faith is truly important.

I agree that faith is based on personal conviction, however the ' despite scientific evidence to the contrary' part I don't think. Sure, some faith is contrary to evidence (the rejection of evolution), but the faith as a whole is not. I would have worded it 'despite lack of positive evidence'

The existance of God lacks positive evidence. There is no evidence to the contrary per se. Evolution and God could co-exist. 

 

 

Quote:

So... belief in god is dependent on faith when big bad atheists like us come out with our science and logic. Right?

Theist can use logic. But like you said, let's run with faith and assume Theists don't use logic and say this statement is correct.

 

Quote:
 

Ok. Let's run with that for a second. You're right, we're wrong.

 

I am right Tongue out

Quote:
 

Are the Muslims wrong?

They have faith that Allah demands faith. Their holy book says so. In fact, to an outside observer, their faith is very, very similar to Christianity. They have their prophet, and you have yours. Theirs preaches a slightly more violent approach to unbelievers than yours, at least some of the time. You've got heaven, they've got heaven.

So, what is it that makes you right and them wrong? Faith?

 Yes, faith.

Quote:
 

You are certain that you are correct, right? Because you feel it in your heart when you pray? Or because when you read the bible, you notice all the stuff about loving your neighbor, and you're sure that god is that way because you have faith, right?

Guess what. If faith is the justification, then they're correct. When's the last time you flew a plane into a building? Clearly, they have enough faith to follow through with their beliefs. Their belief is strong! They are certain enough to kill themselves for god! How much more faith can you get?

But they base that faith on other causes though. Why is America the 'great devil'? They feel because of U.S foriegn policy and they feel Americia is taking away from their homeland by dealing with Saudia Arabia. 

So while they do think they will 'die for God', that belief is based on other causes, that they think Americia deserves to be attacked. 

As I said, believing this isn't logical. America is not the great Satan, but they are basing it on the perception they have. 

 

 

Quote:
 

How do you know that god is a merciful, just, loving creator? You feel it in your heart? The Muslim extremists feel that god is a vengeful, angry god who wants you to die. They feel it in their heart. What makes you more right than them? Because you feel certain? So do they.

Yes, but they base their faith on their surrondings. For example, if you lived in a politically stable country, where you have freedoms and liberties you will think God is good and loving. If you live in a poilitcally opperessed country where there is persecution for dis-obientance you will not think that highly of God who you think put you there. 

 

 

Quote:

Now, remember that we're conceding the point that faith is valid for choosing religions. Here's the question:

I'm not a believer in any deity, but I'm granting that faith is valid, and I'm going to choose a religion. I've got Christianity and Islam in front of me. Both promise really bad shit if I don't choose the correct one. Both promise eternal reward if I choose correctly. Both demand faith. I've got you Christians on one side telling me to believe you because if I do, I'll know in my heart that it's right. The Muslims on the other side are telling me the EXACT SAME THING.

How do I know who to believe?

 

The answer would be to weigh the benifits of choosing either Christianity or Islam. Do you want to pray 5 times a day? Do you want to read the bible? 


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Quote: I agree that faith

Quote:
I agree that faith is based on personal conviction, however the ' despite scientific evidence to the contrary' part I don't think.

Surely you've been here long enough to avoid this mistake.

Out with the evidence or be done with this claim.

Quote:
Sure, some faith is contrary to evidence (the rejection of evolution), but the faith as a whole is not.

EVIDENCE PLEASE. Give me one example of theistic faith that is based on science. If you cite something that is colloquial faith, I'm never speaking to you again. You know better.

Quote:
The existance of God lacks positive evidence. There is no evidence to the contrary per se. Evolution and God could co-exist.

You know better than this, too. Geez. I'm beginning to subscribe to the theory that you did hit your head while you were gone.

There is no positive evidence for the celestial teapot or unicorns. I didn't mention evolution. I'm going on faith, remember?

So far, everything you've said has been an appeal to my REASON. What's worse, your appeals have been fallacious. So, you're failing miserably.

How do I use FAITH to determine which one is right?

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Theist can use logic. But like you said, let's run with faith and assume Theists don't use logic and say this statement is correct.

You have a talent for stating your own mistakes.

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But they base that faith on other causes though.

So how do I choose?

Quote:
So while they do think they will 'die for God', that belief is based on other causes, that they think Americia deserves to be attacked.

Yes, Cpt. Stop being so ethnocentric. Their faith is based on other causes than yours. They might be correct.

Just because they're not you, it doesn't make their belief invalid.

Or does it?

Quote:
As I said, believing this isn't logical. America is not the great Satan, but they are basing it on the perception they have.

You know this because you have faith? So do they. How do I choose?

Quote:
Yes, but they base their faith on their surrondings.

And every single American who is a Christian decided to believe independent of the fact that their whole family was Christian, and had been for generations?

Quote:
For example, if you lived in a politically stable country, where you have freedoms and liberties you will think God is good and loving. If you live in a poilitcally opperessed country where there is persecution for dis-obientance you will not think that highly of God who you think put you there.

This sounds suspiciously like you're trying to convince me that man makes god in his image. That's a very poor reason for me to have faith in your god, don't you think?

Do you even know what you're trying to say to me?

Quote:
The answer would be to weigh the benifits of choosing either Christianity or Islam. Do you want to pray 5 times a day? Do you want to read the bible?

You mean, I should use reason.

Thank you, Captain. I could not have asked for a better response. I'm surprised it came from you because you're usually more sensible than this, but I'll take it.

You have just demonstrated clearly that faith has nothing to do with it, and that we must use logic.

Since there is no evidence that god exists, the LOGICAL conclusion is that he doesn't. I had to laugh out loud when, in the course of your explanation, you did a great job of presenting evidence that man invented god.

On a final note, this last quote I excerpted is possibly the most idiotic thing I've ever heard you say. I'm going to decide the eternal fate of my soul based on whether or not I want to get my knees dirty? That's your argument??

That's all you have to offer? I can choose based on logic so that I can believe based on faith something that doesn't make logical sense.

And your brain boggles that we don't get you. Go figure.

 

 

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

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  That last part is what I

  That last part is what I am talking about. In order for a theist to answer the question they must throw away faith and use logic and reason to make any point of theirs valid.

Sounds made up...
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Ones who choose which

Ones who choose which religion to follow do not have faith. Instead, they use logic and reasoning (usually based on their level of education on said religions) to come to the conclusion. It is no longer a faith based assessment, but one based on logic and reason. Once ANY other religion is thrown into the mix, faith no longer exists.

This is to say, however, that one does not make a decision based on faith in regards to religion

I guess what I'm saying is this; if one accepts the posibility of other religions then one is not using faith to make an assessment. Once someone has allowed the reality that there is a choice, they are no longer using faith to come to any conclusion and instead are using logic and reason. 

You will see many people fake this false sense of faith by saying such classics such as "My heart tells me it's true" "God is the one and only true God" and lets not forget the timeless hit "You're wrong because the Bible says so."

What they don't realize is that they are using logic and reason, based on their current level of education on the subject at hand. Since they are more versed in the knowledge of Christianity than say Islam, they will always choose Christianity. 


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I agree that faith is based on personal conviction, however the ' despite scientific evidence to the contrary' part I don't think.

Surely you've been here long enough to avoid this mistake.

Out with the evidence or be done with this claim.

Quote:
Sure, some faith is contrary to evidence (the rejection of evolution), but the faith as a whole is not.

EVIDENCE PLEASE. Give me one example of theistic faith that is based on science. If you cite something that is colloquial faith, I'm never speaking to you again. You know better.

I know Theism is based of faith. 

 

Quote:

Quote:
The existance of God lacks positive evidence. There is no evidence to the contrary per se. Evolution and God could co-exist.

You know better than this, too. Geez. I'm beginning to subscribe to the theory that you did hit your head while you were gone.

There is no positive evidence for the celestial teapot or unicorns. I didn't mention evolution. I'm going on faith, remember?

So far, everything you've said has been an appeal to my REASON. What's worse, your appeals have been fallacious. So, you're failing miserably.

How do I use FAITH to determine which one is right?

 

You use FAITH by believeing. If you believe there are celestial teapots you are using faith since there is no positive evidence.

You said Faith is based on evidence to the contrary. I'm saying that could be a part, but not all of faith. Faith is better defined as 'a belief with no positive evidence'. You can't prove a negative. 

 

Quote:
 

Quote:
Theist can use logic. But like you said, let's run with faith and assume Theists don't use logic and say this statement is correct.

You have a talent for stating your own mistakes.

The point is that Theist may think they are using logic. Look at Ray Comfort, he thinks he's the most logical person in the world.  

 

Quote:

Quote:
But they base that faith on other causes though.

So how do I choose?

Choose based on faith? You pick what you believe and choose based on that. If you really believe unicorns exist, then use faith and say unicorns really exist.

 

 

Quote:

Quote:
So while they do think they will 'die for God', that belief is based on other causes, that they think Americia deserves to be attacked.

Yes, Cpt. Stop being so ethnocentric. Their faith is based on other causes than yours. They might be correct.

Just because they're not you, it doesn't make their belief invalid.

Or does it?

No, they actually believe that America is Satan. There is no positive evidence that America was sent by Satan to destroy the world, hence this is based on faith. However, they think 'America did evil thing X, therefore they are the great Satan.' 

 

As for how I know they aren't correct, I see no positive evidence America is Satan, or is out to destroy the world. 

 

Quote:
Quote:

Quote:
As I said, believing this isn't logical. America is not the great Satan, but they are basing it on the perception they have.

You know this because you have faith? So do they. How do I choose?

 

You choose by your interputation. If you see America do an evil thing you must choose, whether or not they are absoultly evil (Satan). If all you see from them is evil, you will most likely make that conclusion.

However, I would assume you see the good things America has done and don't hold to this belief. 

 

I don't think America is the Satan, because I see the good things that America has done along with the bad. 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Yes, but they base their faith on their surrondings.

And every single American who is a Christian decided to believe independent of the fact that their whole family was Christian, and had been for generations?

Quote:
For example, if you lived in a politically stable country, where you have freedoms and liberties you will think God is good and loving. If you live in a poilitcally opperessed country where there is persecution for dis-obientance you will not think that highly of God who you think put you there.

This sounds suspiciously like you're trying to convince me that man makes god in his image. That's a very poor reason for me to have faith in your god, don't you think?

Do you even know what you're trying to say to me?

Quote:
The answer would be to weigh the benifits of choosing either Christianity or Islam. Do you want to pray 5 times a day? Do you want to read the bible?

You mean, I should use reason.

Thank you, Captain. I could not have asked for a better response. I'm surprised it came from you because you're usually more sensible than this, but I'll take it.

You have just demonstrated clearly that faith has nothing to do with it, and that we must use logic.

Since there is no evidence that god exists, the LOGICAL conclusion is that he doesn't. I had to laugh out loud when, in the course of your explanation, you did a great job of presenting evidence that man invented god.

On a final note, this last quote I excerpted is possibly the most idiotic thing I've ever heard you say. I'm going to decide the eternal fate of my soul based on whether or not I want to get my knees dirty? That's your argument??

That's all you have to offer? I can choose based on logic so that I can believe based on faith something that doesn't make logical sense.

And your brain boggles that we don't get you. Go figure.

 

 


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So, I should use reason for

So, I should use reason for everything except faith. How should I know what to use faith for?

Don't you see, Captain?

It's a crock. Faith is useless. You've been lied to.

Absolutely useless!

You've already given the Muslims justification.  They live in a place where life is harsh, and their god is suitably harsh.  It makes reasonable sense in their lives!

So they're just as correct as you, and someone without a "gut feeling" about which one is true is completely stumped on which faith to have faith in.

Except... if it's a gut feeling, it's emotion.  Emotion is not predictably rational.  I might choose wrong.  So I'm back to reason to believe what to believe without reason.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: So, I

Hambydammit wrote:

So, I should use reason for everything except faith. How should I know what to use faith for?

Don't you see, Captain?

It's a crock. Faith is useless. You've been lied to.

Absolutely useless!

Who told me faith is usefull? I found that out on my own.

The answer as to when to use faith is when there is no evidence that could support your claim. 

 

Quote:
 

You've already given the Muslims justification. They live in a place where life is harsh, and their god is suitably harsh. It makes reasonable sense in their lives!

Yes, and their is a remedy for that, without getting rid of their religion. Would you like to know what that is? 

 

 

Quote:

So they're just as correct as you, and someone without a "gut feeling" about which one is true is completely stumped on which faith to have faith in.

Except... if it's a gut feeling, it's emotion. Emotion is not predictably rational. I might choose wrong. So I'm back to reason to believe what to believe without reason.

 

 

Many Theist arguments are based on emotion, and it is clear that emotion is not rational.  While the faith is the interputation of these emotions, they may not be the cause.

 

Take Christianity and Islam. At least one of them must be wrong, or they could both be wrong. Your question was which to choose. My answer is it is up to you. Take the one that makes the most sense to you.  


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Hambydammit wrote: For the

Hambydammit wrote:

For the sake of argument, let's run with faith for a minute.

Faith, i.e. belief in a thing based on strong personal conviction despite logical or scientific evidence to the contrary, is necessary to be a Christian, right? I don't like quoting the bible, so can we just take it as read that Paul did, in fact, mention something about faith from time to time, and that Jesus famous reference to the smallest seed on the planet did have something to do with faith? Did not Jesus reward those who had faith in him? So faith is truly important.

Faith is important. It's a very shady thing at times, but it's paramount to the whole spirituality thing, yes. (By the way, why do you have such an aversion to discussing the bible in detail? Burnt out, I imagine?)

Quote:
Are the Muslims wrong?

They have faith that Allah demands faith. Their holy book says so. In fact, to an outside observer, their faith is very, very similar to Christianity. They have their prophet, and you have yours. Theirs preaches a slightly more violent approach to unbelievers than yours, at least some of the time. You've got heaven, they've got heaven.

I don't know if the Muslims are wrong. I'd say they're no more wrong than Christians are. Also, I don't think that, as a whole, Islam is any more violent than Christianity. If you look at the evolution of the two religions, you see striking parallels. Christianity is ~700 years older than Islam. What were Christians doing 700-1000 years ago? They were destroying anything in their path that didn't comply.

We've mellowed a bit, though. Will Islam mellow? If the evolution of Christianity is any indication, then probably yes.

Quote:
So, what is it that makes you right and them wrong? Faith?

You are certain that you are correct, right? Because you feel it in your heart when you pray? Or because when you read the bible, you notice all the stuff about loving your neighbor, and you're sure that god is that way because you have faith, right?

I don't see myself as "right" and them as "wrong". I'm totally not certain that I am correct. Anyone who says this is delusional.

Quote:
Guess what. If faith is the justification, then they're correct. When's the last time you flew a plane into a building? Clearly, they have enough faith to follow through with their beliefs. Their belief is strong! They are certain enough to kill themselves for god! How much more faith can you get?

I'm a man of very modest faith, so I don't see myself even making any small commitments, let alone martyrdom. Hara Kiri possibly, but not martyrdom.

Quote:
How do you know that god is a merciful, just, loving creator? You feel it in your heart? The Muslim extremists feel that god is a vengeful, angry god who wants you to die. They feel it in their heart. What makes you more right than them? Because you feel certain? So do they.

I don't know that God is merciful. In fact, God isn't very merciful in my eyes. Nor does he seem just. But what do I know about justice? If God indeed exists, then my concept of justice is irrelevant. Certainty - that's something I've rarely if ever felt. It's more like a reluctant urge, as uneventful and undramatic as that sounds.

Quote:
Now, remember that we're conceding the point that faith is valid for choosing religions. Here's the question:

I'm not a believer in any deity, but I'm granting that faith is valid, and I'm going to choose a religion. I've got Christianity and Islam in front of me. Both promise really bad shit if I don't choose the correct one. Both promise eternal reward if I choose correctly. Both demand faith. I've got you Christians on one side telling me to believe you because if I do, I'll know in my heart that it's right. The Muslims on the other side are telling me the EXACT SAME THING.

How do I know who to believe?

I can't speak for everyone, but I'll admit that probably the main reason I'm still drawn to Christianity is because I was born into it. Had I been born in the middle east, then I'd probably be lecturing folks about Allah. If I had been born in the far east, I'd probably be a Buddhist. Every religion needs a figurehead. As human beings, we're drawn to iconic reverence, seemingly innately. Jesus is the channel through which I search for God, meaning, all that heavy shit. Did he literally die and come back from the dead? I have no idea, but it sounds like a bunch of hooey, always did to me. I've yet to come to this understanding in my mind that Jesus literally rose from the dead after 3 days of death and that this somehow is the key to my whole existence. It just sounds silly. Yet I'm more drawn to it every day. I guess it will always boil down to that handful of experiences that I've had that I'll never be able to put into words, and wouldn't even if I could. And if the day indeed comes when God no longer makes sense in my mind, I'll log onto the old forums and say "Dammit, Hamby, you were right. There is no god." Truth is my passion, and if faith one day becomes redundant to my search, then I'm fine with that. I'll accept that.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

So, I should use reason for everything except faith. How should I know what to use faith for?

Don't you see, Captain?

It's a crock. Faith is useless. You've been lied to.

Absolutely useless!

Who told me faith is usefull? I found that out on my own.

The answer as to when to use faith is when there is no evidence that could support your claim.

Glad to hear you say this, this is precisely what faith is for....

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Just pointing out the

Just pointing out the claim that Jesus was never lived, died, and resurrected also requires faith. To stem the tide of logical assertions that this could never happen because it defies science, I will simply claim that I have faith in, as John Millbank puts it "Christ The Exception". But because you weren't there, and even if you were you would need faith in your bodies ability to correctly interpret the signals that are entering your brain, claiming we have "faith" seems arbitrary. I suppose your claim would be better put as we have faith in what cannot be seen. Not necessarily what has been refuted, because I don't think it has, and I will look for these refutations, links would be appreciated.

As for why Christianity. Because I find everything else to be inconsistent or inadequate. On that note it should be said that I am investigating other religions, now Hinduisim, Islam next.


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Well, I could go into great

Well, I could go into great detail responding to each point, but I think I can do it very briefly.

Pineapple:  Seriously, man.  You would make a great atheist.  If I didn't know from the beginning that you were arguing for faith, I'd swear you were arguing against it.  It saddens me that you can't even see this in your own arguments.

JMM: Sadly, I didn't get anything from your post except for some rationalizations for why you believe what you do -- nothing to address how someone without your convictions could ever come to hold them using faith.

As to why I avoid the bible, there are two main reasons. 

1) Anyone who believes the bible to be inerrant is so delusional that no amount of rational discussion will help them.  I've seen this over and over.  To believe such an absurdity requires profound ignorance or delusion or both.  Usually both.  Arguing with such people is absolutely pointless.

2) It's a secondary argument, and unnecessary.  "God" is a concept that can be argued without any reference to ANY of the holy books of any religion.  

The only time I ever delve into the bible any more is when someone claims something like "The bible is all about love and hope.  It's not about violence and hate."  Even then, I hate to do it, because the theist who makes this claim has already done the mental gymnastics necessary to give a free pass to a deity who would murder innocent children to punish an appointed ruler, etc.

Long story short, the bible is simply a tool by which Christians can make endless circular arguments, and it's not necessary to give them that priviledge.

Tankalish:

 

Quote:
Just pointing out the claim that Jesus was never lived, died, and resurrected also requires faith. To stem the tide of logical assertions that this could never happen because it defies science, I will simply claim that I have faith in, as John Millbank puts it "Christ The Exception".

To believe in an exception to natural science based on the fact that you didn't see one?  The fact that one has never been seen proves that one of the ones that has never been seen happened?  That's so patently absurd that it doesn't deserve comment.  I shall dignifiy it no more.

 

Quote:
But because you weren't there, and even if you were you would need faith in your bodies ability to correctly interpret the signals that are entering your brain, claiming we have "faith" seems arbitrary.

Please refer back to the dozens of threads explaining the difference between colloquial faith (based on reasonable, yet not conclusive, empirical evidence) and theological faith (based on conviction despite contrary evidence or complete lack of empirical evidence.)

 

Quote:
I suppose your claim would be better put as we have faith in what cannot be seen. Not necessarily what has been refuted, because I don't think it has, and I will look for these refutations, links would be appreciated.

I'm a little lost.  What claim do you want to see refuted?

My post asked for an explanation of how I should use faith to determine which of the two major monotheist religions I should choose.  I don't see where your post addresses this.

 

Quote:
As for why Christianity. Because I find everything else to be inconsistent or inadequate.

Um, so I find everything religious to be inconsistent and inadequate.  How do I use faith to form belief in one of them?

 

Quote:
On that note it should be said that I am investigating other religions, now Hinduisim, Islam next.

I'd suggest Buddhism if you just have to have a religion.  Why not spend all your religious time doing something more constructive, and just ditch the whole religion idea?

So, bottom line, this is a synopsis of what I've gotten as an answer so far:

*You use reason

*Just choose, more or less at random

*Decide based on whether I want to read the bible or the koran (which doesn't address how to decide, just tells me to do so)

*Personal anecdotes of the reasons someone believes.

As you can hopefully see, ALL of these rely on reason.  Again I will ask.

How do I choose between the major religions based on FAITH, since reason cannot allow me to believe?

 

 

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

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    There are logical

    There are logical conclusions in religion due to faith, well as logical as it can get with them, for example, America being the great satan in the eyes of millions of muslims (not all, just a good majority).  The conclusion is due to the fact that America has a non muslim majority, following non muslim laws and does not follow the Koran, or Qu'ran or however you want to call their holy book. The fact is their FAITH in their holy book to be completely true leads them to the logical conclusion that America must be the Great Satan. This isn't due to living in oppressed society, or being poor and the US rich, if the US was rich AND a muslim nation, it would become a shinning example of muslim world, not the great satan.

    Same applies to christianity, and any other religious belief. sure some logical conclusions can come about from it, however it is based on the irrational belief that their faith is correct and true, and all others wrong, at atleast as true as their faith. Many of us are products of our enviorment, which is why there are many many muslims in the middle east since it is predomenantly muslim and the western countries, which are predmenantly christian, have a majority of christians. Many of Asia's countries are buddhist, etc etc etc.


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Quote:   Pineapple: 

Quote:

 

Pineapple:  Seriously, man.  You would make a great atheist.  If I didn't know from the beginning that you were arguing for faith, I'd swear you were arguing against it.  It saddens me that you can't even see this in your own arguments.

 

Just because I'm not your typical Theists you would mistake me as an atheist? 

 


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Quote: Just because I'm not

Quote:
Just because I'm not your typical Theists you would mistake me as an atheist?

I make no mistake on that front.  I'm pointing out that you're a very smart person, and yet there's a glaring blind spot in your philosophical abilities (presumably caused by the assumptions you must make to be a theist), such that when you argue for faith, you don't even realize that you're arguing against it.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: JMM:

Hambydammit wrote:

JMM: Sadly, I didn't get anything from your post except for some rationalizations for why you believe what you do -- nothing to address how someone without your convictions could ever come to hold them using faith.

That's cool.  I figured you'd say something like this, but I'm not really interested in another debacle like the last thread.  I don't know if you can separate one's convictions from their faith, though.   

Quote:
As to why I avoid the bible, there are two main reasons.

1) Anyone who believes the bible to be inerrant is so delusional that no amount of rational discussion will help them. I've seen this over and over. To believe such an absurdity requires profound ignorance or delusion or both. Usually both. Arguing with such people is absolutely pointless.

2) It's a secondary argument, and unnecessary. "God" is a concept that can be argued without any reference to ANY of the holy books of any religion.

The only time I ever delve into the bible any more is when someone claims something like "The bible is all about love and hope. It's not about violence and hate." Even then, I hate to do it, because the theist who makes this claim has already done the mental gymnastics necessary to give a free pass to a deity who would murder innocent children to punish an appointed ruler, etc.

Long story short, the bible is simply a tool by which Christians can make endless circular arguments, and it's not necessary to give them that priviledge.

I wouldn't say that arguing with the inerrancy crowd is always pointless.  After all, I used to be one of them.  I decided to delve into it myself though, and ended up drawing my own conclusions.  I actually have much more respect and reverence for the bible now that I don't think it's technically perfect than I did when I was a literalist.  

That's beside the point, of course.  

I think that the biblical discussion stretches far, far beyond the whole inerrancy thing.  That's just kid's stuff.   

 


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Quote: I think that the

Quote:
I think that the biblical discussion stretches far, far beyond the whole inerrancy thing. That's just kid's stuff.

Oh, I agree with you on that. As a historical document, and as a linguistic puzzle, it has enough to keep hundreds of scholars busy for decades. No disagreement there.

As I see it, though, if you're using the bible to describe your god, you've already assumed god's existence. The bible cannot prove god, and even supposing that any of the current apologist arguments weren't riddled with logical fallacies, none of them point at the god of the bible, anyway!

Quote:
I wouldn't say that arguing with the inerrancy crowd is always pointless. After all, I used to be one of them. I decided to delve into it myself though, and ended up drawing my own conclusions.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. You did the work yourself. So did I. As a matter of fact, reading the bible was what convinced me to leave Christianity. It was so obviously bullshit! I was embarrassed that I had simply repeated what I'd heard others say.

That's the thing, actually. People who are debating here aren't going to admit they're wrong. Too much face to lose.

You do make a solid point, though. Biblical errancy debate is not pointless, but it is a lot of bushes to beat around when you can just go right for the heart of the matter and demonstrate that god doesn't exist without ever cracking a holy book.  At least it is that way for me, but then logic and philosophy are my strong suits.

I suppose my statement was a bit far-reaching. How about this revised version:

I don't argue biblical errancy because it's largely ineffective, and I don't want to devote the thousands of hours of study necessary to do it effectively when I can just avoid the issue entirely by discussing god philosophically and logically.

Quote:
I actually have much more respect and reverence for the bible now that I don't think it's technically perfect than I did when I was a literalist.

This kind of blows my mind. Why would you have more reverence for it now? You can see that it's just a bunch of people who were ignorant of science writing slanted versions of history for their own agendas, right?

Or, do you mean academically you have reverence for it as a historical document, in which case the "spiritual lessons" would be a historical curiosity as opposed to divine instructions?

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Hamby, your definition of

Hamby, your definition of faith in fundamentally flawed. Why don't you read some Tillich to get a real definition of faith. I know you won't, but I thought I would at least mention it.

Furthermore, I believe in God because of personal experience. Believe it or not, practing mindfulness, compassion and love allows me to make contact with God. It may sound strange, but it really happens. I don't need faith to know that my experience was real. Try reading some Thich Nhat Hahn if you actually are interested.  

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I certainly don't think

I certainly don't think faith is a valid justification, especailly when you can manipulate your feelings through meditation to get the same effect. You can make yourself feel that anything is true.

The only justifiable reason I see for believing in a personal god is personal experience. Then all you've got to do is prove your sanity Eye-wink

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Christos wrote: Hamby,

Christos wrote:

Hamby, your definition of faith in fundamentally flawed. Why don't you read some Tillich to get a real definition of faith. I know you won't, but I thought I would at least mention it.

Furthermore, I believe in God because of personal experience. Believe it or not, practing mindfulness, compassion and love allows me to make contact with God. It may sound strange, but it really happens. I don't need faith to know that my experience was real. Try reading some Thich Nhat Hahn if you actually are interested.

Would you mind pointing out in what way his definition is "fundamentally flawed" instead of just saying it is? I bet that would be more productive for this discussion.

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I didn't read this entire

I didn't read this entire thread, but I'll throw in these questions here.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I agree that faith is based on personal conviction,
What do you have faith in?
Quote:


The existance of God lacks positive evidence.
What existence of "god" do you refer to? Infinite consciousness? Where's the evidence for this consciousness?
Quote:
There is no evidence to the contrary per se.
The lack of evidence is contradictory to your personal conviction.
Is it even possible to have faith in anything that has no positive evidence? Unless you have evidence, your "faith" is {edit} based on fantasy. It's nothing but a dream.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Quote:

Quote:
Hamby, your definition of faith in fundamentally flawed. Why don't you read some Tillich to get a real definition of faith. I know you won't, but I thought I would at least mention it.

Geez, Christos. You're batting like 0-3 in the "Respond to Hambydammit without insulting him" department.

As far as I remember, and yes, it's been a while, Tillich simply found a new brand of polish for dualism and couched it in more phenomenological language to try to make it go down easier. I still fail to see the relevance of a faith that insists on dualism, no matter how you try to redefine the dualism. "Being" as separate from biological processes is dualism, no matter how you sugar coat it.

Saying that I must not believe in god, but I must rather believe that god is the "not-god" version of "being" is simply applying a rather bizarre pantheist style explanation to the question of what makes a person alive, and so it is still dualism.

Furthermore, this version of faith must still make a leap if one is to say anything about this deity, so the discussion itself is a contradiction.

Dualism is refuted by science.

Materialism is supported by science.

Furthermore, if I recall, Tillich was pretty thoroughly denounced by most theologians as an atheist. I remember thinking to myself, "Why doesn't this dude just admit to materialism?" It's yet another trip around the elbow to get to the ass and give religion some kind of authority, and I don't find it even remotely convincing.

Gee, Christos, I know you won't read and actually respond to these links as they relate to your name dropping, so I don't know why I resorted to your style of insult without substance. Oh well. I'm getting used to being insulted without being challenged.

Perhaps you'll prove me wrong and actually argue a point instead of impressing us with the names of authors you've read.

 {edit: I should have said "consciousness" as separate from biology, and then I should have mentioned the non-sequitur of applying any old phenomenological language to consciousness when the discussion is about conscious interpretation of material existence.}

 

 

 

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Your dilemma stems from the

Your dilemma stems from the fact that you are trying to rationalize your faith. Since you actually have no faith, and you only have rational thought to guide you, this is understandable.


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Quote: Your dilemma stems

Quote:
Your dilemma stems from the fact that you are trying to rationalize your faith. Since you actually have no faith, and you only have rational thought to guide you, this is understandable.

Yours stems from the fact that you don't understand that there is no alternative to rational processes.  There can be only valid or flawed logic.

Until you can demonstrate otherwise (which you can't) then there can not be any justification for faith.

 

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    As an Atheist I would

    As an Atheist I would answer the question with faith by pointing out to you that in Islamic religion you get 40 virgins in Heaven. This might be a reason to pick a faith, but at least for me it would take a pheneomonal amount of faith to believe that, even in Heaven, I could hold my load until just the right time to explode.

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AiiA wrote: I didn't read

AiiA wrote:

I didn't read this entire thread, but I'll throw in these questions here.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I agree that faith is based on personal conviction,
What do you have faith in?

 

 Perhaps you should read topics beforehand

Quote:
 

Quote:
The existance of God lacks positive evidence.
What existence of "god" do you refer to? Infinite consciousness? Where's the evidence for this consciousness?

Yes, and in my other topic. 

 

Quote:

Quote:
There is no evidence to the contrary per se.
The lack of evidence is contradictory to your personal conviction.
Is it even possible to have faith in anything that has no positive evidence? Unless you have evidence, your "faith" is {edit} based on fantasy. It's nothing but a dream.

Yes, you should read them beforehand. 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: AiiA

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
AiiA wrote:
What do you have faith in?

Perhaps you should read topics beforehand

You did not answer. Can't? Won't? Its a simple question.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
The existance of God lacks positive evidence.
What existence of "god" do you refer to? Infinite consciousness? Where's the evidence for this consciousness?

Yes, and in my other topic.

No you didn’t.

My point is there is no evidence of "god" in any thread you've started. And here you're stating "the existence of god". What existence? You have not shown any existence of "god".

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
There is no evidence to the contrary per se.
The lack of evidence is contradictory to your personal conviction.
Is it even possible to have faith in anything that has no positive evidence? Unless you have evidence, your "faith" is {edit} based on fantasy. It's nothing but a dream.

Yes, you should read them beforehand.

You're dodging. The lack of evidence is the contradiction to your belief. You haven't exhibited any evidence. Unless you have evidence, your "faith" is fantasy. In order for you to have faith, there needs to be evidence of prior activity, a tract record. I have faith tomorrow will arrive because time has never stopped. I have faith my car will start, because there's nothing wrong with it. I have faith that the letter 'x' will show up on my screen when I push on the key marked 'x' because it always did before.

So I ask again what, in reference to your 'god', what do you have faith in?

 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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AiiA wrote: Cpt_pineapple

AiiA wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
AiiA wrote:
What do you have faith in?

Perhaps you should read topics beforehand

You did not answer. Can't? Won't? Its a simple question.

Faith that there is a God. How hard was that to deduce? 

 

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
The existance of God lacks positive evidence.
What existence of "god" do you refer to? Infinite consciousness? Where's the evidence for this consciousness?

Yes, and in my other topic.

No you didn’t.

Did you even read/understand it? 

 

 

Quote:

My point is there is no evidence of "god" in any thread you've started. And here you're stating "the existence of god". What existence? You have not shown any existence of "god".

If we cannot observe something directly we can only work in probabilites. I am showing that a God is possible. 

 

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
There is no evidence to the contrary per se.
The lack of evidence is contradictory to your personal conviction.
Is it even possible to have faith in anything that has no positive evidence? Unless you have evidence, your "faith" is {edit} based on fantasy. It's nothing but a dream.

Yes, you should read them beforehand.

You're dodging. The lack of evidence is the contradiction to your belief. You haven't exhibited any evidence. Unless you have evidence, your "faith" is fantasy. In order for you to have faith, there needs to be evidence of prior activity, a tract record. I have faith tomorrow will arrive because time has never stopped. I have faith my car will start, because there's nothing wrong with it. I have faith that the letter 'x' will show up on my screen when I push on the key marked 'x' because it always did before.

 

No, your car has a high probability of starting and the letter x has a high probability of showing up. By using that logic I can turn off your power and x will still appear on the computer screen.

 

Once again, we can only work in probabilities. 

 

Quote:

So I ask again what, in reference to your 'god', what do you have faith in?

 

I answered above. 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: AiiA

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
AiiA wrote:


Cpt_pineapple wrote:
AiiA wrote:
What do you have faith in?


Perhaps you should read topics beforehand

You did not answer. Can't? Won't? Its a simple question.



Faith that there is a God. How hard was that to deduce?
Again what is there to have faith in? You can't have faith in the toothfairy.

Quote:

Did you even read/understand it?
Clearly. You allege a god without definition or evidence.

Quote:
Once again, we can only work in probabilities.
Exactly. The probability of god is zero so far.

Quote:
Quote:


So I ask again what, in reference to your 'god', what do you have faith in?




I answered above.
You cannot have faith in nothing.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Your dilemma stems from the fact that you are trying to rationalize your faith. Since you actually have no faith, and you only have rational thought to guide you, this is understandable.

Yours stems from the fact that you don't understand that there is no alternative to rational processes. There can be only valid or flawed logic.

Until you can demonstrate otherwise (which you can't) then there can not be any justification for faith.

Faith is its own justification. If you are going to antagonize me about a question YOU asked, then I'm simply going to start ignoring you.


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AiiA wrote: Quote: Did

AiiA wrote:

Quote:

Did you even read/understand it?
Clearly. You allege a god without definition or evidence.

No, no you didn't understand it. Your posts both here and in the topic shows it. You asked about the data that we could not see. You posted a bubblechamber, which is cleary data defeating the original point. Then you say we cannot see it all the time.

This cleary states you lack of understanding. Particle accelerators are used to generate sub-atomic particles which make up matter, communicate the weak force etc.... I persit that matter is not what it seems and particle physics clearly demostrates this. Ironically the very picture you posted illustrates my point.

 

 



Quote:
Once again, we can only work in probabilities.
Exactly. The probability of god is zero so far.

 

No, I show that it is not zero.

 

 


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To clear things up, I will

To clear things up, I will address your point directly.

in my other topic AiiA wrote:

The 'collective' you are imagining is incapable of observing all the particles (data) that come into and out of existence in every nanosecond.

Those particles are essential for forming what we percieve as matter. 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: AiiA

Cpt_pineapple wrote:


AiiA wrote:

Quote:

Did you even read/understand it?
Clearly. You allege a god without definition or evidence.



No, no you didn't understand it. Your posts both here and in the topic shows it. You asked about the data that we could not see. You posted a bubblechamber, which is cleary data defeating the original point. Then you say we cannot see it all the time.

This cleary states you lack of understanding. Particle accelerators are used to generate sub-atomic particles which make up matter, communicate the weak force etc.... I persit that matter is not what it seems and particle physics clearly demostrates this. Ironically the very picture you posted illustrates my point.
You are not making any sense. Where is your evidence for a god?

Quote:
Quote:
Once again, we can only work in probabilities.
Exactly. The probability of god is zero so far.



Quote:
No, I show that it is not zero.
I'm sorry but you are obviously imagining things

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


aiia
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Cpt_pineapple wrote: To

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

To clear things up, I will address your point directly.

in my other topic AiiA wrote:

The 'collective' you are imagining is incapable of observing all the particles (data) that come into and out of existence in every nanosecond.

Those particles are essential for forming what we percieve as matter.

So?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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i think you're choosing the

i think you're choosing the wrong arguments. First, off, faith in definition is a belief and trust in God, it's not merely used to prove or to say something otherwise. The actions you take on your life is an evaluation and reflection of the things that you learn and the morals that you have. Faith in action is a representaion of your belief, so I think it's really not a justification against opossing religious affliations.

http://www.jerusalemexport.com offers a variety of religious hand crafted products from nativity sets to holy rosaries.


 

 


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I'm sorry Hamby, I don't

I'm sorry Hamby, I don't understand your problem with religious people using rational thought. If you want my reason for rejecting Islam it's because the Koran cannot stand up to the realization that the meaning of words is constantly in flux, along the lines of Derrida's claim that a text , once written, can no longer be attributed to the self, but was written by someone other. Because the Koran claims to be literal word of God, no interpretation or historical analysis required,it collapses under this paradigm. Christianity, on the other hand, claims to be the testimony to the living Word of God, Jesus. It rejects the notion of individual salvation through deeds, but instead claims that salvation is only possible through faith. This conception of faith I don't think entirely matches yours. It doesn't mean "believing something in the face of contrary evidence" but "believing something that cannot be proven". Some theologians claimed that such beliefs were "properly basic", much like having faith that our senses accurately relay information. Others, like John Millbank, a highly recommended read, reject that potentiallity of knowledge without revelation, claiming that post-modernisms, more accurately title hyper-modernism, inevitably lead to the un-knowability of anything and thus nihilism. In the post-modern context, one must have faith in some meta-narrative, whether science or christianity.


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AiiA wrote: Cpt_pineapple

AiiA wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

To clear things up, I will address your point directly.

in my other topic AiiA wrote:

The 'collective' you are imagining is incapable of observing all the particles (data) that come into and out of existence in every nanosecond.

Those particles are essential for forming what we percieve as matter.

So?

 

This post alone shows that you do not understand my position.

 

The matter perception is a key component in my arguement. 


todangst
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ofgreatherheights wrote: i

ofgreatherheights wrote:

i think you're choosing the wrong arguments. First, off, faith in definition is a belief and trust in God, it's not merely used to prove or to say something otherwise.

 

This definition begs the question of god's existence!

Faith is belief without  justification. That's it. Period. 

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

 

i.e., it is belief without justification.

Furthermore:

Romans 8:24-25: “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (NKJV)

Here Paul makes it clear that one cannot have non contingent faith is one has facts! If one has a reason to believe, he cannot have theistic faith by definition.

 http://www.rationalresponders.com/doesnt_everyone_take_things_on_faith

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Cpt_pineapple wrote: This

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

This post alone shows that you do not understand my position.

You've not stated anything worth understanding. The only position you have is a naked assertion that the universe is conscious.

Quote:
The matter perception is a key component in my arguement.
That's your claim, but you don't seem to be able to demonstrate that.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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I don't understand, what

I don't understand, what does the bubble chamber picture have to do with any form of theism?


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Quote: Faith is its own

Quote:
Faith is its own justification. If you are going to antagonize me about a question YOU asked, then I'm simply going to start ignoring you.

I didn't realize you were the only one who got to make claims.  If you're simply going to accuse me of antagonizing you when what I'm doing is challenging you to back up your statement, then I'm going to be forced to stop taking you seriously.

 

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

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KSMB wrote: I don't

KSMB wrote:
I don't understand, what does the bubble chamber picture have to do with any form of theism?

 

Nothing specifically. 

 

 My argument is that our brains process data into information. That is our purpose. The materials from our brains come of course from the universal data (the universal inequalities such as elctro-inequalities fire neurons in the brain for example) our brains process this into consciousness.

Now for the bubble chamber part. Matter is also formed from this universal data, since matter is interchangable with energy. 

 

I proposed the purpose of consciousness is to process data. AiiA asked the question I quoted in this topic  I answered it here. It's on the last page BTW.

 

 


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Faith is its own justification. If you are going to antagonize me about a question YOU asked, then I'm simply going to start ignoring you.

I didn't realize you were the only one who got to make claims. If you're simply going to accuse me of antagonizing you when what I'm doing is challenging you to back up your statement, then I'm going to be forced to stop taking you seriously.

My assertion was about the dilemma you detailed at the beginning of the topic (i.e. Christian faith versus Muslim faith). You responded by talking about "[my dilemma]", when I never presented one to begin with.

 Any faith that goes beyond "I feel something, and so it is true" isn't theistic faith (by Paul's definition). If you really want to call "I feel something, so it is true" a rationalization, then feel free to. I happen to see no rational process there at all.