On the Subject of Faith (question)

cybersavior
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On the Subject of Faith (question)

So I got into a conversation with a friend of mine on the concept of faith. I was explaining with rationality and logic my atheistic position to my Christian friend. It essentially came down to her 'faith.' However, her reply was something along the lines of:

(Please don't confuse this with the Christian "Innate Fallacy of Man" argument)

Rationality and logic are both ideas or concepts created by conscious man. Man has deemed what is logical and rational based on his interpretations of nature and his surroundings. However, even at the most basic level, man must have faith in this interpretation. He must have faith that his understanding of the world (though sensory inputs) is the *real* and *correct* interpretation BEFORE he decides what can be considered logical or illogical, rational or irrational.

Therefore, what is the difference between faith in the supernatural and faith in our interpretations of what is "natural?" Before we can decided what is natural, and supernatural, we must have faith that our understand of the world is correct.

Does that make sense? What do you people think?


Zero
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basic ontology

This is a basic ontological question that originated with the first philosphers. What IS existence? Is "reality" real? How can obvservers of reality be objective about reality when it appears as if we are part of reality? Can observation of an experiment alter the results of an experiment?

Nick Bostrom has very convincingly argued that it is probable that we are living in a matrix type of situation (for the sake of arguement):

http://www.simulation-argument.com/matrix.html

We can all ultimately imagine anything about the true architecture of the universe. We really don't have a freaking clue about anything outside of what we can see and feel (and we don't truly know if that's real...or what knowledge, or even "I" is). It might not be "real" in the sense that we believe it to be, but most of us have decided to partake in the situation regardless because it appears to be real. If anything, all these ontological doubts should only serve to increase our doubt that any one explanation, most especially religous/superstitious ones, are even remotely "true."

The very fact that reality itself is under scrutiny by serious philosophers and scientists should give one license to doubt ludicrous explanations based purely on the bad imaginations of control freaks.

Just because we atheists have the humilty to acknowledge that we can't explain every detail of the universe, or even prove if "reality" is real, doesn't mean that god or religion is.

If you want to believe in weird hard to explain phenomena, believe in dark matter. At least there is SOME evidence for that.

..zero..
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faith in reason is a contradiction.

cybersavior wrote:
So I got into a conversation with a friend of mine on the concept of faith. I was explaining with rationality and logic my atheistic position to my Christian friend. It essentially came down to her 'faith.' However, her reply was something along the lines of:

(Please don't confuse this with the Christian "Innate Fallacy of Man" argument)

Rationality and logic are both ideas or concepts created by conscious man. Man has deemed what is logical and rational based on his interpretations of nature and his surroundings.


Yes, but any system that man creates must be in accord with basic metaphysics - the axioms of existence and identity.

So there is a real, inescapable foundation of reality behind any system that men create.

Quote:

However, even at the most basic level, man must have faith in this interpretation.

Faith in reason is a contradiction in terms.

By Nathaniel Branden:

One of the most grotesque instances of the stolen concept fallacy may be observed in the prevalent claim—made by neo-mystics and old-fashioned mystics alike—that the acceptance of reason rests ultimately on "an act of faith."

Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by the senses. Faith is the acceptance of ideas or allegations without sensory evidence or rational demonstration. "Faith in reason" is a contradiction in terms. "Faith" is a concept that possesses meaning only in contradistinction to reason. The concept of "faith" cannot antecede reason, it cannot provide the grounds for the acceptance of reason—it is the revolt against reason.

One will search in vain for a single instance of an attack on reason, on the senses, on the ontological status of the laws of logic, on the cognitive efficacy of man's mind, that does not rest on the fallacy of the stolen concept. The fallacy consists of the act of using a concept while ignoring, contradicting or denying the validity of the concepts on which it logically and genetically depends.

This fallacy must be recognized and repudiated by all thinkers, if truth and reality are their goal.

There is no need for 'faith in reason', there are many other ways to justify reason... whether one is a foundationalist, or one holds to another epistemological stance, one never needs to simply take reason on faith...

Quote:

Therefore, what is the difference between faith in the supernatural and faith in our interpretations of what is "natural?"

Simple. The supernatural is the antithesis of everthing we know. It has no ontological statues, ergo it violates reason, it violates logic, it violates basic rationality.

It simply is incoherent. Therefore, to take it on faith is literally irrational.

Whereas, to accept that reason works, without knowing how to justify it, does not require non contingent faith .

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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Zero wrote: Just because we

Zero wrote:

Just because we atheists have the humilty to acknowledge that we can't explain every detail of the universe, or even prove if "reality" is real, doesn't mean that god or religion is.

This is quite true. Whether or not we have a 'firm foundation' to justify our use of reason, we do have a pragmatic grounds to justify reason - it's utility and it is a false presumption that one must either have all the answers, or just take it on faith. There's a middle ground here!

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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cybersavior wrote:However,

cybersavior wrote:
However, even at the most basic level, man must have faith in this interpretation.

Fallacy of equivocation. There is a substantial difference between believing what your senses tell you and believing something you have no sensory experience of. All claims about God transend experience. When I say experience, I mean they transend both experience via the senses and experience via pure abstract a priori thought.

One of Kant's main points was that we have to assume certian principles in order to even get started. For instance, we have to assume that there are bodies outside of ourselves. Why do we need to do this? Well, if we didn't assume this, we would have no way of deciding what was "us" and what wasn't us.

Theistic claims, as Kant points out, can never be proven rationally. For all of them transend experience. Since it is nonsensical to speak of something which transends experience, how can we talk intellegably about God?

This claim is nothing more than a "you too" fallacy. They are ashamed that they necessarily must have faith in their God, so they try to reduce atheism to be on the same epistemological foundation as God claims are, i.e no epistemological foundation.

cybersavior wrote:
Therefore, what is the difference between faith in the supernatural and faith in our interpretations of what is "natural?"

Because we experience the natural world. We don't experience the supernatural world. This seems so obvious, im suprised we atheists have to point this out.

cybersavior wrote:
Before we can decided what is natural, and supernatural, we must have faith that our understand of the world is correct.

We all agree that we live in the natural world, right? Well, the supernatural is the antithisis of this world.

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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Very nice, Chaos. Thanks for

Very nice, Chaos. Thanks for the discussion of Kant.


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todangst wrote:Very nice,

todangst wrote:
Very nice, Chaos. Thanks for the discussion of Kant.

You should respond to my other post about Kant Eye-wink

Furthermore, I find it puzzling that theists try to prove God. I mean, this betrays their bible. If God can be proven, and God is the author of the bible, then God both can and cannot be proven. For the bible says that one NEEDS to have faith.

So, in trying to prove the existence of God, one is betraying their own bible...which is a sin, I would think.

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


Barrie
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Both Skeptics and Believers Rely on Beliefs

 Hi Cybersavior,

I believe you make a great deal of sense.

Often, when skeptics sum up the basic view of science/skeptics vs. believers, the reasoning goes as follows: science is not like a belief or religion because of the fact that science is testable.

Let me now respond: Science is first based on an untestable belief--that physical reality is all there is to reality. Only after that belief is believed (for which there is no test to test), does everything make sense about what is or is not testable.

Therefore, both believers and skeptics are actually "believers"--but in different views of the absolute nature of reality. The so-called "believers" believe that there is a reality which exists independantly from physical reality. And the so-called "skeptics" believe that all reality stems from physical reality, which is all there is to reality.

Neither of these initial beliefs held deeply by both sides--are testable or verifiable.

Something inside a person with such "skeptical" beliefs rings true when it comes to their "physical-only" beliefs about the nature of reality. They have certain beliefs about their senses and physical reality--that tell them that there is no nonphysical realm or part of reality in the first place.

Others, who believe in this invisible half--who often refer to themselves as "believers"--do so because something rings true deep inside them that this invisible half exists--when they first came upon this "invisible" concept. It made sense to them. To the skeptics, only the physical reality "rang true" deep inside.

These different deeply-held beliefs lead each group in different directions when it comes to so-called "proofs" of their belief system. It dictates to them where to look for proof and/or evidence, how to test and evaluate this proof/evidence, what is or is not proof/evidence, etc.

It is only AFTER the intitial belief is accepted (that physical reality is all there is to reality) that all of science's "verifiable tests" fall into place.

Science does a wonderful and great job explaining and testing physical reality as created and then perceived by us humans. Science comes up with great and fun toys & technologies & medicines, etc. They leave totally untouched the invisible underside, so to speak., because they don't believe it is there. And their beliefs dictate other explanations when any "proof" of this invisible world pops up.

For example, someone has memories of a past life. The skeptic says that they probably read about this life somewhere. The believer sees it as proof of reincarnation. Each side is responding to the event as their belief system dictate they must...and this belief system is not testable OUTSIDE of that belief system.

Beliefs dictate the reality you perceive; or beliefs act as filters thru which you perceive & evaluate that reality.

So, for example, a "believer" would say that clairvoyant dreams exist--because "I had a dream of someone I hadn't heard from in 20 years, and that day he called me on the phone." The "believers" belief system allows for this explanation. The "skeptic" would call this a coincidence because his beliefs have no other "box" or "category" within which to place this occurrence.

"Coincidence" to a "believer" may be a method of communication or sign that communication occurs between the two dimensions--physical and spiritual (nonphysical).

"Coincidence" to a "skeptic" is simply a random or chance event. "Believers" (especially Seth fans--have another explanation for what is usually perceived as a random or chance event). All of these perspectives are based on "tests" that are NOT verifying to anyone outside that system of beliefs.

Both groups come to their conclusions--based on their initial deeply-held, subjective and unvarifiable beliefs on the nature of reality...and then create a reality for themselves that they can point to and say, "See, its true what I say. It is not a belief; it is a fact...and I can test that fact. Watch me."

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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Barrie's argument is

Barrie's argument is basically the same as the one represented in th e Creation Museum exhibit that shows the Christian paleontologist with his Bible and the secular paleontologist with his science book side-by-side, looking at the same fossils and coming to different conclusions.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/6/9/105322/6744

By juxtaposing the two 'paradigms,' the Creation Museum is very deliberately seeking to suggest that one basic assumption is as good as another, and that there's just as much reason to accept a divine assumption as one based on evidence.

A false analogy is a fallacy in which two things are held up as being analogous, but which only works as long as it ignores a key difference between the two terms being compared.

In this case the key difference is that the assumption "evidence is related to truth" is different from the assumptions that underlie other ontologies.

So far, the assumption "evidence is related to truth" has proven repeatedly to be true in statistically significant ways. The rival assumption, "faith is related to truth," has turned out not to work any better than random chance would predict.

So the suggestion that one paradigm is as good as another is a false analogy.

 

 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Barrie wrote: Often, when

Barrie wrote:

Often, when skeptics sum up the basic view of science/skeptics vs. believers, the reasoning goes as follows: science is not like a belief or religion because of the fact that science is testable.

Let me now respond: Science is first based on an untestable belief--that physical reality is all there is to reality. Only after that belief is believed (for which there is no test to test), does everything make sense about what is or is not testable.

You are claiming your existence is not testable. Your claim is incoherent.

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


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AiiA wrote:

AiiA wrote:

You are claiming your existence is not testable. Your claim is incoherent.

 

I don't think he's claiming existence is not testable, he's claiming that our interperation of realtity is not testable. Can't two people "exist" while also having different interperations (or definions) of reality?


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cybersavior wrote: AiiA

cybersavior wrote:
AiiA wrote:

You are claiming your existence is not testable. Your claim is incoherent.

 

I don't think he's claiming existence is not testable, he's claiming that our interperation of realtity is not testable. Can't two people "exist" while also having different interperations (or definions) of reality?

Does one's interpretation of reality change reality. I always thought reality was what it was without being subject to interpretation. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


aiia
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cybersavior wrote: AiiA

cybersavior wrote:
AiiA wrote:


You are claiming your existence is not testable. Your claim is incoherent.

I don't think he's claiming existence is not testable,
I know. Barrie said physical reality is untestable. Accordingly, Barrie's existence cannot be tested. So who made Barrie's post? Answer: Barrie. Therefore Barrie exists. Test completed. Hence the premise "Science is first based on an untestable belief" is false. This makes the claim "Science is first based on an untestable belief--that physical reality is all there is to reality. Only after that belief is believed (for which there is no test to test), does everything make sense about what is or is not testable" incoherent.
Quote:
he's claiming that our interperation of realtity is not testable.
He's claiming everything is a belief.
Quote:
Can't two people "exist" while also having a different interperations (or definions) of reality?
Obviously. Your post is proof. Why are you asking this?

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


cybersavior
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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Can't two people "exist" while also having a different interperations (or definions) of reality?

Obviously. Your post is proof. Why are you asking this?

It was a rethorical question.

 

So to make sure I understand what is being said, one step at a time...

1) Our understanding of reality is based on our interpertations of our surroundings.

2) These interpertations can be tested.

3) These tests reaffirm our interpertations.

 

Now that I'm writing this out, I see (a potential) problem:

Since our interpertations are relative, tests can only reaffirm our interpertations because that is all we really know.

If I interperet something one way and assume it as a basic fact of my reality (red = ff0000 or God doesn't exist) and someone else looks at what I call reality and sees somthing compeletly different (red = 00ff00 or god exists), my tests will only support my conclusion while disproving his and his tests will only support his conclusion disproving mine because our fundemental interpertations are different.

 Am I missing/not grasphing somthing you may have already pointed out? Thoughts?


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Hi AiiA, AiiA Writes:

Hi AiiA,

AiiA Writes: Barrie said physical reality is untestable.

Barrie Responds: I did not say physical reality is untestable.

Barrie Actually Said: "Science is first based on an untestable belief--that physical reality is all there is to reality. Only after that belief is believed (for which there is no test to test), does everything make sense about what is or is not testable.

Barrie Comments on the Above: The absolute nature of physical reality--is not testable. The idea, concept or belief that physical reality is all there is to reality--is not testable. It is either believed or not believed. It is a belief. 

Barrie Had Written: "Therefore, both believers and skeptics are actually 'believers'--but in different views of the absolute nature of reality. The so-called 'believers' believe that there is a reality which exists independently from physical reality. And the so-called 'skeptics' believe that all reality stems from physical reality, which is all there is to reality.

"Neither of these initial beliefs held deeply by both sides--are testable or verifiable."

Barrie Now Comments: So, to repeat, I believe that physical reality is testable. I also believe that the actual & absolute nature of reality is not testable. All of science is based on the belief that physical reality is all there is to reality. All the tools and instruments of science test the surface of physical reality. The "camouflage" reality, if you will.

It leaves out consciousness and the nature of consciousness--and the affect consciousness may have on physical reality.

I believe that new ideas of consciousness and quantum physics will eventually explain the true nature of physical reality...a nature which has its origins outside of linear time. In fact, linear time is a produce of physical reality only. Physical reality is like a prism thru which simultaneous time goes thru and is broken up into past, present, and future. But it within the field or plane of simultaneous time--that the true nature of reality will be found.

Be well & happy,

Barrie

AiiA wrote:
cybersavior wrote:
AiiA wrote:


You are claiming your existence is not testable. Your claim is incoherent.

I don't think he's claiming existence is not testable,
I know. Barrie said physical reality is untestable. Accordingly, Barrie's existence cannot be tested. So who made Barrie's post? Answer: Barrie. Therefore Barrie exists. Test completed. Hence the premise "Science is first based on an untestable belief" is false. This makes the claim "Science is first based on an untestable belief--that physical reality is all there is to reality. Only after that belief is believed (for which there is no test to test), does everything make sense about what is or is not testable" incoherent.
Quote:
he's claiming that our interperation of realtity is not testable.
He's claiming everything is a belief.
Quote:
Can't two people "exist" while also having a different interperations (or definions) of reality?
Obviously. Your post is proof. Why are you asking this?