I never said subjectivity demands selfishness.
Then please clarify:
But the problem with that is one individual's faith is not meant to be helpful to others, it's meant to be helpful to the individual that's why faith is subjective.Nothing about an individual's faith in God or any higher power is meant to serve the greater good of his or her surrounding community.
I agree with you in that it's what we do, the way we treat others is our responsibility. However, it's also true that our faith can and does influence what we do - we can be guided by our faith. And that's why faith with understanding is important. No reason to rely on something you don't understand.
If that were true faith would have no value. The fact that we have faith in God is what always prevents faith from being arbitrary, but the second we hold that we can have faith in something other than God, that's when faith becomes arbitrary. That particular view is very reletivistic and as such diminishes the value of faith single handedly.
Why is having faith in something other than God arbitrary faith? If we investigate our faith, then the faith is not arbitrary, regardless of what that faith is in, or directed towards. People who do not have faith in "God" can have faith.
No, with the teachings of Jesus faith and getting into Heaven are hand in hand. What's more in line with Jesus' teachings is that love should be present regardless of faith. Jesus never once even gave the suggestion that faith and love go hand in hand. The notion that faith and love are hand in hand is more in line with Islam than it is with Christianity.
Then tell me, scholar, what are the two most important commandements, the two upon which all the laws and prophets are rest? Such a role certainly gives them at least a close relationship.
I'll leave the discussion about what it means to 'get into Heaven' for another thread - though I do agree, faith and getting into Heaven are hand in hand. That it is somehow more related to faith than love I think is a silly path to go down, because the only result is becoming bogged down with various interpretations of scripture.
Besides, what's wrong with Islam? I was talking about the teachings of Jesus, which Muslims seem fond of. So, who cares if it's more Christian or Muslim, my point remains - there are obvious cases where faith and love are bound together.
I quoted this specifically for later reference just incase you start ranting about how I falsely accuse you of something.
I'm shaking in my metaphorical boots.
Faith doesn't honestly guide people, people honestly guide themselves. An honest person is an honest person, period. He or she doesn't need faith to justify their honesty and the same goes for dishonesty. Being accountable for ones actions doesn't just mean we should be accountable for our bad decisions, but our good ones as well. Faith may give us spiritual strength on an individual basis when we need it most, certainly it does. But it is not the driving force behind our decisions, we are as individuals. If you chose to help somebody who needed it your faith would have had nothing to do with that, the only thing that would drive a choice like that is your good nature as a person. You would make that same decision with or without your faith.
Again, I've never argued that faith frees us from responsibility. How many times do I have to say this? We are responsibile for our faith. If I take someone's advice, it's my fault for doing so, good or bad. If my faith guides me, to ill or good, it's my fault for going along.
My honest view is that if one says they make a decision based upon one's faith in reality their faith is their rationalization for making their decision, nothing more.
What's wrong with faith being part of the rationalization? If the faith is uninvestigated, arbitrary faith, this would be dangerous; however, the more we investigate and understand our faith, the better guide our faith becomes.
Thats the fundamental difference between our arguments I've been trying to address all along. Your view is that faith influences action, mine is that faith is entirely separate from action and therefore cannot influence it.
Faith is something other than action. We agree here. But reason is something other than action, and our capacity to reason certainly influences what we do. Similarly, our faith can influence what we do.
The problem might be our conception of faith, as I vehemently disagree that we can only have faith in God.
If you think I'm full of it, you'll find it on page 2 of the 8 Characteristics thread. Yes it is applied to monotheisms.
I recall this given definition. Thank you. Now, I think that faith can, and for many people is, as the definition describes. However, I see no reason why the definition applies to all faith. Again, we might have faith in something other than God - people sometimes do, as a matter of fact. The faith of others may not look like faith in your water, but in their pond, your faith might appear equally strange.
Not necessarily, just because we have some or even a high degree of understanding doesn't mean we have the full degree of understanding. We can truly never have the full degree of understanding when it comes to our faith which means there is always something about our faith we don't understand. Hence all faith is without understanding.
Must we have this semantic spat? If we have some understanding, it cannot rightly be said that we are "without understanding". If we have some understanding, you might rightly say we are "without complete understanding". Though, to avoid this altogether, we could just use "without any understanding" and "with some degree of understanding". Work for you?
If faith included love for one's neighbor then yes your view is correct, but faith does not include love for ones neighbor, love for ones neighbor is an action entirely separate of faith.
Then that is our disagreement. And I'm simply not convinced that faith cannot be related to love. To argue that love has nothing to do with faith in any tradition, to anyone at all, is a heck of a thing to argue.
Case in point there are many of those who believe who don't follow the Golden Rule even the slightest but only remind themselves that they do, that's why atheism has been given a good second look recently.
Right, we can have faith and not follow the Golden Rule, I've never objected to this. But we might also have faith and follow the Golden Rule as a matter of faith, in which case faith and love... well, you know the rest.
Jesus taught love for one's neighbor, but he never said anything that would indicate faith includes love for ones neighbor. He gave indications though that faith would lead you to Heaven, but not that it's linked to the Golden Rule. Your assumption that they go hand in hand is an assumption you seem to draw simply because Jesus is accepted as a religious figure.
Perhaps we disagree here, but I have a hard time imagining "getting into Heaven" without loving our neighbors. At least according to the teachings of Jesus.
Maybe it's worth noting that I do consider myself a Christian. That's my spiritual heritage, my faith tradition.
Actually Jesus today is also accepted as a philosophical figure, and when referred to as such that's usually the first teaching that's brought up and it's highly emphasized because other philosophers such as Socrates emphasized that same point; Socrates lived hundreds of years before Jesus. Not only that but if Jesus truly was a carpenter then he knew Greek, because in Jesus' time you couldn't be a carpenter and not know Greek. It is entirely likely he picked that idea up from the Greek during his days in carpentry and thus spread a beautiful, probably since forgotten, ancient idea along with the rest of his teachings. That doesn't magically make it a religious idea overnight just because Jesus contributed to it's spreading, it's solely a humanistic idea that has been embraced by philosophers and religious figures alike over the past 2000 years.
He's a philosophical figure as the Buddha is a philosophical figure, yes. And you're right, the Golden Rule, in various forms, has been well grounded in the philosophic tradition, ect.
What must also be remembered is that the Golden Rule is not magically a religious idea. It is an idea incorporated into religious traditions, many religious traditions.
By the way, we find this in the Mahabharata from around 3000BCE
""This is the sum of duty. Do not unto others that which would cause you pain if done to you."
-- Mahabharata 5:1517"
We also find it in the Talmud, long before Socrates, or even Thales for that matter, around 1300BCE
"What is hateful to you, do not to our fellow man. That is entire Law, all the rest is commentary." Shabbat 31a
So much for Jesus maybe knowing Greek, maybe having read something, ect - it was in his culture's religious tradition and teaching long before any Greek discussed the matter.
There is no confusion on my part. Perhaps the confusion might be on your side since you're summing up my arguments with words that aren't even attributable to what I actually write. Like selfishness for instance. I never once gave even the indication that all faith is selfish, that's just how you chose to see my argument.
If the intent is to only help the individual, and the concerns of others are not taken into account, that is selfishness. You say that faith is solely for the individual, and cannot help others. That sounds like selfishness. If it's not, I apologize and invite you to clarify.
I've never said you made claims that you haven't made. I've explicitly said in plain English that the claims you make give implications that I don't think you intend to give.
What implications do I give? You claimed repeatedly that I'm somehow trying to eliminate our responsibility for actions by blaming faith because I say that faith can influence our actions. Influence does not eliminate our responsibility - all of our actions are influenced by something
, yet we are still responsible. Why does the influence of faith suggest we have no responsibility when the influence of our nagging parents, for example, maintains our responsibility?
As for me lacking comprehension I think you should look to your own shortcomings before you cast stones upon others, which is also something Jesus taught but I guess you missed that lesson.
No one's perfect, brother. But my shortcoming do not change the fact that you should either pay more attention when you read, or ask questions instead of making assumptions - especially if you're going to draw out debate about those assumptions for page after page. Talk about tiresome.
I don't mind quarreling with you, actually I find it enjoyable because I get the opportunity to really debate this with someone who holds different views than I do. But you begin to discredit yourself when you start firing insults at those who don't share the same view as you.
If I discredit myself, that's my call.
Why don't you show me how faith can influence action? I figure it only fair since I've been asked to show something fundamental of my view.
Do you want me to describe the process? Or should I suggest you go find someone with a deep faith to study them?