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What is Faith?

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 10:04 am
I'm sure this has been talked and talked and talked about right? I don't know if I'm providing a new angle on this or not, but I would sure like to try. I want to assert something here.

I have come to the conclusion that regardless of "religion" and what it has made faith out to be... faith is an absolute essential to life. Whether that be in a god, in people, or even in that your car will start in the morning, or the sun will rise. Without faith I don't believe hope exists or can exist, and without hope there is no meaning to the things that are happening in life.

However I think also that someones perspective of faith is defined by their definition of it. Perception is the key.

Any thoughts?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 10:34 am
Quote:
1-Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

2-Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See synonyms at belief, trust.

3-Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.

4-The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.

5-The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.

6-A set of principles or beliefs.


The problem with any discussion of faith, is that there are numerous definitions of the concept. If the sun has risen every day of your life, it is an educated conclusion that it will rise tomorrow. If you have a friend who is usually reliable, you can have faith you can count on that person to follow through with what he has promised. In these cases the "faith" is based on a conclusion based on experience.

With religion, faith is another matter entirely. In the religious sense, faith is not based on educated conclusions, but is "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." It is a will o' the wisp, and cannot be proven, or even demonstrated rationally. IMO, it is no more than a codified body of immature wishful thinking.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 10:43 am
I agree Phoenix. That's why I wanted to separate it out. The religious faith from just faith in general. Sometimes sorting through some of this stuff is like trying to pick a twig out of a huge mire pit. Digging around in something big and trying to find something small. The concept of faith, though I think it's been distorted by religion, is a concept of truth. Or based out of truth. I think that there are some truths that cannot be denied in life. Whether they are truths that a bunch of yahoo's took and distorted to fit their own agenda or not. Because even those distorted truths still hold a measure of truth to them. It's just a matter of somehow getting around the distortion.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 10:53 am
treya wrote:
I think that there are some truths that cannot be denied in life. Whether they are truths that a bunch of yahoo's took and distorted to fit their own agenda or not. Because even those distorted truths still hold a measure of truth to them. It's just a matter of somehow getting around the distortion.


And therein lies the problem. There are plenty of things in the repertoire of religious thought that is good, sensible and true. The difficulty is that many religions expect their followers to accept the beliefs of the faith "wholesale", and do not permit dissent. This attitude fosters sheep like behavior (I love how religion refers to their followers as "sheep" Laughing )which in many cases has been the catalyst of some of the most horrendous misdeeds perpetrated by one group of people on another.
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IFeelFree
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 10:54 am
Religion ask followers to have faith because it many cases it doesn't have coherent answers for the questions they have, or if it does, it often doesn't have any evidence of the correctness of those answers. That I why I have no particular interest in institutionalized religion. If I can't discover the truth for myself, I'm not interested in being spoon-fed answers. Some people adopt the attitude that they accept religious answers on faith as a temporary measure until they gain the wisdom to understand the truth for themselves. I am not saying that is wrong. It is just not appealing to me.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 10:59 am
Quote:
Religion ask followers to have faith because it many cases it doesn't have coherent answers for the questions they have, or if it does, it often doesn't have any evidence of the correctness of those answers.


IFeelFree - Exactly. But by demanding faith (or else!) religion commands incredible power, both political and financial.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 11:14 am
I suppose, since this is the S&R forum, the bible's definition should be considered:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

This would seem to indicate that faith is something which requires examination, not to be acquired from emotion or whim.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 11:22 am
neologist wrote:
I suppose, since this is the S&R forum, the bible's definition should be considered:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

This would seem to indicate that faith is something which requires examination, not to be acquired from emotion or whim.


Is that how you decipher that phrase? I get the exact opposite "take" on it. According to that quote, faith is something that is not something that is tangible, only desired. It is sort of like when a kid makes a wish on a birthday cake.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 11:33 am
That's kind of the basis of my thought neo. Kind of. Not completely. If faith is in fact the substance of things hoped for is what I was implying with my thoughts on hope cannot exist without faith.... of some sort. Taking my car for example.

Yes I get in it and start it every day to go to work... or wherever. Because of the way it's put together it will start. It almost always does. Actually there hasn't been once in the three and a half years I've had it that it hasn't started. However... evidence isn't necessarily a guarantee. There are certain precipitating factors to life. Things we can't control. Parts wear out. Yet every day when I get in my car I expect it to start. So much so that it's not even a conscious question of whether or not it will.

However, in a way faith can't be the evidence of things not seen. Because evidence is not a guarantee. Just because my car has started every day for the last three and a half years does not guarantee me that it will start today. That I didn't leave the lights on last night to drain the battery. That the starter won't go out, or the alternator isn't getting worn out. Whatever, right. I have evidence my car will start simply by the fact that it has. But I can't count that as my guarantee that it will always be that way.

Though it would be nice if it was. Razz
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 12:43 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
neologist wrote:
I suppose, since this is the S&R forum, the bible's definition should be considered:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

This would seem to indicate that faith is something which requires examination, not to be acquired from emotion or whim.


Is that how you decipher that phrase? I get the exact opposite "take" on it. According to that quote, faith is something that is not something that is tangible, only desired. It is sort of like when a kid makes a wish on a birthday cake.
I suppose it depends on what you consider to be evidence. My standards are high.
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IFeelFree
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 01:01 pm
neologist wrote:
Phoenix32890 wrote:
neologist wrote:
I suppose, since this is the S&R forum, the bible's definition should be considered:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

This would seem to indicate that faith is something which requires examination, not to be acquired from emotion or whim.


Is that how you decipher that phrase? I get the exact opposite "take" on it. According to that quote, faith is something that is not something that is tangible, only desired. It is sort of like when a kid makes a wish on a birthday cake.
I suppose it depends on what you consider to be evidence. My standards are high.

Good answer. The difficulty is that the quote presents two descriptions of faith. Is it "the substance of things hoped for", i.e., wishful thinking, or "evidence of things not seen"? Using the second definition, even science could be equated with faith. After all, who's ever "seen" an electron or a black hole? Yet, we have ample "evidence" of them. Therefore, we have "faith" that they exist.
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 05:38 pm
IFeelFree, you are now using that semantic trick that religious people use to make religious faith seem similar or equal to the other rational kind of faith referred to earlier, in order to give religious faith credibility.

One's faith in the sun rising is not equal to one's faith in leprechauns. These are closer to opposites than to equals.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 05:57 pm
Eorl wrote:
IFeelFree, you are now using that semantic trick that religious people use to make religious faith seem similar or equal to the other rational kind of faith referred to earlier, in order to give religious faith credibility.

One's faith in the sun rising is not equal to one's faith in leprechauns. These are closer to opposites than to equals.
Yer just sayin' that 'cause ya didn't get the pot o'gold.
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 06:17 pm
neologist wrote:
Eorl wrote:
IFeelFree, you are now using that semantic trick that religious people use to make religious faith seem similar or equal to the other rational kind of faith referred to earlier, in order to give religious faith credibility.

One's faith in the sun rising is not equal to one's faith in leprechauns. These are closer to opposites than to equals.
Yer just sayin' that 'cause ya didn't get the pot o'gold.


When I catch the wee shite, I'm gonna wring his little green neck !!
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