what is a believer?

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
Audie
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what is a believer?

Postby Audie » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:22 am

Just someone who goes about believing things?

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Re: what is a believer?

Postby RickD » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:47 am

Audie wrote:Just someone who goes about believing things?

Do you mean in the context of Christianity?

If yes, then I'd say that a believer is one who has believed/trusted in Christ for salvation.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: what is a believer?

Postby Kurieuo » Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:29 pm

Everyone born.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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PaulSacramento
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Re: what is a believer?

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:51 am

To believe is to accept something as truth.
be·lieve
bəˈlēv/
verb
1.
accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.
"the superintendent believed Lancaster's story"
synonyms: be convinced by, trust, have confidence in, consider honest, consider truthful More
2.
hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose.
"I believe we've already met"

In short, ALL people are believers because ALL people believe in something.

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B. W.
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Re: what is a believer?

Postby B. W. » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:25 am

Audie wrote:Just someone who goes about believing things?


Just like you do Audie...
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Audie
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Re: what is a believer?

Postby Audie » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:07 am

RickD wrote:
Audie wrote:Just someone who goes about believing things?

Do you mean in the context of Christianity?



Partly. But in general, too.

It is connected to this thing about "choosing to believe".
I dont think I can find a Christian who does not think that choosing to believe
or disbelieve is what they do. Or that those who do not think as they are
choosing to "reject" (G)od.

I dont "reject God. I cannot "choose" to believe.

I said earlier that it seems to me a bright line distinction between
people, those who apparently are able to just choose, and then believe, and those whose minds dont allow for that sort of self deception (as it seems to me to be).

People apparently do believe in the book of mormon, as translated from gold books found in a cave in upstate new york. Scientology. Floodery. Is there possibly anything so tomfool that it cant attract ardent, gullible believers?

Someone that insensible taints anything they say about what they believe and why.

To me a 'believer" seems like someone who just "believes" much as a fainter faints.

I am working on this idea, I guess if people want to snipe at it they can.

In general, I dont think anyone much cares to understand what I think,
as evidenced by they way responses tend toward first translating what I've said into something else, then going after that. Abe and Jac are about equally bad in that regard. And for that matter, what krink made of my comment that "cosmo is pretty bad", turning it into the opposite.

Well, gotta get to work.

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Re: what is a believer?

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:16 am

I cannot "choose" to believe.


People choose to believe in ANYTHING based on a myriad of things.
We believe that the Earth is round because pictures of the Earth from space show it to be round ( none of us have ever flown into space and confirmed this with our own eyes).
We believe we will drown if water fills our lungs ( even though none of us have ever drowned).
We believe our car will start every morning ( even though there is always a chance it won't).
We believe that our opinions matter to others ( even though there is no evidence of that).
We believe we are rational, reasoning beings ( even though the only reason we believe that is because we think we are).
In short, we believe in things for various reasons:
Experience, observation, reasoning and even hope.

Point being we ALL believe and we all CHOOSE HOW we believe.

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Re: what is a believer?

Postby RickD » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:18 am

Audie,

When I talk about choosing to believe, I'm saying that whatever one believes, one believes it because one chooses to believe it. I'm not saying that in order to believe in Christ, or Mormonism, or Hinduism, or whatever, we can just choose to believe in anything, then we automatically believe.

I would think most people think about whatever they believe, weigh the pros and cons, then make a decision to choose to believe whatever they think is most logical to believe.

I'm not just telling you or anyone else to just choose to believe in Christ. Or even choose to believe God exists.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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B. W.
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Re: what is a believer?

Postby B. W. » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:22 am

Audie wrote:
I dont "reject God. I cannot "choose" to believe...


Cannot choose to believe is actually a choice statement...

Saying this, I don't reject is also a choice statement...

So you are what you are what you believe Audie.
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Re: what is a believer?

Postby Jac3510 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:39 am

I think the problem here is a confusion of terms. Strictly, to believe something is an act of the intellect. Therefore, no one chooses to believe anything, because the intellect does not elect. The intellect does not choose. That's a function of the will. Likewise, the will does not believe anything. Belief is a function of the intellect.

Now, clearly, the intellect and the will work together, because it is not the intellect that believes anymore than the will that chooses. Rather, the person believes and the person chooses. What actually happens is that the person is presented with a proposition. That proposition is considered and judged by the intellect as true or false. The will then gives assent to that judgment or rejects that judgment. That is why we can will ourselves to (re)consider some idea. For instance, I am taking a course in statistics, and we were recently presented with the Monty Hall Problem. (Explanation down below if you don't know the problem.) At first, I thought it was a scam, for lack of a better word. After looking at the evidence, after reconsidering it, I realized I was wrong. My initial judgment was that you would have the same probability of winning if you kept your choice the same as if you changed it. But I willed myself--I chose--to reject my claim on the basis of the authority of the better educated. That was quite literally an act of faith (and so, yes, faith does involve the will). In the process of studying it, I came to understand my error, and the intellect changed its judgment.

So we do a lot of this every single day. The vast, vast, vast majority of the time, our will gives assent to what our intellect presents without any question. We just believe it. I take a sip of coffee, my senses tell my brain it is too hot to drink, my intellect determines it would be best to put it down (quickly), my will gives assent and puts the coffee down. I don't stop to question if I choose to believe it. But on a small minority of questions, we intentionally decide whether or not to (re)examine our intellect's judgment. And I would submit to you, with reference to God, creationism, morality, theological questions and other such things, that is what this board is about. We are examining and reexamining the judgments our intellects have made on these propositions.

Audie, then, is in exactly the same boat as all of us. She does not will herself to disbelieve. To be clearer, she doesn't choose to disbelieve in God. And she can no more choose to believe than I can choose to believe that Elvis is alive today. That's simply not a judgment my intellect has made (and, again, you cannot choose your judgments). All she--or any of us--can do is choose to examine and reexamine the evidence, to present different cases to our intellects for different judgments. To use a legal analogy, we can appeal and reappeal and reappeal until we are either satisfied that our judgment is in fact true or until we get a judgment we find more satisfying. But in the end, the simple fact is she can't just blindly choose to beleive soomething, even if she wanted to. We don't do her, or anybody else (including ourselves), any favors by asking or suggesting that belief is merely a choice. It isn't.



* FYI: The Monty Hall Problem is a statistical thing that says imagine you have three doors, A, B, and C. Behind one of them is a prize. You are asked to pick one. Suppose I pick A. Now one of the other two doors is opened--let's say C--and it is revealed that there is nothing behind C. We know, then, that the prize is behind either A or B. So here's the question: do you keep your A choice or switch to B? The statistics say and prove definitively that you are far more likely to win if you switch your choice. Doesn't matter what the choice is or was. ALWAYS switch and you are more likely to win. Counter-intuitive, but true, all the same!
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: what is a believer?

Postby B. W. » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:50 am

Yes, Jac,

But not believing to choose any door is still a choice...

Question: So is an deaf, mute, blind, amputee quadriplegic human being still a sinner?
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Re: what is a believer?

Postby Jac3510 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:30 am

B. W. wrote:Yes, Jac,

But not believing to choose any door is still a choice...

The sentenc, as stated, is self-contradictory. Not believing or believing is not a choice, in and of itself. Now, choosing not to choose is a choice, insofar as it is choosing inaction. But you can't say "not believing to choose" (whatever that even means) is a choice. Again, the sentence as stated, makes election an act of the intellect, which is just not the case. The intellect does not elect. It judges. The will does not judge. It elects. Don't confuse the two faculties.

Question: So is an deaf, mute, blind, amputee quadriplegic human being still a sinner?

Of course, but that's completely, absolutely, and totally unrelated to the discussion.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: what is a believer?

Postby B. W. » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:49 am

Jac3510 wrote:
B. W. wrote:Yes, Jac,

But not believing to choose any door is still a choice...

The sentenc, as stated, is self-contradictory. Not believing or believing is not a choice, in and of itself. Now, choosing not to choose is a choice, insofar as it is choosing inaction. But you can't say "not believing to choose" (whatever that even means) is a choice. Again, the sentence as stated, makes election an act of the intellect, which is just not the case. The intellect does not elect. It judges. The will does not judge. It elects. Don't confuse the two faculties.

Question: So is an deaf, mute, blind, amputee quadriplegic human being still a sinner?

Of course, but that's completely, absolutely, and totally unrelated to the discussion.


Not self contradictory - If I do not leave the house today instead of going to the store to buy groceries means I made the choice not to leave.

If I do not choose any door is still a choice because I did not choose and instead choose to do nothing while dressed like RickD y:o) on Let's Make Deal selected by Monty Hall to be on stage to pick prize behind three doors.

If I do no picking, I still chose not to choose and that in and of itself is still a choice. No Contradiction at all.

On to next part...

And Yes the deaf, mute, blind, amputee quadriplegic human being is completely, absolutely, and totally unrelated to the discussion, yet, not so much as he or she can make no choices other than depend upon others for survival.

In fact I wonder if that was Jesus' point in Matthew 5:29-30 comments... But that is off topic.

We evangelistic preachers just like to talk :lol:
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Re: what is a believer?

Postby Jac3510 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:03 pm

Let me rephrase. Perhaps strictly, what you are saying is not self-contradictory. What it is, is incoherent. You just can't say that to believe is a choice, that to not believe is a choice. Belief is a judgment of the intellect. Choice is an act of the will. When you say believe is a choice, you are saying the intellect performs a function of the will and vice-versa. That is simply not true.

Now, in your defense, you could get very nuanced and deny that belief is a judgment of the intellect and instead say that it is the giving assent to the judgment of the intellect. In that case, you could choose not to believe in the sense that you could not give assent to the judgment of the intellect. But on that more charitable reading, you are simply wrong in the context of our conversation. Audie doesn't choose not to believe in that sense. Her intellect has not judged God to exist and then she has chosen not to give assent to that idea. So you're just mistaken, and while Audie and I (or Kenny and I or whoever) aren't exactly forum buddies, I don't think it helps to misrepresent what she and other non-believers are doing when they reject the faith.

As far as the cripple you raise, again, it is, in fact, unrelated. If such a person sins (and they do), it is by choice. Choice is, again, an act of the will. Their physical abnormalities have no bearing on any of that. Again, it's just unrelated. And I would ask you, as an evangelical preacher myself, not to give yourself permission to say nonsense on the basis of your being an evangelical preacher. It reflects poorly on the rest of us.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: what is a believer?

Postby patrick » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:11 pm

Audie wrote:I said earlier that it seems to me a bright line distinction between
people, those who apparently are able to just choose, and then believe, and those whose minds dont allow for that sort of self deception (as it seems to me to be).

People apparently do believe in the book of mormon, as translated from gold books found in a cave in upstate new york. Scientology. Floodery. Is there possibly anything so tomfool that it cant attract ardent, gullible believers?

Someone that insensible taints anything they say about what they believe and why.

To me a 'believer" seems like someone who just "believes" much as a fainter faints.

I am working on this idea, I guess if people want to snipe at it they can.


I agree with a fair bit of this. There're a lot of people that seem to adhere to a religion simply because of how it makes them feel, even when it doesn't really make sense to themselves intellectually.

For me, I basically see two kinds of narratives we use to explain the world -- "narrative" because our explanations are first and foremost psychological, only aiming at the truth. These I call spiritual and empirical narratives, similar to the "mythos | logos" divide. Spiritual narratives at the very least can be gauged by their psychological resonance, and at most (imo) anything that doesn't conflict with apparent empirical truths. Some people take it further though, at the extreme seeing empirical facts as being a mere illusion. Carl Jung had a similar view, roughly capturing this error in his Introverted Intuitive type (and underemphasis of the spiritual in his Extroverted Sensing type).

From that background, I can see Christianity either way -- being at least psychologically true and at most pointing towards what undergrids the empirical world. I don't really have "faith" though, as it's traditionally understood -- I mentioned this in a thread I made a while back ((viewtopic.php?f=3&t=41226&p=207227). Instead, I just lean towards acting in accord with Christian beliefs. I pray, for instance, because at the very least it's helping me to center myself. Whether it's doing more than that, well, I've yet to have an experience that made me feel like it has.

Incidentally, all of this is why I'm very cautious about making moral judgments on purely Biblical grounds. Among Christians, I feel it's fair to hold ourselves to that, but beyond that I need fair justification from a secular point of view.


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