Philosophy of Faith

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#16

Post by B. W. » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:59 pm

DannyM wrote:I liked it when, in a Dawkins-Lennox debate, Dawkins said he did not hold any sort of faith, and Lennox asked Dawkins if he had faith in his wife... Dawkins said No...and Lennox went, Mmmm...

Hilarious
Well he has faith in his pride and mind...

So the next response should have been to Dawkins - why should anyone have faith in your ideas?
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#17

Post by B. W. » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:29 pm

Answering jestes next 3 questions - questions 4, 5, and 6 from prior page.
jestes wrote:3. Faith begins with a choice, and is rooted in realization. Paul says we were given a spirit of sonship. Stop and think about that for a second. It took me a while to "get it". You are no longer the file room clerk hoping you don't make the boss mad and get fired. You're now the boss' kid. You need not be worried about losing your job now. Having said that, being the boss' kid means that you are now open to an entirely new level of discipline that you weren't before. That discipline is not something meant for vengeance or payment, but rather for instruction. Jesus took care of the payment. Discipline is now intended to keep you from repeating your mistakes and bringing harm to yourself and others. I feel one of the reasons we are told to confess known issues even after salvation is because God is giving us a chance to realize and learn from our own mistakes. Basically it's God's way of saying, "Ya messed up. Talk to me about it, and let's see what we can do to avoid it next time. Just don't make me call you out on it."
I agree with what you are saying here as faith does lead to choice and realization to act upon it and learn. Even if someone is not a Christian, or even religious, his/her faith guides them to choose and learn as well too. Faith motivates a person to action and this would be a part of the philosophy of faith. Faith involves choice and committed action upon that choice.
jestes wrote:4. Faith is not a work in itself. I struggled with this myself, but many people view Christianity as hardly different from any other religion. That is to say, that it offers a way of life that will bring you closer to God provided to modify your behavior accordingly. I still struggle to really describe it, but I had an issue with whether faith was a work or not. I realized that faith is not an effort that must be undertaken, but it stands in contrast to effort that must be stopped. In Eden, Adam and Eve had direct fellowship with God. They didn't need to take it on faith. They were literally looking at him, exactly the way He intended. Faith is not a means to "get to God", but rather the doorway God uses to come to us to bring us back to that fellowship. God is the one coming to us. We just need to quit running.
Amen to that jestes!! I guess it depends in what one places his/her faith in – works or God’s work. What do you think?
jestes wrote:5. Faith is God-given. It is not unlike the breath in your lungs, the free will you exercise, and the gifts/talents you were born with. Faith is something given from God, not something we make on our own. We all know that faith, hope, and love are all closely related and are present in a believer. We also know that God is love. Saying God loves doesn't cut it. God IS love. The more I've thought about it, the more blurred the distinction between those three words becomes. Given these facts, and the fact that God gives his Spirit to live within us, I wonder something: Are faith, hope, and love three words used to describe the same thing?
As I stated as a premise we are exploring and investing here: Human Beings are by nature creatures of faith....

That would mean from a Christian perspective, or religious, God designed us with a measure of faith –– saint and sinner alike: Gave a degree of faith. I see that in the non-religious world of humanity as well in action. People have a degree to place faith and act upon it toward each other and develop friendships and deep bonds of loyalty and devotion.

Now would faith, love, and hope be the same thing? I would think they are independent of each other according to each own nature but they build upon each other. Faith is energized by love while expectation (hope) looks forward toward being part of what one has faith in. Each are different but together they form an agreement with each other.

For example: Dawkins loves his faith in Atheism and has a hope about it, does he not? This motivates him into action, words, and deeds.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#18

Post by DannyM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:12 am

B. W. wrote:
DannyM wrote:I liked it when, in a Dawkins-Lennox debate, Dawkins said he did not hold any sort of faith, and Lennox asked Dawkins if he had faith in his wife... Dawkins said No...and Lennox went, Mmmm...

Hilarious
Well he has faith in his pride and mind...

So the next response should have been to Dawkins - why should anyone have faith in your ideas?
One example of a Dawkins idea would be the "meme." Surely when he argued for the "meme" in his Selfish Gene he expected his readers to take his idea with an element of faith...Or did he seriously expect readers to take his ideas about a cultural replicator as fa...Oh wait a minute - this is Richard Dawkins; of course he expected his readers to take his musings as factual. Silly me.

But seriously, if you want to take Dawkins' "meme" then you have to take it on faith. He sparked a debate, for sure, and the debate over "memes" still rages. So anyone experiencing a belief in these "memes" is experiencing faith.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#19

Post by B. W. » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:20 am

DannyM wrote:One example of a Dawkins idea would be the "meme." Surely when he argued for the "meme" in his Selfish Gene he expected his readers to take his idea with an element of faith...Or did he seriously expect readers to take his ideas about a cultural replicator as fa...Oh wait a minute - this is Richard Dawkins; of course he expected his readers to take his musings as factual. Silly me.

But seriously, if you want to take Dawkins' "meme" then you have to take it on faith. He sparked a debate, for sure, and the debate over "memes" still rages. So anyone experiencing a belief in these "memes" is experiencing faith.
Hmmm - Dawkins must of discovered that human beings have a sin nature! That 'meme' selfish nature...

Anyways, from Dawkins post and others, so far there are four categories of faith:

First category is faith in ones abilities

Second is faith in God’s abilities/works

Third faith in ‘earnment’ or one can earn favor through works/deeds (from others or divinity)

Fourth in combination faith in family, friends, strangers, teachers, humanity, leaders…

Anymore?
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#20

Post by DannyM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:25 am

B. W. wrote:
Anyways, from Dawkins post and others, so far there are four categories of faith:

First category is faith in ones abilities

Second is faith in God’s abilities/works

Third faith in ‘earnment’ or one can earn favor through works/deeds (from others or divinity)

Fourth in combination faith in family, friends, strangers, teachers, humanity, leaders…

Anymore?
Have you thought about the role of faith in the subconscious, B.W.?
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#21

Post by B. W. » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:12 pm

DannyM wrote:Have you thought about the role of faith in the subconscious, B.W.?
Not to much that subject but it would be good to discuss - faith in the subconscious

Is faith rooted within our subconscious?
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#22

Post by DannyM » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:26 am

B. W. wrote:
DannyM wrote:Have you thought about the role of faith in the subconscious, B.W.?
Not to much that subject but it would be good to discuss - faith in the subconscious

Is faith rooted within our subconscious?
What I have in mind is a subconscious faith when, say, stepping out of your house and onto the pavement that your feet will connect with the ground in a recognisable fashion. Just one example of a subconscious faith I’m thinking about. It’s not something we think about; and it’s probably something others might flat out reject. But faith clearly plays a role here, even if we don’t immediately know it.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#23

Post by B. W. » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:42 am

DannyM wrote:
B. W. wrote:
DannyM wrote:Have you thought about the role of faith in the subconscious, B.W.?
Not to much that subject but it would be good to discuss - faith in the subconscious

Is faith rooted within our subconscious?
What I have in mind is a subconscious faith when, say, stepping out of your house and onto the pavement that your feet will connect with the ground in a recognisable fashion. Just one example of a subconscious faith I’m thinking about. It’s not something we think about; and it’s probably something others might flat out reject. But faith clearly plays a role here, even if we don’t immediately know it.
I think you have something here - subconscious faith - you can apply that to going to the grocery store knowing the shelves are stocked or that the tax man cometh!

It is a way people connect with each other as well -faith someone will show up when they said they would...

Great point Danny!
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#24

Post by DannyM » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:09 pm

B. W. wrote:
I think you have something here - subconscious faith - you can apply that to going to the grocery store knowing the shelves are stocked or that the tax man cometh!

It is a way people connect with each other as well -faith someone will show up when they said they would...
Thank goodness you're with me, B.W. I was picturing bales of hay rolling past in front of your eyes.

You have immediately marched forward with further examples of a subconscious faith at work. How far can we go? The question should really be, When would it be possible for us to go no further?

I think we can see that it is utterly incoherent for a naturalist to scorn any concept of faith. And I think it shows how far this thread, if earnestly pursued, can really go.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#25

Post by jestes » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:13 pm

This thread got a little bigger since I was here last! I'll have to check my settings. I'm not getting emails when people reply. lol. Hopefully this will clear things up.
B. W. wrote:
++Adam and Eve made a choice between two systems. Which did they surrender and the one accepted? What are the hallmarks of each?
The way I see the creation story and original sin is that God gave humanity a choice to either place it's faith in Him, or something else. That something else could be our own personal understanding (man-made religion), Satan himself, or whatever else you want to bring up. It doesn't matter really. If someone places his faith in someone/thing other than God, it's automatically inferior. 4 is always less than 5... In Genesis, satan basically said, "Nah, you won't really die, even though God told you you would..." Eve listened. Regardless of whether you view it as her placing her faith in satan, or in herself ("Yeah that makes sense I guess"), the result is the same. Had she maintained strong faith in God and what He said, that wouldn't have happened. Albeit a temporary lapse, a lapse is faith led to a bad decision.
B. W. wrote: ++If I understand correctly, faith would be the foundation of an emotion that convinces ones course of life which one becomes loyal to, lives after, and follows. Deep inside an emotional appeal lays the foundation for ones life’s course to follow whatever a person placed faith in. Look at what James wrote to see what I mean.

James 1:14, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed."

Human beings are by nature creatures of faith and have an inheritant need to belong to something, a need to feel loyal too something, even a need to be convinced to follow something, all stems from a need to be taken care of by something/someone which is sparked by a feeling. Interesting concept, jestes, if that is what you meant…

This leads to the questions: In the Garden of Eden, the Serpent convinced both Adam and Eve to place their faith in what?

What is it today that people place their trust in more than God?

What is exchanged?
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This somewhat goes back to the first one. Adam and Eve placed their faith in something other than God. What that something/someone is doesn't really matter because it isn't God, regardless of how seemingly good or bad it may be. People place their faith in all sorts of things nowadays. Basically, they place their faith in anything/anyone that seems more well-informed about a certain topic than themselves. Magazines, friends, TV, their own experiences, and of course, Oprah....

Yes, I do believe faith to be a kind of emotional foundation, among many things. I also agree that we are creatures of faith. It's obvious people need to believe in something. Maslow's hierarchy of needs states that after a person has food/water, and is not in fear of loosing his life, the needs of love and belonging are next. Even if misguided, people want to have faith that they are cared for by those around them. I also believe that we were designed to not function properly without faith in God. Faith is the doorway to our hearts that the Spirit uses to enter. Without that, we are broken.

Looking back though, I should have clarified something: Faith may be a foundation, but faith must have it's own foundation. I have a friend who is unfortunately, an atheist. He's a nice guy, but can get depressed pretty easily. Odd huh? ;) Anyway, to try and feel better he's CONSTANTLY trying to "be positive", "motto for the day: positivity", constantly trying to do nice things for other people, surround himself with happy things, and so forth. Essentially, his faith is in his own ability to find and take hold of happiness. He has to try SO HARD too. The really sad part, is that it never lasts. His faith is in something that is fleeting, at best. Let's contrast that with faith in God. I'll use my own personal example, but I know I'm far from unique on this:

When I start to feel a little down, I just remind myself of the faith I have been given: "Why am I worried? God is watching out for me, and he's not absent minded..." My faith is placed in God, and is therefore solid since the object of my faith is solid. Sand VS rock, to use a Biblical example. Unfortunately, in modern society God's name is thrown around so casually that saying "God loves me" has lost a bit of it's punch. To expand my faith comment above and illustrate the kind of foundation faith in God has:

I see God as the being who: conceived, designed, and brought forth every mystery science seeks to understand; who spoke a word that science has come to know as the Big Bang; who determined how hard Babe Ruth had to swing that bat; who put the stars in the sky as a kind of beacon to say, "You're not alone in life"; who is the Creator of the sweet potato and supernovas, summer thunderstorms and solar flares, musical theory and the Rocky Mountains; who first imagined every beautiful thing eyes have ever seen, ears have ever heard, or hands have done; who decided that the best feeling in the word is an arm gone numb because the girl you love is asleep on it; who is the only infinite, invincible, and everlasting thing in all of existence. THAT is Who we're talking about, but know this: He desires you; cares for you; knows you, concerns himself with you, and most importantly, loves you. THAT is the true object of faith. THAT is a foundation faith can be built on. With this as a foundation of faith, and faith as a foundation of life, imagine where that road leads.

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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#26

Post by B. W. » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:33 am

DannyM wrote:
B. W. wrote:
I think you have something here - subconscious faith - you can apply that to going to the grocery store knowing the shelves are stocked or that the tax man cometh!

It is a way people connect with each other as well -faith someone will show up when they said they would...
Thank goodness you're with me, B.W. I was picturing bales of hay rolling past in front of your eyes.

You have immediately marched forward with further examples of a subconscious faith at work. How far can we go? The question should really be, When would it be possible for us to go no further?

I think we can see that it is utterly incoherent for a naturalist to scorn any concept of faith. And I think it shows how far this thread, if earnestly pursued, can really go.
Subconscious faith would be evidence of how God designed human beings as creatures of faith.

People who do not believe in God - have faith. Such faith is still placed in something in many ways. For those that claim that Faith is an enemy to reason do not realize the subconscious element of faith they use everyday.

Secular humanist militant atheistic faith is having no religion as means of salvation towards a utopian model. They move on such faith, act upon it, and expect all others to conform to their point of view. Human beings are creatures of faith.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#27

Post by B. W. » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:54 am

jestes wrote:...The way I see the creation story and original sin is that God gave humanity a choice to either place it's faith in Him, or something else. That something else could be our own personal understanding (man-made religion), Satan himself, or whatever else you want to bring up. It doesn't matter really. If someone places his faith in someone/thing other than God, it's automatically inferior. 4 is always less than 5... In Genesis, satan basically said, "Nah, you won't really die, even though God told you you would..." Eve listened. Regardless of whether you view it as her placing her faith in satan, or in herself ("Yeah that makes sense I guess"), the result is the same. Had she maintained strong faith in God and what He said, that wouldn't have happened. Albeit a temporary lapse, a lapse is faith led to a bad decision.

This somewhat goes back to the first one. Adam and Eve placed their faith in something other than God. What that something/someone is doesn't really matter because it isn't God, regardless of how seemingly good or bad it may be. People place their faith in all sorts of things nowadays. Basically, they place their faith in anything/anyone that seems more well-informed about a certain topic than themselves. Magazines, friends, TV, their own experiences, and of course, Oprah....

Yes, I do believe faith to be a kind of emotional foundation, among many things. I also agree that we are creatures of faith. It's obvious people need to believe in something. Maslow's hierarchy of needs states that after a person has food/water, and is not in fear of loosing his life, the needs of love and belonging are next. Even if misguided, people want to have faith that they are cared for by those around them. I also believe that we were designed to not function properly without faith in God. Faith is the doorway to our hearts that the Spirit uses to enter. Without that, we are broken.

Looking back though, I should have clarified something: Faith may be a foundation, but faith must have it's own foundation. I have a friend who is unfortunately, an atheist. He's a nice guy, but can get depressed pretty easily. Odd huh? ;) Anyway, to try and feel better he's CONSTANTLY trying to "be positive", "motto for the day: positivity", constantly trying to do nice things for other people, surround himself with happy things, and so forth. Essentially, his faith is in his own ability to find and take hold of happiness. He has to try SO HARD too. The really sad part, is that it never lasts. His faith is in something that is fleeting, at best. Let's contrast that with faith in God. I'll use my own personal example, but I know I'm far from unique on this:

When I start to feel a little down, I just remind myself of the faith I have been given: "Why am I worried? God is watching out for me, and he's not absent minded..." My faith is placed in God, and is therefore solid since the object of my faith is solid. Sand VS rock, to use a Biblical example. Unfortunately, in modern society God's name is thrown around so casually that saying "God loves me" has lost a bit of it's punch. To expand my faith comment above and illustrate the kind of foundation faith in God has:

I see God as the being who: conceived, designed, and brought forth every mystery science seeks to understand; who spoke a word that science has come to know as the Big Bang; who determined how hard Babe Ruth had to swing that bat; who put the stars in the sky as a kind of beacon to say, "You're not alone in life"; who is the Creator of the sweet potato and supernovas, summer thunderstorms and solar flares, musical theory and the Rocky Mountains; who first imagined every beautiful thing eyes have ever seen, ears have ever heard, or hands have done; who decided that the best feeling in the word is an arm gone numb because the girl you love is asleep on it; who is the only infinite, invincible, and everlasting thing in all of existence. THAT is Who we're talking about, but know this: He desires you; cares for you; knows you, concerns himself with you, and most importantly, loves you. THAT is the true object of faith. THAT is a foundation faith can be built on. With this as a foundation of faith, and faith as a foundation of life, imagine where that road leads.
Faith may be a foundation, but faith must have its own foundation, very well said jestes.

Faith must have its own foundation, and it appears that is why we were designed as creatures of faith. Adam and Eve transferred that foundation to the sand of self works, mental gymnastics, and sin. Wonder if that is why the Lord told Adam, he’d have to earn his food by seat of his brow so he would learn where his foundation is placed?

So the question comes down to where does our foundation rest? Sand or bedrock?

These same principles are found in this text, Luke 6: 47, 48, 49c.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#28

Post by CeT-To » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:10 am

^ Spot on Bryan :clap:

How can we expect to know truth of the external world without having faith in a Creator who designed it for us to know and gain truth.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#29

Post by narnia4 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:34 pm

This is an excellent thread with lots to chew on. I feel like faith is complex beyond our understanding sometimes, the other times I feel like its amazingly simple. I agree with the line of thought here that indicates that we all put our faith somewhere, probably in multiple things. I always liked the name of Craig's website "reasonable faith". You could also call it "rational", "logical". It is faith, but it is not without foundation. I'm trying to remember Dawkins' strawman definition of faith, it really lets you know who he is. To paraphrase very loosely, it was something like "a dogmatic adherence to something without evidence, even in the teeth of evidence". I believe it was worded even more harshly, the thing is that it's clearly not the way any Christian would define his faith.

Sometimes when I'm in the right mindset it seems so clear what a true follower of Christ believes in and what angry unbelievers believes in. Its a question of foundations, one house on the solid rock and one on the sand.
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Re: Philosophy of Faith

#30

Post by DannyM » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:30 am

B. W. wrote:Subconscious faith would be evidence of how God designed human beings as creatures of faith
I think you’re right.

The role of faith within the subconscious is inescapable.
People who do not believe in God - have faith. Such faith is still placed in something in many ways. For those that claim that Faith is an enemy to reason do not realize the subconscious element of faith they use everyday.
Anyone claiming faith to be an enemy of reason is making a statement which cannot be justified using reason and so the very statement is a faith statement!
Secular humanist militant atheistic faith is having no religion as means of salvation towards a utopian model. They move on such faith, act upon it, and expect all others to conform to their point of view. Human beings are creatures of faith.
You’re right… This is a great thread, and in time I want to get into it much more.
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