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dorkynorky
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27 Nov 2007, 4:36 pm

and does everyone have it?

I've just joined and was checking out some or the threads discussing God.

For the record
- I believe in God and Jesus
- I believe in a young universe
- I have a Ph.D. in Physics (I mention this not because I have any explicit scientific authority in areas used for arguements for or against God, but to make known that I'm one of those strange individuals who believes in science and in God)

There are ton's of arguements both for and against the existence of God in these threads which seem to have basis from personal to social beleifs and behaviors to scientific arguement. If I was trying to determine whether to believe in God or not, it would be difficult to decide how these various arguements would lead me. So, I have sought for a more basic question to understand the similarities between individuals whose beliefs seem to be so different.

As an individual I have wished that I could know all things and fit them into an equation that would allow me to use them either for selfish or altruistic purposes. However, I must confess that after 45 years, I've been forced to accept that all things might not be knowable and that certainly all things can't be represented mathematically. (I do know that determinists think otherwise, which is their prerogative)

FOR ME FAITH IS A TRUST IN SOMETHING WHICH IS NOT COMPLETELY KNOWABLE OR CONTROLLABLE

so for instance, people can have faith in science (yes I've seen scientific problems for which not every answer is known or controlled), faith in political and legal processes (less people seem to have this), faith in the goodness of humanity, or faith in higher beings, as well as a number of other things

BASED ON MY OWN DEFINITION OF FAITH, I BELIEVE EVERYONE HAS FAITH IN SOMETHING

For the more cynical among us (yes I'm cynical sometimes even though I believe in God) I would state that as defined, I don't think faith must necessarily be positive in content or effect.

What do you all think? WHAT IS FAITH? and DOES EVERYONE HAVE FAITH?



spdjeanne
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27 Nov 2007, 4:47 pm

I'm not sure you're going to get much argument about faith from people. Maybe it is just me, but I take if for granted that everyone knows that they hold some beliefs about the world to be true despite there being a lack of certainty about them. After all, the Scientific method deals in levels of certainty about theories never in positive proofs.



monty
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27 Nov 2007, 5:02 pm

Sure, we can't keep an eye on everything all the time, can't predict the future fully. So we have faith that our loved ones are doing ok without having to call them every 5 minutes. We have faith that the sun will rise like usual tommorrow.

I see this type of faith is different from a 'leap of faith' to things that ordinarily would defy logic.



dorkynorky
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27 Nov 2007, 5:12 pm

spdjeanne wrote:
I'm not sure you're going to get much argument about faith from people. Maybe it is just me, but I take if for granted that everyone knows that they hold some beliefs about the world to be true despite there being a lack of certainty about them. After all, the Scientific method deals in levels of certainty about theories never in positive proofs.


Of course, I'm not really looking for arguements, but trying to promote a method of understanding that allows people to more openly consider those who don't agree with their 'factual' arguements. By the by, I'm an experimental solid state physicist, and my defition of what has been scientifically proven is relatively small. One of my favorite examples of how little scientists actually know is that Neils Bohr (a very knowledgeable and capable scientist), noble prize winner for his work in atomic physics stated in the 1920's that he didn't believe that it would be possible to observe nuclear magnetic resonances. In 1950, Purcell and Pound performed the first magnetic resonance experiments, which earned them a Nobel Prize. For the past 22 years I have worked in the NMR industry, an industry that at one point a very learned scientist would have not invested in. But now I start to diverge onto my perspectives of what science is, which someday I hope to start a seperate thread on.



spdjeanne
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27 Nov 2007, 5:34 pm

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that in this forum threads aimed towards agreement rather than disagreement don't seem to thrive. People say they don't like the trolls here, but it seems trolling is the only way to generate attention for a thread. Best wishes. I hope people prove me wrong and this thread does generate attention. It would be nice to focus on our similarities rather than differences all the time.



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27 Nov 2007, 5:34 pm

The word "faith" connotes the existence of doubt.

The sun will rise tomorrow. It might not. But, your level of doubt is very small. Hence, exceedingly little faith is required.

"Jesus' death on the cross assures that I will go to Heaven." Well, this one requires quite a lot of faith, as there is also quite a lot of doubt.



dorkynorky
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27 Nov 2007, 6:01 pm

Okay, it hasn't been long, but I see where people's responses are going.

Faith is a statistical issue. Of course everyone has faith but only in things that fall above the appropriate point in the statistical curve. I don't have enough scientific info on this now, but for example, the sun could not rise tomorrow because the planet could be hit by a meteor or the Yellowstone supervolcano could blow, but statistically these possibilities are small so faith can make up the difference. Similarly with regard to the safety of those we care about.

SO I AM GOING TO MAKE AN ADDENDUM TO MY ORIGINAL POST

I BELIEVE THAT IT IS IN THE NATURE OF MAN TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT FALL OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF THOSE THINGS THAT CAN BE STATISTICALLY PROVEN TO BE IMMUTABLE FACTS. THIS IS WHAT I DEFINE AS FAITH

I'm sure this statement is probably still not refined enough to get people to consider it completely and for some the statement 'statistically proven to be immutable facts' may be vague or lame. Fine, define what you think that means more precisely. Thats the purpose of the post. I want to be open to others opinions (and if you think I'm not being so, let me know)

I think that people perform various tasks and rituals to affirm their faith. These can be science experiments, or religious rites. I think that we live on a planet that is controlled by media and politics, and therefore, having a large number of people agree with us can seem to remove things from the category of faith and into that of logic (which was a math course that I took once). I think that most people have faith in something in the way in which I have described, but they would be slow to admit it because it leaves one feeling out of control.



Awesomelyglorious
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27 Nov 2007, 6:03 pm

pandabear wrote:
The word "faith" connotes the existence of doubt.

The sun will rise tomorrow. It might not. But, your level of doubt is very small. Hence, exceedingly little faith is required.

"Jesus' death on the cross assures that I will go to Heaven." Well, this one requires quite a lot of faith, as there is also quite a lot of doubt.

Does that mean that perfect faith is not faith? According to Christian scripture(a philosophical basis that you referenced) "Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." I mean, the words assurance and conviction do not leave much room for doubt. Does this also mean that faith is subjective? Doubt is subjective as many people have many different doubts, and may even maintain these different levels of doubts with access to the same information as doubt being emotion is not merely a statistical function. Ultimately, does this not mean that objectively nothing and everything can be faith? Owing to this, does that mean that faith is a relatively useless philosophical concept and only useful on a psychological level? What do you think?



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27 Nov 2007, 6:07 pm

dorkynorky wrote:
I BELIEVE THAT IT IS IN THE NATURE OF MAN TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT FALL OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF THOSE THINGS THAT CAN BE STATISTICALLY PROVEN TO BE IMMUTABLE FACTS. THIS IS WHAT I DEFINE AS FAITH

Man has insufficient data to know things but he claims to know them all of the time and in every action. He knows that system A is effective and system B is not despite a lack of research. He knows that philosophy A is true and philosophy B is false despite a lack of research. He assures himself with arrogance, with pseudo-logic, with some snippets of research, with agreement or acquiescence to his ideas, and other factors to make his truth seem true despite a lack of ability to find it. This aspect of humanity is seen most frequently in philosophy, politics and religion.



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27 Nov 2007, 6:11 pm

i think that the religious/spiritual impulse is universal or very widespread, moreso in those who have romantic or idealistic dispostions.

I agree that people who reject faith/religion tend to turn some other aspect of their life into a 'faith' or a religion, some have faith in sex, money, diets, in 'green' movements, whatevah. they think these things will save them, get them to a better place. science most certainly functions as a pseudo-religion.



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27 Nov 2007, 6:37 pm

faith is something you believe in that you cannot prove. and can never be proven, what does the bible say "we walk by faith & not by sight" or something. yah know i admire people with faith! (just not people who use there religion as a weapon to persecute others) but im now going to follow whatever the evidence is for anything, spiritual or anything else real or unseen and not just what some book said happend or someone sais. to me the christian religion is alot like santa clause. its just a story (and i use the christian religion as an example because i live in a pirdomitley christian nation) but really if i lived anywhere else in the world i'd feel the same way about whatever the accepted religion was there.

this is just what i think. i think men made god up in his wonderful large sexy brain. i doubt god came out of thin airs spoke to dust and suddenly a man was made



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27 Nov 2007, 6:50 pm

richardbenson wrote:
faith is something you believe in that you cannot prove. and can never be proven,

What can ever be proven? Ultimately, if you prove something with some premises then those premises must be proven, and this continues infinitely. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regress_argument We ultimately all have to go back to something that we cannot prove, that perhaps never can be proven, and that we take on what you consider faith because of the nature of regression.



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27 Nov 2007, 6:52 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
What can ever be proven?
im a betting man that some things can be proven. so far religion isnt one of them



Awesomelyglorious
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27 Nov 2007, 6:55 pm

richardbenson wrote:
im a betting man that some things can be proven. so far religion isnt one of them

So, you take it on faith that some things can be proven? Wow, that is a relatively absurd position. So far nothing actually fits in the category of proven truths, as my argument is essentially an argument against all knowledge and a very good one too.



richardbenson
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27 Nov 2007, 6:59 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
richardbenson wrote:
im a betting man that some things can be proven. so far religion isnt one of them
So, you take it on faith that some things can be proven?
uhm i dont remember saying that