faith, or the lack of.

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  • faith, or the lack of.
  • Premier Icon molgrips
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    Don’t be dazzled by sophisticated arguments.

    So wait – you’re telling me not to believe arguments that might contradict my viewpoint?
    Isn’t that just having faith that you’re right and they’re wrong? Just about the most ironic thing I’ve ever heard.

    I’ll believe well reasoned and intelligent arguments if I want, thanks! FFS

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Literally the entire point of faith is choosing a viewpoint where no evidence either way is available or even possible.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
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    Only someone who’s never bothered to really listen to been convinced by an intelligent person of faith would think that.

    Now that’s just rude, so I’ve fixed it for you. Can we stay away from adhoms please?

    tjagain
    Member

    PP – it was a question. I’d also question rational 😉

    I do know I have no idea of how the mind of someone with faith works bar that I have read up a little on the science of it where they are beginning to discover some differences in structure and process and parallels with mental illness!

    I do not know if you understand the secular mindset. I would suggest not but how can I know – hence making it a question

    Not a believer, but underneath the smiting and miracles, the Bible is not a bad starting point for a civilised communal society, which is definitely something to be be respectful and faithful to. The ten commandments are the minimum foundation for a collective of people to live cohesively, most religions use the same if not similar tenets.

    there is a great deal of content in the main religious texts on cleanliness, proper eating, creating healthy relationships and striking down those who seek to strike you.

    So in short it’s not about having faith it’s about, being faithful to something even if it’s some principles in an old book, or yourself.

    tjagain
    Member

    Molgrips – you make my point! Faith cannot have a rational argument because its belief without evidence – the very opposite of rational thought.

    Rational thought is based around evidence and facts. Faith is by definition irrational

    Anyway – time for me to get out of this before it becomes too heated. religious debate on here never goes well

    PP – that was not intended to be insulting btw. Please do not take it as such.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Now that’s just rude, so I’ve fixed it for you. Can we stay away from adhoms please?

    You’re reading my comments through the god/no god glasses. I’m not arguing about the existence of God, and I’m certainly not saying that an intelligent person would be able to or even want to convince you of the existence of God. That’s no my point at all.

    You made a guess as to why a believer could be a scientist. I said that you don’t have to guess because scientists with faith definitely exist and they could tell you why they believe. I’m not saying they would make you agree with them, but many of them have thought about it a great deal and are happy that their beliefs are consistent with their work.

    Rational thought is based around evidence and facts.

    Not really.

    If I were religious, I might say that I feel the presence of God. That is a real feeling, so faith derived from it is entirely rational.

    Wether or not that feeling is actually God is the real question, and that is purely faith ON BOTH SIDES. No-one’s ever really going to know, because God isn’t even a well defined concept, so faith is all there is. That is rational.

    Arguing for the truth of something that is unknowable is foolish, this is why these arguments go round in circles all the time. TBH the issue here is a philosophical one relating to people’s ideas of reality and existence…

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    You make the assumption that these two mindsets are a binary choice

    Bingo

    I do not know if you understand the secular mindset. I would suggest not but how can I know – hence making it a question

    The answer to your question is yes, of course I do.

    Until I was in my thirties I believed nothing. I was as cynical and snarky as anyone on here, but never rude enough to publicly decry anyone else for it.

    The Bible was just another boring  book in the library and I believed in God to about the same degree as I believed in Timmy the Dog from the Famous Five. They were both equally fictional characters.

    There was no  big revelatory flash of inspiration  that changed my mind.

    Just a growing realisation that there was something missing from my life and it couldn’t be filled externally.

    No one pressured me or converted me to go to Church, or do or think anything other than what I wanted. Equally I would never dream of doing that to another person. It’s an entirely personal thing, driven from within. I don’t really like talking about it, if i’m entirely honest.

    It’s not something that I can adequately explain and I’m okay with that. I don’t need anyone else to understand or approve or join in. It’s just for me.

    I tried it for myself, liked what I found and it’s made me, in my opinion, a better person for it. I have an additional set of tools and a support structure that I didn’t have before.

    I feel a degree of pity for those (either sceptic or true believer) who feel they need to attack others for their beliefs ( or lack thereof)

    Not because they lack faith though, but because they lack the self awareness to see how they appear to others. Maybe they have something missing that even God can’t fill?

    I’d also question rational

    Rationality is vastly overrated in my opinion. It’s way more fun to be irrational once in a while.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
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    I don’t have any real faith to speak of and find all religions fascinating and bizarre in equal measure. One thing religion and faith appear to have given us is some really nice architecture. Other than that, live and let live.

    Life, to me, is just one big fluke. As long as you’re not being a dick just enjoy it whilst you can. If having certain beliefs or faith in something helps make life easier or better for people that can only be a good thing. I don’t have the need for it myself but wouldn’t judge others for it.

    tjagain
    Member

    Thanks for that PP

    Lawmanmx
    Member

    this might pose a couple of questions to you T, and its only an hour pal 😉

    Premier Icon bikebouy
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    Interesting reading, and for once (maybe just once) we can be objective and answer the argument put before us about “what is faith?”.

    I don’t think we need to define it per se, or interpret the narrative purely for the fact that this thread has shown a diverse belief in what we term as “faith”

    I’d like to think that over the years of being on here that a form of faith (whatever that is) brings us lot together on a forum in the middle of nowhere. Faith in what I really don’t know. But we do collectively come together and argue the toss about a million and one subjects. Subjects that do involve a faith of some sort or some level.

    I’m not so sure Dracs posting of a thread really defined my lack of faith in humanity, more it a small example of a group of humans that have helped or assisted an-other human out at a time in need. That goes on daily at a small level, small groups dotted across the horizon reaching out across a small platform.

    IMO the great Gnusmas thread settled, for a small moment, my lack of faith, but then it was gone and nothing collective replaced it.

    I am obvz thinking more holistically than a few random events, and whilst being shown “events” still doesn’t bring me back to having a faith in Humanity in all its wild and courageous wonder.

    Its an argument that’s as old as when Humans first stood up and threw sticks at others, and it will continue to be an important metaphysical question posed by many.

    It’s reassuring to read that some have sought “faith” in a religion, or belief system. If that suits them, and they do it willingly then I applaud them.

    As is, I’m sitting in my favourite pub garden drinking a pint of my favourite beer whilst watching a hot air balloon being launched..

    I have a belief that it will land, but no faith in it.

    Rational thought is based around evidence and facts. Faith is by definition irrational

    And that is why it is ultimately pointless trying to debate religion with those who ‘believe’. Its not a level playing field when one side gets to play the “you wouldn’t understand because you have to have faith” card.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
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    this might pose a couple of questions to you T, and its only an hour pal 😉

    Is that a spoof video? It’s really bad if not 😳

    kcr
    Member

    …, the Bible is not a bad starting point for a civilised communal society, which is definitely something to be be respectful and faithful to

    All of the Bible, or just the bits you want to pick as a good starting point for a “civilised communal society”? There’s plenty of stuff in the Bible that I don’t really want to see in a civilised society.

    Religious faith ultimately boils down to do you believe or not? Everything else is just an intellectual construct to try and lend weight to that act of personal belief.
    I was brought up as a practising (and voluntary) Christian, but as I got older, I became an atheist. There was no great revelation. I just gradually realised I didn’t really believe any of it, and without that belief the whole thing just crumbles away, because there’s no subjective evidence to contradict the absence of faith. If you decide to believe the world is flat, there’s a lot of inconvenient scientific evidence you have to rationalise, but becoming an atheist was very easy for me. The world kept spinning, and if anything it actually made a bit more sense.

    Spin
    Member

    Pissing myself laughing at some of the atheists on this thread thinking they’re more rational than the religious.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
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    Pissing myself laughing at some of the atheists on this thread thinking they’re more rational than the religious.

    Classy

    Spin
    Member

    Classy

    I believe it was Pauline Calf who said ‘Class is like the clap. Either you’ve got it or you haven’t.’

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    you wouldn’t understand because you have to have faith

    This is demonstrably true though, just read the thread!

    kcr
    Member

    Pissing myself laughing at some of the atheists on this thread thinking they’re more rational than the religious.

    Can’t speak for others, but I can’t claim to be more rational than anyone else. I just don’t believe. That’s about all there is to it for me.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    If molgrips did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. 🙂

    However, he is a rare beast and not representative. It’s all very well asking everyone to be respectful, but human nature means that’s an impossibility.
    Getting angry when people fail to meet such high standards is pointless and destructive.

    I’m not sure I have faith in anything but love, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
    We all need something irrational to believe in, as the Panther said earlier. But we all believe in different irrationalities and expecting others to respect those beliefs is futile and will only lead to anger and conflict.

    Embrace your irrationality, but don’t expect anything but ridicule.
    It’s just the way of things.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
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    Pissing myself laughing at some of the atheists on this thread thinking they’re more rational than the religious.

    Seriously though; does rationality even come into it? I don’t see anyone being ‘more rational’ than anyone else; it’s an irrelevance. Rationality doesn’t really come into the faith equation, and that’s okay.

    I stand by my assertion that faith is a (strongly held) opinion, put on a pedestal, though, and it’s not meant in derogatory manner. I don’t have any problem with most opinions/faiths, until the opinion or faith impacts upon myself or my loved ones.

    chewkw
    Member

    Rational thought is based around evidence and facts.

    You mean bounded rationality? 😀

    That is first year undergraduate module where “rationality” is considered something we strive to attain but constantly sidetrack by our emotion or ego.

    Therefore, rationality is only in the mind of those that consider themselves “rational” but reality is that they are just another emotional views.

    ton
    Member

    can someone please answer my question.

    how can millions of people have faith in a magic flame that appears on the same day every year, but none of them are allowed to see this magic flame appear?

    or does the chosen holy man have a lighter hidden somewhere to produce the magic flame?

    The selfish, they’re all standing in line
    Faithing and hoping to buy themselves time
    Me, I figure as each breath goes by
    I only own my mind

    Eddie Vedder sums it up in just over 3 minutes.

    MarkBrewer
    Member

    Of course – there are dicks, there are religious people, the two areas overlap of course

    Sometimes they overlap a bit too much!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    how can millions of people have faith in a magic flame that appears on the same day every year, but none of them are allowed to see this magic flame appear?

    Life is hard.
    Believing in something better makes it a bit more bearable.
    It doesn’t really matter if it’s irrational or unprovable – sometimes it even makes it easier. Bad things that happen to us are often irrational and seemingly without reason – the good die young, horrible things happen to the nicest of people.

    And shared experiences can be uplifting and life changing – being part of the crowd at sporting events, musical performances, demonstrations, rallies. It makes you realise you are not alone.
    Even as an atheist, I felt properly moved at the candlelight vigil at Lourdes and on the occaisions I was part of the crowd at St Peter’s in Rome and at Heaton Park when John Paul II said mass.

    Also, I’ve had very positive experiences of receiving support from the Catholic Church when things have gone a bit runny, even though I’m not a believer myself.
    I can see the attraction of belief and faith, even though I just can’t have that faith myself – it’s just not a part of me.
    Sometimes I wish it was, life would be a little easier, I think.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    In spite of some of the cringeworthy caricatures of the nature of faith and history on this thread, it’s good to see some of the old arguments again. I’ve missed this!

    Anyway, apologies for my absence. I’ve been stupidly busy, but will try to address some of the more outstanding points tomorrow.

    And no, ton, there is definitely no rational answer to your question.

    P.S. Where is Woppit? I’ve been thinking about him recently, and since he hasn’t shown up here yet, am now worried.

    Banned. He was a naughty boy.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    It’s all very well asking everyone to be respectful, but human nature means that’s an impossibility.
    Getting angry when people fail to meet such high standards is pointless and destructive.

    That’s true, and I don’t feel angry. I get irritated when people don’t read and think about posts properly tho. But I’m guilty of that too sometimes.

    That is first year undergraduate module where “rationality” is considered something we strive to attain but constantly sidetrack by our emotion or ego.

    Therefore, rationality is only in the mind of those that consider themselves “rational” but reality is that they are just another emotional views.

    Genius!

    My wife has had 12 miscarriages.
    If there is a God deciding these things, then he is a complete C***

    We also have three lovely healthy kids so this isn’t a plea for sympathy.

    I went to a catholic school, church, was an alter boy. I find the whole concept of religion fascinating and utterly bizarre. I now have no belief, or faith, whatsoever. I don’t think I ever really did.I regard organised religion (not faith itself) as cultish and genuinely bizarre.

    I love church architecture though.

    tjagain
    Member

    the Bible is not a bad starting point for a civilised communal society, which is definitely something to be respectful and faithful to

    Really – killing homosexuals, stoning people, beating women?

    Premier Icon v8ninety
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    Really – killing homosexuals, stoning people, beating women?

    They’re the bits that we are meant to ignore, silly! The way it works is you choose the bits that you like and disregard the rest. Definitely no problem with that at all…

    tjagain
    Member

    I must point out that faith does not equal organised religion and does not equal christianity.

    It really make me laugh tho when some folk try to equate atheism with faith. Its the opposite. atheism is saying – without evidence I will NOT believe.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
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    how can millions of people have faith in a magic flame that appears on the same day every year, but none of them are allowed to see this magic flame appear?

    It doesn’t seem that different to belief in some form of god to me. If you choose to believe in the flame I suppose that’s enough and actually seeing it isn’t required. Not a concept I can understand though.

    What I find the most bizarre and I genuinely don’t mean to disrespect anyone here is that most organised religions are utterly boring. The big three especially.

    If I were to become religious I’d be heading for an old world religion. One with at least a half dozen gods and some stories that actually contain a bit of adventure, peril and action. I suppose it explains the popularity of super hero movies for some. A much more interesting set of characters to worship.

    Over evolutionary time humans have developed the ability to see agency where none exists.

    We are animals who can make noises and move things so big noises and big movements we can’t explain must be made by big things like us; that we can’t see.

    And thats where gods came from.

    Made up explanations for things we couldn’t understand extrapolated from things we could.

    All of the rest is just window dressing.

    A turd of a mistake about how the universe works rolled in glitter and given a big pointy hat (or spire or minaret EDIT or hammer EDIT:).

    And we go round in circles wondering about the “mystery” of it all, when there is literally nothing to look for.

    We’re now discussing what human qualities (faith) are necessary to keep fooling ourselves.

    Religion.

    Maybe not ruining everything but certainly confusing and obfuscating reality for a large number of people, over a long period of time.

    Whether or not that’s a good thing, seems to be a matter of finely nuanced opinion, rather than a ball-achingly obvious fact?

    Weird.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
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    most organised religions are utterly boring. The big three especially.

    True; reminded me of this meme…

    In all seriousness; I have a question for those who quietly found religion later in life; was there anything specific about (I presume) Christianity hat attracted you to it? Or was it a friendly community of decent people that attracted you, and in order to gain acceptance some from of professed belief was required? Because I would imagine that sort of thing happens all over the world, into all sorts of contradictory faiths.

    Which one is the ‘true’ faith?

    was there anything specific about (I presume) Christianity hat attracted you to it?

    Convenience, There are a number of conveniently located branches near me. I searched on Google for the local branch of the Pastafarians, in order to be touched by the noodly appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster but, sadly, there wasn’t one.

    Or was it a friendly community of decent people that attracted you

    Whilst this is undoubtedly a huge attraction,especially for the isolated and the lonely , It wasn’t particularly for me. I was already  part of that community through other, non religious affiliations.

    , and in order to gain acceptance some from of professed belief was required?

    Nope. No profession of belief required for admission  or acceptance unless you feel   inclined to make one of your own accord. Other denominations may differ but in the good ol’ Church of Scotland all are welcome. You can make a profession of faith and become a member of the Church but it’s not required. There are old ladies in our Church who have been there most Sundays for 7 or 8 decades who have never formally joined.

    Because I would imagine that sort of thing happens all over the world, into all sorts of contradictory faiths.

    I’d imagine that you’re right

    Which one is the ‘true’ faith?

    Either all of them or none of them.

    What I believe is that it’s an internal thing. Every mans God is his own to know  and any labels  applied to it are arbitrary. Could be God, or Allah or Ganesh or Gaia. Doesn’t actually matter that much to me.

    I think, It’s more a question of picking a version where the  external, human, elements suit you best. For example I don’t particularly hold with the Episcopalian principle that some people hold more God-given authority than others, all the way up the line via a heirarchy to Archbish, Queens or Popes, I prefer the model where the congregation is all equal and the Minister works for them to merely facilitate the proceedings.

    Having said all that, I’m no theologian.

    Ineffable, innit.

    Premier Icon convert
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    Interesting perspective Perchy. A sort of ‘any hole’s a goal’ attitude to choosing a religion – you just chose the hole most conveniently located.

    Question is then – why stick your flag in any of them at all? If your faith is internalised and does not rely on being lured by the virgazl (had to keep the analogy going!) of local ritual and flag waving. Why not stay neutral? I would have thought for someone like you that thinks all of them are basically the same concept with different bells and whistles the centuries of misery caused by one clan’s beef over the other would be even more distasteful. You were not indoctrinated into one of them before you were able to make a sentient decision so why do so now?

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