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  1. #71
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    This is called Pascal's Wager and it's been repeatedly destroyed by so many different people that if you haven't yet heard about why it's absurd and totally ineffective, you're probably actively avoiding knowledge on the topic (or at least not actively seeking any new information/education.)
    Yes I'm quite familiar with many criticisms of Pascal's wager, and they usually miss the point. Pascal himself knew it wasn't an air tight defense of faith, but rather it shows that ultimately man has free will to choose his path - and in doing so you're wagering that you made the right decision.

  2. #72
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    ^ Well I'd agree with Pascal on that point...but that doesn't make his wager any kind of reasonable defense for faith, because it also defends faith in virtually any arbitrary absurdity that threatens eternal negative consequence in exchange for failure to believe.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    ^ Well I'd agree with Pascal on that point...but that doesn't make his wager any kind of reasonable defense for faith
    Of course it wouldn't, since Pascal insisted that faith involved something beyond reason.

  4. #74
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    ^ Right, hence my criticism that faith is fundamentally unreasonable.

    I'm starting to get the feeling that since your faith is based in Ni, you really can't explain it to outsiders who don't have your perspective, nor do you see any reason to bother.

    Does that sound accurate?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    ^ Right, hence my criticism that faith is fundamentally unreasonable.
    That sounds rather circular really. Faith maybe beyond reason, but that doesn't mean faith is necessarily contrary to reason. In fact that kind of position has long been rejected within the Christian tradition - or at least the Catholic tradition.

    As the current pope, Benedict XVI, noted in Introduction to Christianity pg. 77:
    "If theology arrives at all kinds of absurdities and tries, not only to excuse them, but even when possible to canonize them by pointing to the mystery, then we are confronted with a misuse of the true idea of "mystery", the purpose of which is not to destroy reason but rather to render belief possible as understanding. In other words, it is certainly true that belief or faith is not knowledge in the sense of pratical knowledge and its particular kind of calculability. It can never become that, and in the last analysis it can only make itself ridiculous if it tries to establish itself in those forms. But the reverse is also true: practical knowledge is limited by its very nature to the apparent, to what functions, and does not represent the way in which to find truth itself, which by its very method it has renounced. The tool in with which man is equipped to deal with truth of being is not knowledge but understanding: understanding of the meaning of to which he has entrusted himself. And we must certainly add that "understanding" only reveals itself in "standing", not apart from it. One cannot occur without the other, for understanding means seizing and grasping as meaning the meaning that man has received as ground. I think this is the precise significance of what we mean by understanding: that we learn to grasp the ground on which we have taken our stand as meaning and truth; that we learn to perceive that ground represents meaning. If this is so, understanding not only implies no contradiction with belief but represents its most intrisnsic property."

  6. #76
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    ^ So Benedict seems to be saying that confusing belief and knowledge is a mistake...agreed.

    But about finding truth itself...are you saying that because truth itself is impossible to find through practical knowledge, the only way to reach it is by an arbitrary decision to believe/have faith?

    To that I would respond that perhaps there is no truth itself at all. Perhaps no such thing even exists and the idea of truth is a meaningless and arbitrary construct invented by humans who desire more definite knowledge than they can, by their own limitations, ever really possess.

    I suppose my main question is: Why must you reach a finalized conclusion about an inherently unknowable subject? How can we even accept the proposition that "truth itself", which Benedict points to as the purpose of faith, even exists?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    ^ So Benedict seems to be saying that confusing belief and knowledge is a mistake...agreed.

    But about finding truth itself...are you saying that because truth itself is impossible to find through practical knowledge, the only way to reach it is by an arbitrary decision to believe/have faith?
    Credo ut intelligam (I believe so that I may understand).

    Faith is but the first stepping stone to discovering truth. Even in logic this comes in the form of an axiom.

    To that I would respond that perhaps there is no truth itself at all. Perhaps no such thing even exists and the idea of truth is a meaningless and arbitrary construct invented by humans who desire more definite knowledge than they can, by their own limitations, ever really possess.
    Yes you could conclude that, as did the Sophists did in ancient Greece. But if there is no truth, that begs a shitload of questions - as Socrates and Plato would point out.


    I suppose my main question is: Why must you reach a finalized conclusion about an inherently unknowable subject?
    Faith is not about finalized conclusions about unknowable subjects. Rather faith actually means placing trust in an uncertain truth; as opposed to the falling into the temptation of certain untruth. That's always been a problem, particularly within the Christian context.

  8. #78
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Credo ut intelligam (I believe so that I may understand).

    Faith is but the first stepping stone to discovering truth. Even in logic this comes in the form of an axiom.
    I sort of practice "faith" in a certain way; i.e., trying new things on a whim that they might work without any real evidence to show that they will, etc.

    I just don't see any reason to apply this to spiritual inquiry or any other fundamentally unsolvable problem.



    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yes you could conclude that, as did the Sophists did in ancient Greece. But if there is no truth, that begs a shitload of questions - as Socrates and Plato would point out.
    Yes, and answering those questions is what philosophy is all about. imho, there doesn't need to be objective or universal truth in order for us to lead productive and happy lives.




    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Faith is not about finalized conclusions about unknowable subjects. Rather faith actually means placing trust in an uncertain truth; as opposed to the falling into the temptation of certain untruth. That's always been a problem, particularly within the Christian context.
    Interesting way of putting it. Most Christians really do not understand faith, do they?

    I am sure you are very tired of hearing Ti users debunk the logical inconsistencies of faith, so here is an Ne perspective that you may find interesting: I am all for placing trust in an uncertain truth, when that truth or falsehood is ultimately verifiable. Things I'll never really know just always remain as unknowns--I use probability to guess at likely answers for them, but I never really find it necessary to arbitrarily decide the case is closed. Why should I?

    I can intuitively trust in something that I have no particular evidence for, but only under the assumption that this something is inherently falsifiable. If it's not, what's the point of even asking whether or not it constitutes "truth"? This is my issue with faith in something unfalsifiable like God: you'll never be able to find out if you were right.

    For instance--I will often cut to blunt and direct lines of questioning in situations where intuition is telling me that they will achieve the desired result despite conventional wisdom saying they won't. But I only trust this intuitive hunch because I will find out, sooner or later, whether or not I was right--this use of information from the external world allows me to check my own intuition for accuracy, which I feel is one significant advantage Ne has over Ni.

    And so this leads me to my previously stated conclusion: that the value of religion is largely philosophic in nature, and great for some people because it's precisely what they need to hear to stay motivated. I do recognize that freely admitting this may ruin the value in faith for some, but I also know religious people who openly admit that their holy stories are probably not literally true, but that participating in religion fulfills external world goals to the extent that its internal consistency (or lack thereof) is irrelevant.

    So the question is: Does it matter if you're wrong?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #79
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post

    Faith is not about finalized conclusions about unknowable subjects. Rather faith actually means placing trust in an uncertain truth; as opposed to the falling into the temptation of certain untruth. That's always been a problem, particularly within the Christian context.
    "Certain" untruth is in itself belief, as its value is based on a personal perception.

    What certain truth is for me, is not certain truth for you. Truth comes with understanding, understanding comes in bits and pieces of a puzzle. Faith is a means to visualize the puzzle, expanding on the bits and pieces of knowledge you have aquired. I'm not at all against this process in general. But I personally prefer to leave the empty spots of the puzzle as empty as possible, with minimal faith required to live a decent life.

    Ofcourse, one can never attain true objectiveness in life. And as such, it is prudent not to disregard faith as a whole. However, the level of faith with which you choose to work is entirely up to you. Wether you rely on it only when you deem in neccesary. Or wether you rely on it throughout your entire life.

    Because of that. It is not faith that is in question, but the ethical dilemma is; how much should you rely on faith. And the absolute truth is that there is no universial answer to that question.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  10. #80
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Faith (knowing God in your heart) to me is not about reason/logic; rather it seems to be something separate in itself. It seems like some people have it and some people don't. I don't know why I have it. In fact often like to be a "bad boy". And then I see some goody-two-shoes who is looking for it find nothing seems a little unfair to them. O well, lifes a bitch, regardless, it keeps me from being too much a jerk and gets me to at least monitor my manners.

    I see faith = x

    what x is or the reason behind x or how I got x I have little idea and for the most part am unconcerned.

    For example I have no idea how a microwave oven works. I do know the microwave does however warm up my burrito. While I am eating my burrito I don't let the fact that I don't know how the microwave works sully my gastronomic experience.

    What I do know about x is that it works for me.
    1. It gives me comfort
    2. it gives me courage
    3. it gives me strength
    4. it gives me perspective
    5. gives me God as a wonderful friend
    6. Sometimes (particularly under stress ( it feels like it gives me superpowers to accomplish remarkable things.)
    7. It is like my home. It gives me shelter and for a person abandon that shelter and become homeless seems inequitable.

    Have also seen in others how surrendering yourself to a higher power can really turn their apparently previous hopeless lives around: (i.e. alcoholics)

    Am sure that there must be some pragmatic satisfaction in being an atheist. Kinda like how it felt adult not believing in Santa Claus when a bunch of the younger kids still believing. But even then as soon as that happened I stopped getting presents from Santa.

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