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Thread: Blind faith

  1. #51
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I see your point of view, but I think it's moot. You are asking the wrong questions if you want insight into faith. I believe measuring religious belief in an scientific way is like measuring temperature with a ruler. I just don't think that faith operates on a spectrum of rationality/irrationality.

    I think that religion, when it isn't corrupted by zealotry with ulterior motives, is concerned with answering questions that reason does not. Reason asks "what". Religion asks "why". Reason has told us about the Big Bang and it has showed us how the universe has evolved. Religion attempts to tell us not what happened, but WHY these things are happening. Why is there a universe at all? Why did life evolve? Do we have a purpose?

    This is why I don't see faith and reason in conflict, and I think religious people and empiricists who see conflict are more interested in winning than in finding truth.
    This is more or less what I believe, too. Stephen Jay Gould labeled this methodology as NOMA - Non-overlapping magisteria.

    I'm just at something of an intellectual impasse on the concept itself. I want to see if I'm missing something. Seems a lot like an existential crapshoot at this point.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I see your point of view, but I think it's moot. You are asking the wrong questions if you want insight into faith. I believe measuring religious belief in an scientific way is like measuring temperature with a ruler. I just don't think that faith operates on a spectrum of rationality/irrationality.

    I think that religion, when it isn't corrupted by zealotry with ulterior motives, is concerned with answering questions that reason does not. Reason asks "what". Religion asks "why". Reason has told us about the Big Bang and it has showed us how the universe has evolved. Religion attempts to tell us not what happened, but WHY these things are happening. Why is there a universe at all? Why did life evolve? Do we have a purpose?

    This is why I don't see faith and reason in conflict, and I think religious people and empiricists who see conflict are more interested in winning than in finding truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    This is more or less what I believe, too. Stephen Jay Gould labeled this methodology as NOMA - Non-overlapping magisteria.

    I'm just at something of an intellectual impasse on the concept itself. I want to see if I'm missing something. Seems a lot like an existential crapshoot at this point.
    In general, in the end, I think one just believes whatever happens to reflect one's values. It ends up being a choice. That's where the "existential" aspect comes in -- we give value to our own lives, in order to fill in the gap between any "evidence" we might find and the "Truth" ... whatever that is.

    But I know I struggled with it because my natural processes (1) gather information and possibilities from the EXTERNAL world and (2) process them INTERNALLY. So the only information I legitimately trust is information coming from outside, that I observe -- the data itself AND the potential ramifications of the data.

    It was really really difficult for me to "choose" something and commit to it INSIDE without it being driven directly by realistic external potentialities. I fought that process for years.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #53
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I appreciate your post, so I apologize for only responding to a small part of it... and seemingly to criticize. It was just something that leaped out to me when I read.

    One thing I don't like about basic postmodern thought is that sometimes it can be sloppy in tracking foundation of proof. Case in point -- in terms of pure belief systems, it's become convenient to say "all religions are built on nothing, they're all purely belief." Maybe philosophical, at core, all views are "beliefs"...

    ... but some religions have more accumulated anchoring data than others.

    I will only talk about two religions I know something specific about, especially because they contrast.

    Mormons lay claim to a civilization that existed here in North America in the 1000-1200AD time period (if I have that right)... but there is no archaeological evidence at all that such a culture existed. To me, this is a very damaging claim and any beliefs built on it lack validity to me.

    In contrast, there is a lot of hard evidence of locations and cultures from the Biblical record, as well as a pretty distinct and copious collection of docs running back close to the first century. While there are lots of questions even at that point (archaeologists are still arguing about what evidence means what and whether the Biblical record is entirely supported, and just because a textual record can be traced back still does not verify whether particular incidents and conversations ACTUALLY occurred), I would have to weight "plausibility" of the faith far differently. One is built far more on connective historical ties than another, which then weights the credibility of each.

    (... I haven't commented on Muslim documents, in comparison, because I don't know much about them, except that they only have a few copies in existence of their faith because the transmission of the docs has been aggressively controlled.)

    In any case, it means I give more weight to historical faith systems than I give to "fluff" - like belief in unicorns, for example.
    Yeah sadly I dont' know as much as I'd like to about muslim stuffs, mostly because it's considered a sin to translate it and I don't read that language; arabic languages are outside of my comprehension, I'm limited to latin based ones ;_;

    Regardless though, I do agree, and worded it poorly, yeu're right. There are obviously differences in religions, not all are equal, some do have significantly more evidence to them than others.

    The main points, however, such as on god or the afterlife though, the really important parts that define a religion, all tend to stem from the same location though... pure faith and personal anecdote.

    So many times have I met people who claim "I believe in god because of this religious experience I had!" but... if yeu were say... a Buddhist at the time... yeu would've attributed that exact same religious experience to buddhism instead of christianity, so I don't see the relevance?

    In any case, yes, the bible has alot of evidence supporting parts of it... though admittedly a large part of that is due to the fact that it's a rather uneven mixture of stolen myths from other cultures, historical records, morality fiction, and so on... there's some parts which will have evidence, such as actual historical records of wars and cities, and natural disasters.

    The problem is that people will automatically assume that because one part is true, that all is true. This's not a wise decision; it's a form of media... it's like saying "because I saw a news report on the internet that I was personally involved in, this's proof that everything on the internet is 100% true". It's like... no. No, that proves nothing of the sort. It does provide evidence that there may be more accurate passages than we're currently aware of, but just because one section is true, it hardly means that the whole is as well.

    And of course, even *IF* all of it were true... it's been strained and filtered by human minds. From whot we know of the creation of the universe astrologically, the first bit of genesis actually makes semi descent sense, if yeu assume of course that angels were aliens on another planet or reality outside of our universe, and assume that the "7 days" thing (well 6 really) can be measured in billions of years and that a day is an abstract meaning of time, especially since the first day finished before night existed according to the bible O.o

    There are hints that certain parts are accurate. There are also hints that other parts are anything but...

    There's no historical data pertaining to jesus, nor of his crucifixion, which's kind of surprising considering how detailed the records the romans at the time had for criminals. It may've gotten lost in the shuffle somewhere, but something that major yeu'd think that it would have some copies made of it.

    Though, then again, it's not like it's impossible, or even implausible... even 100 years ago we couldn't tell reliably if someone was in a coma or just dead. The term "dead ringer" literally came from having a string lowered into a casket of someone who was buried, so that if they happened to wake up they could ring the bell and be dug back up again. 3 days is well within the limits of possibility of any human without divine origin to live through, and considering the method of death was blood loss... the chances are exceptionally high that someone would pass out from blood loss long before they actually died from it.

    Such things provide cursory evidence, but not really enough to truly prove much, unfortunately.

    Even so, I must concede the point that not all religions are equally ungrounded or anything, but the biggest aspects always do come down to faith... otherwise they wouldn't be a religion, and all religions would share it if they had solid evidence now wouldn't they?

  4. #54
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Oh oops missed something from Jennifer:

    The thing about mormans believing that north american culture's existence... they also believed another existed around 100ad-ish, the concept that jesus, after resurrecting, wandered the earth for a time before re-ascending to heaven. I forget exactly how it went, but vaguely recall reading up on it how they have their own extra holy book other than the bible because the creators of the religion basically poured over other religions' texts to try to come up with a rough outline of whot happened to jesus after the known timeline ended, since there was supposedly a fair bit of time missing, as in a good 10 years or so just not accounted for.

    Now... how accurate that is, who knows... they basically plastered the jesus face on any myth they could find that was remotely similar, but there may be a few odd cases where it may be more accurate than we think... then again... they do have some rather odd beliefs elsewhere due to that same trying to force everything to fit together with a hammer dealie that makes yeu question the rest of it as a whole.

  5. #55
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    So, as a person who readily understands and employs (presumably) faith-based reasoning, how can you be certain your decisions are ultimately factual?

    I'm certain - if you are anything like me - you carry with you at all times an organic skepticism wherein your decisions are perpetually measured against an internal standard of "truth" - in your case, a faith-based truth, in mine an evidence-based - as a way to further personal understanding of your reality.

    To that end, where do you get your "faith-based" evidence? What is your source of proof for the existence of God?
    I don't make a strict distinction between faith and evidence--that's one of the central points I've been struggling to make--so there really isn't any way for me to answer this without drawing back from my position. I suppose I would just mention that we have to be careful not to let words deceive us. Language is a tool that often slices wholes into parts, but it can just as easily move in the opposite direction, whereupon we find that pairs of opposites, like faith and proof, are actually of one structure. That isn't to say that they're synonyms so much as it is to say that they depend on each other and intermix, much like a spectrum of colors.

    By the way, I believe in God about as much as I believe in Santa Clause, which is to say, very little. I don't blame you for thinking otherwise, though, since one of my goals was to emphasize the ambiguity of everything including my own beliefs.

    The scientific ideal observes, examines and classifies according to measured experience. In that sense, it is a recreation of falsifiable material. While science does not (and may never will) have all the answers, the primary difference between science and religion is progression of ideology.

    Monotheistic religion often stagnates belief around theistic tradition, typically around a holy book of some sort. Science is constantly reevaluating to arrive at an understanding unencumbered by belief.
    Yes, I agree with you absolutely, and this is why I tend to favor a more "empirical" approach. I don't limit that to things that can only be duplicated in a lab, though; I think that some our best mystics were also rigorous experimenters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night
    This seems like a scary concept - "wipe out questioning"? The elimination of thought makes easy way for absolution in compliance. Why would this 'elimination' ever be a positive thing for human understanding?

    And even then, "thickness of certainty" seems to defy the very essence of what constitutes "faith".

    Do you believe the ultimate goal of religion is to destroy faith?
    I believe that religion seeks to distill faith into its purest essence--in other words, to make it an absolute certainty--and then to spread this certainty (which entails the object of faith, since there is no such thing as faith "in itself") across all that exists until nothing remains except that essence. The goal of Christianity (for instance) is to convert the cosmos itself to Christianity.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    Fact is, guns really DON'T kill people. People kill people.
    The fact is that the most popular decision by our Prime Minister was to ban guns.

    So for my entire life I will never even see a gun except on police.

    And so our Prime Minister has given the lie to your gun culture and your National Rifle Association.

    And in exactly the same way I give the lie to your MBTI.

    So the facts about guns and MBTI have changed. And when the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do?

  7. #57
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nunki View Post
    Yes, I agree with you absolutely, and this is why I tend to favor a more "empirical" approach. I don't limit that to things that can only be duplicated in a lab, though; I think that some our best mystics were also rigorous experimenters.
    Ah. I guess the error is my own. You gave a convincing account, and I presumed that your sincerity was consequent to intellectual "muscle memory". I've read the arguments before on the nature of belief.

    I was hoping to get an informed response from a believer, you see. Not that it destroys the verity of your response; just communalizes the flavor a little.

  8. #58
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    Exodus and MBTI

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Mormons lay claim to a civilization that existed here in North America in the 1000-1200AD time period (if I have that right)... but there is no archaeological evidence at all that such a culture existed. To me, this is a very damaging claim and any beliefs built on it lack validity to me.

    In contrast, there is a lot of hard evidence of locations and cultures from the Biblical record
    What is utterly fascinating is that no archeologist in Israel believes the Exodus occurred.

    And I hardly need point out that the Exodus forms the foundation of Judaism, and Judaism is the foundation of both Christianity and Islam.

    Also I understand that no double bind test has been applied to MBTI for seventy years.

    So the question still remains - when the facts changed for the Exodus and MBTI, I changed my mind, what will you do?

  9. #59
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Ah. I guess the error is my own. You gave a convincing account, and I presumed that your sincerity was consequent to intellectual "muscle memory". I've read the arguments before on the nature of belief.

    I was hoping to get an informed response from a believer, you see. Not that it destroys the verity of your response; just communalizes the flavor a little.
    I understand, and I'm glad that you found my account convincing. I'll be waiting with you for some believers to come along with an account of their own.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

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    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The fact is that the most popular decision by our Prime Minister was to ban guns.

    So for my entire life I will never even see a gun except on police.

    And so our Prime Minister has given the lie to your gun culture and your National Rifle Association.

    And in exactly the same way I give the lie to your MBTI.

    So the facts about guns and MBTI have changed. And when the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do?
    Actually I consider the NRA to be a pack of idiots looking for an excuse to carry guns, and I see no reason for anyone to be carrying them around unless they have valid use for it as a tool. Guns are used to SHOOT things, that is their design.

    That being said... guns still are not the evil they're made out to be, they're just ruthlessly efficient at the one task they're designed to do, and they're not really multipurpose; they don't do much else other than shoot stuff. Therefore, if yeu have a gun, yeu intend to shoot something with it. Some may do so for competition, like trying to keep score of accuracy and such against targets, and for something like that I can understand the competitive concept, even if I don't personally share it. I see no reason why yeu would have to own yeur own gun for such though, or couldn't just store yeur gun at the rifle range where there's kind of limited risk of taking it out to shoot people with it.

    In any case, the point does still stand; a tool is still a tool. If used properly for whot it is intended to do, then it is still a tool. if used improperly, it is once again, still a tool. It is neither good nor evil, for those require a conscience and the ability to choose.

    I still think that keeping dangerous tools away from people is a good idea.



    MBTI can, in some cases, be used improperly. Yeu are correct in this. As with guns, it's also the minority of the time. Unlike guns, however, it's a tool designed with practical application in mind, and is most frequently used to better ones' relations with others. Guns are made with the sole purpose of shooting things. MBTI is made with the intent of attempting to vaguely describe a complex variable into a semi-orderly context so that it's easier for people to understand each other. In most cases, MBTI, like any other personality test, even those silly "which power ranger r u!???" things online, will aide yeu in better understanding someone else. Sure it won't tell yeu everything about them, and sure it won't be 100% accurate, I mean yeu're trying to quantify something that can't really be quantified. It's a reasonably descent approximation for the generic purpose it sets out to do however.

    And as such, in most situations, having a tool like MBTI generally makes it easier for people to get along. Due to having been introduced to such, I can better grasp where some people come from, whereas it was foreign territory to me before. The whole SFJ concept was beyond anything I could understand, and INTJ's were just so bizarre that my mind couldn't fathom their existence or how they could live like that.

    The lack of MBTI meant that I truly did believe that everyone had the potential to be identical to me, and to think of things in the same way I did, to see things the way I do. I see now, that this was kind of silly of me to believe. We each have our preferred values and methods of processing information. MBTI fails to adequately describe these with intensive detail, but it does scratch enough of the surface to explain that, yes, we do have differences, that no, this isn't a bad thing, and that yes, each of our forms of processing information needs to exist for us to exist as a culture as a whole. With any one 'type' missing, we'd be the lesser for it. I may not get along well with INTJ's in general, but I recognize that they exist for a reason, and have grown to fill their niche role quite well, and it's one which I hold no desire to take the place of myself.

    At the same time, I also realize that MBTI can be abused; there have been rare cases where someone has been declined a job because some manager with only the vaguest knowledge of the system tried to apply it without fully knowing how it works, or more importantly, that it doesn't fully work at all. I've never encountered a case where I was typed for a job interview, though I do know that such has occurred before. Sometimes they're just trying to see where that individuals innate talents may best fit, or how better to handle them socially or on a management level. And sometimes they abuse it and decide "anyone who falls under this type is a slacker I don't want in my department!", completely defeating the intended purpose of the system.

    And therein lies the primary difference between guns and MBTI; guns can only shoot. If misused, they shoot people. MBTI can be used to better understand each other, and make our dealings with each other significantly easier, and broaden our understanding of our fellow coworkers or friends. It CAN be used negatively, but, then again, so can water.

    How many people have been murdered via drowning? It's pretty rare, but it can happen! Let's go ban water! That'll cure all those people from drowning!

    The 'cure' yeu suggest, is a greater ailment than the 'disease' yeu intend to cure. Yeu need not amputate the limb because of a small splinter.

    The better cure, would be education, to teach those who would misuse it how to properly make use of the tools they've been given, in the manner they were designed.

    Yeu don't blame the microwave for the crazy old woman who microwaved her dog to dry it off after a bath. Yeu tell her that was a dumb thing to do and make sure she understands that a microwave is for cooking food, rather than banning microwaves everywhere.

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