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  1. #21
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think faith and reason are incompatible, I dont think that belief in God cancels personal responsibility either, nor do I think that theism is challenged by shit happening or evil, God's not the author of those things and, to be honest, God owes us nothing.
    The bible disagrees with you. Except for the God owing us nothing part.

    Faith exists in a lot of forms, you need to have faith in untested people or food, for instance, everyday or you'd never be able to make short journeys to work, the shop or eat. However I think we're talking about spirituality, I think its unrivalled, much of the kind of uplifting experience that most professing athiests have talked to me about arent that attractive and are often a twisted mirror image of the sorts of evangelism which they reject and probably led to their rejecting spiritual faith in the first place.
    I think you're confusing faith with empiricism. It doesn't take any faith for me to try a new restaurant. What it does take is observation and my own intuition/reasoning about the place. Does it have a good reputation? Does it have a good safety rating? Is it a kind of food that I would enjoy? Is it in a price range that I find acceptable? Faith would be more like "Well I know nothing about this place, here's hoping for the best" but even then I could still make a semi educated reasoned guess about the place. For example if its a 24 hour diner it probably serves breakfast. If it's part of a franchise it's food is most likely similar to other places in the same franchise. Just because there may be a bit of uncertainty doesn't mean I need some kind of faith. If the place ends up sucking or a friend that I trust tells me they have a really rude waitstaff then I'll go somewhere else.

    Faith is not required.

  2. #22
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Yes, this is the Cloud of Unknowing, not vouchsafed to everyone.

    And the Cloud of Unknowing takes you from the safety and pleasure of knowing your place to the ecstasy of unknowing where everything comes as a surprise.

    But how desirable it is. We desire it so much that after work we pay to enter an ersatz Cloud at a pounding nightclub by popping an ekstasi pill or two.

    For ersatz ecstasy is better than no ecstasy.
    Totally. Isn't it funny how people desire to be safe, hence have their lives completely structured and mapped out... and then become bored, depressed, and disillusioned enough that they find new ways to recreate mystery, albeit often in irrelevant ways that are still bound within the confines of their safe worldview? (Find and do the drug of choice, and it will wear off soon enough so one can feel safe again.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think faith and reason are incompatible, I dont think that belief in God cancels personal responsibility either, nor do I think that theism is challenged by shit happening or evil, God's not the author of those things and, to be honest, God owes us nothing.
    That's pretty much where I'm at too. The typical arguments against the divine don't really seem very important to me, it's still all based on certain premises of how we think the world "should be run if we were God."

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelholic View Post
    The bible disagrees with you. Except for the God owing us nothing part.
    What? The Bible promises that nothing bad should ever happen and especially not to believers? The Bible doesn't teach personal responsibility? The Bible disses reason as worthless? (In that case, it disses faith too -- since only love endures, 1 Cor 13, as the highest virtue about hope and faith. Love is how we choose to treat others and view ourselves in the present moment of Now. The rest is rubbish.)

    In any case, Reason is Reason. It's a tool, and so it can be useful but is also limited and bound by human weakness.
    "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. #23
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    What? The Bible promises that nothing bad should ever happen and especially not to believers? The Bible doesn't teach personal responsibility? The Bible disses reason as worthless? (In that case, it disses faith too -- since only love endures, 1 Cor 13, as the highest virtue about hope and faith. Love is how we choose to treat others and view ourselves in the present moment of Now. The rest is rubbish.)
    The old testament is one part (dubious) history book, one part law manuscript. It is primarily about sectarianism and obedience. One of its constants is that true believers will not suffer but then goes on to explain how the israelites are not true believers, etc.

    The new testament is somewhat more user friendly, but still relies on the same basic tenets of obedience.

    In any case, Reason is Reason. It's a tool, and so it can be useful but is also limited and bound by human weakness.
    Reason seems to be doing an alright job if you ask me.

  4. #24
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelholic View Post
    The old testament is one part (dubious) history book, one part law manuscript. It is primarily about sectarianism and obedience. One of its constants is that true believers will not suffer but then goes on to explain how the israelites are not true believers, etc.
    It does?

    Maybe in a collection of documents covering a range of 1500 years, you're going to find some contradictions in details, but if you step back and look at it big picture, what do you see? I'm not sure I agree with your reading of it.

    The new testament is somewhat more user friendly, but still relies on the same basic tenets of obedience.
    Not really. Paul and the writer of hebrews tried to weave a pathway between the two, so it's possible to somehow see them all as one belief system, but there was a big shift in the main practice of faith in the Old Testament vs the New. The interesting thing in the OT is that there are scatterings of NT thought -- like when Jesus asks the Pharisee about the most important commandments, he says "Love God" and "Love your neighbor as yourself," and there are scattered places in the OT where this is emphasized despite the main focus on the Hebrew Law and its role in dealing with sin/uncleanliness.

    Then again, in the NT, we get people arguing about whether circumcision is necessary for men to become children of God, and the non-circumcisors win because of an appeal to "circumcision of the heart" ... one could read that as a rejection of or validation of OT law... it's just been recast.

    In any case, I could go on and on, but my point is that it's far more complicated than your simple assessment.

    PS. I agree that a lot of the OT history could be considered dubious. We have no extensive amount of third-party validation of the details for much of it.

    Getting back to the faith issue... in the OT, we see faith as actions. You belong to God? Then you follow the Law. If you don't follow the Law, you're punished, and if you break the wrong Laws, you are essentially cast out of the community. There was not a focus on the afterlife here, God's blessings occurred in the here and now. It was a big deal for someone to be stoned to death or have their bodies left as carrion, it was in essence their version of hell and eternal damnation -- you are removed from the community.

    In the NT, faith became a more abstracted thing. This is because grace superceded behavior. Believing and confessing = salvation. There were arguments about grace vs works, which still continue today, but this was a major shift. You no longer had to comply with the law because atonement was possible without obedience and punishment.

    In either case, often people did not get what they want and God did not "fix everything," and they were forced to resort to hope and faith in believing in the promise.
    "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

  5. #25
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Believing in God doesn't make me feel good. Sometimes I wish I didn't. It makes me serious, concerned.. "God" never told me to be that way or anything, but the idea is somewhat alarming.

  6. #26
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Faith is basically trust, so can one live without trust? I guess they could, but it would be a rather odd and in many ways dysfunctional existence.
    Well-put. Sometimes I operate on faith - faith in the soundess of my own intuitions, when I need to make a decision and lack the time and information to make a proper analysis of alternatives.

    As for spiritual faith, occasionally mine makes me feel good, but mainly I have found it to be useful. It works, and I continue to study and refine it to improve results.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    You're not skilled in communication are you?
    Reasonably so, yes, but I wish I was better. A comma before "are" is needed above, by the way.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post
    Reasonably so, yes, but I wish I was better. A comma before "are" is needed above, by the way.
    Not really, the sentence works fine either way. Strunk and White would actually suggest against over using the comma.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelholic View Post
    The bible disagrees with you. Except for the God owing us nothing part.

    I think you're confusing faith with empiricism. It doesn't take any faith for me to try a new restaurant. What it does take is observation and my own intuition/reasoning about the place. Does it have a good reputation? Does it have a good safety rating? Is it a kind of food that I would enjoy? Is it in a price range that I find acceptable? Faith would be more like "Well I know nothing about this place, here's hoping for the best" but even then I could still make a semi educated reasoned guess about the place. For example if its a 24 hour diner it probably serves breakfast. If it's part of a franchise it's food is most likely similar to other places in the same franchise. Just because there may be a bit of uncertainty doesn't mean I need some kind of faith. If the place ends up sucking or a friend that I trust tells me they have a really rude waitstaff then I'll go somewhere else.

    Faith is not required.
    I could contest your view of the bible but I dont feel it will leave either of us any better off so I wont bother, besides my faith is not based upon the bible anymore than my reading can be defined by the books I read this month, its just a single secondary source to me.

    That definition of faith depends upon the idea that faith and reason are anathema to one another, a mistaken view, what about faith within reason? I would suggest that what you define as faith is in fact not faith but "lady luck" or "chance", whatever the empiricism you have to trust the empirical evidence, trust is faith. Empiricism is independent from self-experience in the example you give.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post
    Reasonably so, yes, but I wish I was better. A comma before "are" is needed above, by the way.
    No its not.

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