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Thread: Faith vs. Logic

  1. #91
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    As I said: it augments the probability that my first hypothesis (God exists) is true. It doesn't prove it, I already admitted that.

    If you're wet, maybe you were in the shower.
    If you're outside and you're wet, the chances that you were in a shower are already smaller (but you could be on the beach).
    If you're outside, fully clothed, and you and some other fully clothed people are wet, the probability that it's because it's raining is starting to become really significant.

    See what I mean?

    Until you actually directly observe the rain falling from the clouds in the sky, you cannot prove that the reason you're wet is because it's raining. But you can conduct experiments that make this hypothesis more and more valid.
    Interesting. I misread what you were saying above. I understand what you mean here, and intuitively, I'd agree. If you had an fruit, it's more likely that your fruit is an apple than a gorilla.

  2. #92
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    This is a circular argument. You want faith to be forever, so you argue that whoever changes their faith didn't have faith to begin with. Logical, but wrong nonetheless.
    How is your idea more right? Seriously, how?

    It's not a circular argument for any other reason than that you're trying to undercut me again.

    You have failed.
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  3. #93
    Member Electric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Buddhism is evolution.



    Nice to see you again, Electric - from INTPc?
    Nice to see you too

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    And yet you would describe this "deep belief" as "fluffy marshmallows" ?

  4. #94
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    As I said: it augments the probability that my first hypothesis (God exists) is true. It doesn't prove it, I already admitted that.

    If you're wet, maybe you were in the shower.
    If you're outside and you're wet, the chances that you were in a shower are already smaller (but you could be on the beach).
    If you're outside, fully clothed, and you and some other fully clothed people are wet, the probability that it's because it's raining is starting to become really significant.

    See what I mean?

    Until you actually directly observe the rain falling from the clouds in the sky, you cannot prove that the reason you're wet is because it's raining. But you can conduct experiments that make this hypothesis more and more valid.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Interesting. I misread what you were saying above. I understand what you mean here, and intuitively, I'd agree. If you had an fruit, it's more likely that your fruit is an apple than a gorilla.
    Actually, Wandering, I retract. It only makes it more likely that it's raining if (1) you find another condition that's inconsistent with that observation (scorthing heat) and (2) that condition (heat) and the original condition (rain) are competing and inconsistent.

    In other words, the presence of B doesn't make A more likely, unless: (1) C --> ~A, and (2) ~C --> B (where C is heat, B is rain, and A is wetness).

  5. #95
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Brilliant!

    I was going to PM you on INTPc, but was confident in your eventual "migration".


    One cannot have "faith" in logic, as "faith" presupposes a lack of observable (data culled from empirical observation - as is the case with (I presume) your nod towards the theorems within logic - informal (linguistics); formal and symbolic (among others - even when dealing with the purely hypothetical (i.e., propositional calculus), we still ascribe to a pattern of event - a redundant, independently-verified data structure) variables as a substitution for the standard elements found within "logical" arenas (science; mathematics; etc.)).

    "Faith" in logic is an obfuscation in terminology.
    I notice people all the time who have faith in logic. Faith would mean relying faithfully on logic with innatention to how much is being fudged or oversimplified. For instance, I think the field of economics has an extreme faith in logics and principles, and it is hilarious and amazing how often it's wrong.

  6. #96
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    I'm going to continue talking about how logic is used in faith. Using your example, if a person sees people suffering horribly in the world, he may think, "There must be a reason." Is it an accurate inference? Maybe not, but it is an inference nonetheless, derived from the suffering he sees. From his last statement, he may think, "What is the reason?" "Well, maybe it's that someone is testing us; testing us to see if we are worthy of a reward in the afterlife. Maybe this suffering I see is something I need to help cure, so that I may ensure my place in a happier afterlife."

    It is logic, without necessarily empirical evidence. It's just inference at work.
    I don't have the leisure time to be as organized and detailed in my writing as some of the greats like FineLine and Jennifer, but I'm going to try.

    Similar to what I quoted, I was wondering how comparable self-esteem, or belief in one's own worth, is comparable to faith in a higher being. I think self-esteem may work in a similar way to the way many in this thread believe faith in God works.

    I think it was Nemo that said that he thought comfort was a crackpot reason to believe in God. But what about things like self-esteem and confidence? Comfort seems to be a big reason to have faith in one's capabilities, or to think that one is worthwhile and valuable. Usefulness and efficiency also seem to be reasons people can use either to have faith in themselves or in God, or, in the unique individual, both.

    Why do any of us feel worthwhile as human beings? For example, there's an overwhelming amount of evidence that says that we do not really matter, isn't there? Whatever talent we may have, or gift, it will always be lesser in comparison to someone's.

    Furthermore, we're not always tangibly appreciated by others; we can't really depend on others to boost us up, make us feel good about ourselves, or tell us that we're understood, because people aren't reliable sources of self-esteem. They simply aren't.

    If we look purely at the empirical evidence, there's often a lot of evidence that says we should feel like shit, isn't there? We make dozens of decisions that could be considered mistakes every day, perhaps even every hour. If we simply looked at our past, there might be little evidence to give us reason to have confidence in ourselves. So what do we set our self-esteem and self-worth on? What reason do we have to be confident in our abilities, or simply confident in ourselves? Especially if we look to our achievements and accomplishments to fuel our self-worth, we may often feel utterly inadequate in the face of our failures and setbacks. So what do we use? Why do any of us have self-confidence?

    Well, there are probably a million different reasons, but I'm going to talk about a few that I think can be used both for having faith in religion as well as having faith in oneself.

    One reason may be that many of us simply acknowledge, consciously or unconsciously, that confidence is efficient. It is useful. It is needed to work and live with minimal psychological stress and trauma. Belief in ourselves as worthwhile beings is not ONLY a comfort, but perhaps a necessity to functioning. If we feel utterly shitty about ourselves, how will we ever take risks, put ourselves out there in order to gain something, or submit ourselves or our work to scrutiny? Essentially, how will we live, without at least the barest sense of confidence in what we have to offer the world, and without the barest sense of worth as a human being?

    Similarly, religious beliefs can be useful, efficient, and absolutely necessary for working and living with minimal psychological stress and trauma. Do you realize how many religious people say they just can't imagine how lonely and lost they'd be if they didn't have their faith, and if they didn't have their religious community and parish for socialization and support? I know what this is like, because I went to eight years of Catholic grade school and used to think along these lines. I ask you to compare that to how lonely and lost many would feel if they didn't believe in themselves or feel worthwhile as persons.

    Religion itself gives people confidence and self-worth. The idea that someone will love them in their hardest and most lonely times is more than a comfort; it is a colossal support, and, sometimes, an essential one. Some people feel overwhelmed with hopelessness and meaninglessness when they have a lapse in faith; knowing that the most supreme being loves you and considers you one of His beautiful children, created in His divine image, is a good source of purpose, self-esteem and self-worth for many (on the flipside, it is also a good source of guilt for many, because God is perceived as being unhappy when one does not follow His guidelines).

    Purpose. That someone loves them and will reward them if they are good on earth gives people someone to perform well for, and something to work toward; purpose. There's no denying the astronomical amount of suffering in the world. Many people see this suffering and subsequently see their faith as a blessing on the world, because they know that with God watching, it gives everyone who believes he is watching an extra reason to be good and kind to others. So faith establishes purpose and efficiency at the same time.

    Similarly, many people simply acknowledge that they cannot function without something comforting to fall back on. Many turn to self-esteem and self-compassion. Again, there seems to be little good, empirical evidence to give a person reason to like themselves or feel good about themselves if that person simply looks at his or her behaviors and successes. We're each one in about seven billion people. Someone will always outshine us in every area. So are we just completely delusional when we have a sense of self-worth, comparable to the level of delusion people have when they believe in a higher power?

    I compare the faith that many people place in God to the faith that I place in myself, and it is quite a logical faith, though it does take some creative license, I suppose. I try not to beat myself up over things, because I know that it is unnecessary and probably unhelpful in regard to my improvement. I consider myself the originator and arbiter of most of my wants and needs, as well as most of my resources and solutions; I am essentially, though not entirely, my own salvation; nearly everything I need and want is provided by me, in the same way that God, to many people, is the provider of all they want and need. "Ask and ye shall receive," and all that. They put God first; I, selfish and egotistical as it sounds, put myself first. I have many very logical reasons to do so, but one could also argue that I have no hard-and-fast proof of how worthy I am, in the grand scheme of things. I cite efficiency, usefulness, comfort, support, and probably a few other, possibly secondary things I can't think of right now, for having "faith" in myself and my value. Am I delusional?

    P.S. I really liked Elfinchild's comments on inarticulate and articulate faith. Or was it inarticulate and articulate logic?
    Last edited by Mempy; 03-18-2008 at 06:40 PM.
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  7. #97
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Logic is a system of processing information. Faith is having a high degree of certainty about certain knowledge that is not consistent with the degree of empirical evidence.

  8. #98
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Since the thread has been revived...

    I've chewed over the logic/faith issue a lot.

    Rather than look at answering the question I would as *how useful* is logic or faith. Personally, I find *faith* utterly useless, although appreciate that lots of folks don't. I've just chosen a different walking stick...

    I don't entirely agree that this is a T vs F thing. There are plenty Ts that are religious and plenty atheist Fs. I'd mute the idea this is a internal vs external locus of control with some F & T thrown into the pot.

    5=4 - Nice one!

  9. #99
    Junior Member umop_3pisdn's Avatar
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    Logic + faith tends to bolster the meaning of faith. If logic supports faith, then faith is no longer just faith, and to some degree it becomes reason.

    But there's something about faith that isn't supported by logic. If a person knowingly diverges from what they know is logical, so as to pursue their faith... there is something very powerful about that. As far as higher divinities go, I'm very atheistic/pantheistic... but I sort of find myself admiring some people who knowingly pursue faith contrary to reason. The more familiar they are with logic, or the arguments of the other more objective viewpoint, the more power it adds to their faith (though perhaps only symbolically). So in this sort of situation, faith sort of takes on a very large and powerful meaning.

    It's also highly personal, and subjective, as our experience of reality also tends to be. And it also tends to concern itself with those ultimate, numinous, unanswerable questions. So due to all of that, I'd say faith > logic, in some situations.

    But these are judgments made on gut feelings (Ni) so maybe they're a bit more in-line with faith than reason, and thus somewhat biased?...

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by umop_3pisdn View Post
    Logic + faith tends to bolster the meaning of faith. If logic supports faith, then faith is no longer just faith, and to some degree it becomes reason.

    But there's something about faith that isn't supported by logic. If a person knowingly diverges from what they know is logical, so as to pursue their faith... there is something very powerful about that. As far as higher divinities go, I'm very atheistic/pantheistic... but I sort of find myself admiring some people who knowingly pursue faith contrary to reason. The more familiar they are with logic, or the arguments of the other more objective viewpoint, the more power it adds to their faith (though perhaps only symbolically). So in this sort of situation, faith sort of takes on a very large and powerful meaning.

    It's also highly personal, and subjective, as our experience of reality also tends to be. And it also tends to concern itself with those ultimate, numinous, unanswerable questions. So due to all of that, I'd say faith > logic, in some situations.

    But these are judgments made on gut feelings (Ni) so maybe they're a bit more in-line with faith than reason, and thus somewhat biased?...
    Thank you for saying that so well. I've been, lamely, trying to make that point. I've said the more logical one is, the harder it is to have faith... not for whimps or sissies definitely. That's my own case. For a long time I was too fearful on many levels; my anchor in life was logic. But, I always intuitively (I guess) knew there was more. Deciding to give in and take the leap did, literally, feel like jumping from a cliff. I was giving up my identity so to speak. I'm glad I did and, yes, I've also found what I did to be very logical.

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