• baker
    1k
    Faith is belief despite the lack of justification.Banno
    But there is a justification, namely, one to the effect of, "It is worth it to commit to an ideology that promises salvation, even when the situation seems hopeless, and especially then." It's human nature to want out of trouble. (And it tends to happen that when one is in trouble, not that many options for a way out of it are available. They usually don't put Heidegger's books on the bedside in cheap motels.)

    I doubt there are many theists who started out by believing that God exists, and then took the whole project of religiosity from there.
    Rather (esp. as far as adult converts go), they started off with an existential despair that they resolved with an ideology of hope. The actual issue of the existence of God is secondary or tertiary to all this.

    What drives their faith is that initial existential despair. This also explains why adult converts often lose their faith over time or "mellow out": the religiosity they took up in their state of existential despair helped them overcome said despair, and now with the despair gone, so is their faith.
  • 3017amen
    2.7k
    The God of love is not reliable and does not prevail; He gets crucifiedunenlightened

    Unenlightened!

    In reading that post, I agree with your last sentiment, however, this may need further exploration, for clarifications purposes anyway... .

    Though not a theological interpretation, in the history book know as the Bible, The Jesus of Nazareth in there was recorded as being 'reliable' I suppose, in the sense that his truth was denied by other's. In prophesy of course, I think one could argue successfully that the crucifixion narrative/metaphor was very reliable. Reliable in relation to destiny, the temporal nature of the human condition, so on and so forth.

    And so I suppose one could say, much can be learned about said human condition, many things of which still apply today (and of course some not so much, like rituals, customs, human sacrifices, etc.).

    (As an analogy, some things change and some things don't--the Spanish flu pandemic had the same anti-vaccine, anti-mask resistance/arguments... .)

    With all that said, if Epistemology encompasses conscious existence, and in that existence there is the experience and feelings of a thing known as Love, should Love itself prevail? If nothing else, Jesus was known mostly for that.
  • Tom Storm
    714
    If you can show that A causes B, and can apply that principle to create technologies that use A to cause B at the press of a button, reliably and consistently, anytime you want, in what way is it not True (with a capital T) that A causes B?counterpunch

    When people use the term capital T truth they generally mean Platonic Truth or the Ultimate Truth, not causality.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    When people use the term capital T truth they generally mean Platonic Truth or the Ultimate Truth, not causality.Tom Storm



    What you said though, is that ...

    science should not make proclamations about truthTom Storm

    And I wonder, to what degree do you think science makes proclamations about truth amounting the Platonic ideal, or Ultimate Truth? Because in my view, based on every scientific paper I've ever read, scientists go out of their way to define the methodological and evidence based limitations of their truth claims. Given there are different conceptions of truth - do you maintain science doesn't qualify for any of them?
  • Tom Storm
    714
    How do you know anything except by some sort of observation? How do you know that you know anything? What reasons do you have to believe anything? How do you know that you're being rational as opposed to being irrational? The evidence you provide to answer these questions will all be observable.Harry Hindu

    Harry this is about epistemology - philosophy has long accepted that knowledge acquired can be divided into that which is a priori (knowledge derived by reason) and that which are a posteriori (knowledge derived by empirical observation). Logical propositions are often a priori, always necessary, and usually analytic. Plenty of information on this important distinction on google.
  • Tom Storm
    714
    And I wonder, to what degree do you think science makes proclamations about truth amounting the Platonic ideal, or Ultimate Truth? Because in my view, based on every scientific paper I've ever read, is that scientists go out of their way to define the methodological and evidence based limitations of their truth claims.counterpunch

    You are building on my very point there. Excellent.

    Good science does precisely that and makes no proclamations about capital T Truth. This is a response directed not to scientists but to those theists who constantly accuse science derived atheists of creating another religion out of empiricism or evolution or Darwinism. This is constantly said of Richard Dawkins, for instance. I think it is worth saying because in my debates with Christian apologists over the years they often say (and William Lane Craig says things like this) 'You have faith in science.'
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    I'm not competent to argue christian theology, so I relate it instead to simple secular principles, like justice. We 'believe' in justice in the sense that we commit to it, we demand it, we seek it, we take pains to implement it. We don't believe that it is a principle of physics or nature. It exists to the extent we live it. and I think love is like this, it is something we can do at a cost to ourselves, not something that is already how things work. Love should prevail justice should prevail, truth should prevail, and this is the faith - make it so!
  • 3017amen
    2.7k


    Well said Uninightened! Thank you for the inspiration... .

    . It exists to the extent we live it. and I think love is like this, it is something we can do at a cost to ourselves, not something that is already how things work.unenlightened

    That's interesting if not, a profound statement nonetheless. Lessons occur in the strangest places.... Maybe another Kierkagaardian irony of life ☺

    My interpretation is not either/or there. I know outside the scope of the OP, I would simply say that both are good. It comes at a cost, and it is indeed how things work.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    "Justice is what love looks like in public." ~Cornel West

    The God of love is not reliable and does not prevail; He gets crucified.unenlightened
    :pray:
    Faith is to believe in commit to what does not exist, and try to realise it in one's life.
    "Well lawdy, lawdy, lawdy miss clawdy!" :naughty:

    We 'believe' in justice in the sense that we commit to it, we demand it, we seek it, we take pains to implement it. We don't believe that it is a principle of physics or nature. It exists to the extent we live it, and I think love is like this, it is something we can do at a cost to ourselves, not something that is already how things work.unenlightened
    :fire: :clap:
  • Banno
    11.6k
    You're vacillating.
  • John Chlebek
    4
    Thank-you everyone for the replies. Clearly I am out of my depth here. I think many people suggested giving counterexamples. I was initially thinking of alien civilizations. All our current observations (Hubble, FERMI, SETI) confirm that there is nobody out there. But people still strongly believe in the possibility. Other people suggested mathematical proofs, theorems which were later confirmed, and consciousness; which are really good counterexamples.

    StreetlightX:
    "Your friend specified that his belief in the efficacy of observation comes from observing the efficacy of observation...that it is on the basis of verification that he believes in the efficacy of verification."

    Exactly! I was like, wait, does that actually work? I agree with my "friend" that statements which can be verified through observation have high reliability. I also agree that statements that cannot be observed cannot reach that same level of reliability. But I don't think it follows that they necessarily have a low reliability or zero reliability.
  • SteveMinjares
    53
    God exist is the disappointment that he does not meet our expectations that disillusioned us and cause us to stray away from faith. And is due to ego and desire for control that warps our perspective.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    All our current observations (Hubble, FERMI, SETI) confirm that there is nobody out there.John Chlebek
    Not true. In fact, not even false. Hasty generalization fallacy at work. All of our observations to date merely "confirm" that we haven't yet detected any ETI (or haven't yet recognized them as such). Also, the massive civilizational archive – over ten millennia – of astronomical observations amounts to filling a pale with briny surf and upon finding no octopi claiming we've "confirmed" there are no octupi in the ocean.

    Recall that Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for, among other heresies, speculating on "intelligent creatures" living on "innumerable worlds" orbiting "unnumerables suns" in an "infinite universe" and then for the next four centuries hundred of billions of galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars with, if only fractionally, hundreds of billions of planetary systems – including the sample data set of several thousands exoplanets – have been observed; given the 16th century friar's prodigiously prescience, all that remains to be "found" is one or more specimens of Bruno's extraterrestrial "intelligent creatures". Space, my friend, is effin' EFFIN' humungous and human civilization's search-time has been negligably brief, so we haven't yet searched any significant fraction of the Milky Way, let alone the (local) universe. Fermi's Paradox is really paradoxical at all (but that's for another thread).
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    Faith is belief despite the lack of justification.
    — Banno
    But there is a justification, namely, one to the effect of, "It is worth it to commit to an ideology that promises salvation, even when the situation seems hopeless, and especially then." It's human nature to want out of trouble. (
    baker

    Oops. Fallacy of equivocation.

    Banno meant by "justification" "outside proof; proof that is not inherent in the proposition." (Banno, please correct me if I wrongly ascribe this interpretation to you.) An outside proof to faith would be the fulfilment of objectives in prayers to the Lord.
    You, Baker, meant by justification, "the end result": You hope, and it gives you solace; faith helps you in that process.

    Two totally different things, covered by the same word in the English language. A perfect example of the fallacy of equivocation.
  • John Chlebek
    4
    "Not true. In fact, not even false. Hasty generalization fallacy at work. All of our observations to date merely "confirm" that we haven't yet detected any ETI"

    Yes, I personally believe they do exist. But we currently do not have any observation that confirms their existence. Hence, according to the statement of my friend, belief in alien civilizations is "unreliable". But, as you pointed out, this is not true.
  • jorndoe
    1.2k
    (y)

    (T), you make an existential claim to others ...

    • if you're referring to something extra-self, then show us something
      (existentially mind-independent, objective, applicable to both of us)
    • if you're referring to something you have on your mind, then tell us about it
      (typically existentially mind-dependent, subjective)

    What do you have, (T)?
  • Tom Storm
    714
    But we currently do not have any observation that confirms their existence.John Chlebek

    We currently do not have any reliable evidence of intelligent life on other planets. Of course for those who believe in personal experience as good evidence, we have thousands of people who claim to have had experiences of alien abduction and the concomitant probings. :gasp:
  • InPitzotl
    476
    But we currently do not have any observation that confirms their existence.John Chlebek
    There is life on this planet.
  • WayfarerAccepted Answer
    11.8k
    Yes, I personally believe they [alien life forms] do exist. But we currently do not have any observation that confirms their existence. Hence, according to the statement of my friend, belief in alien civilizations is "unreliable".John Chlebek

    There's a matter of principle at stake here, though. The point is, the existence of alien life is an empirical question that can be resolved by observation, in principle. That is, if we observed an alien life form, then we would know it exists.

    But the existence, or rather reality, of God, is not empirical in principle. God is not something that can be observed, in the sense empiricism understands 'observation' no matter what kind of instruments you have; you're not going to find anything corresponding to God looking through the Hubble Telescope, or in the bubble chambers of the Large Hadron Collider.

    If someone asserts that there there is a celestial teapot orbiting the Sun, or an angry unicorn on the far side of the Moon, or that 9/11 was an 'inside job,' one will justifiably demand evidence. "It's possible, but what's your evidence for so outlandish a claim?" It is the same with God, say many atheists. The antecedent probability of God's existence, they think, is on a par with the extremely low antecedent probability of there being a celestial teapot or an irate lunar unicorn, a 'lunicorn,' if you will.

    But this is to assume something that a sophisticated theist such as Thomas Aquinas would never grant, namely, that God, if he exists, is just another being among the totality of beings. For Aquinas, God is not an ens (a being) but esse ipsum subsistens (self-subsistent Being). God is not a being among beings, but Being itself. Admittedly, this is not an easy notion; but if the atheist is not willing to grapple with it, then his [objections] are just so many grapplings with a straw man.

    Why can't God be just another being among beings in the way an orbiting teapot would be just another being among beings were it to exist? I hope it is clear that my point is not that while a teapot is a material object, God is not. That's true, of course, but my point cuts much deeper: if God exists, he exists in a way dfferent from the way contingent beings exist.
    — Bill Vallicella

    Remainder here

    That is why every argument against the reality of God based on His purported non-observability is a straw man, or rather straw god, argument. And the main reason for that is that in post-Enlightenment philosophy, there are no 'ways that things can exist' - either they exist or they don't. (Hence the irresolvable arguments about the reality of scientific laws, numbers, geometric forms etc). Empiricism - the demand that only what can be scientifically validated is to be believed - is baked into the culture (about which, see Jacques Maritain The Cultural Impact of Empiricism.)

    I think much of the controversy is because the metaphors and myths in which religious tropes are conveyed, are misinterpreted, often by those who argue for them (i.e. religious apologists.) The reality or otherwise of a 'higher intelligence' is not something that is subject to empirical validation, at best, it's a matter of abductive inference, although those inclined to believe will continue to do so, and those inclined to unbelief will argue the contrary.
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    Shall I suppose that at least we agree that talk about g/God is pretty much useless until and unless first there's a meeting of minds on what g/God means, or that is, no wothy discussion unless folks know at least their own minds?
  • Wayfarer
    11.8k
    I’m attempting to approach it from a ‘philosophy of religion’ perspective, that’s all.
  • Tom Storm
    714
    Shall I suppose that at least we agree that talk about g/God is pretty much useless until and unless first there's a meeting of minds on what g/God means, or that is, no wothy discussion unless folks know at least their own minds?tim wood

    I think that's fair. Unless the idea of God is kept enticingly vague and ambiguous, it would be very hard to get agreement on what it means, even from those people who accept the proposition of theism to be true.
  • Wayfarer
    11.8k
    Unless the idea of God is kept enticingly vague and ambiguous, it would be very hard to get agreement on what it meansTom Storm

    I think a Christian would say that what it means is that you love your neighbour as yourself (in rather less archaic language, show unconditonal compassion) - and so on. Philosophers dwell on words, theories, and arguments, but the real meaning can only ever be shown in how you live, not merely said. I think that's how a Christian would respond.
  • Tom Storm
    714
    I'm sure that's largely true about the meaning of the faith but not so much God's nature.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    BOOM. :smirk:

    But the existence, or rather reality, of God, is not empirical in principle. God is not something that can be observed, in the sense empiricism understands 'observation' ...Wayfarer
    Saying something exists in fact which nonetheless cannot be even in principle scientifically observed simply says that that something does not in fact exist, no?

    Well then please, Wayf, cite an example of an X that exists (not merely 'subsists' like a number or Meinongian referent) which is indistinguishable from, or identical to, X that does not exist. (By X exists I mean the way the vast majority of religious practioners who have ever lived up until today literally "believe" g/G exists. (pace Tillich et al)) I can't think of one; it's reasonable to surmise that the sufficient condition for an X to exist is that 'X exists' is an objectively different state-of-affairs from 'X does not exist'.

    Let that serve as some ontic-epistemic context for the excerpt from a post (below) resurrected from a tiresome old thread that's long since given up the ghost ... re: contra theism's sine que non claims (i.e. 'divine predicates'):
    Well, in so far as the universe's earliest measurable era had a planck radius and was an acausal quantum event (i.e. a random vacuum fluctuation re: Noether's Theorem, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Hartle-Hawking No Boundary, etc), causal agency such as "creator g/G" does not obtain. Evidence of "creation" - higher than minimal entropy - must be observable (directly or indirectly) like all other events / physical transformations in the universe and yet there is no such evidence whatsoever; therefore, this entails that there is no - never was a - "creator g/G". Theism - Abrahamic, Vedic, Greco-Roman, Norse, etc - is not true.

    It doesn't matter whether or not g/G is "supernatural" but whether or not any such g/G is defined as intervening - causing changes - in nature; and if so, because nature is scientifically observable and therefore changes in nature are scientifically observable, then the claims of believers or scriptures that some g/G has intervened - caused changes - in nature entails observable (direct or indirect) evidence - and yet there is none whatsoever. Again, theism is not true.

    One must not know whether or not there is scientifically observable nature in order not to know whether or not there is (at least one) g/G that intervenes - causes changes - in, or created, nature. Scientific (& historical) illiteracy notwithstanding, nature itself is evidence that there is no theistic g/G - theism is not true. If someone claims that an angel walked across wet cement, then there must be footprints; if there are no footprints in the wet cement, then that 'walking angel' so described does not exist - or the claim that she walked across the wet cement is not true - because walking on wet cement causes the observable effect of leaving behind footprints.
    180 Proof
    In sum: any g/G that is demonstrably (inconsistent with its "revealed" sources) neither 'creator' nor 'intervener' is indistinguishable from every fictional g/G, no?
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    I’m attempting to approach it from a ‘philosophy of religion’ perspective, that’s all.Wayfarer
    I think a Christian would say that what it means is that you love your neighbour as yourself (in rather less archaic language, show unconditonal compassion) - and so on. Philosophers dwell on words, theories, and arguments, but the real meaning can only ever be shown in how you live, not merely said. I think that's how a Christian would respond.Wayfarer
    Human behavior, perspective, attitude? That is, an idea and some of the implications of such an idea? Ok. But existence only as behavior, perspective, and attitude exist. Is this your God? Or not?
  • Wayfarer
    11.8k
    I'm sure that's largely true about the meaning of the faith but not so much God's nature.Tom Storm

    You might find this OP from Karen Armstrong relevant to the issue.

    It doesn't matter whether or not g/G is "supernatural" but whether or not any such g/G is defined as intervening - causing changes - in nature; and if so, because nature is scientifically observable and therefore changes in nature are scientifically observable, then the claims of believers or scriptures that some g/G has intervened - caused changes - in nature entails observable (direct or indirect) evidence - and yet there is none whatsoever.180 Proof

    You might notice that is not a response to the argument I posted from Bill Vallicella.

    One must not know whether or not there is scientifically observable nature in order not to know whether or not there is (at least one) g/G that intervenes - causes changes - in, or created, nature.180 Proof

    'Causing changes to' and 'created' are completely different things. But I can observe that science doesn't explain natural law or the order of nature. Rather it assumes it on the basis of observation. But what scientific laws are, and why they are the way they are, are also not questions for science, although there's nothing to stop scientists expressing a view about it.

    As for what 'created' means, I think it is far from obvious. Of course I have no truck with creationism understood as a literalist interpretation of religious texts. But the cosmic anthropological principle is a far cry from creationism. I find the observation that the cosmos emerged from the apparent chaos of the 'Big Bang' with just those constants that were required for the formation of an actual universe quite a persuasive argument in favour of natural theology.

    Human behavior, perspective, attitude? That is, an idea and some of the implications of such an idea? Ok. But existence only as behavior, perspective, and attitude exist. Is this your God? Or not?tim wood

    I'm afraid I don't understand the question, but I hope I am not, and don't think I am, discussing a concept that is peculiar to myself.
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    I’m attempting to approach it from a ‘philosophy of religion’ perspective, that’s all.
    — Wayfarer
    I think a Christian would say that what it means is that you love your neighbor as yourself (in rather less archaic language, show unconditional compassion) - and so on. Philosophers dwell on words, theories, and arguments, but the real meaning can only ever be shown in how you live, not merely said. I think that's how a Christian would respond.
    tim wood
    but I hope I am not, and don't think I am, discussing a concept that is peculiar to myself.Wayfarer
    A shared concept, but peculiar to the sharers, ultimately down to the level of the individual. If you want the concept to be anything more than that, and you want others to make way for you, then deal in the common coin, existence. Or leave it at the level of concept and work with that, and a lot can be done with that.

    But there is nothing new here. Religion has its own house in its own neighborhood where no one has any reason to interfere with it. But instead it wants to to move into where it does not belong. Which in any analysis has, is, and always will be self-destructive.
  • Wayfarer
    11.8k
    Liberal secularism is itself a violent regulator of ‘private’ belief. You can believe whatever you like, provided you do not believe that your personal beliefs are actually objectively true, or matter in any public way. You can have whatever personal loyalties you like, provided you give uncompromising public loyalty to the state in which you are born, to the liberal and secular laws it mandates. — Paul Tyson, De-fragmenting Modernity.
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