• Janus
    35
    OK, got it...

    And along those lines much more besides! What I am on about is the repeated claim that g/God is real in some material-but-not-material sense. And to that I say prove it, which for any Christian understanding of God cannot be done. It's all belief, which is all real Christians claim, and that's fair enough. But a lot of the believers want in where they do not belong, making whole hosts of insupportable claims. And this in many cases to solicit contributions from the ignorant. That religion unprosecuted fraud.tim wood

    OK, it looks like I misread you. In that case I agree with you; it is incoherent to claim that something is real, as in substantive, and yet not materially existent, if only because we don't know what we are saying in making such a claim.

    I have many times taken Wayfarer to task for this, when he claims the platonic forms or universals are real independently of all and any individual mind and yet not material, and the claim is always then that I have misunderstood the "argument". But there is never an argument: it's not so much that such claims are logically impossible as that they are propositionally empty and meaningless.

    On the other hand such things are fine to be said in mystical writings, scriptures and poetry where no propositional claims are understood to be made.
  • bert1
    19
    ↪180 Proof Placebos do require faith. Without it they don't work
    — Janus
    This one.
    180 Proof

    10/10
    Let the faithless behold! That's made my day. :)
  • magritte
    2
    Sorry! If you meant that faith makes placebo an extremely powerful medicine then I wholly agree with you. Faith is one of the cornerstones of religion, the other is accommodation to an acceptable social norm or institution.
  • Corvus
    7
    Framing it as a matter of "belief" is to make the topic exterior to experience by default.Valentinus

    Can the framed beliefs without objective evidence and rational verification be subjects of the philosophical debates? Should they be in the realm of one's personal faith issue which are outside of objective logical investigations?
  • 180 Proof
    41
    I mean 'only imaginary things, and not facts, ever require faith'. :death: :flower:
  • Cuthbert
    2
    Here is a quote, I found.

    “If one must have faith in order to believe something, or believe in something, then the likelihood of that something having any truth or value is considerably diminished. The harder work of inquiry, proof, and demonstration is infinitely more rewarding, and has confronted us with findings far more "miraculous" and "transcendent" than any theology. Actually, the "leap of faith"—to give it the memorable name that Soren Kierkegaard bestowed upon it—is an imposture. As he himself pointed out, it is not a "leap" that can be made once and for all. It is a leap that has to go on and on being performed, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary. This effort is actually too much for the human mind, and leads to delusions and manias. Religion understands perfectly well that the "leap" is subject to sharply diminishing returns, which is why it often doesn't in fact rely on "faith" at all but instead corrupts faith and insults reason by offering evidence and pointing to confected "proofs." This evidence and these proofs include arguments from design, revelations, punishments, and miracles. Now that religion's monopoly has been broken, it is within the compass of any human being to see these evidences and proofs as the feeble-minded inventions that they are.”
    ― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
    — Corvus

    This must be very persuasive to anyone to whom it seems there is no God. But I don't come to believe in God by a leap of faith. I do not need to construct proofs. It already seems to me there is a God. I do not need to leap to a place where I already find myself. Of course, if there is no God, then I am deluded.

    I would take issue with the first sentence of the quote. I must have faith in the Covid vaccine to allow it to be administered. Lots of people have this faith. People who lack faith do not take the vaccine. There are people for whom no amount of evidence will instill faith and they will still refuse. So faith is necessary. But I am sure that this need for faith does not prove the vaccine's inefficacy.
  • Corvus
    7
    A good point on the nature of faith. It is definitely more assuring to have faiths grounded on some level of certainty, even if faith is a type of belief.
  • Cuthbert
    2
    Yes, and I think faith (religious or other) has as much to do with trust and confidence as with belief. Possibly more. I believe that flying is the safest way to travel. But my faith is so weak that I will not fly for fear of crashing.
  • Corvus
    7
    I can see your point. Beliefs and trusts crumble with emergence of the negative evidence and knowledge about something one believed and trusted.  

    I recall when I was 15, I flew in an airplane for the first time.  Everything was fantastic and exciting.  At that age, obviously I had no knowledge about possibilities that air planes can crash, get kidnapped or even shot down from the ground military action. 

    I never had an idea that an airplane is a man made machine that has thousands of parts working together, and can fail any time for unexplained reasons. Maybe I did, but was not giving any serious thought about it at the time.

    Now after many times of flying and times gone by, I am aware of the possibilities of air disasters. I hate flying.  I only fly if only if I must, for work, business or visiting family in another country in really must situations only. Beliefs and trust require good rational reasons for having them in daily life. I feel that beliefs and trust in daily life are different kind from beliefs and faith in the case of religion.
  • Hanover
    149
    I would take issue with the first sentence of the quote. I must have faith in the Covid vaccine to allow it to be administered. Lots of people have this faith. People who lack faith do not take the vaccine. There are people for whom no amount of evidence will instill faith and they will still refuse. So faith is necessary. But I am sure that this need for faith does not prove the vaccine's inefficacy.Cuthbert

    The first sentence was:

    I
    “If one must have faith in order to believe something, or believe in something, then the likelihood of that something having any truth or value is considerably diminished. — Corvus

    I don't take this to refer to the faith required for someone to make a decision. When making a decision, some people rely upon faith, some upon gut instinct, some upon the advice of experts, and some upon careful deliberation, but that doesn't speak to truth values of statements. That speaks to idiosyncratic motivations of different sorts of people.

    I take that first sentence to mean (using your example) that if our only evidence that the covid vaccine works is our faith in it working, then it likely doesn't. As to the truth value of the statement "the covid vaccine works," it is more likely true if there is scientific evidence supporting it. It is less likely true if the only support for its truth is faith. As the comment you cited points out, the more one relies upon faith for a belief that an assertion is true, the less likely the assertion is true.
  • Cuthbert
    2
    That's very interesting, Corvus. I think the pre-occupations of theists and atheists tend to be different with regard to faith. For some atheists, there seems to be no God and so the mere existence of God is an issue, a problem, a puzzle about why some otherwise apparently rational adult people should believe in an imaginary being. You can feel the frustration and impatience in writers like Hitchens and Dawkins - as if they are saying, c'mon, guys, admit that it's all a fantasy. For many theists, the existence is plain and it is the relationship with God that needs thinking about. So 'faith' for a theist might tend to be more about the question of how you can trust somebody than the question whether something exists.

    Hanover, yes, I think you're right. There is such a thing as blind faith: crossing your fingers, leaping in the dark and hoping for the best regardless of probabilities. Faith in the vaccine isn't like that. I think the question of whether religious faith is like that depends on whether there's a God or not. And that's the point at issue. If there is a God then it's not blind faith to go along with a previously existing hunch that there is a God. If not, then it's delusion and blind faith.
  • Hanover
    149
    ↪180 Proof Placebos do require faith. Without it they don't work
    — Janus
    This one.
    — 180 Proof

    10/10
    Let the faithless behold! That's made my day. :)
    bert1

    "Placebos require faith" I take in this context as tautological. The definition of a placebo is that which gains its effectiveness by a belief in its effectiveness.

    Contextualizing this in a non-analytic way where we are not just deciphering definitions, a different result emerges, however. In the typical medical context where one says a sugar pill is a placebo treatment for headaches, it may well be, but that isn't to suggest that mystical healing from a higher source comes to those who bow their head in faith. What it really means is that the healing properties of the body, which cure all ailment (as all medicine can do is act as a catalyst for the body's immune and healing abilities to take effect) are provoked by putting one's mental state in a position where it believes it will be cured. Since the mental state is considered to be a physical event in this context, it should come as no great surprise that one physical component of the human body can impact another. That is, it is not "faith" as some act where one interacts with the holy that causes our headache to go away. It is the physical effect of the brain acting upon the physical state of the rest of the body that does that and the placebo medication put our brain in that particular state.

    Whether faith moves mountains where shovels cannot is a whole different sort of faith, having nothing to do with placebos. It is the belief my headache will come or it will go based upon a higher plan, but whatever way it should go, it will be for that higher purpose. That invokes the mystical, not mundane discussions about controlling for the placebo effect in scientific experiments.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    My point is that 'placebos (mere ideas, or fantasies) require faith, but facts do not'. Evidence warranting assent to this statement is, I think, overwhelming: living by faith alone, a person will starve long before s/he'll starve from living by bread alone.
  • Hanover
    149
    Evidence warranting assent to this statement is, I think, overwhelming: living by faith alone, a person will starve long before s/he'll starve from living by bread alone.180 Proof

    Given that dichotomy, yes, it makes more sense to chase one's food than to pray for it. The bigger question is whether you will be starved (in the metaphorical sense) of anything if you have no faith. We can agree that faith alone is bad plan though.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    The bigger question is whether you will be starved (in the metaphorical sense) of anything if you have no faith.Hanover
    We can also agree that bread alone is bad. "Faith" may be a viable suppliment, it's just not a necessary or indispensible one, and doesn't sustain either body or mind for very long compared to bread (& water). Reason, contemplation, aesthetics (e.g. literature, music), friendship, love, family, scientific inquiry, etc are viable alternatives to "faith" separately or in combinations. I've never had need of "faith" even, so far, in my darkest, most harrowing moments (which, raised and educated Catholic yet never relapsing to / overwhelmed by subconsciously "religious" imagery or feelings, has surprised me ).

    I show gratitude for my daily bread with generosity to others I encounter everyday rather than by "saying grace". I try to be a good Samaritan and a smart Spartacus. I also try to live by Hillel the Elder's golden rule. So what does "faith" have to do with any of that? No magical thinking is needed, just the Sisyphusean courage-to-empathically-be. These days, late in middle age, my 'holy trinity' (mana) consists of philosophy, music and long walks. Fortunately, I still lack faith in "faith".
  • Corvus
    7

    Great posts thank you. This is what I think about the points.

    I feel that there are different kinds of beliefs of different nature.  To analyse how they are different, we can ask "Why"  one believes  X.
    1. Why do you believe flying is unsafe? Because I have seen, and heard the horror stories and news, sometimes air accidents and disasters have happened in the past. If they happened in the real world, it could happen in the future too.  I believe it is unsafe or it is not 100% safe to fly.
    The belief is based on the inductive cases in the past. This type of belief is bound to change any time depending on the empirical evidence acquired by the believer.

    2. Why do you believe in God?In this case, anything can be the reason.  It is not limited to the inductive or deductive premises or experiences. It could be totally personal, psychological and existential and even irrational.
    Because I just believe in God. Because I was brought up under a religious background.  I don't know. I just know God exists.  I have had unexplainable experience that God exists.  
    All these reasons are mostly psychological, and are out of boundary for rational explanation. No arguments can diminish or break this type of belief unless the believer changes his mind by his own internal thoughts based on psychological reasons.

    3. In the case of Placebo, the believer is taking it on the basis that the pill will cure his symptoms just because it was given by a doctor.  The belief is false, and as soon as he knows it is a placebo, his belief will crash to nothing.  It has nothing to do with faith. It is not the case, that he doesn't know why he wants to take a placebo, but just taking it for some existential grounds, or he was brought up under the placebo taking traditional family or he just knows that placebo will cure his symptoms.   If the placebo was given by a passer-by he met in the park, he won't necessarily believe that placebo will work for him.   So placebo does not require faith. In fact it has nothing to do with faith. It is based on the placebo takers' false belief that it might work.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    So placebo does not require faith. In fact it has nothing to do with faith. It is based on the placebo takers' false belief that it might workCorvus
    "False belief" (i.e. make-believe, delusion) is "faith". :roll:
  • Corvus
    7
    "False belief" (i.e. make-believe, delusion) is "faith". :roll:180 Proof

    The difference between false belief and faith would be, the former will turn to feeling of anger, stupid or having been manipulated when being told it was placebo the believer was taking, whereas faith will not be easily broken by any empirical information no matter what the empirical information was. (mentioned above)

    Surely they are not the same type of beliefs.
  • Corvus
    7
    That also confirms that belief of Placebo is not faith type.
  • Hanover
    149
    We can also agree that bread alone is bad. "Faith" may be a viable suppliment, it's just not a necessary or indispensible one, and doesn't sustain either body or mind for very long compared to bread (& water). Reason, contemplation, aesthetics (e.g. literature, music), friendship, love, family, scientific inquiry, etc are viable alternatives to "faith" separately or in combinations. I've never had need of "faith" even, so far, in my darkest, most harrowing moments (which, raised and educated Catholic yet never relapsing to / overwhelmed by subconsciously "religious" imagery or feelings, has surprised me ).180 Proof

    I'll agree that faith is not indispensable, nor is reason, contemplation and all else you itemize. There are those who survive off feeding tubes, so I'll agree that we can pare down the true necessities to not a whole lot. Your journey is your own and I don't care to change you. I say this because it's often assumed the faithful give a fuck about other's faith, likely owing itself to the political motivations of religious institutions that hold proselytizing in high regard. So keep that in mind when I ask if you've ever been of faith, not as someone who was dragged to church by a well intended parent, or as a dutiful son or young man carrying out his good citizenship, but as a true believer. We all wear superficial clothing as need be, but you referenced "relapsing," which would indicate you were and then were not and aren't likely to return. I'm just wondering if you ever were because that would interesting. There'd be a story there.
    I also try to live by Hillel the Elder's golden rule. So what does "faith" have to do with any of that?180 Proof

    Maybe they can stand alone, but Hillel the Elder was of great faith. A factoid for you is that he is called Hillel the elder and not Rabbi Hillel because he lived prior to 70 CE, the destruction of the 2nd Temple, meaning he was part of that generation that offered sacrifices and performed other Temple rituals prior to the rabbinical era that was ushered in after the fall of the Temple. So you can separate out perhaps Hillel's views from religious belief, but you can't separate out Hillel from his religion.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    Differences in degree and not in kind.
  • Hanover
    149
    "False belief" (i.e. make-believe, delusion) is "faith"180 Proof

    This doesn't follow. It would be the justification you challenge for the belief held. It could be the belief based upon faith happens to be true, so you wouldn't be laboring under a delusion. You would be coincidentally correct, holding an opinion based upon faith and not reason.

    The distinction is important because the way you phrased it, all faith based beliefs would not be true, which would mean faith is a perfect epistemology for determining the false. If that were the case, it would be a fairly helpful tool.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    So keep that in mind when I ask if you've ever been of faith, not as someone who was dragged to church by a well intended parent, or as a dutiful son or young man carrying out his good citizenship, but as a true believer.Hanover
    No, never, as best as I can recall, which only became clear a short time after I'd "broken" with the church and before I'd graduated from Catholic high school. Superficially, maybe, I'd always been a 'true believer' in evidence alone.

    So you can separate out perhaps Hillel's views from religious belief, but you can't separate out Hillel from his religion.
    Oh, I do not, and revere Hillel for his religiosity insofar as it shows how irreligious the vast majority of adherents to Abrahamic religions have always been and still are (e.g. Dostoyevsky's "Grand Inquisitor"). That said, his formulation of the golden rule is the same as Confucius had expressed four centuries earlier, which shows that the respective religious contexts are hardly relevant. "Faith" is nothing but an anti-anxiety placebo, at most, that does not add anything substantively epistemic to claims made on that basis.

    If a belief cannot be warranted and yet is claimed to be true, assent to it is unwarranted, or indistinguishable in the circumstance from being false. It's patently false to claim a mere idea (i.e. unwarranted belief, opinion, fantasy, etc) is warranted when it is not. Thus, for instance, The Church was correct in proclaiming Copernicus' heliocentric model "false" in the 16th century (though not Galileo's system ... and rightly he yielded before the Holy Inquisition's threat of the stake for a "truth he could not prove to non-scientists" unlike that brilliant fool Giordano Bruno).
  • Hanover
    149
    "Faith" is nothing but an anti-anxiety placebo, at most, that does not add anything substantively epistemic to claims made on that basis.180 Proof

    But you've never had faith, so how do you know this? I've never been anxiety ridden. I've always been super chill.: :cool:
    If a belief cannot be warranted and yet is claimed to be true, assent to it is unwarranted, or indistinguishable in the circumstance from being false. It's patently false to claim a mere idea (i.e. unwarranted belief, opinion, fantasy, etc) is warranted when it is not.180 Proof

    I'm not following this. A statement is true if it corresponds to reality. If I say the cat is on the mat purely as the result of faith, that statement is distinguished from a false statement if the cat is on the mat. A lucky guess is different from an unlucky guess is different from a justified belief.

    I'd agree if you reject faith as a basis for justification, my belief is unwarranted, but whether my mojo is reliable is determined by which horse wins the race. That I killed it at the track doesn't mean my guesses were justifiable, but it does mean I formed truthful beliefs.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    But you've never had faith, so how do you know this?Hanover
    I don't need to have a broken back or third degree burns over most of my body to know they are excrutiating, even unbearable. I've observed and have known well many people of "faith" in my time and so, as far as I'm concerned, the generalization is apt. Glad you're chill though. :up:

    I'm not following this.
    Well, pay attention :point:

    A statement is true if it corresponds to reality.
    Yeah, and an unwarranted belief (e.g. faith) that asserts itself as warranted even though it's not (e.g. miracle) does not correspond to reality.
  • Hanover
    149
    Yeah, and an unwarrant belief (e.g. faith) that asserts itself as warranted even though it's not (e.g. miracle) does not correspond to reality.180 Proof

    Faith isn't the belief. Faith is the justification for the belief. I know the cat is on the mat if I have a justification for it, I believe it, and the cat is on the mat. If I have faith the cat is on the mat and it is on the mat, I don't "know" the cat is on the mat. I've just guessed right. However, if the cat is on the mat, the truth value of "the cat is on the mat" is that it is a true statement, regardless of my bullshit reason for saying I know it.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    Faith isn't the belief. Faith is the justification for the belief.Hanover
    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. ~F.N.
  • Tom Storm
    10
    Faith isn't the belief. Faith is the justification for the belief.Hanover

    Faith is the excuse a person gives when they don't have a good reason for a belief. The real problem with faith is there is nothing you can't justify with an appeal to faith. People have it on faith that there is no COVID 19; that some races are inferior to others; that women are not as smart as men, etc. And within a single religion - in Christianity - faith is used to justify the beliefs of members of the KKK and Desmond Tutu. Faith is not a reliable method of justification because it is content free.
  • Tom Storm
    10
    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. ~F.N.180 Proof

    Having met in my work over 30 years, around four Yahwehs, two Kirshna's, a Vishnu, four Jesus' and a Darth Vader, I concur with our aphoristic friend.
  • 180 Proof
    41
    :smirk:

    The real problem with faith is there is nothing you can't justify with an appeal to faith.

    Faith is not a reliable method of justification because it is content free.
    Tom Storm
    :fire: :100:
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