• Tate
    377
    In the following definitions of faith straight from Google, you'll see key words that I've developed an interest in. Those words are "optimism" and "hope"

    Faith:
    1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. "this restores one's faith in politicians"

    Similar:
    trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence, optimism, hopefulness, hope, expectation
    Opposite:
    mistrust

    2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. "bereaved people who have shown supreme faith"

    I want to explore the meaning of faith and how it relates to optimism and hope. If you have thoughts on that or the meaning of faith, please jump in. But my first stop will be faith as it appears in Judeo-Christian traditions.
  • DingoJones
    2.6k
    So you want to discuss definition 1? How would that relate to faith as it appears in judeo christian tradition which is actually part of definition 2?
  • Tate
    377
    Pope Francis has made a number of comments about faith. This one refers to an episode in Luke where a sick woman reaches out to touch Jesus's garment and is healed. Jesus turns to her and says "Go in peace. Your faith has healed you."

    The basic idea is that you don't need hope unless you're afflicted in some way. Rich, happy people don't need faith. It's ailing people who will reach out with hope to be healed. Faith is simply the irrational belief that healing is possible.

    So, for instance, if we apply this to global warming, the sickling is the person who wants change. To reach out with hope takes the faith that things can change.
  • Tate
    377
    So you want to discuss definition 1? How would that relate to faith as it appears in judeo christian tradition which is actually part of definition 2?DingoJones

    How do you think they relate?
  • DingoJones
    2.6k


    I dont think they do. Hope and optimism were part of 1, not 2 but you posted as though you thought hope and optimism were in 2 as well. So how did you get there?
  • Tom Storm
    4.3k
    I want to explore the meaning of faith and how it relates to optimism and hope. If you have thoughts on that or the meaning of faith, please jump in.Tate

    I don't use the word 'faith' as it is too drenched in religious baggage. I generally regard faith as the excuse a person gives for believing in something despite a lack of evidence. As in Hebrews 11: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." If one has evidence, one doesn't require faith. You can say, 'Well an atheist has faith that a plane they catch won't fall out of the sky.' The response: we can demonstrate the existence of a plane and we know that they almost always fly safely, so getting on one isn't a matter of faith, it is a reasonable confidence based on evidence that it will do its job.

    Another issue with faith is that there isn't anything that can't be justified with an appeal to faith. I have amongst other clangers heard people say that homosexuality is wrong because faith tells them so and that South Africa's Apartheid system was 'right' and justifiable through faith.
  • Tate
    377
    dont think they do. Hope and optimism were part of 1, not 2 but you posted as though you thought hope and optimism were in 2 as well. So how did you get there?DingoJones

    You may be right. As I said, I'm exploring hope and optimism. The Judeo-Christian tradition just happens to be centered around oppression and overcoming, so it's worthwhile to look in that direction. My goal is to draw it out into my world, though.
  • Tate
    377
    don't use the word 'faith' as it is too drenched in religious baggageTom Storm

    I get that. I dont have that particular allergy. If I can learn something from religion, I won't let that sort of thing stand in my way.

    It's a kind of faith, I think. Faith in myself, that I can learn anything I want without falling into a pit of superstition in the process.

    But one of the things this thread immediately has me wondering about is the relationship between pessimism and atheism.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    But one of the things this thread immediately has me wondering about is the relationship between pessimism and atheism.Tate

    Why would there be a relation?
  • Tom Storm
    4.3k
    I dont have that particular allergy. If I can learn something from religion, I won't let that sort of thing stand in my way.Tate

    Sure, me too. Faith isn't one of those things, for the reasons I have listed.

    I can learn anything I want without falling into a pit of superstition in the process.Tate

    That's something I hear atheists say all the time. Are you a pessimist?

    I think you'll find that ostentatious optimism is pretty strong amongst members of cults and religions, but quite possibly if you scratch under the surface the doubts will become visible.
  • Tom Storm
    4.3k
    I also think optimism is one of those notions that works so well for capitalist societies. Implicit in such optimism is the notion that 'you can make it' and that the system is the best there is and that we'll all get there in the end. Optimism helps us to cope with systemic failure and oppression.
  • Moses
    137
    Faith is a part of everyday life outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It's unavoidable. Faith is basically belief without "adequate" evidence or proof, and it's a necessary component of basic, everyday life. We simply don't have the time or energy to follow up on all the information that we take in over the course of a day or a week. I might read a news article on Reuters or MSN and I'll likely (but not certainly) believe it, but it would be virtually impossible for me to fact check everything. I take it on faith.

    There are so many fields that the typical person just doesn't know and we often just have to default to the experts.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    Reuters or MSN and I'll likely (but not certainly) believe it, but it would be virtually impossible for me to fact check everything. I take it on faith.Moses

    Wow, I check things.
  • Moses
    137


    You check everything? Do you have a full understanding of the big bang theory? Every news article you read? Are you sure the sources aren't lying? Maybe the pictures are fake.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    You check everything? Do you have a full understanding of the big bang theory? Every news article you read? Are you sure the sources aren't lying? Maybe the pictures are fake.Moses

    Trump said he won the election. He lied. I check things.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    Maybe the pictures are fake.Moses

    Indeed. I always check.
  • Moses
    137


    You can't check everything. Are you sure the ingredients in dietary supplements are correct? Or do you just look at the labels and trust them? Do you understand cars completely or do you trust a mechanic?
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    You can't check everything. Are you sure the ingredients in dietary supplements are correct? Or do you just look at the labels and trust them?Moses

    I check stuff more than many people. I mean, there are still people who think Trump won.
  • Tate
    377
    I think you'll find that ostentatious optimism is pretty strong amongst members of cults and religions, but quite possibly if you scratch under the surface the doubts will become visible.Tom Storm

    I'm not sure what your point is here. How would you define philosophical optimism?
  • Moses
    137


    That's great, but the Trump thing is only one topic. We ingest food daily that apparently contains certain ingredients or substances that we just have to trust. Or are you going to double check how many calories are in your honey nut cheerios?

    I'm not attacking you, it's just part of being human. We just don't have the time or energy to check everything.
  • Tate
    377
    but it would be virtually impossible for me to fact check everything. I take it on faith.Moses

    Is this an unthinking faith? Is that what you mean?
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    That's great, but the Trump thing is only one topic. We ingest food daily that apparently contains certain ingredients or substances that we just have to trust. Or are you going to double check how many calories are in your honey nut cheerios?Moses

    I am very conscientious about my diet. My sister is a food scientist.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    Or are you going to double check how many calories are in your honey nut cheerios?Moses

    I would never eat that garbage.
  • Moses
    137


    No it's just reasonable. Unless you want to spend all your time double checking what materials are in your clothes or what exactly is going into your body. Do you double check all your nutrition labels? It's just faith. Our mental resources are limited. It would be insane to check everything.
  • Tate
    377
    Why would there be a relation?Jackson

    Hopeless people tend to be misanthropic. Belief in God supports faith in people. It did for MLK Jr anyway.
  • Moses
    137
    I would never eat that garbage.Jackson

    :rofl:
  • Tate
    377
    No it's just reasonable. Unless you want to spend all your time double checking what materials are in your clothes or what exactly is going into your body. Do you double check all your nutrition labels? It's just faith. Our mental resources are limited. It would be insane to check everything.Moses

    You mean in order to live, you need faith?
  • Moses
    137


    I think in order to be a person in this world and actually act and do things as opposed to spending all your time "following up" or asking for evidence about everything you just kinda have to take a lot on faith.... like if I asked you what material your shirt is you'd presumably trust the tag right? But then you're taking that on faith/trust. You don't know.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    I think in order to be a person in this world and actually act and do things as opposed to spending all your time "following up" or asking for evidence about everything you just kinda have to take a lot on faith.... like if I asked you what material your shirt is you'd presumably trust the tag right? But then you're taking that on faith/trust. You don't know.Moses

    Ok...therefore believing in God is rational. What is the conclusion?
  • Joshs
    3.5k
    Faith is a part of everyday life outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It's unavoidable. Faith is basically belief without "adequate" evidence or proof, and it's a necessary component of basic, everyday life. We simply don't have the time or energy to follow up on all the information that we take in over the course of a day or a week.Moses

    Yes, and I would go even further. Our lives are a mess. All of us. I dont mean this to sound as bad as it does. What I mean is that whatever we have accomplished in our past, we wake up in the morning and have to start from scratch. Logic and information are a delicate house of cards resting on the foundation of a human psyche that struggles day to day with continually shifting moods , now of confidence, now of trepidation and doubt, now of terror , now of anxiety, now of loss. No kind of
    packaged logic, proof or information will enable us to avoid these vicissitudes of mood. Each moment we are alive we put forward a faith, an expectation of some kind that the next moment will either reward or destroy. I arrange all my food containers at a slight angle on my shelves? Why do I do this? For the same reason I consider certain number combinations ‘good’ and others ‘bad’. It is a kind of faith, even in the absence of religious belief or overt superstition.
  • Moses
    137


    Jackson, I never mentioned God. I'm just saying that it's insane to imagine oneself as a purely rational being who must verify everything.... I'm saying faith is a necessary part of life just in the sense of action. No mention of God here.
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