• 180 Proof
    8.7k
    No doubt, seeing is provisionally believing; however, inversely (perversely), faith implies "believing is seeing" e.g.

    (in the Christian context)

    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [ ... ] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." ~Hebrews 11:1,3

    "Credo ut intelligam." ~Anselm of Canterbury

    :pray: :eyes:
    [ ... ] to find one's salvation one literally has to do the impossible.Gregory
    "One's salvation" from what? And in what way, Gregory, is that task "impossible"?
  • Moses
    137
    Well, even more than that. There's a difference between the written law and the actual law. The idea that the Torah (the written law) is the law is simply false, not just to liberal Jews, but to Orthodox Jews and to Fundamentalist Christians as well.Hanover


    Not too familiar with the fundamentalist Christians, but yes, in rabbinic Judaism law is defined as halakha is determined by the rabbis which draws from both the oral and written tradition.

    The oral law (the Talmud) and the thousands of years of rabbinical interpretation are as primary and authoritative as the Torah.Hanover

    When we talk of authority we're into theology, not philosophy. I recently read Pirkei Avot and I loved it; plenty of wisdom in that text but I don't necessarily view it as all as authoritative even if I personally accept 95% of it but I do view it as very wise and reasonable. In my mind there is a difference between canon and commentary, and thankfully Judaism allows for multiple valid interpretations of an idea, but there are interpretations which are not valid and ones which may have been valid at one point but upon further review were rejected. I think is the process of religious reasoning/rationality at work.

    And this goes for Christians as well, who rely heavily on the New Testament and the traditions of their various denominations. That is, they don't just run out and try to emulate the biblical characters.Hanover

    I have no idea how the Christians do it. There are so many different churches. Just a few days ago I heard one pastor calling for the execution of homosexuals. The Catholics have their Church to mediate but with the Protestants it's much more down to the community and their own interpretations.
  • Gregory
    4.2k


    The material is only a limited way of seeing reality. What we think of as material doesn't act as we usually think material does. You can literally move a mountain if you had "faith the size of a mustard seed". Infinite potential is like a seed within reality that gives our will its infinity. We experience life as limited but faith is a form of reason and with faith one can realize that anything is possible to us. There is no escaping death as a tiny piece of matter but accepting the paradox of will allows one a way out and if it takes moving a mountain so be it
  • Alkis Piskas
    1k

    First of all, it is very good that you brougt in definitions from standards sources at start of your topic. :up:
    This is quite rare in here, and it is a big miss-take . I know well that some even hate dictionaries and encyclopedias!

    2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof"Tate
    Using the concept of "God" restricts this definition unnecessarily. Oxford LEXICO, defines it as follows: "Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.", which is much better, but it still restricts this definition unnecessarily.
    So, let's make it more general, that is, applicable to all kind of situations: "Strong belief in something, based on conviction rather than proof.". I think this covers most if not all the cases, religion included.
    For example, a very common cases is "I have faith in you". It means I cannot be totally certain, I have no undeniable data, etc. supporting that you are going to do or succeed in something, yet I strongly believe that you will. (Sometimes, of course, we say this to people just to encourage them.) It is a very recognizable feeling and mental state.

    So, this is my answer to your topic "The meaning and significance of faith".

    Yet, there are a lot of different uses of the term faith and, depending on the context, "faith" acquires different meanings. Like in the case that follows.

    If you want to talk specifically about the subject of faith "as it appears in Judeo-Christian traditions", then your 2nd definition is well applied. In this case I will add that Judaism and Christianity --as Islam, Hinduism, etc.-- are dogmatic religions. Hence the concept of dogma comes in, for which Oxford LEXICO offers the following definition: "A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true." Not perfect, but it gives the basic idea. Judeo-Christians believe in hundreds of "facts" and stories the truth of which has and can never be proven. E.g. The stories of the Creation of the world, Adam and Eve, etc., which are contained in the Book of Genesis, the "Ten Commandments", which God gave to people via Moses and so on. My personal understanding and explanation of all these cases, is that they have a symbolic meaning and value, rather than are besed on foundations and/or historical data. Dogmatic religions are built on traditional values --moral, economic and political-- of a nation or civilization.
    (They are too far from my way of thinking and view of the world.)
  • Gregory
    4.2k


    Salvation is impossible because it's impossible for a consciousness to cease to exist. To cease to exist is equivalent to going to hell for a consciousness. Then consider that you must save yourself from death and the possible impossible comes into view
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    Why do people come to a philosophy forum to talk about religion?
  • Hanover
    8.3k
    Amongst the variations in certainty listed in my last post, there is the position in which someone takes specified beliefs to be no just indubitable, but infallible. There is a way of thinking in which the believer takes the position that certain of their beliefs are true even if everything else were to count against those beliefs. These beliefs are to be held despite of the evidence, and despite their consequences.Banno

    You envision a scenario where one believes X is wrong, but some authority tells him otherwise (perhaps a person or writing) and so he over-rules his belief and favors the authority, not from duress or fear of reprisal from his community, but from sincere reconsideration because he is faithful to that authority.

    And you worry about this scenario because that person ignored all that counted against the authority and sided with the authority and then did something terrible.

    This of course ignores the counter situation, where someone has plans to do something terrible, yet the authority steers him to the right path, causing the man to over-rule all that he considered as counting in favor of acting badly. This counter scenario might just be the more common occurrence, but be that as it may.

    The question that is begged here is which authority do we honor? Do we honor our own conclusions and assume them correct and that be the authority, or do we rely upon some external authority and consider it?

    Let's put this in the concrete with an example. Let us say that a co-worker of mine gets behind at work and he works on the sabbath. As we know, per Exodus 31:15, "Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death." My personal thought is that this man should live, but I know the Bible is right, so I slaughter this man. So there's a good example of the conflict you envision: Authority A which guides modern society says it's wrong to kill my co-worker, but Authority B from our time honored past says I've got to kill him.

    So much counts against his killing, but a good man (me) was turned evil due to this faith in authority problem you're talking about.

    But here's the problem with your position. The problem with the killing had nothing to do with reliance upon authority. It had to do with relying upon the wrong authority. I obviously agree A was the right authority and the man's life should have been spared, but Authority A is an authority just as much as B.
    It's just that A is a good authority and B is not.

    What does Authority A consist of in our example? I suspect it might be reason, experience, logic, the sound of our parents ringing in our heads, social norms, and maybe all sorts of other things.

    What does Authority B consist of in our example? The literal translation of the Bible.

    And that again brings us full circle to what we always talk about, which I submit is your unrealistic, strawman position of what Authority B really is. When we look at the world, and we see all the power that is given to the Bible, and we read Exodus 31:15, yet we see that exactly zero people are being killed for disobeying the law of keeping the Sabbath. What this means is that Authority B likely contains much of Authority A as well, which explains why more often than not we get the same results.
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    So, for you (believers), a human cadaver is still conscious?

    Why do people come to a philosophy forum to talk about religion?Jackson
    Probably the same "reason" you come here to talk about your :roll:
  • Banno
    17.4k
    You envision a scenario where one believes X is wrong, but some authority tells him otherwise...Hanover
    No. The situation is one in which someone believes something despite the evidence. Authority might, but need not, enter into the situation. Your introduction of authority is a misfire.
  • Gregory
    4.2k


    Those who do the infinite never become cadavers. Some fail and end up trapped in a dead body for eternity, never being free. You never are going to get this until you realize annihilation is hell. Annihilation as absolute philosophical nothing can't be conceived of. But people fool themselves
  • Tate
    377
    If pressed for an example you just resort to a no true Scotsman fallacy. We've already seen that the pope disagrees with you, so, no. .
  • Banno
    17.4k
    What I've been trying to say is that the two directions don't have to be in conflict. They can work together.Tate

    Of course.

    But there comes a point at which the unity is broken. That point is seen in the extremes of belief despite the way things are, from the binding of Isaac through conspiracy theorists and suicide bombers to the conviction of a well regulated child militia storming a kindergarten, there is a point where belief overwhelms reality.

    Hope is also belief overwhelming reality.

    So here we have an odd commonality between an evil and a good. Both depend on faith.

    Seems it follows that faith is not obviously a virtue.
  • Tate
    377
    So here we have an odd commonality between an evil and a good. Both depend on faith.Banno

    Other things that are like that include tools and medicine. Every medicine is also a poison.

    The pope's view was that faith is about healing.
  • Banno
    17.4k
    Sure.

    In the OP you asked about "Complete trust or confidence in someone or something". You were after the meaning of faith and how it relates to optimism and hope.

    I've shown that complete trust or confidence in someone or something does not only lead to hope, but to other less palatable activities.
  • Tate
    377
    I've shown that complete trust or confidence in someone or something does not only lead to hope, but to other less palatable activities.Banno

    Absolutely. What's the secret to avoiding the bad outcomes?
  • Banno
    17.4k
    Absolutely. What's the secret to avoiding the bad outcomes?Tate

    For a start, not to think faith a virtue.
  • Tate
    377
    For a start, not to think faith a virtue.Banno

    How would that help?
  • Banno
    17.4k
    How would that help?Tate

    That leaves me non-plussed. Perhaps if you go over what we've discussed again, you will see the point.
  • Tate
    377
    That leaves me non-plussed. Perhaps if you go over what we've discussed again, you will see the point.Banno

    I'm already aware that embracing a Utopian vision is dangerous. I thought you might have insight about that.

    This is about global warming, not God.
  • Gregory
    4.2k


    Humility and love can be corrupted just as much as faith and hope. In fact it seems that all virtues can be turned to evil
  • baker
    4.7k
    Why do people come to a philosophy forum to talk about religion?Jackson

    Because that's what philosophy is for.
  • baker
    4.7k
    In fact it seems that all virtues can be turned to evilGregory

    How?
  • baker
    4.7k
    What part of the following quote are you too trifling to understand or dispute?
    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
    — Voltaire
    180 Proof

    You make for one shitty übermensch.

    Come on, answer my question.



    So what? What is it to you if other people believe falsehoods?
    — baker

    I'd prefer my bridges be supported by sound engineering principles as opposed to devout prayer.
    Hanover

    Construction engineers who also happen to be religiously affiliated generally aren't known to forego the principles of sound engineering in favor of prayer. In contrast, you have more to worry about from an atheist capitalist engineer who tries to cut corners everywhere.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    Because that's what philosophy is for.baker

    Religion is philosophy? Do you think art is engineering?
  • Gregory
    4.2k


    Love can be bad when you only love your country, humility can be bad when you have no self respect, kindness can be bad when severity is required, ect. They are not virtues at that point, but neither is faith still faith when you use it to blow up schools ect
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    All evidence is suspect (re Cartesian deus deceptor).
    — Agent Smith
    And your own "suspect" for this claim ... :roll:
    180 Proof

    Cartesian deus deceptor. :chin:

    For dogmatists,

    First pitfall: Agrippa

    Second pitfall: Descartes' deus deceptor

    No dogmatists escaped SIR!!
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    What?180 Proof

    Whaddaya mean "What?"?

    I laid it out for you in as much detail as I could muster.

    The prime suspect = Deus deceptor
  • baker
    4.7k
    Why do people come to a philosophy forum to talk about religion?
    — Jackson

    Because that's what philosophy is for.
    baker

    Religion is philosophy? Do you think art is engineering?Jackson

    Read again.
    Philosophy is for talking about religion, among other things.
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