• Gus Lamarch
    33
    Being very straightfoward, everytime I enter in a religious debate with someone who "follows" some religion (catholic, protestant, orthodox, muslim, etc...) eventually, as a religious debate tends to end, the "faithful" one, ends appealing to the "Faith Argument", that i find stupid and misleading, because this argument is supported by no base. "I believe in God because i have Faith" they say, and how can you discourse about that. So to explain to them, i created this arrangement:


    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/49026515372/in/dateposted-public/


    Any thoughts on it?
  • Pfhorrest
    470
    I think something went wrong with your post. Below "I created this arrangement:" all I see is "dateposted-public" where I suspect was supposed to be some kind of table or diagram. EDIT: while I was posting that you changed it to an image link.

    Anyway yeah, that's pretty straightforward. Appeal to faith is a pretty well-known fallacy, and there's not much you can do in response. "Opinions not founded in reason cannot be swayed by it" or something to that effect is a popular aphorism. (Apparently of uncertain origin and phrasing).
  • PoeticUniverse
    781
    "Faith Argument"Gus Lamarch

    Yes, matters of faith provide no matter. If they speak as if 'God' exists, then you can call them on intellectual dishonesty. If they base 'God' on the Bible, you can show the Bible to be wrong, especially in Genesis. If they want the Old Testament 'God', you can show Him not to be followable because His actions cannot be approved. If they still wish to believe, then that's fine.
  • Keenan
    5
    All knowledge is based on faith.
  • praxis
    1.7k


    Then the point of difference is what, or rather whom, you have faith in. Religion requires faith in religious authorities. For secular faith, I suppose you could say that you need to have faith in your own abilities to correctly read and understand these words.
  • Keenan
    5
    Yes, you are exactly right. We all put our faith in something. Some of us in ourselves, some of us in God.
  • praxis
    1.7k


    That’s not what I said. You can’t put your faith in God. You can only put your faith in those who educate you about God. Of course if you were to meet God then your faith would be in yourself, just like it is in reading these words. Perhaps you are experiencing a delusion right now. If you met God, how would you know it wasn’t a delusion? You would need to have faith in your experience or faith in yourself.
  • Keenan
    5
    Well then I must disagree. Because God is the one who educates us about god, not just men. Theres something inside us that God planted in us to lead us to him. Some people just ignore that something, and some people are just too distracted by everything in the world to notice it. The only way to find that something is to seek Solitude. A man who doesn't know solitude doesn't know himself.
  • TheMadFool
    4.2k


    I understand faith to be a method of acquiring belief rather than justification as your diagram seems to suggest. Perhaps people use the word "faith" in that manner and I'm not aware of it.

    By definition, faith as a method of acquiring belief short-circuits the "normal" or preferred use of well-crafted logical arguments. This logical failing stands out like a sore thumb for all to see and pick apart at will.

    Nevertheless I feel that faith and evidence-based reasoning differ not in type but in degrees. As @Keenan said "All knowledge is based on faith" I believe that justification doesn't always guarantee the truth because although our arguments may be valid we lack absolute certainty in the truth of our premises (faith???). Ergo the existence of a inference gap between any and all justification and the truth. In logical discourse this inference gap is minimized to the best of our abilities and is "small" but in faith-based belief it's a gigantic chasm relatively speaking.

    In short the difference between logic and faith is the difference in the size of the bridge you construct to cross the inference gap. A pond is not an ocean but the difference is only in size.
  • praxis
    1.7k
    Theres something inside us that God planted in us to lead us to him.Keenan

    If someone told you this then you would be having faith in that person. If you read it somewhere then you’d be having faith in whoever wrote it. If you discovered this yourself...

    If all knowledge is based on faith then faith essentially becomes meaningless, and so does God.
  • Keenan
    5
    I discovered this myself in cherokee county in cell 339. I had a lot of solitude to myself back then. I started reading christian books. While I was reading one of these books something other than the books confirmed what was in them to me. That other thing was God. Its an experience thats hard to explain. It was a mystical confirmation you could say.

    I don't believe in God because of what other men told me. I believe in God because He confirmed what other men said about Him.
  • Pfhorrest
    470
    Once again it's important to point out the difference between "faith" as in believing something that isn't conclusively proven from the ground up, and "faith" as in believing something regardless of evidence to the contrary and refusing to question whether it might not be true.

    One is a guess, the other is a conviction.

    Guesses that are admitted to be guesses are fine, and yes all knowledge is based on them, because nothing can be conclusively proven from the ground up. Unquestionable convictions are the problem. And refusing to allow people to run with their best guesses just is asserting an unquestionable conviction to the contrary of whatever those guesses would be, so to be against faith-as-in-convictions just is to be accepting of "faith"-as-in-guesses.
  • praxis
    1.7k
    I believe in God because He confirmed what other men said about Him.Keenan

    You’re the one who claims that all knowledge is based on faith, if you recall. This means that you cannot know that your experience was real. You can only have faith that it was real. You have to trust yourself that the experience wasn’t a delusion based on the suggestions of others.
  • Keenan
    5
    That brings us around to the flip side of the equation. All Faith is based on Knowledge.
  • alcontali
    802
    Being very straightfoward, everytime I enter in a religious debate with someone who "follows" some religion (catholic, protestant, orthodox, muslim, etc...) eventually, as a religious debate tends to end, the "faithful" one, ends appealing to the "Faith Argument", that i find stupid and misleading, because this argument is supported by no base.Gus Lamarch

    If the practice of adopting system-wide premises is that stupid, then what exactly supports the fourteen axioms of propositional logic or the nine axioms of standard number theory?

    Can you show me one example of an axiomatic system that is not based on unsupported, speculative, and essentially arbitrary beliefs?

    It is not possible to do mathematics without axiomatic sytems, and without mathematics, you have no instrument to maintain consistency in scientific theories either. Hence, in your view, science also goes out of the window.

    In other words, your views are suitable only for aboriginal hunter-gatherer tribes who live off collecting elephant dung in a tropical rain forest.
  • 180 Proof
    398
    You’re the one [@Keenan] who claims that all knowledge is based on faith, if you recall. This means that you cannot know that your experience was real. You can only have faith that it was real. You have to trust yourself that the experience wasn’t a delusion based on the suggestions of others.praxis

    MONEY. :clap: :clap:

    "I believe in God because i have Faith" they say, and how can you discourse about that. — Gus Lamarch

    You can't because rational discourse takes at least two and the believer in question cops-out with an appeal to faith fallacy (@praxis) - just as g/G stops-up gaps in knowledge or comprehension, dropping the "faith"-card stops the give-n-take of reasons. It's like debating with someone about their hallucinations or pet conspiracy theory. Or, as Daniel Dennett quips, faith-talk is like playing tennis without a net. As far as I can tell, just like swearing, "faith" is an emotional - anti-anxiety - crutch that's, by its perennial persistence, clearly quite effective for many, if not most, of our fellow primates.

    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

    *

    Faith is what people believe in when they do not want to know the truth.

    *

    If a man has a strong faith he can indulge in the luxury of skepticism.
    — Freddy Zarathustra

    I can't say it better than Freddy [my emphases added] or add much more to what's already been said here.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    I think a good response there was never any base in the first place, the arbitrary is nothing more than a ghost of imagination.

    There are no "arbitrary" things because each thing we are describing is necessarily unique to itself. If we take a mathematical relationship, like 2+2=4, the question of the arbitrariness makes no sense because there would never be 2+2=4 (what is known here) which would be anything other than a 2+2=4.
  • praxis
    1.7k
    That brings us around to the flip side of the equation. All Faith is based on Knowledge.Keenan

    We need to have knowledge of things in order to have faith in them, sure. I know what unicorns are, for instance, but I have no faith that they exist other than in mythology. I could offer a valid explanation for why they exist mythologically, and I may have faith in that explanation.

    So do I lack faith that unicorns are real or do I have faith in a rational explanation of their mythological existence?
  • alcontali
    802
    I think a good response there was never any base in the first place, the arbitrary is nothing more than a ghost of imagination.TheWillowOfDarkness

    At the core of every system, you will find unexplained starting points. If you do not "see" that, then you do not understand what a system is.

    That is not without consequences.

    Logic itself is a belief system based on fourteen unexplained starting points. Either you reason within a system, or else about a system, or else you are doing system-less bullshit.

    So, why does religion have a core of unexplained starting points?

    Well, because every system is like that. Expecting something else, is simply wrong, unsound, and even obviously impossible.

    If we take a mathematical relationship, like 2+2=4, the question of the arbitrariness makes no sense because there would never be 2+2=4 (what is known here) which would be anything other than a 2+2=4.TheWillowOfDarkness

    Wrong. Unique up to isomorphism only.

    We are long past Skolem's 1934 publication from which became clear that the natural numbers cannot possibly be the only model that fits Peano arithmetic theory. There must be, and there are, nonstandard models of arithmetic. In fact, we already knew that from Gödel's 1931 publication concerning the incompleteness of Peano arithmetic theory. You are almost a century behind with your views.

    All these nonstandard models of arithmetic theory are somehow carbon copies of the natural numbers, and are somehow isomorphic, but not perfectly so, depending on what "perfect" means in this context.

    Essentially unique is never really unique, because it is necessary to allow for the existence of isomorphisms.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    My point is we were never talking about an all encompassing system in the first place. Rather, we were describing particular thing, in this case, the mathematical relationships of 2+2=4.

    Nothing about this claims there to be a singular model or thing, but merely says we are talking about a particular one. Non-standrad models or relationships are perfectly fine, we just aren't talking about them or knowing them in this identification of this 2+2=4.

    Other non-standard uses are fine, even a different concept of 2+2=4, and just constitute a different relationship we might know about.

    There is no essentially unique. The relationship is the reverse: no matter how similar things might be (natural numbers, different instances of atoms, different instances of human, etc.), they are each a unique difference. Even those who are the same in a representation are entirely different.

    There is no isomorphism between any of them, even as the might take on similar forms, symbols or meanings.
  • alcontali
    802
    he relationship is the reverse: no matter how similar things might be (natural numbers, different instances of atoms, different instances of human, etc.), they are each a unique difference. Even those who are the same in a representation are entirely different.TheWillowOfDarkness

    The real, physical universe is not an abstract, Platonic world which can verbatim serve as a model for a mathematical theory. In mathematics, objects are unique up to isomorphism. In the physical universe, they are (assumed to be) always really unique. This is one of the (many) difficulties and mismatches between mathematics and the physical universe. It is probably also one of the (many) reasons why science is only a poor Platonic-cave shadow of the real Theory of Everything (ToE).

    There is no isomorphism between any of themTheWillowOfDarkness

    Well, yeah, in an empirical environment, while looking at the real, physical world, I certainly agree. In abstract, Platonic worlds, no. These Platonic abstractions are not the physical world.

    For example, the natural numbers are not part of the physical universe. They are just a Platonic abstraction, i.e. a sequence of language expressions. That is why the language expression "2+2=4" is such a bad example about the physical universe. It is unrelated to the physical universe.

    However, if you carefully apply a correspondence-seeking bureaucracy of scientific formalisms, heavily backed by experimental testing, then you can possibly (and safely) use that kind of language expressions in science.

    Mathematics is not science, and neither of both are a complete theory of the physical universe. Given the unpredictability of human behaviour, giving us the impression of free will, there can undoubtedly not even be a complete theory of the physical universe.
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    in an empirical environment, while looking at the real, physical world, I certainly agree. In abstract, Platonic worlds, no. These Platonic abstractions are not the physical world.alcontali

    I would have thought that the whole basis of mathematical physics and indeed much of science in general, is that in finding the kinds of things, and the orderly relations between things, we are perceiving the elements of a Platonic order in the apparent disorder of sensory perception, so as to be amenable to mathematical representation. It's not as if the two realms of mathematics and physical objects are entirely divorced, otherwise nothing of the kind would be possible, and presumably we'd still be living like other creatures, as there would be no rational order of things to be perceived.
  • alcontali
    802
    I would have thought that the whole basis of mathematical physics and indeed much of science in general, is that in finding the kinds of things, and the orderly relations between things, we are perceiving the elements of a Platonic order in the apparent disorder of sensory perception, so as to be amenable to mathematical representation.Wayfarer

    That is science.

    Science is simply another activity, and absolutely not the same activity as mathematics.

    Scientists spend an inordinate amount of effort establishing correspondence between their theories and the real, physical world. The number one tool for that is: experimental testing. The epistemological keyword for scientists is: correspondence.

    Mathematical physics is still physics. It will ultimately still seek to experimentally test and in that way ensure correspondence between their theories and the physical universe. It is actually quite stricter than that. Mathematical physics is not allowed to talk about anything that does not concern the physical universe.

    Physics consists of language expressions about real-world facts in the physical universe.

    (Pure) mathematicians don't do that at all. Mathematical theories are not about the real, physical world. There is no correspondence. Any claim to correspondence is more likely than not a constructivist heresy.

    The model for a mathematical theory is a set of language expressions that fits the rules -- i.e. other language expressions -- of the theory at hand. Example: Provable Peano-arithmetic theorems are true in the abstract, Platonic world of the natural numbers (=model). The epistemological keyword in mathematics is: provability.

    Mathematics consists of language expressions about other language expressions (that live in abstract, Platonic worlds).

    It's not as if the two realms of mathematics and physical objects are entirely divorcedWayfarer

    They have an interface in language alone. Physics uses the language and regulations produced by mathematics to maintain consistency in its own use of language. Mathematics never says what physics should be talking about. The semantics are entirely produced by physics itself. Mathematics only helps keeping the language of physics consistent.
  • 180 Proof
    398
    Mathematics only helps keeping the language of physics consistent.alcontali

    And if the physical world were not, in the main, consistent, a 'consistent language of physics' would be as useless for modeling the physical world as trying to nail jello to a tree. But it is consistent (enough). So what accounts for the consistency of the physical world - the regularities (i.e. transformational symmetries) of which are computable (vide David Deutsch re: UTM) - if it is not, as (e.g.) Tegmark suggests, intrinsically mathematical?
  • Coben
    1k
    Is faith an argument? I know there are all kinds of theists, so some theists may use their faith as an argument for your belief. So anything is possible. But in general, it seems to me, faith is precisely not an argument. One might use the fact of one's faith in part of an explanation. But in general is seems to me faith is precisely not an argument. It is not based on reasoning and is presented as this. One can reason to the side of faith. One can say other reasons why one believes. But faith itself (as in a leap of faith, for example) is about chosing to believe directly.
  • Coben
    1k
    I understand faith to be a method of acquiring belief rather than justification as your diagram seems to suggest. Perhaps people use the word "faith" in that manner and I'm not aware of it.

    By definition, faith as a method of acquiring belief short-circuits the "normal" or preferred use of well-crafted logical arguments. This logical failing stands out like a sore thumb for all to see and pick apart at will.
    TheMadFool
    But then precisely as you say, it is not a logical argument. It is not a reason for you to believe. It is how they come to believe. It isn't failing as an argument just as an orange doesn't fail to be a bicycle. Though this seems to be what you are saying in the first paragraph above. But shifting in the second.

    Again, I am sure some humans might throw faith as a step into an intended to be logical argument to convince others, but in general it seems to me faith is presented as precisely not logical. And also not something to convince others, but part of what one can do (and it is recommended by some, generally Christians) to do in relation to God adn the idea of God.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    someone who "follows"Gus Lamarch

    Someone who follows is going somewhere, or possibly nowhere special, but going. Perhaps one can be going somewhere without following, or perhaps everyone who thinks they are going somewhere is going nowhere. Perhaps philosophers are going somewhere, or perhaps they are going nowhere.

    Justify where you are going, or justify your going nowhere before mocking those of us afflicted with faith. Justify loving my neighbour? Piffle!
  • 3017amen
    869


    Consider starting from the simple meaning of words, in a secular way.

    Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

    What does that mean to human's... ?
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    That is science.

    Science is simply another activity, and absolutely not the same activity as mathematics.
    alcontali

    Of course it's not 'the same as mathematics', but the point I'm making is that the mathematical order of the cosmos is what makes science possible, aside from being intrinsic to the fabric of the cosmos. (Although it's almost reassuring that there is such widespread refusal to acknowledge such an obvious point.)
  • alcontali
    802
    the mathematical order of the cosmos is what makes science possible, aside from being intrinsic to the fabric of the cosmos.Wayfarer

    There is a Platonic intuition that senses that there is somewhere a connection between mathematics and the physical universe, but we (should) never make use of it in mathematics.

    Doing so, would trivially degenerate in dangerous constructivism, i.e. assuming correspondence with the physical universe, while bypassing the scientific requirements and formalisms such as experimental testing.

    Therefore, it is necessary to strictly enforce the rules: If you intend to assert anything about the physical universe, you will have to experimentally test. Merely calculating is not allowed.
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    There is a Platonic intuition that senses that there is somewhere a connection between mathematics and the physical universe, but we (should) never make use of it in mathematics.alcontali

    Well, this is a philosophy forum, and I think the 'unreasonable efficacy of mathematics in the natural sciences' says something important.

    If you intend to assert anything about the physical universe, you will have to experimentally test.alcontali

    And? Scientists do 'experimentally test' incessantly, and they realise spectacular results.
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