Can we believe ourselves into being

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wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:18 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;149288 wrote:
I could see faith having a positive benefit, yes, though I'd be interested to see if you could be more specific. I'm having trouble pinning that down myself. But to judge faith on the whole don't you have to take the overall effects into account? Playing the lottery is known to have a huge financial benefit for many people, but I wouldn't suggest trying it because there's no reason to think it would benefit you (it's very unlikely). So, do we have any reason to believe that having faith in becoming immortal will make the soul immortal? Do we have any reason to believe that having an immortal soul is desirable?

The problem with something being "beyond our understanding" is that then we have no way of telling if it is good or bad, by definition.

If the soul can become immortal through faith, I don't see why the body can't. It's beyond our understanding, right?


I think a lot of this is beyond our understanding. There is no doubt , though ,that personal faith is a very powerful and constructive force in the life of the individual. Thats not to say that faith isn't often misused.

Some days I think eternal life might not be so great, but at times I wonder if it might not be ok. I guess it depends on the quality. If I have to take this body with me I would like to change a few things, but then it wouldn't be the same body.

I think that any faith that gets you through a hard day is powerful.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 11:12 pm
@wayne,
wayne;149330 wrote:
I think a lot of this is beyond our understanding. There is no doubt , though ,that personal faith is a very powerful and constructive force in the life of the individual. Thats not to say that faith isn't often misused.

I think that any faith that gets you through a hard day is powerful.


Let's say your a doctor and you have a patient with a terminal illness. If you tell him he will be just fine, his faith in his recovery will be a powerful force--it may even lead to his survival (belief of that sort has been shown to have medical effects). Would you tell your patient that? Would you want your doctor to tell you that? Probably not. We don't usually choose to go on faith when it's optional.

I'm having trouble thinking of a situation where it would be desirable to take something on faith (as I understand it). Certainly there are many times when you say to yourself "this is the best I can do with the information I can get" and stop worrying about it. Sometimes you are having a hard day and you say to yourself "tomorrow will be better because I'll have forgotten about this unpleasant thing that happened (etc)" and cheer up a bit. But that doesn't seem to be how people describe faith. What I described is simply what people do without relying on or trusting any kind of faith.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 11:47 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;149487 wrote:
Let's say your a doctor and you have a patient with a terminal illness. If you tell him he will be just fine, his faith in his recovery will be a powerful force--it may even lead to his survival (belief of that sort has been shown to have medical effects). Would you tell your patient that? Would you want your doctor to tell you that? Probably not. We don't usually choose to go on faith when it's optional..


This is a good demonstration of how this sort of faith really does work. I think it's pretty much accepted fact in the medical community.
I think that maybe our faith is always a bit imperfect, so it's a good idea for the doctor to go ahead and do his thing.

I've been thinking that maybe the optional part of faith is really the important part. If there really is a greater power, it seems plausible to think of faith as a personal decision he has given each of us to make. Faith really does seem to grow from the mustard seed of that choice.

Jebediah;149487 wrote:
I'm having trouble thinking of a situation where it would be desirable to take something on faith (as I understand it). Certainly there are many times when you say to yourself "this is the best I can do with the information I can get" and stop worrying about it. Sometimes you are having a hard day and you say to yourself "tomorrow will be better because I'll have forgotten about this unpleasant thing that happened (etc)" and cheer up a bit. But that doesn't seem to be how people describe faith. What I described is simply what people do without relying on or trusting any kind of faith.


As a recovering alcoholic, I had to learn to develop a mustard seed of faith in order to live sober. When I reached a bottom in my addiction I knew that I could not "live sober". I didn't have any ideas left. I had been pretty much an agnostic up to that point. I took a tiny leap, and simply told the power ,that may or may not have been there, that I would trust him to take care of my needs for that day. Since that time, 7 years ago, my life has taken an incredible turn for the best. My faith has grown, I'm pretty sure today that the greater power, God for lack of a better term, is real. I can't say how this God works, but having a little faith in it sure does work.

Sorry to get so wordy ,but I couldn't think of a better example.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:39 am
@wayne,
I disagree with Pyrrho's depiction of faith, although I am not a church member or believer. I think religious faith in the sense of believing what you're told to believe, wishing for an outcome, or seeing the world in a particular way, is an inferior form of faith, although it is how many people understand it. Faith in a less speficially denominational sense is an attitude to life and a kind of tacit understanding. It is confidence in the order of things - that actions have consequences, attitudes create outcomes in your life, and so on. In a more specifically religious sense, I have faith that humans are an intentional outcome of the Universe, and that my actions and intentions also affect the universe. I don't see this as wishful thinking, dogma, or wish fulfillment. I see it as reality.

---------- Post added 04-08-2010 at 04:40 PM ----------

'as you think, so you become' is a definite principle.
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:45 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;149492 wrote:
I disagree with Pyrrho's depiction of faith, although I am not a church member or believer. I think religious faith in the sense of believing what you're told to believe, wishing for an outcome, or seeing the world in a particular way, is an inferior form of faith, although it is how many people understand it. Faith in a less speficially denominational sense is an attitude to life and a kind of tacit understanding. It is confidence in the order of things - that actions have consequences, attitudes create outcomes in your life, and so on. In a more specifically religious sense, I have faith that humans are an intentional outcome of the Universe, and that my actions and intentions also affect the universe. I don't see this as wishful thinking, dogma, or wish fulfillment. I see it as reality.

---------- Post added 04-08-2010 at 04:40 PM ----------

'as you think, so you become' is a definite principle.


Solomon says he found one man in a thousand, I think I just found one.
Doesn't seem like this is so hard to understand. Smile
 
salima
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:55 am
@wayne,
i know i have faith in the inherent 'goodness' of the cosmos, yet i havent any real experience to back it up. to me it is a truth, and i dont know why i believe it. and there was a time when i didnt believe anything of the kind. so where did it come from? i have no idea...and it is unrelated to any religious concept.

maybe logic is involved, or if not logic what? i think if the universe were not good it would have destroyed itself and ceased to exist long ago, for one thing. i think good is productive and bad is destructive, ergo my conclusion i suppose.

to me it seems silly to think we just disappear at death as far as the material we are made of. it didnt just magically appear when any more than an egg and a sperm magically appeared to form a zygote. there is an ongoing process and it cant be taken back all the way to its source as yet by anyone's imagination and certainly not
by scientific proof. we may not know we are still here, may have no memory etc, but we will not cease to exist.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 04:13 am
@wayne,
Surely wonder at life itself is the most ancient of instincts. I don't understand how existentialists and the like talk themselves into a view where everything happens without purpose or cause and nothing means anything. It seems to me if you are awake to the beauty of nature herself you are already part way there.

To quote sage Joni Mitchell, We are stardust, we are golden, and we have to get ourselves back to the Garden.....
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 04:33 am
@wayne,
Through the eyes of a child do we see what life is really about.
I believe in the positive power of positive thought
I believe in the power of creation over destruction
I believe power is multiplied through sharing
I believe all I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 04:43 am
@wayne,
Actually having quoted those few lines from Woodstock, which is one of the songs that set me on this path, back in 1972, herewith the lyric in all its hippie splendour

Quote:
Woodstock, lyric by Joni Mitchell
Well, I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, Tell me, where are you going?
This he told me

Said, I'm going down to Yasgur's Farm,
Gonna join in a rock and roll band.
Got to get back to the land and set my soul free.

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Well, then can I roam beside you?
I have come to lose the smog,
And I feel myself a cog in somethin' turning.
And maybe it's the time of year,
Yes and maybe it's the time of man.
And I don't know who I am,
But life is for learning.

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

By the time we got to Woodstock,
We were half a million strong
And everywhere was a song and a celebration.
And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes
Riding shotgun in the sky,
Turning into butterflies
Above our nation.

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are caught in the devil's bargain,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.


I particularly like the Crosby Stills Nash and Young version.

---------- Post added 04-08-2010 at 08:51 PM ----------

forgive the outburst of hippie nostalgia.....
 
salima
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 05:30 am
@wayne,
just as thrilling now as it was then....aint it though?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 05:40 am
@wayne,
Well I felt kinda goofy after I pasted it in, but there really is a point to it, and I am glad you liked it, but will henceforth return to an attitude of proper philosophical decorum....
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 05:42 am
@salima,
The answer is blowing in the wind..
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:02 am
@xris,
xris;149547 wrote:
The answer is blowing in the wind..


Something is blowing in the wind...
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 08:37 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;149561 wrote:
Something is blowing in the wind...
and it just blew in.
 
 

 
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