Difference between Faith and Hope?

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Deckard
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 03:09 am
Faith, Hope and Charity are the three theological virtues.

They occur in the Bible famously at 1 Corinthians 13:13

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

Here are wikipedia's definitions


  • Faith - steadfastness in belief
  • Hope - expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up
  • Charity - selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness such as helping one's neighbors.

Charity is clear enough but what I find it difficult to put my finger on the difference between Faith and Hope.

Hope seems to have a distinct goal a distinct object something that can be aqcuired or received. Hope is future focused. There can be no Hope without some absence, some longed for thing.

The object of Faith is less distinct, it is not something to be found only in the future but something that was, is and ever shall be.

That's still fairly confusing.

I'm posting this in the Christian section because of the theological framing and the Paul quote but of course these concepts have meaning outside of Christianity and even outside of religion. So I don't want to focus too much on the objects of Faith and Hope such as the articles of Faith or the Hope of eternal salvation except perhaps as examples that point to more general concepts.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 06:43 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;128405 wrote:
Faith, Hope and Charity are the three theological virtues.

They occur in the Bible famously at 1 Corinthians 13:13

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

Here are wikipedia's definitions


  • Faith - steadfastness in belief
  • Hope - expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up
  • Charity - selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness such as helping one's neighbors.

Charity is clear enough but what I find it difficult to put my finger on the difference between Faith and Hope.

Hope seems to have a distinct goal a distinct object something that can be aqcuired or received. Hope is future focused. There can be no Hope without some absence, some longed for thing.

The object of Faith is less distinct, it is not something to be found only in the future but something that was, is and ever shall be.

That's still fairly confusing.

I'm posting this in the Christian section because of the theological framing and the Paul quote but of course these concepts have meaning outside of Christianity and even outside of religion. So I don't want to focus too much on the objects of Faith and Hope such as the articles of Faith or the Hope of eternal salvation except perhaps as examples that point to more general concepts.


Better ask our president. He is an expert on all three.

Faith is a kind of belief. Hope is not a kind of belief. It is a kind of wish. I hope I win the lottery, but I don't believe I will. What could be more different?
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 06:52 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128447 wrote:
Better ask our president. He is an expert on all three.


Expert? That's a stretch. I'm still waiting for some change. I guess I haven't been hoping enough.

kennethamy;128447 wrote:

Faith is a kind of belief. Hope is not a kind of belief. It is a kind of wish. I hope I win the lottery, but I don't believe I will. What could be more different?


After you win, you should be charitable and give me all your winnings.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 07:06 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;128450 wrote:
Expert? That's a stretch. I'm still waiting for some change. I guess I haven't been hoping enough.



After you win, you should be charitable and give me all your winnings.


A sort of amateur expert (I meant).

I promise. Have faith.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 07:16 am
@Deckard,
What a great post!

Yea I'd see the two concepts as related, with the differentiation being that Faith is the conscious acceptance of something without immediate personal knowledge whereas with Hope, one "knows" <whatever> might not be the case but 'wants'.

Thanks
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 08:11 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128447 wrote:


Faith is a kind of belief. Hope is not a kind of belief. It is a kind of wish. I hope I win the lottery, but I don't believe I will. What could be more different?


Hope without belief? That's kind of like going into battle prepared to lose.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 10:34 am
@mister kitten,
mister kitten;128464 wrote:
Hope without belief? That's kind of like going into battle prepared to lose.


I did not say anything about there being hope without belief. Although, of course, there is such a thing.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 01:54 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;128461 wrote:
What a great post!

Yea I'd see the two concepts as related, with the differentiation being that Faith is the conscious acceptance of something without immediate personal knowledge whereas with Hope, one "knows" <whatever> might not be the case but 'wants'.

Thanks

I took a look at Aquinas and he seems to be basically in agreement with what you have said Khethil.

Aquinas in Summa Theologica calls faith a "choice" (or conscious acceptance) accompanied by certainty. If that choice is accompanied by doubt then there is opinion.

Quote:
Faith implies assent of the intellect to that which is believed. Now the intellect assents to a thing in two ways. First, through being moved to assent by its very object, which is known either by itself (as in the case of first principles, which are held by the habit of understanding), or through something else already known (as in the case of conclusions which are held by the habit ofscience ). Secondly the intellect assents to something, not through being sufficiently moved to this assent by its proper object, but through anact of choice, whereby it turns voluntarily to one side rather than to the other: and if this be accompanied by doubt or fear of the opposite side, there will be opinion, while, if there be certainty and no fear of the other side, there will be faith. Now those things are said to be seen which, of themselves, move the intellect or the senses to knowledge of them. Wherefore it is evident that neither faith nor opinion can be of things seen either by the senses or by the intellect.


Here he is talking about Hope's relation to Faith in the theological sense with theological examples.

Quote:
I answer that, Absolutely speaking, faith precedes hope. For the object of hope is a future good, arduous but possible to obtain. In order, therefore, that we may hope, it is necessary for the object of hope to be proposed to us as possible. Now the object of hope is, in one way, eternal happiness, and in another way, the Divine assistance, as explained above (2; 6, ad 3): and both of these are proposed to us by faith, whereby we come to know that we are able to obtain eternal life, eternal life, and that for this purpose the Divine assistance is ready for us, according to Hebrews 11:6 "He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him." Therefore it is evident that faith precedes hope.
In general hope can be founded on faith or on science, on what is seen or on what is believed.

However, I'm not sure if hope can be founded upon opinion. In the case of opinion one is not certain that the object even exists. I suppose one must first hope that it exists and then hope that it will be attained.

Is there another term to complete this analogy?

Faith is to opinion
as
Hope is to ?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 02:01 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;128589 wrote:
I took a look at Aquinas and he seems to be basically in agreement with what you have said Khethil.

Aquinas in Summa Theologica calls faith a "choice" (or conscious acceptance) accompanied by certainty. If that choice is accompanied by doubt then there is opinion.





I am not certain that Mars is the fourth planet. But I do not doubt that Mars is the fourth planet. I believe it. I just know that Mars is the fourth planet.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 03:15 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128592 wrote:
I am not certain that Mars is the fourth planet. But I do not doubt that Mars is the fourth planet. I believe it. I just know that Mars is the fourth planet.


If you are not certain then you have doubts.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 05:09 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;128642 wrote:
If you are not certain then you have doubts.


No. I can believe many things I am not certain about. To be certain is to be infallible, and I am not infallible about much, if anything. But I believe (and know) a lot of things, although that does not mean if is impossible for me to be mistaken about them (certain).
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 07:37 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128688 wrote:
No. I can believe many things I am not certain about. To be certain is to be infallible, and I am not infallible about much, if anything. But I believe (and know) a lot of things, although that does not mean if is impossible for me to be mistaken about them (certain).


To be certain is to be infallible or at least believe yourself to be infallible.

To be uncertain is to have doubts.

However Aquinas does make some distinctions that may be helpful. Interestingly he employs the word "habit" when talking about knowledge and science. He makes a distinction between beliefs that are chosen and beliefs that are the result of "habit".

Quote:
Faith implies assent of the intellect to that which is believed. Now the intellect assents to a thing in two ways. First, through being moved to assent by its very object, which is known either by itself (as in the case of first principles, which are held by the habit of understanding), or through something else already known (as in the case of conclusions which are held by the habit of science). Secondly the intellect assents to something, not through being sufficiently moved to this assent by its proper object, but through an act of choice, whereby it turns voluntarily to one side rather than to the other: and if this be accompanied by doubt or fear of the opposite side, there will be opinion, while, if there be certainty and no fear of the other side, there will be faith.


Habit and choice: an interesting dichotomy.

Here's one attempt to bridge the gap between habit and choice. Perhaps things that you know are opinions that you are no longer in the habit of doubting. Choices do become habits after all.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 08:07 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;128749 wrote:

Here's one attempt to bridge the gap between habit and choice. Perhaps things that you know are opinions that you are no longer in the habit of doubting. Choices do become habits after all.


I may no longer be in the habit of doubting that God exists, but if God does not exist, I do not know that God exists.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 09:15 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128592 wrote:
I am not certain that Mars is the fourth planet. But I do not doubt that Mars is the fourth planet. I believe it. I just know that Mars is the fourth planet.


kennethamy;128755 wrote:
I may no longer be in the habit of doubting that God exists, but if God does not exist, I do not know that God exists.


What if Mars was not the fourth planet? Would you still "just know" that Mars is the fourth planet?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 09:31 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;128776 wrote:
What if Mars was not the fourth planet? Would you still "just know" that Mars is the fourth planet?


Of course not. I cannot know something that is false. Although I might, of course, believe I know it.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 09:52 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;128787 wrote:
Of course not. I cannot know something that is false. Although I might, of course, believe I know it.



Regardless of whether it is true, you believe that you know. It is possible that you just believe that you know. But do you "just know" that Mars is the 4th planet? Do you "just know" anything?
 
 

 
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