Having faith is not smart.

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Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 02:35 pm
Like most words of English, "faith" has more than one definition. For the purposes of this thread, "faith" is being used to mean:

Quote:
Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.


Faith Definition | Definition of Faith at Dictionary.com

It will help to avoid equivocation regarding the word "faith" if the above is kept in mind.


[CENTER]________________________________________________[/CENTER]


Having faith is not smart. Why? For the short explanation, why don't you always have faith and never look for evidence of anything? Why don't you put tape over the fuel gauge in your car, and just have faith about how much fuel is in the car? Why not block the speedometer as well, and have faith about how fast you are going? Why bother looking out of the car to see where you are going, instead of having faith about what is outside the car? Why bother with evidence in jury trials; shouldn't the jurors just have faith about the innocence or guilt of the one being tried? The simple fact is, it is moronic to have faith about things, and you do not run all of your life on faith because you are not stupid enough to do so. Yet many are willing to take the stupid way on what is claimed to be the most important thing in the world, the existence of god and what it takes to make god happy. Why be stupid about that one thing and not everything else?

For the long explanation, see:

burger-book
 
Quinn phil
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 02:58 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;115657 wrote:
Like most words of English, "faith" has more than one definition. For the purposes of this thread, "faith" is being used to mean:



Faith Definition | Definition of Faith at Dictionary.com

It will help to avoid equivocation regarding the word "faith" if the above is kept in mind.


[CENTER]________________________________________________[/CENTER]


Having faith is not smart. Why? For the short explanation, why don't you always have faith and never look for evidence of anything? Why don't you put tape over the fuel gauge in your car, and just have faith about how much fuel is in the car? Why not block the speedometer as well, and have faith about how fast you are going? Why bother looking out of the car to see where you are going, instead of having faith about what is outside the car? Why bother with evidence in jury trials; shouldn't the jurors just have faith about the innocence or guilt of the one being tried? The simple fact is, it is moronic to have faith about things, and you do not run all of your life on faith because you are not stupid enough to do so. Yet many are willing to take the stupid way on what is claimed to be the most important thing in the world, the existence of god and what it takes to make god happy. Why be stupid about that one thing and not everything else?

For the long explanation, see:

burger-book


You're using under-exaggerative analogies. The speedometer on your car does not amount to whatever God is. I don't believe in God, but I don't believe it moronic to believe in him either. When we're in the car, what do we have to do to see what's outside? We turn out head to look out the window. Easy enough.

What do we have to do to prove God's existence. That's another thing. You couldn't just give me evidence that their is a god by telling me to look in a certain direction. Jesus is as much "proof" of god, as bones are to "proof" of dinosaurs. True, faith is used as an excuse for everything that seems to be wrong with God. But having faith is not moronic, for it is needed. We put faith in our family, when they go out to work. I don't have proof or evidence that they won't die on their way to work, or that they won't be fired. I have faith in that though, and that's what holds us together.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 05:48 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;115657 wrote:

Having faith is not smart.

Oh really. Much of our lives are based on faith in something. Remember that just about all future plans rest on the faith that the future will resemble the past.


Pyrrho wrote:
Why? For the short explanation, why don't you always have faith and never look for evidence of anything? Why don't you put tape over the fuel gauge in your car, and just have faith about how much fuel is in the car? Why not block the speedometer as well, and have faith about how fast you are going? Why bother looking out of the car to see where you are going, instead of having faith about what is outside the car?


Because that would show stupidity. Only morons would do something like that.

Pyrrho wrote:
The simple fact is, it is moronic to have faith about things, and you do not run all of your life on faith because you are not stupid enough to do so. Yet many are willing to take the stupid way on what is claimed to be the most important thing in the world, the existence of god and what it takes to make god happy. Why be stupid about that one thing and not everything else?


It is moronic to deny having any faith, because it would be impossible to live only based on material evidence and logic. In fact, your argument lacks both material evidence and logic since it is fallacious to begin with. In other words, according to your definition of faith, you have faith in your argument.

I also find it ironic that you are accusing people of being stupid for having faith, and end up being one of those people.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 06:14 pm
@Theaetetus,
The under-reflexive atheist arguments always entertain. I understand and empathize with the atheist, although I am not one. Rabid reactionary arguments like this, however are just as damaging to the atheist "agenda" as rabid deist arguments to their own "agenda". Neither are well thought out and both stem not from reflection on reality and their own behavior but from pure emotion.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 06:26 pm
@Pyrrho,
I actually am an atheist. I don't believe in God, but I do have faith in many things. I would be a nut case without it demanding evidence for things that need no evidence. Its one thing to argue against God's existence, but it is a whole different think doing it in a way that comes off as idiotic or moronic--not to mention, looks like a parody or spoof of an argument against God.
 
Ichthus91
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 06:33 pm
@Pyrrho,
Faith is necessary. Could you imagine yourself actually being analytical of everything? It would be hard to sit down on a couch without knowing who made it, where it's from, how it's made, what it's made of, et alli. I've tried life without faith and eventually you only end up in an infinite regress. My most foundational faith is that of transcendental logic [characteristic of God]. I base everything else upon this. And to think at one point in my life that I pondered the law of non-contradiction. . . how foolish I was. . .
 
Emil
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 06:33 pm
@Pyrrho,
So, first response was irrelevant. The second contained mostly straw man attacks. Good start.

I have read the book. I don't agree entirely with Clifford but faith is in general irrational. That's pretty clear to me.

---------- Post added 12-31-2009 at 01:35 AM ----------

So, more irrelevant posts. That's pathetic.
 
Ichthus91
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 06:43 pm
@Emil,
Emil;115726 wrote:
So, first response was irrelevant. The second contained mostly straw man attacks. Good start.

I have read the book. I don't agree entirely with Clifford but faith is in general irrational. That's pretty clear to me.

---------- Post added 12-31-2009 at 01:35 AM ----------

So, more irrelevant posts. That's pathetic.

I don't believe my post was irrelevant. I stated that "faith is necessary" whereas you stated "faith is not smart". There is a subtle disagreement there, correct? I'm implying that faith is smart provided that you don't completely substitute it for logic [ironically something that I have faith in].
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 07:00 pm
@Emil,
Emil;115726 wrote:
So, first response was irrelevant. The second contained mostly straw man attacks. Good start.

The thread is stupid in the first place. All of the reasoning in the OP is crap, period. The original poster jumps on faith as a whole and then switches to faith in God at the end. All while making the insinuation that people that believe in God are not smart, or as the original title of the thread said, "Having faith is moronic."

Emil wrote:
I have read the book. I don't agree entirely with Clifford but faith is in general irrational. That's pretty clear to me.

So what if faith is irrational. It is not governed by reason. What the big deal? That doesn't mean that faith is bad.

Emil wrote:
So, more irrelevant posts. That's pathetic.

The original post is pathetic and everyone is pointing out that fact.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 07:10 pm
@Pyrrho,
The definition used in the OP would more correctly be used for "blind faith". Blind faith is not smart. We can all agree on that, I think. So why do some people have blind faith in god? I think that's a psychological question.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 07:43 pm
@Ichthus91,
So we are down to what is stupid and what is not, what is relevant and what is not.
The OP would suggest that anything done without proof is irrational which would = stupid/moronic.

Problem 1) what is stupid?
This should be obvious that stupidity being a value judgement canot be rheified and therefore is not within the realm of empirical rationality. To believe someone stupid shows faith in one's own ideology which is also not something that can be rheified. Any value judgment on behavior that doesn't directly show that it is physically "empirically" harmful is an expression of faith in the ideal/biological impulse/cultural norm that spurs the judgment. And some of those actions/beliefs/behaviors that are physically detrimental still may be worth it. See Below.

Problem 2) Cost/Benefit ratio
If we are to set up a cost/benefit chart for all actions, behaviors, and beliefs we are likely to find that depending on what we consider valuable expression of faith may be more beneficial than an expression of some other sort. So the cost of having faith given its payout is minimal in comparison. So in order to categorically state that faith is stupid one must first place faith expressly within the definition of stupid while simultaneously placing faith in the idealology that created the superior value/worth for outward expressions of non-faith.

Problem 3) Biology
There are normal biological imperatives that would defy the common conception of rational. What is rational about anger in the face of danger? In one respect its perfectly rational, anger provides the chemicals required for fighting for something 'worth' fighting for, whereas its totally irrational as well as fighting often presents more of a possibility for bodily harm than fright = flight. Other behaviors and emotions again fall into similar categories, love/monogamy/infidelity, dishonesty/trust, etc... These all can be considered irrational or supremely rational depending upon the value upon which they are judged.

Problem 4) Culture
See above and add those things which aren't biologically imperatives, which we assume are totally rational. Courtesy rituals, conversational topics, entertainment choices and so on. An example that has been in the forum recently is pornography. It is a natural function and empowering blah blah, its demeaning to women and harmful to the family unit blah blah
To have an opinion on this and exercise action on behalf of that opinion shows faith in the non-empirical, in the unprovable ideology one holds.


As the cultural norm changes among the wealthy and/or influential from 'religious' to 'non-religious' in the general scheme of things expression of faith with become more costly than its benefits might be, and that being so, that cultural norm would still be a fairly arbitrary value judgement.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 08:08 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;115670 wrote:
You're using under-exaggerative analogies. The speedometer on your car does not amount to whatever God is. I don't believe in God, but I don't believe it moronic to believe in him either. When we're in the car, what do we have to do to see what's outside? We turn out head to look out the window. Easy enough.

What do we have to do to prove God's existence. That's another thing. You couldn't just give me evidence that their is a god by telling me to look in a certain direction. Jesus is as much "proof" of god, as bones are to "proof" of dinosaurs. True, faith is used as an excuse for everything that seems to be wrong with God. But having faith is not moronic, for it is needed. We put faith in our family, when they go out to work.



Please, be careful with your use of the word "faith". Do you mean, in the case of your family, that you have no reason to trust them? If you do not mean that, then you are not using the word "faith" as it is in the opening post of this thread, and any pretense of it being contradictory to what is stated there would be committing the fallacy known as equivocation. It is not every definition of the word "faith" that is rejected in the opening post.


Quinn;115670 wrote:
I don't have proof or evidence that they won't die on their way to work, or that they won't be fired. I have faith in that though, and that's what holds us together.



Please reread the definition of "faith" provided in the opening post; a mathematical "proof" is not required; "material evidence" is enough to make it not faith as defined there.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 08:22 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;115657 wrote:
Like most words of English, "faith" has more than one definition. For the purposes of this thread, "faith" is being used to mean:
Faith Definition | Definition of Faith at Dictionary.com
Hey! One more irrelevant reply: Smartness also has more than one definition. Bears are smart to hibernate, but they're not so good at algebra. A person who discovers within themselves the kind of faith you defined would probably agree that it's not produced by the mind. The only part the mind plays in it is to decipher and record.

When a child is told: "believe this because I said so," he's smart to realize that's not a satisfactory situation. Maybe that's what you were talking about.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 08:24 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;115712 wrote:
Oh really. Much of our lives are based on faith in something. Remember that just about all future plans rest on the faith that the future will resemble the past.

Pyrrho;115657 wrote:
Why? For the short explanation, why don't you always have faith and never look for evidence of anything? Why don't you put tape over the fuel gauge in your car, and just have faith about how much fuel is in the car? Why not block the speedometer as well, and have faith about how fast you are going? Why bother looking out of the car to see where you are going, instead of having faith about what is outside the car?



Because that would show stupidity. Only morons would do something like that.



Those are all examples of having faith. And they are nothing more than simply having faith.



Theaetetus;115712 wrote:
Pyrrho;115657 wrote:
The simple fact is, it is moronic to have faith about things, and you do not run all of your life on faith because you are not stupid enough to do so. Yet many are willing to take the stupid way on what is claimed to be the most important thing in the world, the existence of god and what it takes to make god happy. Why be stupid about that one thing and not everything else?


It is moronic to deny having any faith, because it would be impossible to live only based on material evidence and logic.



Do you have any reason for that assertion, or do you expect us all to believe it simply because you assert it?

Have you bothered with reading what is at the link from the original post? There are two rather famous essays there on this subject, as well as a relatively new essay on it.

If you want other people to believe that it would be impossible to live only based upon material evidence and logic, you had better provide an argument for it. Simply claiming something gives no reason whatsoever for anyone to pay any attention to the remark.


Theaetetus;115712 wrote:
In fact, your argument lacks both material evidence and logic since it is fallacious to begin with.



If there is a real fallacy, please name it, or, at the very least, explain the error of reasoning. Simply claiming that something is a fallacy is not adequate for philosophical reasoning.


Theaetetus;115712 wrote:
In other words, according to your definition of faith, you have faith in your argument.



Please explain your remark. You have failed to explain what you imagine the argument to be, and have failed to show how faith is a part of it.


Theaetetus;115712 wrote:
I also find it ironic that you are accusing people of being stupid for having faith, and end up being one of those people.


Please explain this remark. You have failed to show that I have in any way demonstrated any faith.

---------- Post added 12-30-2009 at 09:33 PM ----------

Ichthus91;115725 wrote:
Faith is necessary.



Why do you believe that? It is not enough to make a claim; if you expect philosophers to believe you, providing reasons for your assertions are a good idea.


Ichthus91;115725 wrote:
Could you imagine yourself actually being analytical of everything?



Yes. You obviously have not read the book at the link provided in the starting post of this thread.


Ichthus91;115725 wrote:
It would be hard to sit down on a couch without knowing who made it, where it's from, how it's made, what it's made of, et alli.



Not at all. I sit on couches all the time without first forming any belief about who made it, or what is beneath the fabric. I know that many different materials are possible for couches, which will be adequate for the task at hand, and I have no need to form a particular belief about which material is used in a particular instance. And who made it is totally irrelevant to the issue of whether or not it will support my weight. Do you seriously mean to say, that before sitting on a couch, that you have faith that its inner material is wood, or metal, or whatever specific material that you imagine? And that you have faith that a certain specific individual you imagine made it?


Ichthus91;115725 wrote:
I've tried life without faith and eventually you only end up in an infinite regress.



Please explain.


Ichthus91;115725 wrote:
My most foundational faith is that of transcendental logic [characteristic of God]. I base everything else upon this. And to think at one point in my life that I pondered the law of non-contradiction. . . how foolish I was. . .



Please explain.
 
Emil
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 09:14 pm
@Ichthus91,
Ichthus91;115731 wrote:
I don't believe my post was irrelevant. I stated that "faith is necessary" whereas you stated "faith is not smart". There is a subtle disagreement there, correct? I'm implying that faith is smart provided that you don't completely substitute it for logic [ironically something that I have faith in].


I did not state "faith is not smart". I did not write the OP.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 11:32 pm
@Pyrrho,
Why are atheists always evangelizing?

Quote:
Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
William James went through a period of deep depression. One of the things that he was hung up on was the question of free will. One summer he decided he would believe in free will. He wrote out a sort of pledge that said that he would believe in free will for one year and see if things improved for him. This was an act of faith.

Things improved. The belief worked. Yet there was "no logical proof or material evidence". Maybe someone will argue that things improved for reasons other than his faith in free will and that the whole thing is a false positive. But that simply is not the case. I know what it is like to be paralyzed by some philosophical conundrum even to the point of depression. That is what we are talking about here. (At the moment, I can't find the James quote where he tells the story, so you'll just have to take my word for it.)

Atheists evangelizing? Next thing you know Dennett and Dawkins will be on TV asking for money.:sarcastic:
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 12:58 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;115799 wrote:
Why are atheists always evangelizing?

William James went through a period of deep depression. One of the things that he was hung up on was the question of free will. One summer he decided he would believe in free will. He wrote out a sort of pledge that said that he would believe in free will for one year and see if things improved for him. This was an act of faith.

Things improved. The belief worked. Yet there was "no logical proof or material evidence". Maybe someone will argue that things improved for reasons other than his faith in free will and that the whole thing is a false positive. But that simply is not the case. I know what it is like to be paralyzed by some philosophical conundrum even to the point of depression. That is what we are talking about here. (At the moment, I can't find the James quote where he tells the story, so you'll just have to take my word for it.)

Atheists evangelizing? Next thing you know Dennett and Dawkins will be on TV asking for money.:sarcastic:


Excellent post.

Dawkins will start a fund to battle the "sin" of faith in the name of his faith in doubt.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 01:12 am
@Pyrrho,
Deckard wrote:
Why are atheists always evangelizing?


Let us be careful here. Not every atheist evangelizes, just as not every theist evangelizes.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 01:24 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;115809 wrote:
Let us be careful here. Not every atheist evangelizes, just as not every theist evangelizes.


Oh I just said that because this is the "Evangelism" section, besides I'm an atheist myself sometimes, just not every day.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 05:09 am
@Pyrrho,
To be fair to the OP, this thread was originally called "Having faith is moronic" and it was posted in the philosophy of religion section.
 
 

 
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