Having faith is not smart.

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JPhil
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 12:11 am
@Scottydamion,
Hmmm..evidence for the metaphysical. Then what do we call the feeling we have when we love someone, or feel sad for someone we may not know or any sensation we may get from just pure joy. Is there nothing spiritual about emotions or relationships? Each of these require some form of faith, anything spiritual requires faith.

---------- Post added 02-14-2010 at 01:21 AM ----------

GoshisDead;115749 wrote:
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.

Culture? Values based on culture? Just because a set of beliefs are not popular to a certain culture does not make them non truthful. If being retarded was popular does that make it useful for the improvement of society, the advancement of for a better life. Culture is based on what is popular or else no one would live that way. Therefore just because something is popular does not make it right, even the definition of what is right or wrong is based on what is truly moral, not on what the populous demands to be right or wrong.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 12:55 am
@JPhil,
JPhil;128075 wrote:
Hmmm..evidence for the metaphysical. Then what do we call the feeling we have when we love someone, or feel sad for someone we may not know or any sensation we may get from just pure joy. Is there nothing spiritual about emotions or relationships? Each of these require some form of faith, anything spiritual requires faith.


"Then what do we call the feeling we have when we love someone"... you call it love. Just as you call sad, sad and pure joy, pure joy. Besides the fact that these emotions can be traced back to biochemical changes in the body, there is no part of that experience that cries out metaphysical... In the same sense that just because a person may not know where the ball came from that hit their windshield, a ball still hit their windshield.

See what I mean? A lack of full knowledge does not lead to a "therefore"... just because we do not know fully how emotions are formed does not give evidence for or against emotions being metaphysical, or spiritual.

I did not say there is nothing spiritual about emotions or relationships, but there is certainly no evidence that what we call spiritual is metaphysical.

"anything spiritual requires faith". If emotions are spiritual, it does not take faith for me to say I am experiencing an emotion, wouldn't you agree? I can experience life without making knowledge claims.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 07:36 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;128067 wrote:

People love to gravitate towards male cow feces because it makes them feel better about their existence. They want the world to work how they want it to work and not accept the world for what it really is. It is hard not to step in the male cow feces and I'll admit that I do it, but once I smell it, I am quick to wash myself clean of it. You should ask yourself, did you step in the male cow feces again? Are you walking around spreading male cow feces all over the place?


I generally agree with this, that we believe what makes us feel good. But how can you or I be exempt from this same principle? Are we just too heroically truthful to fall for anything, or did we fall for the myth of ourselves as heroically truthful? Can we escape our own cynical epistemological principles?
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:00 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128292 wrote:
I generally agree with this, that we believe what makes us feel good. But how can you or I be exempt from this same principle? Are we just too heroically truthful to fall for anything, or did we fall for the myth of ourselves as heroically truthful? Can we escape our own cynical epistemological principles?


Well first of all (as you probably understand as well) it's not an easy thing to do. It is so much easier to proclaim a truth without a foundation than to proclaim one and have evidences to support it.

I personally think it is best to maintain a bit of skeptical doubt will ALL things. Even if you are certain that something is a truth, you should never convince yourself that this truth is absolute. If you leave yourself with this ability to be skeptical even about things you know are true, then these truths can never pin you down.

You could say being open minded with truths, but I would rather use skeptical doubt to explain your position rather than open mindedness. If you maintain skeptical doubt the choices you make pertaining to those truths can be far more rational than if you do not hold to them as skeptical. This is what I mean by being pinned down by truths. People will make what they believe to be rational decisions based off truths. When times arise where their decisions are questioned and they discover difficulties with explanations they hold to the truths as if they are not the problem instead of questioning the truth for cause of the failure.

Most would call it working backwards. You start off with something you want to prove true because you want the truth to be true. So you try to rationalize the truth to make it true, even if you fail at doing so, you will try to bend definitions, bend other truths or completely ignore other truths to maintain the truth you want to be true. This is what I refer to as being dishonest with truths.

I'll be the first to admit, I am not perfect at it. There is a part of the human psyche that loves to swim in half truths because they have an appeal one is looking for. Half truths are never questioned because they serve a purpose that is far greater to the experiencer than if they were abandoned. So we tend to latch on to certain truths if they provide some level of comfort, relief, or break. Everyone does it, but the trick is not to maintain them once you discover yourself doing it.

I guess the question then becomes, if a half truth can provide a positive experience, what is so bad about maintaining them? Well if truth is what you want then half truths will never suffice. If you are fine with half truths then you will be satisfied with them. I personally don't like half truths, I feel you can have even more of positive gains from actual truths.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:02 pm
@Emil,
Emil;122975 wrote:
Stopped right there. It is impressive/depressive that people try to advocate things they know are wrong.


Lmao, I was just about to quote the same part as I read the thread.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:08 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;128299 wrote:

I guess the question then becomes, if a half truth can provide a positive experience, what is so bad about maintaining them? Well if truth is what you want then half truths will never suffice. If you are fine with half truths then you will be satisfied with them. I personally don't like half truths, I feel you can have even more of positive gains from actual truths.


I have no objection to "half-truths" as I don't know if we have much else. Of course it's a matter of how one uses or intends the words. (I also don't think words have a settled number-like meaning, but that's a different thread.)

I'm not so sure that there's much of a difference between half-truths and whole-truths. Here's why: unless we can understand the totality, everything, then all of our truths are partial, uncertain, half-truths. Or so its seems to me. Of course we feel that some truths are more certain or useful than others, and it's quite "reasonable" to prioritize truths.

But if we do not allow for absolute or perfect truth, how is one truth half and another whole except from a practical or aesthetic viewpoint?
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:18 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128305 wrote:
I'm not so sure that there's much of a difference between half-truths and whole-truths.


Well here is the thing. If you're holding onto a half truth but there is an alternate truth which is closer to a whole truth and it cancels out the half truth which would be more preferred?

Are you holding onto the half truth because it makes you feel good? Or are you holding onto the half truth because you refuse to make the change? If your half truths are pinning you down, then being a truth seeker is really not something you can call yourself.
 
Emil
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:18 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;128301 wrote:
Lmao, I was just about to quote the same part as I read the thread.


There are many equally quote-able parts of this thread, for much the same reasons. People advocate things they do not really believe in.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:29 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;128310 wrote:
Well here is the thing. If you're holding onto a half truth but there is an alternate truth which is closer to a whole truth and it cancels out the half truth which would be more preferred?

Excellent question. I would say that humans change their beliefs as they might trade in a used-car. There seems to be a natural inertia. We stick to what we have until sufficiently persuaded to adopt a new perspective or "mental-model" of "reality."

Is there a neutral standpoint from which the "real" truthfulness of a belief can be judged? I can't imagine one. One civilization may use its practically superior technology to wipe out another, but does this might equal truth?

Is "true" just an adjective for one's current beliefs?

---------- Post added 02-14-2010 at 09:33 PM ----------

Krumple;128310 wrote:
If your half truths are pinning you down, then being a truth seeker is really not something you can call yourself.


Another question: what is truth good for? I'm not saying that it is not good, but merely repeating an exciting thought of Nietzsche's.

What is this will-to-truth? Is this what is left of religion, the unconsidered notion that truth is good in itself, devoid of it practical applications? aesthetic rewards?

Does truth boil down to utility and beauty/morale?
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 08:37 pm
@Emil,
First, do you think trust is an important thing to have?

Faith is absolutely vital to life, IMO. It's been said that without it, there can be no victory and I tend to agree. Faith in some ways goes right along with the whole "power of positive thinking" notion, in terms of, having faith in something effects our lives in very profound ways and in more prevalent ways than we probably think.

we all have faith in ourselves, in our friends, our family. Faith gives us the confidence to take chances and to trust people. Faith can give us a peace of mind and in fact, helps us get through the day more efficiently. Team sports, and for the sake of my example, Football, is in someways a microcosm for life itself. Each player has a role to play and a job to do. If one player tries to do someone else's job, he tends to get caught. So through practices and time spent together, each player has to have faith that his teammates will do their job.

Next, see 1CellofMany's post where he describes faith:
1CellOfMany;125647 wrote:
When one acts out of faith, and commits to ones actions, a time comes when the object of that faith is either confirmed or not. A non-religious example would be going to a party at the home of a friend of a friend of your cousin. Your cousin tells you that there will be lots of (whatever you are after) there, and you have faith in what your cousin says, so you commit to going to the party. At the party, your faith is either confirmed, or it is not.

I have faith in the power of prayer and meditation to help me to develop virtues and overcome my faults. I pray regularly, and find that on those days that I neglect to pray, not only am I more likely to get frustrated by things not going how they should, but more things happen to test my patience.

I agree with his assessment here. Next see Reconstructo's post:
Reconstructo;125669 wrote:
We all have faith, it seems, in the wrongness and badness of faith. I wonder about those guys who take 3-pointers at the buzzer. Is faith the magic that makes nobodies somebodies?

For me, Jesus isn't supernatural, but his or his character's speech on faith remains impressive. Faith as a mustard seed. Faith can move mountains, for no one is going to start breaking rock until the job seems/feels possible in the first place.

How could we have significant intimate relationships without faith both in ourselves and our lover?
And before you start saying that everything I'm calling faith is not faith but trust please view this:
The definitions of faith, trust, and belief from http://www.merriam-webster.com/
Quote:
I do not see any fundamental difference between faith and trust except one generally deals with God while the other doesn't. Even if there is no afterlife, I feel I am getting a return on my investment in God on a daily basis that is immeasurable. I feel my life is continually enriched through my relationship with God.... so I see no fundamental difference whatsoever.

One is trust in your friends and the other is trust in God. Perhaps one small difference is that faith needs less evidence, however, faith still needs evidence and one does not have faith in something overtly false. At the same time though, faith implies trust and may in fact be a deeper form of trust.

If there is a difference please explain it to me.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 09:03 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;128319 wrote:
First, do you think trust is an important thing to have?


Nope. You can totally get by without trusting anyone. Assume that they will never act, or do as you would think they would. It might not be the smoothest way to live, but it can be done. People do it all the time and some would say that it is a more rational way to live.

Amperage;128319 wrote:

I do not see any fundamental difference between faith and trust except one generally deals with God while the other doesn't.


Yes and this distinction is important, but are you glossing over it? I see you have made some stride to bring them together although the first time you mentioned this, I think you mentioned trust once. You clearly understand they are different.

Amperage;128319 wrote:

Even if there is no afterlife, I feel I am getting a return on my investment in God on a daily basis that is immeasurable.


In what way? I mean maybe we should examine this in another thread because what you call investment I see as something that you are providing for yourself without realizing it. If god isn't real then all your thoughts or ideas that god is doing something for you, really would just be you doing it to yourself. So how is that an investment?

Amperage;128319 wrote:

I feel my life is continually enriched through my relationship with God.... so I see no fundamental difference whatsoever.


Honestly I think you convince yourself of this, but it is really not the case. Otherwise you could say the opposite were true, which it isn't. If you are saying god has enriched your life then by all means, I have no such relationship, I should not be enriched. So am I lacking what you have? Probably not. So your enrichment is totally subjective.

Perhaps if you started a new thread on the previous topic and this one together I can get a perspective of just what god has done for you to enrich your life.

Amperage;128319 wrote:

One is trust in your friends and the other is trust in God. Perhaps one small difference is that faith needs less evidence, however, faith still needs evidence and one does not have faith in something overtly false.


I would say the existence of god is something overtly false. So from my position your faith in god would be in something overtly false.

Amperage;128319 wrote:

At the same time though, faith implies trust and may in fact be a deeper form of trust.


A deeper form of trust? In what way? That you believe contrary to any evidence for such existence to be true? That in some way makes it deeper? This would be like a mother denying that her son is a serial killer. She believes him to be innocent of all the things he has been charged with. Does this mean that her faith in his innocence is deeper than trusting what the investigators claim? I call that denial of the truth.

Amperage;128319 wrote:

If there is a difference please explain it to me.


It has been explained. Before now and now but I think you don't really want it explained because it might disrupt the notion you want to maintain.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 09:23 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;128333 wrote:
Nope. You can totally get by without trusting anyone. Assume that they will never act, or do as you would think they would. It might not be the smoothest way to live, but it can be done. People do it all the time and some would say that it is a more rational way to live.
Trusting yourself is not important? First, define assuming. Isn't assuming nothing more than believing something without proof? Next, I didn't not say trusting people. I said trust in general.
Quote:
Yes and this distinction is important, but are you glossing over it? I see you have made some stride to bring them together although the first time you mentioned this, I think you mentioned trust once. You clearly understand they are different.
And you have yet to explain the fundamental distinction to me. I noted one is trust in A while the other is trust in B, I wouldn't call that a fundamental distinction.
Quote:
In what way?
Because God has given me confidence, calmness, peace, joy, security, guidance, and has improved my morals and my compassion for other people. I am much slower to anger and much quicker to forgive. I can't even adequately describe all the things I feel God has done for me.
Quote:
If god isn't real then all your thoughts or ideas that god is doing something for you, really would just be you doing it to yourself. So how is that an investment?
In the words of an old friend of mine, "if if was a fifth, we'd all be drunk". IMO, God is real.
Quote:
If you are saying god has enriched your life then by all means, I have no such relationship, I should not be enriched. So am I lacking what you have? Probably not. So your enrichment is totally subjective.
why would you say that? I do not deny that one can live an enriched life without belief in God, because I think people will fill that void with other things, however, I believe nothing fills that void in the same way or as perfectly as God.
Quote:
It's different That you believe contrary to any evidence for such existence to be true?
there is no evidence to the contrary. I'm not sure why you deny this. I am more than willing to accept that, on the whole, the jury is out but nothing has been proven one way or the other conclusively, I just find it curious that you aren't. There is no unrefutable proof(that everyone will accept) for or against God's existence.
Quote:
It has been explained.
I was honest when I was saying please explain the fundamental difference. If it's been explained please forward me to that thread.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 11:17 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;128335 wrote:
Trusting yourself is not important? First, define assuming. Isn't assuming nothing more than believing something without proof? Next, I didn't not say trusting people. I said trust in general.And you have yet to explain the fundamental distinction to me. I noted one is trust in A while the other is trust in B, I wouldn't call that a fundamental distinction.Because God has given me confidence, calmness, peace, joy, security, guidance, and has improved my morals and my compassion for other people. I am much slower to anger and much quicker to forgive. I can't even adequately describe all the things I feel God has done for me. In the words of an old friend of mine, "if if was a fifth, we'd all be drunk". IMO, God is real. why would you say that? I do not deny that one can live an enriched life without belief in God, because I think people will fill that void with other things, however, I believe nothing fills that void in the same way or as perfectly as God. there is no evidence to the contrary. I'm not sure why you deny this. I am more than willing to accept that, on the whole, the jury is out but nothing has been proven one way or the other conclusively, I just find it curious that you aren't. There is no unrefutable proof(that everyone will accept) for or against God's existence.I was honest when I was saying please explain the fundamental difference. If it's been explained please forward me to that thread.


If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I agree that there's no proof either way. I'm an agnostic myself, but I do believe in the importance of faith. In fact, it's also my belief that human life is impossible without belief. We live in a jungle of assumptions that we are not usually ever conscious of. We step out of bed and expect the floor to be there. Some beliefs are more publicly justifiable than others. I think humans in assume that the inner experience of others is like there own. This is a leap of faith.( But here I am assuming that they assume, which shows again the human tendency to assume.) Because their inner experience does not encourage a belief in God, they call such a belief irrational. Because your evidence isn't objective (public), it isn't valid for them. (or me, but so what?). I suppose I sympathize with your theistic position, despite being agnostic, because you are honest about its foundation in the happiness in brings you.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 11:18 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;128335 wrote:
Trusting yourself is not important? First, define assuming. Isn't assuming nothing more than believing something without proof?


I am not even sure why you brought this up since I was using assuming as a standpoint a person could take for not needing trust. If you assume that nothing will be as one expects then by all means you are ready for anything to happen. Basically I just nullified the need for trust if you always presume nothing will be expected.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

Next, I didn't not say trusting people. I said trust in general.And you have yet to explain the fundamental distinction to me.


It was universal, that trust is not required to function. You don't have to trust anything, people, actions, events, knowledge, wisdom, nothing. You can function completely free from needing to trust these things.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

I noted one is trust in A while the other is trust in B, I wouldn't call that a fundamental distinction.


faith is generally used belief that is not based on proofs.
trust is generally confident expectation of something usually backed by proofs.

You build trust, faith is not built. There is no input and output. Trust can be added to or lost. Faith is never given a chance to do that because it does not require input since no proofs are required. That is why faith is inferior to trust. People of faith know this and that is why they try to use trust to describe faith but it is not accurate to call faith, trust.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

Because God has given me confidence, calmness, peace, joy, security, guidance, and has improved my morals and my compassion for other people.


You believe these things were provided yet you have no way to verify them. I have all of them too, but I don't make the claim that a god gave them to me.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

I am much slower to anger and much quicker to forgive. I can't even adequately describe all the things I feel God has done for me.


This is something you can learn without the need for a belief in a god. So the question becomes, if you accomplish the same thing without a belief in god, what good is the belief? I would say none if you can reach the same understanding. That is why I can say that I don't require a god to accomplish anything.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

In the words of an old friend of mine, "if if was a fifth, we'd all be drunk". IMO, God is real.


How about some words from a friend of mine?

"People have died because they thought a mirage was real."

Amperage;128335 wrote:

why would you say that? I do not deny that one can live an enriched life without belief in God,


Yeah I think so to, which like I mentioned before. If you accomplish the same thing then what good is believing?

Amperage;128335 wrote:

because I think people will fill that void with other things, however, I believe nothing fills that void in the same way or as perfectly as God.


Conjecture. You can not proclaim this to be a truth. You might believe it to be the case, but you can't verify it. I could just as easily say my life is richer without the belief in god, but would you accept that to be a universal truth? Probably not.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

there is no evidence to the contrary. I'm not sure why you deny this. I am more than willing to accept that, on the whole, the jury is out but nothing has been proven one way or the other conclusively, I just find it curious that you aren't.


The same reason I don't believe in the existence of goblins or gremlins. Why don't you believe in the existence of Zeus or Amon-Ra? Lack of consistent evidence IS evidence. Despite people trying to make the claim that absence of evidence is not evidence, it is. That statement is a denialist claim to attempt to strengthen a weak argument. I can show you.

The flying pink elephant exists. You can not make the claim the flying pink elephant does not exist simply because there is no evidence that it does not exist.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

There is no unrefutable proof(that everyone will accept) for or against God's existence.


Yeah but if I believe there is a troll living in my closet, is that a truth? I might even hear sounds coming from the closet, so is that evidence that the troll is real? No. You can make stuff up, you can say there is evidence, but it is all just wishful thinking when it comes to the existence of god.

There is no evidence that even says there might be a god. You can try to claim that the universe is that evidence but I object. If you know anything about quantum physics and thermal dynamics, matter is not created. If matter is not created then nothing was created. If nothing was created then no need for a creator.

Amperage;128335 wrote:

I was honest when I was saying please explain the fundamental difference. If it's been explained please forward me to that thread.


Faith, when connected to the existence of a god or gods, requires no proofs. You can have faith in anything that can not be backed up with evidence. So you can believe that the tooth fairy is real.

With trust, you can't utilize it in the same way as faith. You have been trying to, but honestly you can't. You say you have trust in god but what you are really saying is that you hope god exists and if god does exist then I want to be in line with that gods existence.

My question is, if god exists, what makes you think that you are actually doing what that god wants or intended you to do? Simply because you believe that you are? How can you verify it? You can't, so once again you require faith to assume that you are doing the things that this god wants you to do.

This line of reasoning keeps going and going further and further without any basis. You can't have trust in that because you have absolutely nothing to stand on to trust to start with. That is why faith does not equal trust.

---------- Post added 02-14-2010 at 09:31 PM ----------

Reconstructo;128345 wrote:
In fact, it's also my belief that human life is impossible without belief.


I object. You don't need to believe anything to live.

Reconstructo;128345 wrote:

We live in a jungle of assumptions that we are not usually ever conscious of.


This I will agree with. We do assume and presume all experiences. We even presume and assume things that which do not exist as well.

Reconstructo;128345 wrote:

We step out of bed and expect the floor to be there.


This is incorrect. No one actually expects this. The brain doesn't even work this way. You might think it does but it actually doesn't. When you first wake up there is a analyzing of the conscious experience to find it's place in space. Ask a person who has lost their proprioceptors what they assume and they will tell you, they can't sense the ground at all, and to them the ground almost seems to not exist. This usually leaves them without the ability to walk or even sit up.

Reconstructo;128345 wrote:

Some beliefs are more publicly justifiable than others. I think humans in assume that the inner experience of others is like there own.


I do agree with this. I notice myself doing it all the time. I assume people have the same basic understanding of certain things almost to a fault. I also assume that everyone has the same ability to reason or learn things that I do, which is totally not the case. I also assume that people view the world how I do, but this is drastically not the case.

Reconstructo;128345 wrote:

This is a leap of faith.( But here I am assuming that they assume, which shows again the human tendency to assume.) Because their inner experience does not encourage a belief in God, they call such a belief irrational.


If it is not irrational, then belief in gremlins, goblins, and flying pink elephants are also not irrational. If they are not irrational then NOTHING is irrational. Even to say that the sky will turn red tomorrow is not irrational. Or to say that the color red will stop being red and red will disappear from existence would be a rational argument. Are these two examples rational?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 11:42 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;128346 wrote:

I object. You don't need to believe anything to live.

Do you believe this? Do you believe you are sane? Do you believe in the "laws" of science, that ones (in theory) that keep your roof from falling on you as you read this? Do you believe the sun will rise tomorrow? That you're loved ones will remember your name the next time they see you?

---------- Post added 02-15-2010 at 12:45 AM ----------

Krumple;128346 wrote:

I do agree with this. I notice myself doing it all the time. I assume people have the same basic understanding of certain things almost to a fault. I also assume that everyone has the same ability to reason or learn things that I do, which is totally not the case. I also assume that people view the world how I do, but this is drastically not the case.


I appreciate your frankness. I think it's inevitably human. The idea of universal reason is itself (it seems to me) a useful prejudice. Robert Solomon calls it the "transcendental pretense." It may be one of those unprovable things we can't live well without. I also think that antecedent skepticism cannot be answered except by the necessity to live and the confession that man is not primarily a rational or logical animal but an animal with other needs than dialectical self-justification.

---------- Post added 02-15-2010 at 12:48 AM ----------

Krumple;128346 wrote:

If it is not irrational, then belief in gremlins, goblins, and flying pink elephants are also not irrational. If they are not irrational then NOTHING is irrational. Even to say that the sky will turn red tomorrow is not irrational. Or to say that the color red will stop being red and red will disappear from existence would be a rational argument. Are these two examples rational?


I would say that "irrational" is used to some degree as words like "ugly" or "beautiful" are used. To the liberal, the conservative isn't rational, and the reverse. "Rational" is just a word of course, and the "meaning" of a word is its use in the context of social practice, including the practice of using language. Sometimes we use the word "rational" as a synonym of practical. Considering the cultural history of the God-concept and the sophistication of certain theologies, God is indeed more rational than the examples you offer. But that is a matter of taste. I do see what you mean, though.

---------- Post added 02-15-2010 at 12:51 AM ----------

Krumple;128346 wrote:

This is incorrect. No one actually expects this. The brain doesn't even work this way. You might think it does but it actually doesn't. When you first wake up there is a analyzing of the conscious experience to find it's place in space. Ask a person who has lost their proprioceptors what they assume and they will tell you, they can't sense the ground at all, and to them the ground almost seems to not exist. This usually leaves them without the ability to walk or even sit up.

I grant you such exceptions, but I still think it's a fair (if oversimplified) statement. We do, with rare exceptions, expect the floor the catch us when we step out of bed. We expect our mouths to hold water, to remain solid. We expect our arms and legs to do what they want them to do, excepting the obvious.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 01:00 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128350 wrote:
Do you believe this? Do you believe you are sane? Do you believe in the "laws" of science, that ones (in theory) that keep your roof from falling on you as you read this? Do you believe the sun will rise tomorrow? That you're loved ones will remember your name the next time they see you?


I think his point is that the laws of science (the "real" way the universe works at least, not necessarily our laws of science) are still there even if you don't believe in them. That unlike Tinkerbell, you don't have to clap your hands...
I think the issue here Reconstructo is that your definition of "being human" is more than just living, at least that's what I gather from reading your previous post... is that the issue?
 
Amperage
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 01:11 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;128346 wrote:
I am not even sure why you brought this up since I was using assuming as a standpoint a person could take for not needing trust. If you assume that nothing will be as one expects then by all means you are ready for anything to happen. Basically I just nullified the need for trust if you always presume nothing will be expected.
I brought it up because to assume or to make a presupposition is to simply decide to believe something with no proof. Something you said is "not smart". How can one assume nothing will be as one expects? By assuming that, are you not now expecting it?

Krumple;128346 wrote:
It was universal, that trust is not required to function. You don't have to trust anything, people, actions, events, knowledge, wisdom, nothing. You can function completely free from needing to trust these things.
If you feel this way I would just like to know how you possibly verify this considering no one has ever lived(normally) without doing so. No one can live without trusting anyone or anything including themselves. At an absolute minimum one must trust one's own self. You seem to be in denial of this.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
faith is generally used belief that is not based on proofs.
trust is generally confident expectation of something usually backed by proofs.

You build trust, faith is not built. There is no input and output. Trust can be added to or lost. Faith is never given a chance to do that because it does not require input since no proofs are required. That is why faith is inferior to trust. People of faith know this and that is why they try to use trust to describe faith but it is not accurate to call faith, trust.
Not my faith. My faith in God is built upon my experience of Him. Yes, faith can grow stronger or weaker. I think the problem we're having is your conception of what you think faith is vs. the reality of what faith actually is.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
You believe these things were provided yet you have no way to verify them. I have all of them too, but I don't make the claim that a god gave them to me.
That's fine. But it's a fallacy to think simply because you acquired thing A by way X, that the only way to acquire thing A, is the same way X.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
This is something you can learn without the need for a belief in a god. So the question becomes, if you accomplish the same thing without a belief in god, what good is the belief? I would say none if you can reach the same understanding. That is why I can say that I don't require a god to accomplish anything.
Reaching the same understanding some other way does not negate God in any way shape or form. God provides for everyone. Everyone's need are not the same. Maybe you don't need anything, or maybe you do and you don't even know it.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
How about some words from a friend of mine?

"People have died because they thought a mirage was real."
I like my friends better, "People have died because they thought an oasis was a mirage and didn't bother."

Krumple;128346 wrote:
Yeah I think so to, which like I mentioned before. If you accomplish the same thing then what good is believing?
Because nobody has everything in and of themselves, nor can they acquire everything they need by themselves. At a minimum people need companionship.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
Conjecture. You can not proclaim this to be a truth. You might believe it to be the case, but you can't verify it. I could just as easily say my life is richer without the belief in god, but would you accept that to be a universal truth? Probably not.
I don't need to verify it. I experience it. The reason the whole "mirage analogy" doesn't work in my book is because you get nothing from it whereas with God, I receive tangible differences in my life.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
The same reason I don't believe in the existence of goblins or gremlins. Why don't you believe in the existence of Zeus or Amon-Ra? Lack of consistent evidence IS evidence. Despite people trying to make the claim that absence of evidence is not evidence, it is. That statement is a denialist claim to attempt to strengthen a weak argument. I can show you.

The flying pink elephant exists. You can not make the claim the flying pink elephant does not exist simply because there is no evidence that it does not exist.
No, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and to say otherwise is simply fallacious.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
Yeah but if I believe there is a troll living in my closet, is that a truth? I might even hear sounds coming from the closet, so is that evidence that the troll is real? No. You can make stuff up, you can say there is evidence, but it is all just wishful thinking when it comes to the existence of god.

There is no evidence that even says there might be a god. You can try to claim that the universe is that evidence but I object. If you know anything about quantum physics and thermal dynamics, matter is not created. If matter is not created then nothing was created. If nothing was created then no need for a creator.
There are plenty of arguments for the existence of God. To say there aren't is pure denial. I can look up a list on wikipedia if you'd like.

Krumple;128346 wrote:
My question is, if god exists, what makes you think that you are actually doing what that god wants or intended you to do? Simply because you believe that you are? How can you verify it? You can't, so once again you require faith to assume that you are doing the things that this god wants you to do.
Because through the reading of the word, prayer and quiet times, I sense God's guidance. Not in a "Hey Bryan this is God speaking.....go do this"; it's more akin to being drawn to a particular decision and then either feeling very good/peaceful about the decision or continuing to feel a very uneasy like nagging inside of me. For me, that is the Holy Spirit compelling me. While reading, something in particular may catch my eye, I may see a certain moral or lesson behind something that I didn't see before, I can feel the tug on my conscience when I make decisions, and finally a tranquility about my actions. The way I verify it by using my brain to make sure that what I'm doing aligns with what I already know about God.


***EDIT FOR ADDITIONAL COMMENT***
Lastly, this(the whole God thing and faith) is extermely hard to explain to someone on the outside looking in whether you buy that answer or not. It's like a little kid who has never experienced something hot before. You can tell him the stove is hot and not to touch it but he just doesn't reach that level of understanding that he does when he finally touches it. Now, he gets it.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 01:13 am
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;128373 wrote:
I think his point is that the laws of science (the "real" way the universe works at least, not necessarily our laws of science) are still there even if you don't believe in them. That unlike Tinkerbell, you don't have to clap your hands...
I think the issue here Reconstructo is that your definition of "being human" is more than just living, at least that's what I gather from reading your previous post... is that the issue?


We believe they are there independent of our belief, and perhaps they are. But as Hume argued, we assume that the future will resemble the past. But why should it? Because it has? Which is a circular argument.

More later. Thanks for the input.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 01:22 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128350 wrote:
Do you believe this? Do you believe you are sane? Do you believe in the "laws" of science, that ones (in theory) that keep your roof from falling on you as you read this? Do you believe the sun will rise tomorrow? That you're loved ones will remember your name the next time they see you?


[/COLOR] Nope, I don't believe them to be absolute. All of these you state are never certain, so why would I believe them to be certain if I know that they are not. This is why I think I view the world differently than most people. I don't expect things, however I might assume, but I am never certain.

Reconstructo;128350 wrote:

I would say that "irrational" is used to some degree as words like "ugly" or "beautiful" are used. To the liberal, the conservative isn't rational, and the reverse. "Rational" is just a word of course, and the "meaning" of a word is its use in the context of social practice, including the practice of using language. Sometimes we use the word "rational" as a synonym of practical. Considering the cultural history of the God-concept and the sophistication of certain theologies, God is indeed more rational than the examples you offer. But that is a matter of taste. I do see what you mean, though.
[/COLOR]

I would say your use of rational is completely different than mine then. Rational does not need to be practical, instead it only needs to be consistent with the experience. If I said that water flows up hill always, is that a rational argument? No, because it is not consistent with the experience. Can you make water flow up hill, yes but it does not naturally flow up hill or against gravity by itself. Therefore the statement is only true in the context. So if you made the argument, "I can make water flow up hill." I would have to make an assumption based off my previous experience. I could state that your argument is irrational yet if you prove to me that you can do the action you state then I can reform my understanding.

This is where the god notion fails. People will try to claim they have experience to back up their god belief. I will accept that they have had an experience but is it conclusive for me to ratify my rational understanding? No. Why? Because such claims can be accounted for other such phenomena. Oh now am I being dismissive? Perhaps, but I know that I have had experiences that I thought were supernatural but on further inspection, I discovered they really were just psychological manifestations. Is this more rational? Yes because it is consistent with every day psychological phenomena.


Reconstructo;128350 wrote:

I grant you such exceptions, but I still think it's a fair (if oversimplified) statement. We do, with rare exceptions, expect the floor the catch us when we step out of bed. We expect our mouths to hold water, to remain solid. We expect our arms and legs to do what they want them to do, excepting the obvious.


Yeah in some ways we do expect things to behave a certain way but we also assume them to be certain ways. This does not mean that they will always behave or be a certain way. Although if something happens enough times consistently then by all means you could state it to be a definitive expectation. Do metaphysical things hold up to such scrutiny? Never that I have seen. Just look at how many claims of alien abductions there are. Have I ever been abducted? No, not that I am aware of, so therefore I can rationally argue that alien abductions do not happen. Why? Because being consistent with my experience it hasn't happened to me. Do I require that it has to happen to me before I would believe it? No. If you can give me a creditable explanation then I can ratify my rational understanding of abductions.

This is why I say that the argument for the existence of god is an irrational argument. It does not hold up to experience consistently. How do I know? Because there are billions of people who believe god is how they define it but if you try to compare these notes, they are often drastically different. This means if you can not have a consistent experience then chances are it is not a real experience. That is a rational argument.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 01:25 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128378 wrote:
We believe they are there independent of our belief, and perhaps they are. But as Hume argued, we assume that the future will resemble the past. But why should it? Because it has? Which is a circular argument.

More later. Thanks for the input.


The problem I find with this is that people have contradictory beliefs to other people in almost any example I can think of, so how could how the world really works be dependent on our beliefs about it? Of course, I must admit to assuming I am not the only person here, that you are all not figments of my imagination...

However, the real point was about what it is to be a living human, because if a human with only lower brain functions is alive, then you don't have to believe anything to be human.

While I do see where you are coming from, I see consistency as the safest bet. So while I agree that the future doesn't have to be like the past, I disagree with your example. I would state it that the future has been like the past before consistently concerning certain things, therefore I believe the future will be like the present concerning those same things, even though I may be wrong or may be at fault by connecting past with memory.
 
 

 
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