Faith: Belief vs. Knowing

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by A Cup Of Tea, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,310
    Likes Received:
    566
    Can a person of faith know the true path? Or do they believe it is the true path? I find that these words are often mixed up, are there a difference?

    I personally don't believe the general population know right from wrong in science. There are always scientists arguing from both sides of a dispute. And reading a report about the population growth of a certain rodent in a specific area won't give me the knowledge to know that it is true. I can learn the different markers and signs that there is a population growth and I can trust that the scientist is telling the whole truth, and I can believe that they made all necessary experiments and made the the propper conclusions based on this. But I don't believe that I can know that they didn't miss a vital fact.

    But Faith don't work like this, and since I have next to no experience with faith I wish to learn.
     
  2. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith is defined as a belief which is not based on fact. You can trust a faith as much as you want, but you cannot say that it is fact, else it ceases to be a faith.

    Authentic religion, for me, necessitates unbiased self-inquiry and experience. Anything which does not result in direct experience is not useful. I think, here, it is useful to understand correctly the nature of the word "religion", it means re-bind. What, in any given faith, describes binding? What are we binding to according to this text?

    Accepting something because your parents told you to when you were little is not authentic. Tradition is not authentic either, although many feel guilty when they step outside it.
     
  3. william b

    william b New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe one must rely on intuition, common sense, and thoughtful inquiry but also have an open mind.
    If you don't have experience with faith, I recommend that you think about how a higher power could possibly exist. Consider how even science acknowledges that our universe is multi-dimensional and it has no idea about the function that those dimensions play in our reality.
    If you discuss beliefs with skeptics, realize that they will almost always steer conversations towards their own conclusions. Likewise, you will encounter many spiritualists who claim to have some direct knowledge of certain things.
    The thing anyone can be certain of is that we are people here on this planet, we are dealing with the spiritual consequences of anger, greed, hatred. And one can see their day to day experiences with an understanding that is practical, realistic, and spiritually fulfilling.
    I was once a skeptic. And for me I think my closed mind was partly the result of depression. I've learned that skepticism can be a healthy attitude towards some things, but too often it is a fearful stance taken in reaction to the unknown.
    A lot of extreme skeptics are depressed. And a lot of spiritualists are running from depression (IMO).
    I think the complete skeptic believes science has to dismiss spirit, but it doesn't really have to if you think about it. And the complete spiritualist will be so far into the need to "experience" certain things that he is expressing a certain desperation to pacify that skeptical side that he is trying to keep buried.
    If you've reached a place where you are willing to be open to faith, then you are in a wonderful place right now.
    I can tell you from my own experience with faith that once you come to the place where you can believe in some form of God, and not assign some role to God as a "king" or "parent" while also believing that the universe still cares about each of and every one of us, you will feel a great relief.
    People may bother you or you may have difficulties, but you will also understand that it's all happening to direct you to a positive outcome.
    -----On a personal note: I encourage you to persevere. You really have to seek in order to find. Using faith does not mean the abandonment of reason, but it opens doors to you as you seek. A prayer I am still using for myself constantly is, "God, please help me to understand." :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  4. william b

    william b New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also should note that I think faith is a process that keeps going. I have read about how all people have good in them. Many traditions will balance the idea that people are "sinners" or "have bad karma" with the idea that they have a Christ or Buddha Nature within them as well.
    It is good to reflect on the fact that we have this in common. We've done things that were bad, or based on the negative...but we have it within us to bring out the Good nature inside of us.
    I think that has been where I have found the most positive results in my own faith journey.
     
  5. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,310
    Likes Received:
    566
    Thank you Lunitik and thank you William.

    William, what you answered wasn't what I had in mind when I asked the question. I'm not searching for faith, just asking your opinion on the difference between believing and knowing. But I'm glad you wrote what you did, it is good stuff.
     
  6. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    0
    try reading a bit of the new testament if you have time, the Gospel of John is worth a read, and the book of Hebrews talks about faith, these could give an understanding of Christian concepts of faith.

    i agree, it takes faith to believe in science.
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,770
    Likes Received:
    1,928
    What??? If I know for a fact that bridge will hold my weight, I don't have faith in it?

    To me faith can be with something we believe and or something we know.

    But beyond that. The OP confuses me compared to the title.

    I'm sticking with the title....

    Belief vs. Know.

    my thing is that there are things I know (little k) and things I Know (big K).

    Little k is things I believe....I believe this to be true...but I don't Know it.

    I can Know it when it isn't a proven fact to you...but it is a proven fact to me....a fact I can't prove to you....but I Know it.
     
  8. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    I mean, you can continue to have faith in it, but it is more a faith in your own ability to calculate whether it's correct, or whoever else has provided this information for you. The faith exists because you maintain doubt, trust is not necessary when you know.

    Do you have faith in not taking off into the sky randomly? No, you know gravity doesn't permit this to happen.

    Certainly knowing is relative, few people actually know much of the knowledge they attach to. This is really the problem with the world we live in today, people are sure about things which has no merit or basis in fact. It is a very destructive practice, as history has repeatedly shown. Yet we continue this cycle, we displace the problems and continue as if nothing ever happened.
     
  9. william b

    william b New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see. I must have wanted to express some of those things.
    Yes, I think the difference between believing and knowing is not always given much thought.
    So many people treat belief as a requirement to finding salvation. But I do not think that is how it works. Belief can help a person greatly.
    I might even put forth the idea that there is something between belief and knowing. But I've already spoken a little about intuition so you probably know what I mean by that.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,770
    Likes Received:
    1,928
    I have faith in gravity.
     
  11. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    You don't consider gravity a fact?
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,770
    Likes Received:
    1,928
    I have faith in facts.
     
  13. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    It won't let me delete this... lame
     
  14. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    0

    all right then what is I and what is a fact ?
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,770
    Likes Received:
    1,928
    Like the gravity question, I have faith in gravity...

    I don't expect everything to suddenly float away.

    Over the years we have had faith in facts.

    but facts change as new information comes forward.

    germs...when they were discovered, the facts changed.

    at one time diet didn't affect heart disease...and folks had faith in what they were being told.

    those were the facts of the day. there are facts of today that will be looked back on as ludicrous...because they will have new information.
     
  16. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    A lot of things aren't black and white. For example, 2 plus 2 does not always equal 4. Sometimes it equals 5. That's what the Party says.

    That is also what postmodernism is about. It is about questioning the prejudices and arrogant beliefs of modernism.
     
  17. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,310
    Likes Received:
    566
    I think I get what you're saying Lunitik, some things are so true for people that it is there is no longer room for faith, faith is, redundant in those instances.

    But would you say that these truths are very subjective, and that you and I know gravity to be a fact as the same time wil is taking it by faith.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,770
    Likes Received:
    1,928
    Let's take the rope bridge example over a 400' gorge...

    The fact is the bridge has been designed for and will hold 5,000 pounds. You are only a couple hundred pounds, their will only be 5 of you on the bridge. Tens of thousands of people have used the bridge. The bridge was recently checked for wear and strenght and is regularly maintained.

    The facts say there is no problem. But due to your fear of heights you have no faith it will hold. Despite having seen 30 people cross, you will not cross because you have no faith.
     
  19. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,310
    Likes Received:
    566
    Now we are arguing over the exact definition of words, which I'm not very fond. A word can have very different meaning in different contexts.
    In your example, I would say that I don't KNOW the bridge is safe just because other people tell me it is. If I'm overpowered by fear rational thought goes out the window, I would have to rely on my FAITH of others or on science, and this faith might not be strong enough.
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,770
    Likes Received:
    1,928
    It just helps for discussion for everyone to be on the same page or identify where they disagree...

    It was said that we only can have faith in the unknown, the unproven, once it becomes a fact we know longer have faith.

    I have faith in facts despite the fact that many of the facts will change.

    I can only work with what I know now.
     

Share This Page