Faith is exempt from reason?

presser_kun

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Why?

Religionists of all stripes maintain that faith is not nor should be subject to logical thinking.

A subsidiary question is "Is it all right to ask even this question?"

It seems to me that faith should be subject to reason the same as any other thing is.

I don't think that religionists consciously consider that faith wouldn't hold up -- quite the contrary. But on a subconscious level, perhaps they realize that their belief would vanish if a logical approach to their beliefs was used to analyse it.

Once again, why should faith be exempt from reason?

I look forward to your thoughts on the matter.

peace,

press (who wishes he could visit C-R more consistently than time allows)
 

Dondi

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I think the question should be: Is there such thing as reasonable faith?

Faith is usually subjective to the believer. But it is not necessarily "blind". Throughout history, there are billions of people who have attested of a faith in God. Some have claimed to have seen miracles, some have claimed to see angels (or even demons), some have claimed to have their prayers answer (raises hand), some look to various scriptures claimed to be inspired by God or a higher force, some have believed in God due to studied the historical/archeological evidences, some have studied nature and science and come up with reasons to believe, some have claimed to have seen God and heaven as result of near-death or out-of-body experiences, some have claimed to have felt a closeness to God in their hearts through forgiveness and mercy or burdens they have carries being lifted through no power of their own.

So when it comes to faith in God, as one who looks to pure reason and direct evidence, it's hard to percieve what the Bible and other texts describe as an "invisible world". But their are a lot of indirect indications that promote a reasonable faith. Even scientists will admit there are some things that haven't been explained, yet take it by faith that they exist, albeit there is a scientific explanation they haven't found for it. for example, scientists are still trying to come up with a unified quantum theory to explain certain phenomena like why light simultaneously acts as a particle and a wave. But that doesn't mean we should ignore it because we cannot explain it.

So, all things considered, I think faith can have a reasonable basis for believing.
 

iBrian

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Everything is subject to some degree of reason - but at some point, there has to be an act of faith.

I trained in chemistry and physics to degree level - and there is simply so much everyday occurance that cannot be explained by scientific model that is glossed over at lower levels of study.

For example, the humble bumble bee as too heavy to be able to fly, and fish should not be able to swim as fast as they can do - all according to the scientific viewpoint at the time. There's no reason for the electron's charge to be what it is, and no theory of graviation can describe the stability of Saturn's rings.

In such instances, an act of faith is often required to presume that existing ideas of how the world function are not being violated.

So, yes, some degree of reason can be applied - but with religion as a personal spiritual experience, it's always going to be an issue of applying personl levels of reason, rather than being forced to apply third-party standards of what constitutes "reason".

2c.
 

Silverbackman

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If you define faith as;

"adherence to a collectively held religious Truth despite evidence to the contrary and without continuing efforts to seek out, understand and weigh evidence."

Then I would say faith is an exempt from faith. If you are a Abrahmic for example you don't have to live in the world of reason and no one will think your nuts for it. You don't have to reason then. However if your someone of no religion such as Abrahmicism and you still have faith then your crazy. Or perhaps some religious people are crazy? The defination of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. As we all know there many people who continue to pray despite it never really working for them. Believing in something you cannot see is no considered insane but people often label you as a crackpot for doing so. However if you follow a religion (like Abrahmacism) its oak to be crazy or not reason ;).
 

E99

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The scriptural view and hence religious view of what faith is in the words of Paul. God inspired words ......

Translated from the Greek, the original syntax ....

(Hebrews 11.1)

"Is yet belief of being expected understanding of practices exposing not being looked."

Garbled ? Sounds like Yoda ? It must have taken some thought to get it put into some sort of reasonable sense regarding what Paul was trying to say...

It comes out as: "Now faith is substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Or a more comprehensive version...

Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.

Reads on.....2 For by means of this the men of old times had witness borne to them. 3 By faith we perceive that the systems of things were put in order by God’s word, so that what is beheld has come to be out of things that do not appear."


These scriptures say a lot about what faith is and having faith....Faith in Gods order of things, the way God interacted with man and about his creations....what we see that has come about from what we cannot see.


Paul recognised that "all scripture is inspired of God" his very own words at 2 Timothy 3:16. His view on faith comes from God. His description of faith in Hebrews 11:1 is describing it and taking into consideration that same faith referring to Gods nature found in verse 3.


Regarding the religious concept of faith, the Oxford dictionary puts it a little differently:

"Belief in a religious doctrine, independant of proof or reasoning."


There seems to be a contrast to what the theological view is, which is somewhat opposed to the view of the compilers of the dictionary. Here in the dictionary the implication is that the faith in religious doctrine is separate from logical reasoning or proof. They are saying that faith is only a belief in (any) religious doctrine because it has no proof, as it cannot be tangibly substantiated, hence they are underlyingly stating that faith is separate from reality.

Maybe non religious idealism sees religious beliefs like this, but not all religious adherents see that faith is just simply blind without the proof or reasonings. The religious have reasons to display faith, (as some of the previous posts state) for Gods finely tuned creation is evidential and seen everywhere, apart from a multitude of other evidences. It is with the tangible creation and logical reasonings that some religious adherents have faith in Gods existance and subsequently his words.



Scripturally speaking faith is belief that is based on realities but at present they cannot be 100% proven as to be linked with God, but such is the belief on Gods creation design as a whole that they are assured that they are proof of Gods existance. It is indirect. An example would be a man made constructed item, found, but the originator is not known, but the faith is regarding that a designer was the originator of the item even though he cannot be seen. No proof that he exists except by the constructed item. This is the same with the design factors found in nature and putting faith in God as the designer. Some don't believe that it is proof of God, some by the scriptural idea of faith do.











 

Quahom1

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Silverbackman said:
If you define faith as;

"adherence to a collectively held religious Truth despite evidence to the contrary and without continuing efforts to seek out, understand and weigh evidence."

Then I would say faith is an exempt from faith. If you are a Abrahmic for example you don't have to live in the world of reason and no one will think your nuts for it. You don't have to reason then. However if your someone of no religion such as Abrahmicism and you still have faith then your crazy. Or perhaps some religious people are crazy? The defination of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. As we all know there many people who continue to pray despite it never really working for them. Believing in something you cannot see is no considered insane but people often label you as a crackpot for doing so. However if you follow a religion (like Abrahmacism) its oak to be crazy or not reason ;).

Quite the contrary. Faith is exempt from nothing. Faith does not evolve from an abstract with no evidence for even its concept. Anything of some kind of substance and growth must come from a "seed" of some kind. Abrahamic faiths must live in this world, and this world functions a specific way. To imply or declare that such faiths are not reasonable, is to presume much with little evidence to back the presumption up.

Faith is simply trust. Are you implying that trust has no place in a world of reason? I opine that reason is developed on two things. Hope and trust that something will be done, and satisfaction when that thing is done. Hence the ability to deduce, and present a logical reason for something to happen.

Expectation and results confirming that expectation, this constitutes further development of "Faith".

The basic success of society is founded on faith. Else all would be anarchy. Faith is also dependent upon will, that is to say that the faithful believe that the will of the other will carry through, to the faithful's benefit.

Take your definition and remove "Religious" from the wording. Faith is still intact as a viable definition.

As far as praying and we all knowing that it never works...who is we all? ;)

v/r

Q
 

Silverbackman

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Quahom1 said:
Quite the contrary. Faith is exempt from nothing. Faith does not evolve from an abstract with no evidence for even its concept. Anything of some kind of substance and growth must come from a "seed" of some kind. Abrahamic faiths must live in this world, and this world functions a specific way. To imply or declare that such faiths are not reasonable, is to presume much with little evidence to back the presumption up.

Faith is simply trust. Are you implying that trust has no place in a world of reason? I opine that reason is developed on two things. Hope and trust that something will be done, and satisfaction when that thing is done. Hence the ability to deduce, and present a logical reason for something to happen.

Expectation and results confirming that expectation, this constitutes further development of "Faith".

The basic success of society is founded on faith. Else all would be anarchy. Faith is also dependent upon will, that is to say that the faithful believe that the will of the other will carry through, to the faithful's benefit.

Take your definition and remove "Religious" from the wording. Faith is still intact as a viable definition.

As far as praying and we all knowing that it never works...who is we all? ;)

v/r

Q

Of course faith has to exist for certain givens. For example I have faith a big green monster from outer space doesn't live under my house. Of course there is no way to disprove that such a thing exists under my house but there is no proof for this. That type of faith or trust is different. The type of faith that blinds people is;

adherence to a collectively held religious Truth despite evidence to the contrary and without continuing efforts to seek out, understand and weigh evidence.


Many Abrahamics follow this type of faith. Many Abrahmics such as a Christian for example believes that if you are not a Christian you will burn in hell for eternity. Where is the proof that Christianity is more valid than any other religion or belief system? Similarly where is the proof that Christianity's creation story has more weight wait than the scientific version of the origins of all things? All religions have their own creation myth and all of them cannot be right. We all know people back then lived in a superstitious era and created such myths so the chances of the myth being right are very low. In other words to believe one of the creation myths over science is the faith that blinds.
 

Quahom1

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Silverbackman
Of course faith has to exist for certain givens. For example I have faith a big green monster from outer space doesn't live under my house. Of course there is no way to disprove that such a thing exists under my house but there is no proof for this.

LOL, that isn't faith. That is the law of averages...or chance.

Until a few years ago, we said no life could exist at the bottom of the Marianas trench in 212 degree thermal vents, be anarobic and eat sulphur dioxide for breakfast. We had faith that nothing could live in that kind of environment, nothing on earth anyway. That was rather blind of us I should think.

That type of faith or trust is different. The type of faith that blinds people is;

adherence to a collectively held religious Truth despite evidence to the contrary and without continuing efforts to seek out, understand and weigh evidence.

Perhaps this holds true for some, but for others the evidence is not contrary. Here is one, that you should consider the ultimate in blind faith, based on your descriptor:

"...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--"

That wasn't truth, it was faith, blind and hopeful. However it became (or is becoming) truth, slowly but surely.

Many Abrahamics follow this type of faith. Many Abrahmics such as a Christian for example believes that if you are not a Christian you will burn in hell for eternity. Where is the proof that Christianity is more valid than any other religion or belief system? Similarly where is the proof that Christianity's creation story has more weight wait than the scientific version of the origins of all things? All religions have their own creation myth and all of them cannot be right. We all know people back then lived in a superstitious era and created such myths so the chances of the myth being right are very low. In other words to believe one of the creation myths over science is the faith that blinds.

Science doesn't require proof of anything, it requires evidence. So far, neither religious faiths nor Darwin's evolution of the species, or the Big Bang has provided much in the way of concrete evidence to treat the individual "theories" as anything more than that.

As far as reason goes, well, is it more reasonable to adhere to something that offers a lesson filled past and encourages one to look forward to and strive for a better tomorrow, or to adhere to something that only offers a speculative past, and absolutely nothing about the future?

My definition of faith: The belief in things as yet unseen, and the hope for things that have yet to be.

Hmmm, sounds an awful lot like a... "postulate", don't you think?;)

v/r

Q
 

seattlegal

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My definition of faith: The belief in things as yet unseen, and the hope for things that have yet to be.

Hmmm, sounds an awful lot like a... "postulate", don't you think?
Hmm, I have faith that the light will turn on when I flip the lightswitch. Sometimes that faith has been proven to be misplaced, especially during a power outage. :D
 

Thomas

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If one wants to argue the point of faith as a denial of reason then the obligation is upon those who propose this argument to demonstrate the lack of reason or logic in:

Aquinas (Christian)
Shankara (Advaita Vedanta)
Ibn Arabi (Islam)
to name but three who spring to mind.

And of course Aristotle, and Plato...

Thomas
 

brucegdc

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I think the distinction comes down to what a mathematician would term "axioms" - those things that are at the basis of the system, not provable within the system, but from which all other components are derived. Faith "axioms" might include things like the existence of deity, unity of deity, that the scriptures are from the deity and unchanged, etc.

In math, if we change an axiom, we get a different universe - e.g. the geometric axiom that two parallel lines never meet (For the real math types, I know, it's not put that way, but it has the same effect). That gives rectilinear/Euclidean mathematics - a plane, and the equivalent in 3 dimensions. Move it to they meet at two points, and you have a spherical mathematics (e.g. lines of longitude on the globe). Change it to them meeting at one, and you have a completely different universe of math.

Do the same with faith, and you end up with what we see on this board - lots of different, self-consistent (usually) belief systems, which differ in fundamental axioms, leading to different conclusions. Not a reason vs faith issue, but rather the difference of fundamental axioms.
 

lunamoth

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Similar to what bruce has said about axioms, all schools of philosophical thought start with a base assumption that is taken "on faith." It also seems to me that one of the first steps of logic is identifying the base assumptions.

I think therefore I am.

lunamoth
 

Quahom1

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seattlegal said:
Hmm, I have faith that the light will turn on when I flip the lightswitch. Sometimes that faith has been proven to be misplaced, especially during a power outage. :D

That's why I have a backup generator built into the house's power grid...;)
 

presser_kun

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Thank you all for the lively discussion started by my question.

It seems, though, that we're diverging from my original thought, so I'll restate it.

Why is it okay for "beliving in things not seen" to be exempt from "show me evidence for what you want me to believe"?

peace to you all

press
 

Quahom1

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presser_kun said:
Thank you all for the lively discussion started by my question.

It seems, though, that we're diverging from my original thought, so I'll restate it.

Why is it okay for "beliving in things not seen" to be exempt from "show me evidence for what you want me to believe"?

peace to you all

press

Because there are things we just do not immediately know (but will eventually figure out), that are givens. Such as air, people we care about thinking about us, or how about, believing in an individual who has been seriously injured, comes back to not only walk (for example), but is restored to Active duty as a Dive Master, who not only Dives, but teaches others to do the same for 15 more years? (still minus a leg)

The second we doubt, we close doors of oppertunity Press. Ok, so we believe and the doors lead nowhere...but there comes a time that we need to believe, and that door that we need opened, does.

Like my dad says, "Cynics know the price of everything, but the value of nothing." What good is going throught life being cynical?

my thoughts

v/r

Q
 

_Z_

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i think the ultimate nature of reality lies beyond the descriptive world! faith is like self - it cannot be defined yet is a most primary and fundamental nature of reality. faith is like a link between that self and the ultimate - one [the singular] dancing with the one [the infinite or 'god'].

you cant put everything in a test tube its a place that heiniken [the beer] acannot even reach. :p

 

lunamoth

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Here's a little bit from Thomas Merton:

Faith, without depending on reason for the slightest shred of justification, never contradicts reason and remains ever reasonable. Faith does not destroy reason, but fulfills it. Nevertheless, there must always remain a delicate balance between the two. Two extremes are to be avoided: credulity and skepticism; superstition and rationalism. If this balance is upset, if man relies too much on his five senses and on his reason when faith should be his teacher, then he enters into illusion. Or when, in defiance of reason, he gives the assent of his faith to a fallible authority, then too he falls into illusion. Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more. (Ascent to Truth)

Another from Merton,

Deum tamquam ignotum cognoscimus, says Saint Thomas. "We know God as unknown." Far from declaring that He is unknowable, Catholic dogma knows God, and knows Him in His infinite transcedence: and Catholic mysticism knows Him by experience.

On this foundation are built Catholic philosophy and speculative theology. They are, in strict truth, sciences. In fact, they are the highest of sciences. They are not the pragmatic rationalization of vague spiritual desires. On the levels of both philosophy and theology, Catholic thought has a value that is speculative and absolute. That is to say, it arrives at conclusions about God which are endowed with a genuine scientific certitude, because they can be proved, by clear demonstration, to proceed with inexorable logic from basic principles which are self-evident, in the case of philosophy, and revealed by God in the case of theology.

So, as Q implies, is revelation from God less of a basis for logic than something that is "self-evident?"

peace,
lunamoth
 
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seattlegal

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Those are some great quotes, lunamoth! :)
lunamoth said:
So, as Q implies, is revelation from God less of a basis for logic than something that is "self-evident?"
peace,
lunamoth
I'll add some from Albert Einstein:
When the solution is simple, God is answering. --Albert Einstein

We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
--Albert Einstein
Out of My Later Years, ch. 51 (1950)

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a
faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the
servant and has forgotten the gift.--Albert Einstein
 

seattlegal

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_Z_ said:
i think the ultimate nature of reality lies beyond the descriptive world! faith is like self - it cannot be defined yet is a most primary and fundamental nature of reality. faith is like a link between that self and the ultimate - one [the singular] dancing with the one [the infinite or 'god'].

you cant put everything in a test tube its a place that heiniken [the beer] acannot even reach. :p

Hello, Z, I also have an Einstein quote for you:
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man.
--Albert Einstein
Living Philosophies, "The World As I See It" (1931)
;)
 

_Z_

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Thanx for the quote seattlegal! I like ole albert he makes a lot of sense, it annoys me when rationalists discount religion out of hand, they are so sure they are right! I challenge them at other forums yet they cannot answer! I feel humanity is at a great philosophical period in time and that nothing is set in stone, indeed none of us are right or completely wrong, so I’ll continue to learn from all perspectives and except philosophies from all sources.

respect

Z [also known as 'attila' - because of my sharp and agressive debating][i do try not to be like that here alas i sometimes slip].
 
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