Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 1086

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Re: classification of types of faith

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 18, 2002, at 22:21:40

In reply to pure faith v. damn-the-evidence faith + Iso » Dr. Bob, posted by BeardedLady on October 18, 2002, at 13:28:10

> > Wouldn't eyes-open, damn-the-evidence faith be the most "pure"?
>
> I think you're talking about something completely different here. There's the leap of faith, that Kierkegard describes, which is the one that Abraham took, but that's not what you're talking about, as there was really no evidence to the contrary.

Yes, I suppose we have 3 subtypes so far: (1) eyes-closed faith, (2) faith with no evidence either way, or with conflicting evidence, and (3) faith with evidence to the contrary. :-)

> Regarding "damn-the-evidence" faith, think of this. Are those who believe the emperor is not naked (which he clearly is) but is instead wearing clothing made of a special cloth exhibiting pure faith? Or are they misguided?

"Pure" faith that others consider misguided?

> as far as I'm concerned, no one can prove there is NO god. And that means religion is not "damn the evidence" faith.

So the question is whether there's evidence that there's no god? Beats me, now you're out of my area of expertise. :-)

Bob

 

Re: classification of types of faith

Posted by BeardedLady on October 19, 2002, at 7:51:19

In reply to Re: classification of types of faith, posted by Dr. Bob on October 18, 2002, at 22:21:40

> > Regarding "damn-the-evidence" faith, think of this. Are those who believe the emperor is not naked (which he clearly is) but is instead wearing clothing made of a special cloth exhibiting pure faith? Or are they misguided?
>
> "Pure" faith that others consider misguided?

Well, not really. If the emperor's naked and folks have faith that the person who told them he was clothed was telling the truth, isn't that misguided, since the truth is...

Okay, better with this: two plus two is not three, no matter how much faith you have that it is.

So it's not simply misguided to others, is it?

> So the question is whether there's evidence that there's no god? Beats me, now you're out of my area of expertise. :-)

Oh, yeah. Outta mine, too!

beardy

 

Re: classification of types of faith

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 20, 2002, at 17:15:04

In reply to Re: classification of types of faith, posted by BeardedLady on October 19, 2002, at 7:51:19

> Okay, better with this: two plus two is not three, no matter how much faith you have that it is.

OK, you got me there. :-)

Bob

 

Re: Agreement or Confutation » Dr. Bob

Posted by IsoM on October 21, 2002, at 15:42:11

In reply to Re: Agreement or Confutation, posted by Dr. Bob on October 18, 2002, at 11:25:38

Back to the discussion but I won't stay long.

There's diff ways to view the definition of faith. All I wanted to have made known that for those who value logic, rational thinking processes, empirical evidence, & credibility (in short, a scientific view), faith does NOT have to be a dirty word. It doesn't have to mean closing your eyes to truth & facts. It doesn't mean having to suspend reason. And it doesn't mean that one needs "blind" faith. It means looking at & gathering the available evidence & basing your faith on that without ignoring other evidence.

If someone wishes to believe what's incredulous to me because it 'feels right' to them, that's fine. But I don't wish to see just that one view of faith as defining all of what faith SHOULD define. That's why in my first post, I wrote what the actual Bible's definition of faith meant & that it can be quite different from what most people think of when they hear the word 'faith'.

"You can fool some of the people, all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." Eventually, the truth will be known & that which is false will be discarded. Endless debates that go nowhere are tiresome (not that I'm implying by that that it was a bother though). I have nothing more to say.

 

Re: Agreement or Confutation » IsoM

Posted by Lou Pilder on October 21, 2002, at 15:59:48

In reply to Re: Agreement or Confutation » Dr. Bob, posted by IsoM on October 21, 2002, at 15:42:11

ISO M,
Thank you for your contribution to this discussion. I agree with you that faith , as the bible states it, and could be much different from what most people think of when they hear the word "faith".
I am not a bible student, but I have a friend that I consider to have a true bible faith. He says that the bible says that bible faith means that a person's life will exibit what the bible says to do. He says that unless a person's life shows that the person puts forth the things that the bible says one will be blessed for, then that person's faith is considered to be a dead faith. He says that faith must be a Living Faith. One that shows that you are a believer in what the bible says to do. Then he cited a verse from the book of James to me , which was, "Faith without works is dead." Could you tell me if this is something that you are refering to when you talk about your beleif of what bible faith is or is your understanding different from what I have describe from what my bible believing friend said? If you could tell me that, then I could have a better understanding of what bible faih is and be better able to participate in this discussion.
Thanks again for your contribution to this thread.
Lou

 

Re: Agreement or Confutation » Lou Pilder

Posted by IsoM on October 21, 2002, at 17:33:38

In reply to Re: Agreement or Confutation » IsoM, posted by Lou Pilder on October 21, 2002, at 15:59:48

I don't mind answering your question, Lou, but have no wish to further discuss matters in this forum. I agree with Dinah that I'd rather not discuss my views in forums. It's hardly the best medium for a truly meaningful discussion. So I'm answering your current question but I'd prefer not to continue the discussion & won't be answering further questions from anyone.

Yes, in James, it does say that "faith without works is dead". It's pretty obvious. If a research hospital stated that it has had a cure for a certain disease for a number of years now but had no examples of anyone being treated & cured, it would be a groundless claim. Genuine faith (as defined in the Bible - I'm not talking of other definitions of faith) requires understanding & knowledge of the Bible, understanding of the evidence plus true heart-felt appreciation of what this evidence points to. While faith requires sound reasoning processes & the use of logic, it's not something reserved for the highly intelligent or highly educated only. Knowledge is needed for genuine faith but faith is something that comes from an appreciative heart. (Rom. 10:10 "for with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness...")

Believing something to be true is not the same as exercising faith. The word 'exercise' implies that there's some sort of action with regard to faith. In James 2: 19, it says that the demons believe in God but shudder. Verse 20 goes on to say that faith apart from works is empty. James' comments were directed to those who thought they could earn "righteousness" by lots of good works. He told them it was important, but so was faith. The two work hand-in-hand, not separately from each other.

Something that I bear in mind is no one is perfect no matter how hard they might try. We all makes mistakes, slips, errors, if not always in action, at least in thought. The word sin in the Bible (Hebrew -chat-ta'th'; Greek - ha-mar-ti'a) simply means to miss a mark or goal. These word forms have also been used to describe when a person throws a spear or shoots an arrow & doesn't hit the target directly on. Hence, the words at I John 1:8 saying that if anyone says he's without sin, he's misleading himself. We ALL miss the mark of perfection, of achieving what we would hope to fully be.

So I don't browbeat myself over the normal everyday mistakes one makes, but do try to do better. And I make sure that mistakes don't become entrenched into patterns of 'oracticing' something that's wrong. But we can't 'earn' righteousness.

I'm also aware of another scripture that says (James 4:17) that "if one knows how to do what is right & yet does not do it, it is a sin for him." I think most would agree to that. If we had the means to help, or to do what is right, but didn't, it's wrong. It would be a sin. How much would someone think of another if that person stood & watched a neighbour's house burn without calling the fire department or running & banging on their front door - anything that might help. But if another was to see the same fire & want to help but were crippled, lying in bed helpless, not rushing to help isn't a sin for them.

I do my best to practice what I believe without being self-righteous (& I try to keep a mental check to not act as such) - I try to give to my faith, works. Sorry, Lou, forums aren't suitable for discussions of this sort. I won't bother posting here more. No one's been rude or such, I just don't wish to continue, but did answer your question.

 

Re: Agreement or Confutation » IsoM

Posted by Lou Pilder on October 21, 2002, at 18:48:53

In reply to Re: Agreement or Confutation » Lou Pilder, posted by IsoM on October 21, 2002, at 17:33:38

ISO M,
Thank you for your reply to my post. I like what you said about "hearts". If you change your mind to want to return to this discussion, could you talk about "hearts"?
A man once told me that when you are down to seek the Lord your God and you shall find Him if you seek Him wih all your Heart and all your soul.
Lou

 

Re: Agreement or Confutation

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 21, 2002, at 21:53:08

In reply to Re: Agreement or Confutation » Dr. Bob, posted by IsoM on October 21, 2002, at 15:42:11

> There's diff ways to view the definition of faith. All I wanted to have made known that for those who value logic, rational thinking processes, empirical evidence, & credibility (in short, a scientific view), faith does NOT have to be a dirty word. It doesn't have to mean closing your eyes to truth & facts. It doesn't mean having to suspend reason. And it doesn't mean that one needs "blind" faith. It means looking at & gathering the available evidence & basing your faith on that without ignoring other evidence.

As I said before, thanks for this different point of view. I agree.

> If someone wishes to believe what's incredulous to me because it 'feels right' to them, that's fine. But I don't wish to see just that one view of faith as defining all of what faith SHOULD define. That's why in my first post, I wrote what the actual Bible's definition of faith meant & that it can be quite different from what most people think of when they hear the word 'faith'.

I would just add that what seems to you like "feeling right" may be to them "rational thinking processes". And the Bible's definition of faith shouldn't be the only one, and suspending reason doesn't have to be a dirty word, either.

Bob

 

Dinah, sunday school Re: Agreement or Confutation

Posted by snood on October 24, 2002, at 0:14:50

In reply to Re: Agreement or Confutation » IsoM, posted by Dinah on October 18, 2002, at 8:43:15

I'm not sure why but I just had to give MHO, so, here goes.....

I find it interesting that people who teach that mental illness can be overcome by prayer, do not seem to have any mental illness at all. My mother told me recently that my depression can be healed, and that she would pray that God would heal me. She also doesn't understand it, and that I should just get over it. I tried explaining it to her, and that's when she said I had to believe that God would heal me. Do I need healing? I don't think so. I think that God gave me depression, anxiety, and ADD as a way to make my faith stronger, and a "special" way of learning the bible and about life in general.

It also helps me so much, that my Pastor is also taking AD's, and so is his wife. He totally believes that depression, and any other mental illness, should be treated. He also believes that cancer, diabetes, etc. needs to be treated. All are diseases, and, no, God is not punishing us for any sin by giving us these health problems.

Sorry to hear that your church is teaching this to it's members. It's like the church is saying "Feel even more ashamed for having OCD, Depression...etc." You really should have taken this up with your pastor, and let him know why you've been skipping sunday school. Faith is one thing, but reasoning is another. Without knowledge, or even seeking out what the bible truly says on any given topic, one can not have reasoning. We have to have some level of reasoning to have faith (or at least I do).


> (I must be honest, IsoM. While I have no problems with the beliefs of anyone, as long as they don't cause anyone any harm, I do have problems with direct encounters with blind faith where I'm expected to agree with it. I just bought my new Sunday School study book, and it seems to suggest that mental illness can be overcome by prayer and that anyone unable to overcome, say, fear (including one overt example of OCD) by prayer and faith was sinful, since God told us directly not to fear. I checked with my husband to make sure my perception of the book was accurate, then decided to skip Sunday School for a couple of months. There are many in my class who find great comfort in faith without reason, but I'd find myself challenging their faith if I showed up for these classes, and I have no real desire to do that. Well, not too much anyway.)

Also, challenging them on this topic, would not be a challenge to their faith. We are called to question other christian's beliefs when we don't agree with theirs, and help them and/or us to gain knowledge and understanding of God's word. It actually makes faith in God and the bible stronger. Aren't we also called to gain knowledge? Somewhere in Proverbs, I think....

Like I said this is JMHO, and I don't mean to offend anyone. I think that every person should believe in whatever they want.....besides, who am I to say that one religion or belief system is inferior to mine...that's not what I'm saying.
I feel I won't know if my faith, or someone else's faith was the right faith, until I can ask God personally.

 

Re: Dinah, sunday school Re: Agreement or Confutation » snood

Posted by Dinah on October 24, 2002, at 2:34:19

In reply to Dinah, sunday school Re: Agreement or Confutation, posted by snood on October 24, 2002, at 0:14:50

Ummm. Well, actually I decided to go to one class after being unable to reach the class leader by phone. To her credit, she backed off the sin aspect of the class materials, defining sin as just being an impediment to being as close to God as we can be. I was ok with that as I know that sometimes when I'm not at my best, I don't feel as close to God as I could.

But it didn't seem right somehow to let the whole thing pass unmentioned. So I pointed out that the book was giving some pretty clear examples of classic presentations of real mental illness. And that it was often an added burden to those suffering already to be told that they can be cured by faith alone, since the implication is that they just aren't trying hard enough or their faith is not strong enough. The last thing we need is more guilt. I also pointed to an example or two in the first chapter of problems that would benefit from medication and CBT in addition to faith. And I also listened politely to the presentation of the lesson. At the end, I quietly gave my book to someone who hadn't got one yet.

I'm not sure if I explained how I felt in such a way that it was understood. I may bave just confirmed their view of me as somewhat odd, and a bit contentious. But it didn't seem right somehow to say nothing.

I'm sure that with debate and the narrowing of definitions and agreement on disclaimers, we could have come to a meeting of the minds, as the class leader is not an unreasonable woman. But that just seemed too disruptive to the class members.

 

Re: Beliefs about God » Lou Pilder

Posted by IsoM on October 25, 2002, at 14:23:06

In reply to Re: Agreement or Confutation » IsoM, posted by Lou Pilder on October 21, 2002, at 18:48:53

Seeing that you like things clarified, Lou, & you often ask for further clarification, I'd like to point something out. You hadn't asked anything about this but I feel you may be interested to understand what I meant. It’s not written to continue discussions (though, of course, you may wish to write something on what I’ve written). No slur or insult intended.

At http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7886.html
you wrote " the Christians can say on this board that [Jesus became their salvation for all those that Obey Him]" Because you used the pronoun 'she' & paraphrased the above, you're probably thinking of my beliefs & views. You wrote that your belief "is founded on that I should have one God and no others before him."

At Isaiah 43:11, it reads in part "... that you may know & have faith in me, & that you may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, & after me there continued to be none." [New World translation]
And at Malachi 3:6, it says “For I [am] Jehovah, I have not changed.” [Young’s Literal translation]

Now I find it hard to believe that the God who created the universe & then went on to reveal Himself to Abraham, Moses, the prophets & all up to the time of Jesus, did a reversal & revealed Himself to be a different God to the 1st century Christians. If for an immensely vast time period prior, He hadn’t changed, it seems highly unlikely (in my view) that He would be different in the 1st century.

What am I saying? That the God of the Jews back in ancient Israel is the same God of the early Christians & is the same God I worship. I also believe that I should have no other Gods before me – that there is only one true God. [DISCLAIMER: notice that I’m saying it’s what “I” believe.]

I’m writing this as it seems (to my reading) that you think that there may be a difference in what my understanding of who God is. I wish to clarify this point for you, nothing more. If this all sounds so stilted, it’s because I’m trying my best to stay within Bob’s ‘new & improved’ guidelines for posting. I hope I have. I hate being this wordy & apologize for any who might read this.

 

Re: Beliefs about God » IsoM

Posted by Lou Pilder on October 25, 2002, at 14:59:21

In reply to Re: Beliefs about God » Lou Pilder, posted by IsoM on October 25, 2002, at 14:23:06

IsoM,
Thank you for your wonderfull post. It is refreshing to hear that there is another that beleives that they should have no other God before them.
You see, your Word of God is your bible. It is the Written Word of God in your faith. But it becaomes to you A Living Word and you put it into your life, and that is wonderfull. Your Word becomes spitually decerned to you and that is wonderfull. In my experiance, the Rider is The Word of God. He is the spiritual Word, The Logos of God, God's intellegance which is speech. It is the same Word that you read in your bible. We beleive in the same Word. I am mostly deaf, and I have a condition that disables me from reading and writing well. So I am one of those people that can not read the bible, so the Word comes to me differently. So I am different from others and we are all different. The Word came to me in an incredible experiance and I want to share my experiance with you and others just as you have shared yours with me. That is all that I am asking here.
Lou

 

Re: Word of God » Lou Pilder

Posted by IsoM on October 25, 2002, at 16:58:03

In reply to Re: Beliefs about God » IsoM, posted by Lou Pilder on October 25, 2002, at 14:59:21

Okay, further clarification - sometimes I think this could go on forever. But because you wrote "You see, your Word of God is your bible. It is the Written Word of God in your faith. But it becaomes to you A Living Word", I've got to set you straight about something, though I think you've basically got the right idea.

You're misinterpreting what I've said. Yes, I do believe in the Bible. Yes, it's referred to as the word of God, in the sense it's communication to us (me) in a written form. But it doesn't become "A Living Word". Okay, at Hebrews 4:12, it reads "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." [New American Standard translation]
So, in a 'sense', the Bible is alive but not in the sense of capitalizing the words as if it were a tangible living creature of some sort.

John 1:1 refers to Jesus as the Word (capitalized) or Logos (the Greek form of 'word'). According to the Bible & my view [another disclaimer here folks, okay?], Jesus was called the Word because he spoke what was strictly God's views (check over John 12:50 - "I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.")
He relayed God's words to Mankind. Thus Word (capitalized) is personified to refer to Jesus.

In Proverbs 8:22-31, wisdom is personified too. Here the word wisdom becomes Wisdom (capitalized). It's pretty long here to quote & if anyone wants to read it, it can be found easily.

So - clarification: for ME, the Word is God's Son, & the written word is the Bible.

 

Re: Word of God » IsoM

Posted by Lou Pilder on October 25, 2002, at 17:17:03

In reply to Re: Word of God » Lou Pilder, posted by IsoM on October 25, 2002, at 16:58:03

IsoM,
I like that you and I have some agreement. I have never met a person that we agreed perfectly with each other.
It appears that you have a deep knowledge of the things about God. You are correct when you said this could go on , and on.
But I must say goodbye, for I feel that this board is not for me to be on any longer. The resistance is too great for me to handle and I need to leave for my health's sake.
Shalom my friends,
Lou

 

Re: Shalom, Lou.

Posted by Dinah on October 25, 2002, at 17:32:42

In reply to Re: Word of God » IsoM, posted by Lou Pilder on October 25, 2002, at 17:17:03

It's important to do what is best for you and your health. Take care, Lou.

Dinah

 

Re: Word of God » IsoM

Posted by Dinah on October 25, 2002, at 17:36:10

In reply to Re: Word of God » Lou Pilder, posted by IsoM on October 25, 2002, at 16:58:03

IsoM,

I have always felt rather isolated in my beliefs. But what you write about your beliefs is pretty much what I believe as well, although you've stated it much better. Thank you for expressing yourself so well. It makes me feel less of a faith misfit, and it may help me discuss my beliefs better, too.

Dinah

 

Re: Word of God » Dinah

Posted by IsoM on October 25, 2002, at 17:57:26

In reply to Re: Word of God » IsoM, posted by Dinah on October 25, 2002, at 17:36:10

I guess then my my post did fit Bob's guidelines then if you felt supported. Glad to hear that!

It's difficult to do this balancing act & I don't plan on posting here really. But I appreciate that my post (as far as I know) hasn't hurt anyone but helped you a bit instead. I try to temper my reason & logic with feeling & vice versa. And while I'm happy with the balance in my life, it may not suit all that many.

 

Re: Word of God

Posted by kid a on October 25, 2002, at 19:33:26

In reply to Re: Word of God » IsoM, posted by Lou Pilder on October 25, 2002, at 17:17:03

>But I must say goodbye, for I feel that this board is not for me to be on any longer. The resistance is too great for me to handle and I need to leave for my health's sake.

Remember Lou, the doors to heaven and hell are identical and unmarked. And the devil crushes the likes of Brutus in his gossamer maw... The suicides get picked apart by the harpies to talk just a littlle, the lusty are tossed to and fro for their lifes triffles...

Everything is not as it seems.

God is dead.

 

Actually...

Posted by SandraDee on October 26, 2002, at 11:15:27

In reply to Re: Word of God, posted by kid a on October 25, 2002, at 19:33:26

In an email I just sent to the good Dr. yesterday - I was saying how I am glad everyone has a chance to post what they want to post - without putting another's beliefs down. Of course, other things were said which is why I sent it in an email rather than posting it. I'm sorry that Lou feels he has to go, but also understand that he feels it would be healthier to do so. I don't mind Lou posting overall. I don't see that I was out of line posting about the trinity, for I also believe there is only ONE God. Farewell Lou, and peace be with you.

 

Re: blocked for 2 weeks » kid a

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 26, 2002, at 12:49:15

In reply to Re: Word of God, posted by kid a on October 25, 2002, at 19:33:26

> God is dead.

Please respect the views of others and be sensitive to their feelings. The last time I blocked you from posting it was for 1 week, so this time it's for 2.

Bob

PS: Follow-ups regarding posting policies, and complaints about posts, should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration, thanks.

 

Re: Ever heard of a guy named Nietzsche? » Dr. Bob

Posted by Zo on October 27, 2002, at 8:22:48

In reply to Re: blocked for 2 weeks » kid a, posted by Dr. Bob on October 26, 2002, at 12:49:15


Just wondering.

Zo

 

I thought that issue had already been addressed? (nm) » Zo

Posted by Dinah on October 27, 2002, at 9:52:19

In reply to Re: Ever heard of a guy named Nietzsche? » Dr. Bob, posted by Zo on October 27, 2002, at 8:22:48

 

Re: yes (nm) » Zo

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 27, 2002, at 23:01:54

In reply to Re: Ever heard of a guy named Nietzsche? » Dr. Bob, posted by Zo on October 27, 2002, at 8:22:48

 

Intolerence, Naive Realism, etc.(btw, it was Kant) » FredPotter

Posted by fachad on October 28, 2002, at 20:15:08

In reply to Re: Lou's response to Liz's post: an example » fachad, posted by FredPotter on October 17, 2002, at 0:05:37

> Fachad I thought Galileo said, "It still moves" meaning the Earth.

You are right on the Galileo reference. I was just on a roll and going from memory.

>But it's not just that organized religion uses faith to get things wrong, but that its adherents are so horribly cruel to anyone who dares to disagree. I think that is what is so very, very bad about organized religion, particularly, it would seem, Christianity.

Yes, that is my big beef with dogmatic religion. And yes, historically, Christianity has been one of the biggest offenders. Not because it is any worse (or any better) than others, but because of accidents of history that gave it more power to enforce it's intolerance and inflict cruelty.

> However I think we should watch we don't get too naive about this "reality" business. Let's keep in mind Kant's (or was it Plato's?) distinction between Phenomenal and Noumenal.

It was Kant, in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781).

I was never advocating naive realism in the philosophical sense. I was speaking in the practical context of ordinary discourse.

To make the distinction clear, take the example of the solidity of a marble table. I may say it is solid, but a theoretical physicist may interject that it is not really solid; it has more empty space than solid matter. He may even tell me that there is no such thing as solid matter, and show elaborate equations as proofs.

But - if you smack you head against it - you will find that it does hurt, will leave a mark, and it's perfectly appropriate to say "it is solid".

In the same way philosophers try to make exact, technical descriptions of concepts like "truth", "reality", "knowledge" and find them problematic, more so since Kant. But in the ordinary sense, and from the practical standpoint that we use to conduct our lives, it's fair to say that something is "true" if it corresponds to what is "real".


> Fachad I thought Galileo said, "It still moves" meaning the Earth. Anyway he was a great and brave man. I agree with you basically. But it's not just that organised religion uses faith to get things wrong, but that its adherents are so horribly cruel to anyone who dares to disagree. I think that is what is so very, very bad about organised religion, particularly, it would seem, Christianity.
>
> However I think we should watch we don't get too naive about this "reality" business. Let's keep in mind Kant's (or was it Plato's?) distinction between Phenomenal and Noumenal
>
> Peace
>
> Fred

 

Re: I simply don't believe you. (nm) » Dr. Bob

Posted by Zo on October 29, 2002, at 4:24:54

In reply to Re: yes (nm) » Zo, posted by Dr. Bob on October 27, 2002, at 23:01:54


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