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Old 04-22-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
It really depends on how you use the word believe. If I say I believe there's life on other planets, it doesn't mean I'm sure. It just means I have some reason to lean in that direction. And now I need to prove it to myself or wait for someone else to prove it. But when people say they have faith in something such as God, what they usually mean is that they have no doubts.
Agreed. In scientific terms, "I believe there is life on other planets" = I think so but do not have conclusive evidence (yet). In religious use however, "I believe God rewards believers" = I have no doubt.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
What you just described is NOT faith. If I suspect that the Earth is round, that's not the same as saying I have faith that the Earth is round. One doesn't have to have faith in something before running an experiment to prove it. Fermi did not have faith that atoms existed. He merely suspected that they did and then conducted experiments to prove it.
Columbus had faith the world was round. Either that, or he was the world's greatest fool.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
It really depends on how you use the word believe. If I say I believe there's life on other planets, it doesn't mean I'm sure. It just means I have some reason to lean in that direction. And now I need to prove it to myself or wait for someone else to prove it. But when people say they have faith in something such as God, what they usually mean is that they have no doubts.
Only for people without an inquisitive mind, the same as those who were "sure" the sun revolved around the earth.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Columbus had faith the world was round. Either that, or he was the world's greatest fool.
Columbus didn't have faith the Earth was round -- he knew it, just as did all people of that time. You do know that people during Columbus's time didn't actually believe the Earth was flat, right?
The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Only for people without an inquisitive mind, the same as those who were "sure" the sun revolved around the earth.
The only people who were "sure" the sun revolved around the Earth were those who had faith in a geocentric model, mainly derived from the religious idea that we are the center of the universe. When actual observations and evidence suggested otherwise, those with faith, those who were "sure" the Earth was at the center, tried to suppress it.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post

That's not my argument. My question deals with understanding WHY people appeal to a higher authority. Liberals don't look to government as a higher authority. They simply expect government to protect the people it answers to. So if a company dumps a bunch of oil into the ocean, they expect government to punish the company that did so. If an industry misleads the public into thinking their product is safe when it isn't, they expect the government to step in. If the private sector doesn't want to provide health insurance to certain people because they're high risk, then they want government to help fill that gap. What we don't want is government telling us who we can and cannot marry.
That's no different than Christians appealing to the Bible or neocons turning to a strong executive branch. Liberals are turning to the government to address various issues, whether it's health care, energy, education, etc. Your argument about religious conservatives can easily apply to liberals. Now of course I don't think political, economic, and social views are always dictated by spiritualism, I'm just rolling with the argument you've put forth.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
Columbus didn't have faith the Earth was round -- he knew it, just as did all people of that time. You do know that people during Columbus's time didn't actually believe the Earth was flat, right?
The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus

No, I didn't know that, but it makes no difference anyhow. Whomever was the first one to set out to prove his theory of a round earth, he either had confidence in his theory or he was a fool.

The point is that he based his convictions upon something outside himself, some evidence to suggest there was more out there than supposed, whether he was right or wrong. He was still basing his actions upon some "higher" authority, someone or something he believed knew more than him.

Whether that thing is God or science or whatever it is in which we place our trust, we all do it all the time. It's human nature.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:29 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,975,384 times
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Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Columbus had faith the world was round. Either that, or he was the world's greatest fool.
Good grief!!!! Every school kid learns that Columbus was merely looking for a better trade route to the Indies. No one was aware that the American continent was in the way.

At least kids that go to schools that teach factual history. Home schooled? Church based schooled?
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:13 AM
 
8,680 posts, read 13,309,781 times
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Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Now I'm not interested in discussing the flaws in supply-side economics or the roll of government. My question runs much deeper than that. Why do you think some people need to appeal to a higher authority? Where does this need come from? It seems to me there's a certain personality that's prone to thinking this way and perhaps that explains why some of us are liberal atheists and others are Christian conservatives. Suppose that the belief in the almighty is driven by fear, in this case fear of the unknown. It's scary for some people to think we're all alone out here, that there isn't someone looking out for us. And maybe this spills over into how they view the economy or government. Uncertainty is difficult for many people to cope with so it makes sense that they might want to look to someone or something else for answers. But as we've seen throughout history, there are no shortage of people willing to take advantage of those fears.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.
My thoughts are that you've answered your own question with the part I underlined. That was the conclusion a number of people came to in my ex-hub's undergrad course in evolutionary biology, too. They got to talking about the challenges they would face as biology teachers, which led to a discussion of how to handle proponents of "intelligent design," which led to an attempt to understand how such people think, which led to the conclusion they share with you.

Way I see it, it's on me to give my life meaning and do what is right for the sake of doing right, not because someone else told me to or because I'm afraid of punishment. There is no "why," as in "why are we here?" There is no real "reason for being" except that which we give ourselves. It is far better to succeed or fail on my own than attribute it to anyone else. When I figured that out, it was the most liberating day of my life. Higher power? We don't need no stinkin' higher power!
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by Yzette View Post
My thoughts are that you've answered your own question with the part I underlined. That was the conclusion a number of people came to in my ex-hub's undergrad course in evolutionary biology, too. They got to talking about the challenges they would face as biology teachers, which led to a discussion of how to handle proponents of "intelligent design," which led to an attempt to understand how such people think, which led to the conclusion they share with you.

Way I see it, it's on me to give my life meaning and do what is right for the sake of doing right, not because someone else told me to or because I'm afraid of punishment. There is no "why," as in "why are we here?" There is no real "reason for being" except that which we give ourselves. It is far better to succeed or fail on my own than attribute it to anyone else. When I figured that out, it was the most liberating day of my life. Higher power? We don't need no stinkin' higher power!

I don't know how old you are, but I've known a lot of people who lived their whole lives with that opinion, then got near the end of the road, looked back and said, "What the hell was that all about?"

Purpose in life seems to become more imporant upon reflection from the vantage point of old age and opinions change. Don't be surprised if yours does too.
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