U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-07-2019, 12:18 PM
 
125 posts, read 23,268 times
Reputation: 49

Advertisements

Discussions of faith on religion forums always seem to result in confusion. Another active thread exemplifies this confusion. Many seem to think faith is some unique “religious thing” believers must defend.

If I climb onto a 30-foot ladder to fix my roof, I’m placing faith in the ladder. The unknown is “Will this ladder hold me?”

If I know nothing about the ladder, this is blind faith. If I know the history of the ladder and inspect it carefully, I’ll have an informed faith and probably a strong conviction but still can’t know to a certainty it won’t collapse.

Religious faith is no different in substance from this. It’s different only in degree. At least I can be sure the ladder exists. With religious faith, the threshold question is whether the ladder (God) exists at all. (A comparable situation would exist if I were blindfolded and trusting someone's word that I was climbing onto a ladder and not stepping into a 30-foot pit. Here my faith would be in the person - hopefully someone I know and trust!)

All anyone can do is exercise all possible due diligence in deciding whether any God exists. I decide what constitutes the best evidence and arguments and then reason my way to a position, yes or no. Belief can be as informed and rational as unbelief, although the believer and unbeliever may strongly disagree. Belief can also be as uninformed and irrational as unbelief.

Merely answering yes or no to the question of God's existence has no real consequences. If I haven’t exercised much diligence, my yes or no may be a very tentative one that doesn’t cause me to act upon it. Even if I have exercised all possible diligence, I may not think the position I’ve reached has any real bearing on my life (for example, deists believe God is a distant and disinterested being). In either case I’ve simply reached an abstract intellectual position.

If I have a strong enough conviction, I'll demonstrate my faith by how I live – as though there is a God or as though there isn’t a God. I'll step onto the ladder of belief or unbelief and begin the climb.

For an unbeliever, nothing further is required. She can simply live as though there is no God (while hopefully continuing to exercise diligence in keeping abreast of new evidence and arguments that might change her mind).

The believer, however, faces secondary questions: Who or what is this God? Does this God have anything to do with my life? Am I going to have to answer to this God?

The believer now has a new area in which all possible due diligence is required: evaluating the best evidence and arguments for particular religions and deciding which one (if any) most closely approximates the Truth. Having done this, she steps from the first ladder (belief in God) onto a second (belief in the God of Christianity, for example). She demonstrates her faith by living as though Christianity were true.

In short, faith isn’t some unqiue “religious thing.” Believers and atheists both have faith in their positions, at least if they live in accordance with their beliefs. Religious faith is inherently no more or less rational than atheistic faith. The only real basis for disagreement is over what constitutes the best evidence and arguments, which is what serious believers and atheists actually do argue about.

(I’m ignoring for purposes of this discussion the fact that many believers including me insist they have experienced God and thus “know” that unbelievers are wrong. This experience carries no weight with anyone other than the person who has experienced it.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-07-2019, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
5,846 posts, read 5,686,247 times
Reputation: 5099
Interesting post and thread topic. Thank you.

All I can add is that faith without ladderclimbing is dead.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 01:01 PM
 
Location: USA
3,286 posts, read 1,135,183 times
Reputation: 959
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerfball View Post
Discussions of faith on religion forums always seem to result in confusion. Another active thread exemplifies this confusion. Many seem to think faith is some unique “religious thing” believers must defend.

If I climb onto a 30-foot ladder to fix my roof, I’m placing faith in the ladder. The unknown is “Will this ladder hold me?”

If I know nothing about the ladder, this is blind faith. If I know the history of the ladder and inspect it carefully, I’ll have an informed faith and probably a strong conviction but still can’t know to a certainty it won’t collapse.

Religious faith is no different in substance from this. It’s different only in degree. At least I can be sure the ladder exists. With religious faith, the threshold question is whether the ladder (God) exists at all. (A comparable situation would exist if I were blindfolded and trusting someone's word that I was climbing onto a ladder and not stepping into a 30-foot pit. Here my faith would be in the person - hopefully someone I know and trust!)

All anyone can do is exercise all possible due diligence in deciding whether any God exists. I decide what constitutes the best evidence and arguments and then reason my way to a position, yes or no. Belief can be as informed and rational as unbelief, although the believer and unbeliever may strongly disagree. Belief can also be as uninformed and irrational as unbelief.

Merely answering yes or no to the question of God's existence has no real consequences. If I haven’t exercised much diligence, my yes or no may be a very tentative one that doesn’t cause me to act upon it. Even if I have exercised all possible diligence, I may not think the position I’ve reached has any real bearing on my life (for example, deists believe God is a distant and disinterested being). In either case I’ve simply reached an abstract intellectual position.

If I have a strong enough conviction, I'll demonstrate my faith by how I live – as though there is a God or as though there isn’t a God. I'll step onto the ladder of belief or unbelief and begin the climb.

For an unbeliever, nothing further is required. She can simply live as though there is no God (while hopefully continuing to exercise diligence in keeping abreast of new evidence and arguments that might change her mind).

The believer, however, faces secondary questions: Who or what is this God? Does this God have anything to do with my life? Am I going to have to answer to this God?

The believer now has a new area in which all possible due diligence is required: evaluating the best evidence and arguments for particular religions and deciding which one (if any) most closely approximates the Truth. Having done this, she steps from the first ladder (belief in God) onto a second (belief in the God of Christianity, for example). She demonstrates her faith by living as though Christianity were true.

In short, faith isn’t some unqiue “religious thing.” Believers and atheists both have faith in their positions, at least if they live in accordance with their beliefs. Religious faith is inherently no more or less rational than atheistic faith. The only real basis for disagreement is over what constitutes the best evidence and arguments, which is what serious believers and atheists actually do argue about.

(I’m ignoring for purposes of this discussion the fact that many believers including me insist they have experienced God and thus “know” that unbelievers are wrong. This experience carries no weight with anyone other than the person who has experienced it.)
If you place a ladder against the wall of your home and use it to climb up the the second story roof, that is not faith, because the ladder has a physical reality which can be physically tested. Climbing the ladder involves a certain amount of risk certainly. Because something unexpected could happen. But accidents are unexpected by definition. And life is an ongoing series of risks which require us to evaluate the probable outcome. On the other hand, if you imagine a ladder, and then attempt to climb down from the roof of your house on your imaginary ladder based on your "faith" that the imaginary ladder has physical properties which will sustain you... that is simple stupidity. Rather like going to an island inhabited by known hostile natives, based on your "faith" the God will protect you. Or attempting to cross a crocodile infested river based on your "faith" that God will enable you to walk on water.

Pastor EATEN by crocodiles trying to walk on water

Jonathan Mthethwa was killed by three crocodiles as he carried out a religious demonstration in Zimbabwe.

Shocked witnesses said the clergyman had “prayed the whole week” before the stunt went tragically wrong.

He had also fasted in the lead-up to the attempted miracle, which was inspired by a Biblical tale of Jesus walking on water during a storm.

Horrified members of the Saint of the Last Days Church said the pastor was completely devoured in a “couple of minutes”.

He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten

He had waded around 30 metres into what was known locally as 'Crocodile River'. At this point he had promised his congregation he would rise up above the water.

Instead he was brutally attacked by a group of crocodiles who had been hidden in the deep water.

Deacon Nkosi said: “The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week.

“He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by three large crocodiles in front of us.


The attack occurred when the pastor was attempting to walk on water
“We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.”

He said his death was quick and brutal.

Mr Nkosi said: “They finished him in a couple of minutes.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world...athan-Mthethwa

Thus is faith in Darwin sustained.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
13,444 posts, read 11,134,949 times
Reputation: 15267
Good topic and orig post.
Years ago I practiced having a bit of faith...like working out with small weights...that 'muscle'
of faith increased all the time.
It turned into understanding, then knowing how this place works...ya know, the basics, the classic:
What you sow you reap.

It's like a Law...you drop a spoon, it falls.
You believe and know you will get the job, you do.

You expect something to come your way, it comes.
You plant corn, you get corn, not tomatoes.
You believe you're a loser, and you are.

Faith or belief or knowing or asking or demanding or commanding are all powers. Call them what you will: mental, universal, will power, spiritual...doesn't matter...atheists have as much power as anyone.
(Also powerful are doubt, fear, anger, and worry. Just sayin'...)

Life is similar to a boomerang. This is why we must keep close watch on our thoughts.
Very powerful!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 01:46 PM
 
10,069 posts, read 14,393,605 times
Reputation: 11055
Believers and atheists both have faith in their positions, at least if they live in accordance with their beliefs.



Yes, I said this many times before. They are both pinned to the same pole, back to back, with that pole being god. One claims there is god, one claims there is no god, both have god as their aim of thinking.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 03:57 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
10,550 posts, read 10,567,265 times
Reputation: 7066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of the Nonsense View Post
If you place a ladder against the wall of your home and use it to climb up the the second story roof, that is not faith, because the ladder has a physical reality which can be physically tested. Climbing the ladder involves a certain amount of risk certainly. Because something unexpected could happen. But accidents are unexpected by definition. And life is an ongoing series of risks which require us to evaluate the probable outcome. On the other hand, if you imagine a ladder, and then attempt to climb down from the roof of your house on your imaginary ladder based on your "faith" that the imaginary ladder has physical properties which will sustain you... that is simple stupidity. Rather like going to an island inhabited by known hostile natives, based on your "faith" the God will protect you. Or attempting to cross a crocodile infested river based on your "faith" that God will enable you to walk on water.

Pastor EATEN by crocodiles trying to walk on water

Jonathan Mthethwa was killed by three crocodiles as he carried out a religious demonstration in Zimbabwe.

Shocked witnesses said the clergyman had “prayed the whole week” before the stunt went tragically wrong.

He had also fasted in the lead-up to the attempted miracle, which was inspired by a Biblical tale of Jesus walking on water during a storm.

Horrified members of the Saint of the Last Days Church said the pastor was completely devoured in a “couple of minutes”.

He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten

He had waded around 30 metres into what was known locally as 'Crocodile River'. At this point he had promised his congregation he would rise up above the water.

Instead he was brutally attacked by a group of crocodiles who had been hidden in the deep water.

Deacon Nkosi said: “The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week.

“He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by three large crocodiles in front of us.


The attack occurred when the pastor was attempting to walk on water
“We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.”

He said his death was quick and brutal.

Mr Nkosi said: “They finished him in a couple of minutes.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world...athan-Mthethwa

Thus is faith in Darwin sustained.
Do you recall if the crocodile dinner was awarded a Darwin Award? It sound like he earned one just as much as the North Sentinel Island missionary.
__________________
Moderator posts are in RED.
City-Data Terms of Service: http://www.city-data.com/terms.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 04:00 PM
 
125 posts, read 23,268 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of the Nonsense View Post
If you place a ladder against the wall of your home and use it to climb up the the second story roof, that is not faith, because the ladder has a physical reality which can be physically tested. Climbing the ladder involves a certain amount of risk certainly. Because something unexpected could happen. But accidents are unexpected by definition. And life is an ongoing series of risks which require us to evaluate the probable outcome. On the other hand, if you imagine a ladder, and then attempt to climb down from the roof of your house on your imaginary ladder based on your "faith" that the imaginary ladder has physical properties which will sustain you... that is simple stupidity. Rather like going to an island inhabited by known hostile natives, based on your "faith" the God will protect you. Or attempting to cross a crocodile infested river based on your "faith" that God will enable you to walk on water.
You can attempt to reframe the ladder analogy as though it were a matter of "risk" rather than "faith." I can reframe the belief issue the same way: the "risk" of living as though there were no God versus the "risk" of living as though there were. (Both do indeed involve risks.)

Stepping onto the ladder to the roof and stepping onto the ladder of belief or unbelief are not inherently different. They both involve an element of faith/risk.

Where you reveal that you don't know what you are talking about is in your reference to an imaginary ladder. I am not being insulting - you quite literally reveal that you don't grasp the epistemological issue.

If the best evidence and arguments together with your best reasoning tell you there is no God, then of course you will believe that the God whom believers worship is imaginary. But the believers have arrived at their beliefs through precisely the same process of analysis and reasoning - and, indeed, the believers' position has been shared by the vast majority of all humans who have ever lived, including the best minds in every academic and scientific discipline. While you dismiss a believer's "imaginary" God, the believer can with equal or greater warrant dismiss your atheistic "fantasy."

It's simply a matter of how you assess the evidence and arguments - this and nothing more. Atheists (as I presume you are) attempt to avoid this reality and short-circuit the debate by suggesting there is something "magical" or "irrational" about religious belief and faith. In so doing, they reveal that they do not even grasp the epistemological issue. To those who do grasp it, they simply make themselves look silly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 04:15 PM
 
3,778 posts, read 1,371,606 times
Reputation: 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of the Nonsense View Post
If you place a ladder against the wall of your home and use it to climb up the the second story roof, that is not faith, because the ladder has a physical reality which can be physically tested. Climbing the ladder involves a certain amount of risk certainly. Because something unexpected could happen. But accidents are unexpected by definition. And life is an ongoing series of risks which require us to evaluate the probable outcome. On the other hand, if you imagine a ladder, and then attempt to climb down from the roof of your house on your imaginary ladder based on your "faith" that the imaginary ladder has physical properties which will sustain you... that is simple stupidity. Rather like going to an island inhabited by known hostile natives, based on your "faith" the God will protect you. Or attempting to cross a crocodile infested river based on your "faith" that God will enable you to walk on water.

Pastor EATEN by crocodiles trying to walk on water

Jonathan Mthethwa was killed by three crocodiles as he carried out a religious demonstration in Zimbabwe.

Shocked witnesses said the clergyman had “prayed the whole week” before the stunt went tragically wrong.

He had also fasted in the lead-up to the attempted miracle, which was inspired by a Biblical tale of Jesus walking on water during a storm.

Horrified members of the Saint of the Last Days Church said the pastor was completely devoured in a “couple of minutes”.

He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten

He had waded around 30 metres into what was known locally as 'Crocodile River'. At this point he had promised his congregation he would rise up above the water.

Instead he was brutally attacked by a group of crocodiles who had been hidden in the deep water.

Deacon Nkosi said: “The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week.

“He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by three large crocodiles in front of us.


The attack occurred when the pastor was attempting to walk on water
“We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.”

He said his death was quick and brutal.

Mr Nkosi said: “They finished him in a couple of minutes.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world...athan-Mthethwa

Thus is faith in Darwin sustained.

Quote:
The believer, however, faces secondary questions: Who or what is this God? Does this God have anything to do with my life? Am I going to have to answer to this God?

The believer now has a new area in which all possible due diligence is required: evaluating the best evidence and arguments for particular religions and deciding which one (if any) most closely approximates the Truth. Having done this, she steps from the first ladder (belief in God) onto a second (belief in the God of Christianity, for example). She demonstrates her faith by living as though Christianity were true.
Please read this little piece in bold text in the OP again. This is the key and you are partially doing it too.

What you stated, sounds like is the result of doing your due diligence, and you seem to have reached to an assertion that "CHRISTIAN FAITH" does not approximate to truth in your opinion - which is fine, *BUT* it does not automatically mean that God does not exist and you have no choice but to become an automatic Atheist.

A bigger question perhaps here is, why would one wants to use the ladder?

It's because the person wants to climb up and reach a certain destination. This is the key!

And we know that not everyone wants to climb up and reach a certain destination and hence they don't need the ladder.

Now, if we translate this scenario into theology and replace ladder with religion and that destination up top as God - and then analyze Atheism, then we may see that many Atheists actually do not have this "want" or this "feel" or this "need" to climb up and reach to a certain destination - so the use of a ladder is meaningless to them.

If you don't feel the need of God's guidance in your life then obviously you don't care about the ladder *BUT* if you had this need and if you had this want to go up, then perhaps you would do your due diligence to find the best ladder that will have the best chances to get you up there.

This example of using the ladder has one major exception though when we put it into perspective of theology - because - in the example of an actual ladder in a real daily life event, you can instantly go up and come back to see the result of your faith in the ladder and finding your destiny.

In case of theology, we cannot instantly find out whether our faith (the ladder) is the best one or not - we have to wait till our time is up, the last curtain falls on our eyes, and probably only then we will know.

Many have gone up using various ladders (religions), but no one has come back to tell us whether their ladder was able to help them reach the right point of their intended destination.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 04:19 PM
 
15,362 posts, read 7,737,748 times
Reputation: 2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
Please read this little piece in bold text in the OP again. This is the key and you are partially doing it too.

What you stated, sounds like is the result of doing your due diligence, and you seem to have reached to an assertion that "CHRISTIAN FAITH" does not approximate to truth in your opinion - which is fine, *BUT* it does not automatically mean that God does not exist and you have no choice but to become an automatic Atheist.

A bigger question perhaps here is, why would one wants to use the ladder?

It's because the person wants to climb up and reach a certain destination. This is the key!

And we know that not everyone wants to climb up and reach a certain destination and hence they don't need the ladder.

Now, if we translate this scenario into theology and replace ladder with religion and that destination up top as God - and then analyze Atheism, then we may see that many Atheists actually do not have this "want" or this "feel" or this "need" to climb up and reach to a certain destination - so the use of a ladder is meaningless to them.

If you don't feel the need of God's guidance in your life then obviously you don't care about the ladder *BUT* if you had this need and if you had this want to up, then perhaps you would do your due diligence to find the best ladder that will have the best chances to get you up there.

This example of using the ladder has one major exception though when we put it into perspective of theology - because - in the example of an actual ladder in a real daily life event, you can instantly go up and come back to see the result of your faith in the ladder and finding your destiny.

In case of theology, we cannot instantly find out whether our faith (the ladder) is the best one or not - we have to wait till our time is up, the last curtain falls on our eyes, and probably only then we will know.

Many have gone up using various ladders (religions), but no one has come back to tell us whether their ladder was able to help them reach the right point of their intended destination
.
This only applies if one assumes the intended destination is a place or state that has to be reached at some point after their physical death.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2019, 04:52 PM
 
3,778 posts, read 1,371,606 times
Reputation: 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
This only applies if one assumes the intended destination is a place or state that has to be reached at some point after their physical death.
correct.

And we also need to do our due diligence to assert that what's the probability of the existence of a destination, and then reaching to it, after our physical death.

As I have stated earlier, we should make wise choices after doing our due diligence because in the end, we may be responsible for our choices.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top