The Circle of Faith:Why Faith is NOT a Good Thing

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posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


TP, Very perceptive...fear was my motivation as a youngster...I don't believe it is my current motivation....Hopefully I grew spiritually and I did physically...

Here's another take on faith...

Background:

I am a follower of Jesus Christ…for over 35yrs

I am a statistician…by trade

I am a believer in the secular-influenced-Lawrence Kolberg, and his theory of Moral Development…built upon Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development…both behavior scientists of the mid 1900’s.

To summarize Kolberg…every decision/perspective/rationale and ultimately BEHAVIOR…is a result of the their PRIMARY stages of development…

Here’s an overview…

Stage 1 – Decisions/perspectives….based on REWARD and PUNISHMENT…this is the most basic (immature)…another way to say it…the ‘stick’ (ruler) or the ‘carrot’ (sweats)…or from a religious perspective…..‘heaven’ and ‘hell.’

Stage 2 – Decisions/perspectives…based on EXTERNAL Influences…another way to say it… “RULES.”

And

Stage 3 – Decisions/perspectives…based on INTERNAL Influences…another way to say… “PRINCIPLES.”

Here’s an example to bring it to life…

“A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife.”

The question to ask…to determine…their (current) stage of development is…

Q - “Should Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?”

A – Stage 1 – “I don’t steal…because I’m afraid of being ‘caught!’

A – Stage 2 – “I don’t steal…because it’s ‘wrong!’

A – Stage 3 – “I don’t steal…because I respect others and their property!” But LIFE is more important…and I’ll pay the price, but a life will be saved!”

Kolberg’s theory is right on, in my book…

His approach, in my mind, is a reflection of the TRUTH documented in the Holy Bible…

Stage 1 – Reward and Punishment – Torah - “...If you eat from this tree, you will surely die…” Genesis 2:16

Stage 2 – Rules - All those old testament commandments…

Stage 3 – Principles – The new testament writers review when the Lord Jesus was asked, “…which is the greatest commandment?” He responded… “…it’s the principle of love…Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor AS YOURSELF.” Matthew 22:36

“ALL the OT rests on this!” Matthew 22:37

By the way, Kolberg explains, that the transitions from one stage to another…is predominantly achieved through asking…”why?” and that’s what ATS stands for!!! So great question TP!!!!

Go Buckeyes!!!!!

OT







posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 05:24 PM
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Now I'm only interested in the truth - good or bad. This opens up your mind to so many options.


Great post - and very true

Someone else posted this quote by Carl Sagan the other day but I thought it was apt:


How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
Carl Sagan


Also ,although this ones a bit strong,I agree with it completely:


"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."
H. L. Mencken






[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


I hate to be one for semantics so I will ask you to please define what you mean by faith in your own words. The shortened summed up into one sentence definition would be great. That way I can accuratly answer your important question. Thanks.



posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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When you pick up a book to read it... the reason you open it is becasue you have 'faith" that it will educate you or entertain.... without that "faith" you would have never picked it up.

You must have faith in something to remeber and learn from it. The only people who remeber their dreams are those who have "faith" in their importance.

The only people who go to higher education... is because they have "faith" that it will improve their lives or someone elses life.

without that faith... what actions would you take?

The meanings behind these words have been lost in much ignorance... luckly i have faith that they can and will be restored.



posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by redled
No there is no faith in modern society.


There's far to much faith, in my opinion.


Originally posted by redled
Being so certain in yourself and not to project onto some reality is also fairly mad.


We're all a little mad. The key is to know and be able to recognize your madness. Only then can you grow.
Faith does not allow this - faith is absolute. Faith has no flaws (in the mind of the Christian), thus no room to grow (except IN the faith).


Originally posted by redled
And deny crap. Every human intepretation has its flaws. Big deal.


Yeah. Big deal. We should just give up right now, accept what we're told by the higher ups, and be done with it.



Originally posted by redled
So there's someone you belive in......


I believe in many people
.



Originally posted by redled
No the whole point is that no one knows. And believers can look down on non-believers and you look down on bleievers. You're the opposite side of the same extremist coin.


I wouldn't say I look down on anyone.
I'm not so absolute in my beliefs.



posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 08:13 PM
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Originally posted by americandingbat
But I think that real faith, whether it's in the Bible, the Holy Roman Church, or the scientific peer review process, will allow or even encourage scrutiny because it knows that it can withstand it; or be rebuilt with deeper understanding if flaws are revealed.


That's not what I've seen. What I've seen is people running away from the tough questions and accepting something simply because they were raised to accept it.
Worse than that, I've seen many people (dare I say the majority of Christians), denying scientific evidence (evolution, carbon dating, etc) in order to continue their beliefs.
Worse even than that, I've seen many people say that the Bible is inerrant, even when I personally give them scriptures which clearly contradict one another (numbers, genealogy, etc). That's denying a fact when it is right in front of your face, and I've seen it many times - the power of faith.
Would you consider that logical? To believe in something despite the evidence?

See, here's the flaw (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) in your assertion:
If real faith encourages scrutiny, then wouldn't 'real faith' also HAVE to admit (by it's own honesty) that no one can be absolutely sure either way?
But that's not what we see. We see 100% belief - room for no error. A close look or even a glance at the situation without bias would show that no one should be 100% sure either way.



posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 08:54 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


That's an interesting perspective of the Bible - never seen that one before.
But you must know that faith is self affirming. So then since it grows no matter what the foundation, we must check the foundation to see if it truely warrents such absolute faith.
Personally, I have seen little in the foundation that is even slightly compelling, and moreover I've seen many things that are contradictory.
Either way, the main point I'd like to get across is that it's not logical to have so much faith IN faith, as we know that faith has the power to destort and even create what we see as reality.

 


reply to post by One4truth
 


Faith - belief without evidence and in some cases despite the evidence.


 



reply to post by Wertdagf
 



That's a different definition of the word than I am using.
For example, we do have evidence that a book will most likely educate you, so faith (belief without evidence) is not needed in this case.
What you're talking about is plain ordinary every day trust - which I agree is needed.



posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 09:39 PM
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That is what faith was ment for... it was trust. You are the one trying to prove the wrong meaning... so no wonder you would be confused.

Everyones been using faith in the wrong context. This is why we have gotten so far of course.



posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox

What I've seen is people running away from the tough questions and accepting something simply because they were raised to accept it.
Worse than that, I've seen many people (dare I say the majority of Christians), denying scientific evidence (evolution, carbon dating, etc) in order to continue their beliefs.


In my real (non-online) life, I have never had a conversation about evolution or geology with anyone who is a "young earth" creationist. I have never had a conversation with anyone who denied flat out the possibility that humans are descended from apes, although I do know people who aren't convinced.

I don't know what the majority of Christians do or don't believe, but I do know that many Christians find scientific inquiry to be completely compatible with their faith.


Worse even than that, I've seen many people say that the Bible is inerrant, even when I personally give them scriptures which clearly contradict one another (numbers, genealogy, etc). That's denying a fact when it is right in front of your face, and I've seen it many times - the power of faith.


Again, this is not what I've experienced. The Christians I have known mostly consider the Bible to be the divinely inspired Word of God, but acknowledge that there have been errors in translation and that much of it need not be interpreted absolutely literally.

I'm really not sure how people do the mental acrobatics to believe that every word of the Bible is the literal truth without scribal error or poetic license. It's a little like your pink elephant in the driveway to me – if I could actually make my mind accept it even for a second I think I would learn something pretty profound.


Would you consider that logical? To believe in something despite the evidence?


Logical, no. Beautiful, yes. A testament to how wonderfully complex we are. Think of the Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass.


See, here's the flaw (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) in your assertion:
If real faith encourages scrutiny, then wouldn't 'real faith' also HAVE to admit (by it's own honesty) that no one can be absolutely sure either way?


I think that real faith would have to admit that nothing can be absolutely proved either way, but would assert that knowledge is possible even in the absence of proof.

Example: I have friends who I know love me, though I have no proof of that. Nothing they have done couldn't be attributed to self-interest or social expectation, and many are not the kind of people who come right out and say they love their friends. But I have faith that their love for me is real – I know it is based on my own experience of the relationships.


But that's not what we see. We see 100% belief - room for no error. A close look or even a glance at the situation without bias would show that no one should be 100% sure either way.


I think that you've taken one particular form of Christian doctrine, reduced it to the simplified and somewhat ugly version that most of its believers get by with, and judged not just that particular form of Christianity but all religious faith based on the lowest common denominator.

Just because some people fear intellectual challenge and claim that to risk challenge is a betrayal to their faith, does not mean that that is a necessary component of faith.

Basing your understanding of faith on that is like basing your understanding of sex on "Girls Gone Wild." Or for that matter on Queen Victoria's "just close your eyes and think of Britain." Either way, you're getting a very limited view of the potential of sex, although they are in their own ways true views, and probably even the entire range of sexual experience for some people.


There's a lot more possibilities in religious faith than just "that's the way it is and you have to accept it."

edit: quote tags

[edit on 1/5/09 by americandingbat]



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 12:06 AM
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Example: I have friends who I know love me, though I have no proof of that. Nothing they have done couldn't be attributed to self-interest or social expectation, and many are not the kind of people who come right out and say they love their friends. But I have faith that their love for me is real – I know it is based on my own experience of the relationships.


These experiances are still proof of what it isnt... which is still proof. It narrows down possiblitys.. its called deductive logic which requires information to work with.



I think that real faith would have to admit that nothing can be absolutely proved either way, but would assert that knowledge is possible even in the absence of proof.


so no i wouldnt assert that....... Knowledge without proof is called superstition... we need as little of that in our religious explorations as possible.

[edit on 6-1-2009 by Wertdagf]

[edit on 6-1-2009 by Wertdagf]



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 03:35 AM
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"We all want to be a part of something, because it's all that we have to believe in."



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 03:46 AM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
Unless I'm misunderstanding you, you're basically saying that faith is used to cope with the fact that you may be wrong?
But see that's my point, why not be honest with yourself and admit that there is little or no evidence for your belief?
I broke away from religion once I began to be honest with myself, and now I consider myself truely "saved".


then what do you believe if you don't mind me asking? being agnostic is understanding that you can't know, so believing in those things you can't know is illogical and acting in according with them is irrational. If people have faith in something that objectively guides their life to do good how is this bad? Because you don't think it is true? the truth is that it does guide their life to do good. so I guess you just find that it is falsely based, acknowledging it can prove true, but it is based off a lie? -

The faith in those many religious doctrines is not whether it had a false premise or not, but in that if it was used it would hold true. So people say that have faith in God, because they trust that God will show them in time. Faith in God is a matter of fulfillment, in trusting in the words and teachings, you learn how they hold true, but It all requires faith from the get go.(hope that didn't confuse)



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 08:14 AM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


I am not sure that that definition fits considering what God has brought me through when there was no evidence that I could make it on my own. He continually provides proof of His exsistance in my daily life.
I guess it depends on your perspective on proof. I can look at my wife and say "wow, God you are an artist!" you can look and say "wow, look at that cluster of cells that randomly by chaos caused this specimen of the female homosapian species!".
By the way, I was not raised to believe this way, it came later in life.



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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I am not sure that that definition fits considering what God has brought me through when there was no evidence that I could make it on my own. He continually provides proof of His exsistance in my daily life.
I guess it depends on your perspective on proof. I can look at my wife and say "wow, God you are an artist!" you can look and say "wow, look at that cluster of cells that randomly by chaos caused this specimen of the female homosapian species!".
By the way, I was not raised to believe this way, it came later in life.


But surely that experience doesn't validate any specific beleif or knowledge that god is a 'he' or that any of the fantasticaly outlandish tales of the abrahamic mythologies like talking snakes,wizards,magical trees,rods turning into snakes,witches,demons,burning bushes,magical seas,talking donkeys,food falling from the sky,people walking on water,rib women,flying horses etc..
...is actualy true?

Also how do you corellate your beleifs with all the premeditated vile,nasty,cruel,petty,jealous,vindictive,malicious,homicidal, genocidal,infanticidal actions and instructions issued by the god of the bible?

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by karl 12


But surely that experience doesn't validate any specific beleif or knowledge that god is a 'he' or that any of the fantasticaly outlandish tales of the abrahamic mythologies like talking snakes,wizards,magical trees,rods turning into snakes,witches,demons,burning bushes,magical seas,talking donkeys,food falling from the sky,people walking on water,rib women,flying horses etc..
...is actualy true?


Yes, if you believe in the supernatural.
G-d can do ANYTHING.
Including talk to you.


Also how do you corellate your beleifs with all the premeditated vile,nasty,cruel,petty,jealous,vindictive,malicious,homicidal, genocidal,infanticidal actions and instructions issued by the god of the bible?
[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]


G-d is NONE of those things! In the beginning everyone KNEW what life was about, who the Creator was. But, they decided to go after the serpent INSTEAD of G-d. Committing atrocities against their own children by sacrificing them to 'devils'.
They also interbred with demons and that is why G-d caused the Flood.
If today, G-d decided to kill off ALL of the practicing Illuminati and their families, would you call it genocide?



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
reply to post by OldThinker
 


That's an interesting perspective of the Bible - never seen that one before.


Well, I appreciate that...

Could it be that you're focusing on the immature practices/thoughts of the Kolberg level 1 people...and missing the level 2 and 3 aspects...due to your experiences and environment?

I think there may be some positives you may have missed?

Certainly you would agree a kolberg-level 3-Christian like Martin Luther King used FAITH as the catalyst for his non-violence good works, based on the love your enemies scriptures....AND...that the effects of that were positive...and society as a whole was/is improved?

OT

[edit on 6-1-2009 by OldThinker]



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 10:41 AM
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Originally posted by karl 12


Also how do you corellate your beleifs with all the premeditated vile,nasty,cruel,petty,jealous,vindictive,malicious,homicidal, genocidal,infanticidal actions and instructions issued by the god of the bible?


Karl12 this to me is very answerable...the program was to bring a savior to ALL people...but He had to do it through a nation and a geneology...so for a 'period' He was pro-Israel...and by default anti-other nations...this was for a period only...now all can receive grace/forgiveness and instruction.

OT

So with hindsight....I can admit that the title racist could be applied to the old testament God...simply because of the pro-con dealings...but the greater good could have only resulted through that economy...

Bottom line God IS love...

[edit on 6-1-2009 by OldThinker]



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


I guess there's really nothing more to say then, as we both have different views on the subject.
I just know that there are flaws in faith. If you believe in something long enough then your mind will conform to that belief.
Example: Children believing there's a monster in their closet. It starts as a thought and grows to a feeling or even a 'knowing'.
Faith does have the power to distort reality (in your head), and it just seems odd to me that someone would put so much faith in faith even after knowing the proven effects.
But, to each his/her own
.

 



Originally posted by juveous
then what do you believe if you don't mind me asking? being agnostic is understanding that you can't know, so believing in those things you can't know is illogical and acting in according with them is irrational.


1) I base my beliefs on evidence
2) None of my beliefs are 100% as we see with Christians. Each belief I have varies based on the evidence. For example, the beginning of our universe I really have no belief for - only guesses.
Now, if I were to choose one belief for how our universe exists, then I would close myself off to the other theories. None of them are proven so I don't want to limit myself.


Originally posted by juveous
If people have faith in something that objectively guides their life to do good how is this bad?


It's not always bad. But faith to such a degree is illogical.
You can be a good person without believing in a god. To think otherwise is pure ignorance.
If people can afford so much faith in texts which are thousands of years old, I'd like to think that they could have half as much faith in humanity (note that the 2nd 'faith' is a different definition than the first, as evidence exists that kindness and genorosity are human traits)



Originally posted by juveous
The faith in those many religious doctrines is not whether it had a false premise or not, but in that if it was used it would hold true. So people say that have faith in God, because they trust that God will show them in time. Faith in God is a matter of fulfillment, in trusting in the words and teachings, you learn how they hold true, but It all requires faith from the get go.(hope that didn't confuse)


Yes but that leaves the very real possibility of you brainwashing yourself!
Don't you see it? You must have faith to begin with. Forget the logic or evidence or lack thereof, just believe it.



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


There may be some positive effects - but at what cost?
See, it's easy for us to see doctrines and know that they are good or bad.
In such respects, faith is not needed - you either agree or disagree.

I personally see the Bible as a book filled with contradictions and inconsistencies.
Sprinkled on top are a few doctrines which we can all see (without faith) are good (don't kill, don't steal, etc). On the bottom, hidden from view, are all the doctrines which completely contradict the 'sprinkles'.
How many Christians completely ignore the God of the Old Testament and instead go straight for the sprinkles? Think about it.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but apparently he took a break from that in the Old Testament, and instead played the role of the Devil.
Now stick with me.

If someone commited the acts that God did in the Old Testament, what would you honestly think of that person?
1) Commanding that you should kill your child if he/she disobeys
2) Commanding that you should kill all who do not believe in God
3) Commanding that if you see a woman being raped and she doesn't scream loud enough, to kill her.

That is just a small portion of the evils of the Old Testament.
What would you think of a person who commanded those laws (with no faith in them already to ignore such actions)?
You would know that such a person is evil.
What about when God does it? He must of had a reason - that's your first thought.
That is the power of faith - to see evil and agree with it. To brainwash yourself and not even know it. To see a contradiction and ignore it.
That is the cost.

You can absolutely be a good person without believing in a god.



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by Wertdagf


I think that at least to some extent we're in total agreement, insofar as I agree 100% with your point that "That is what faith was ment for... it was trust. …
Everyones been using faith in the wrong context. This is why we have gotten so far of course."

But I'll respond anyway, just to see where it goes




Example: I have friends who I know love me, though I have no proof of that. … But I have faith that their love for me is real – I know it is based on my own experience of the relationships.


These experiances are still proof of what it isnt... which is still proof. It narrows down possiblitys.. its called deductive logic which requires information to work with.


Substitute "God" or "a Savior" where I originally put "friends" and you have religious faith. More specifically, you have what I understand to be the kernel of Christian faith.

"I have a God (Savior) who I know loves me, though I have no proof of that. I've never met Him or heard from Him directly. But I have faith that His love for me is real – I know it is based on my own experience of my relationship with Him."




I think that real faith would have to admit that nothing can be absolutely proved either way, but would assert that knowledge is possible even in the absence of proof.

so no i wouldnt assert that....... Knowledge without proof is called superstition... we need as little of that in our religious explorations as possible.


As a bordering-on-atheist agnostic, I don't really want to get into defining "superstition" versus "belief".

But "faith" is different from either one, as I understand it.

OldThinker posted a long passage about James Fowler's theory of faith development a ways back in this thread from which this quote seems relevant:


His work with Faith research is of great importance to the study of transpersonal psychology in that, he posits, faith (moreso than religion, or belief) "is the most fundamental category in the human quest for relation to transcendence." (14) And the stages of faith development, regardless of where one finds them, or in what religious context, are amazingly uniform. Faith to Fowler is a holistic orientation, and is concerned with the individual's relatedness to that which is universal, even though the religious context be relative, even arbitrary.


Quibbling over the details of one specific brand of faith (is God's beard gray or white? was the world created in seven literal days or is that a figure of speech? does Hell smell of sulfur? will my fingernail clippings be restored to my resurrected body after Judgement Day?) misses the point of Faith itself – which is to connect the human, concerned about such minutiae, with the Universe/God/Love/Being which is beyond our comprehension.





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