Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 401057

Shown: posts 1 to 15 of 15. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

faith

Posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 1:58:10

I have faith the sun will rise tomorrow
that the future will be like the past.

I have faith that not only will things get better
but that things are okay just as they are.

I have faith that I am doing the best that I can
and that I am capable of learning how to do better.

I have faith that I will never get sucked down that black hole forever.

 

Re: faith

Posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 2:17:53

In reply to faith, posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 1:58:10

Faith isn't a thing, it is a propositional attitude. We take the attitude of having faith towards a proposition, where the proposition is something not known.

If I know that it is raining outside then it would seem silly were I to say that I have faith that 'it is raining outside'. Faith seems to be something that we can only have when we do not have knowledge.

It is not just that there is typically no empirical evidence for or against claims that are made on the basis of faith, either. This also seems to apply to a-priori, or rational evidence as I know that 1+1=2, and it seems similarly silly for me to say that I have faith that this is true - as I have knowledge in this case.

Perhaps one has faith in things that cannot be known because there is nothing that would count as evidence for or against them.

They are not open to empirical or a-priori support of disconfirmation as they say nothing about the world. Statements of religious discourse are not truth apt. They are objects of faith because there is no evidence that could be construed as either supporting or falsifying it.

Religious beliefs depend on modules whose proper function is to represent the world. Because these modules typically represent the world we take them to be representing reality by default. But religious discourse is not about reality - it is just that our cognitive modules are misrepresenting religious discourse to be making claims about the world,

which is more than it can do
which does not solve the riddle anyway

As for the 'substance of faith' does that mean
(a) the content of the faith, what particular proposition it is that one has faith in?
(b) the strength of the faith, or its persistance over time?

 

Re: faith alexandra_k

Posted by rayww on October 10, 2004, at 13:42:40

In reply to Re: faith, posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 2:17:53

I really like your thought and expression.

Is sight a propositional attitude?
What about sound, touch, smell, and taste?

Faith is a power in much the same way as sight, etc. A person can have eyes, yet be blind. One can have eyes that see, yet do not see, and ears that do not hear, even though they function properly. So, what is it they do not see or hear? Could it be faith? http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22eyes%2C+see+ye+not%22&search.x=26&search.y=12http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22eyes%2C+see%22&search.x=32&search.y=10
Sight is a power that cannot be explained or touched, yet it is substance. Sound is a measurable substance, yet it cannot be seen. Light is measurable, though it cannot be felt, therefore it is also substance.

The scriptures say faith is the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen.

What is it that moves mountains, calms the sea, parts the clouds, or heals the sick? Magic? There is no such thing as magic. Everything follows natural law.
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22said+unto+the+mountain%22&search.x=26&search.y=8
When Christ healed the sick, he set into motion those forces that would cause healing to happen, because, being God, he had control over the elements. Element combined with energy creates matter. Faith is part of energy, and it may even be found in element. Therefore faith is substance.

The scripture says faith is evidence, so I would say there must be plenty of evidence that counts for or against faith.

Statements of 99% of religious discourse may not be truth, "but simple objects of faith because there is no evidence that could be construed as either supporting or falsifying it."

I would say religious modules are to represent 'God', not the world, or there again perhaps the 1-99% of them.

By faith the very world was created.
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22through+faith+we+understand%22&search.x=20&search.y=8
Does that in any way indicate that faith is limited? or that there is a job that cannot be accomplished through faith? The grand secret lies in harnassing it. There again it is based upon natural law, and principals of righteousness. Christ obviously had perfect faith because he was the creator of the world.

I say this, not knowing if you believe, but showing how the foundation of my belief affects my understanding of faith. I have perfect faith in the scriptures (and my religion). Therefore I can say with confidence and faith that Jesus Christ created the earth, and will soon return to claim all that is rightfully His.

99% of the world regards my God as a swear word. Why do you suppose it is that the names of other Gods or great leaders are not used as swear words? I have never once in my whole entire life used the name of my God as a swear word. Perhaps that in itself is 'evidence' of reverence, respect, and also faith. The evidence of my faith is found in how i live and give my life. That is the evidence.

If someone devotes their life to something they believe in, isn't that evidence? Christ believed in you. He gave His life because he had the power to do so. He believed in you, and knew that with his help you could make it. (At what point did the world lose faith in redemption?)

(a) and (b) but only if one's faith in the 'proposition' is connected to God, or the oneness therein.

This is the faith that has power to overcome the black holes in life.

 

Re: faith

Posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 17:13:17

In reply to Re: faith alexandra_k, posted by rayww on October 10, 2004, at 13:42:40

> Is sight a propositional attitude?
> What about sound, touch, smell, and taste?

Nope, those aren't propositional attitudes. A proposition is (to simplify a little) a sentance or statement. So 'the sun is hot' and 'god exists' are both examples of propositions.

Propositional attitudes are attitudes that one may take towards a proposition. One may take different propositional attitudes such as hoping, fearing, believing, desiring, imagining, that a propositon such as 'the sun is hot' or 'god exists' is true.

Because faith (along with believing, desiring, imagining, and hoping) are attitudes that we take towards propositions they are not really things, rather they express the way that a person (or mind) is related to a proposition. Faith is not something we can have, as it is not a 'thing' we can possess. But we can have faith that certain propositions are true. This is all that can be meant by 'having faith'.

> Faith is a power in much the same way as sight, etc. A person can have eyes, yet be blind. One can have eyes that see, yet do not see, and ears that do not hear, even though they function properly. So, what is it they do not see or hear? Could it be faith?

the senses (sight, touch, smell, feel etc) provide us with empirical information. Empirical information is information that comes in 'through the senses'. I am not sure that it is plausible to maintain that faith is another kind of sense that provides us with information. Introspection may be another sense. Perhaps there is a moral sense. Not sure what a 'faith sense' would be about. God? Sometimes the senses do break down. One could be blind because there is something wrong with the eye, one could be blind becuase of a lesion on the occipital lobe. When you say that one can be blind despite the sense of sight working properly then it seems we are moving from the literal to the metaphoric. It is not so much about the sensory information being registered, it may be more to do with interpreting the significance of that sensory information adequately.

> Sight is a power that cannot be explained or touched, yet it is substance. Sound is a measurable substance, yet it cannot be seen. Light is measurable, though it cannot be felt, therefore it is also substance.

I do not think that sight, touch etc are substances. They are processes not things. Our sense of sight is what enables us (among other things) to process sensory information. If it is proper to speak of content or substance then the substance is what the state is about, what it conveys information about - namedly the object seen. We can represent sound visually, and most of the modalities can be represented by an alternative modality. Even if it is just visual 'spikes' on a page.

> I would say religious modules are to represent 'God', not the world, or there again perhaps the 1-99% of them.

The trouble is whether god is in the world. Is the proposition 'god exists' true, false, or neither true nor false because it does not make a truth evaluable claim about the way the world is? If it is neither true nor false, then how come? I don't think there are any special purpose 'religious modules' rather there are other relatively specific cognitive modules (such as a theory of mind module etc) and religious beliefs / experiences / faiths are supported by these other modules. This is why we take 'god exists' to be making a claim about god being in the world by default. The trouble is that there is no evidence that would support or disconfirm the statement 'god exists' and thus it should not be construed as making a truth evaluable claim about the way things are in the world.

> If someone devotes their life to something they believe in, isn't that evidence?

It is evidence that they believe in it: not evidence that what they believe in is true.

Christ believed in you.

I do not believe that Christ (in the sense of the saviour of mankind) exists in the world. I do not believe that he believes in me (becasue he doesn't exist).

What evidence is there that god exists?
- because the bible tells me so.
What evidence is there that the bible is the word of god?
- because the bible tells me so.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have issues with people having faith in various propositions (including religious ones). But such an exercise is metaphoric, and the entities endorsed cannot be literal. That is fine, but we should realise the limits of language; and the limits of religious discourse.

Perhaps an issue is that religious discourse is pretty much antithetical to analytic philosophy. I am sure that there are other philosophers out there who have more sympathy to the notion of faith being a substance. I am pretty literal.

I respect your beliefs, and faiths. Thankyou for your response. You are most welcome to disagree with me (I love a good argument / discussion) and I hope that you do not take offence by my scepticism.

Regards.

 

Re: faith alexandra_k

Posted by rayww on October 10, 2004, at 20:13:04

In reply to Re: faith, posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 17:13:17

hey, I'm just happy to have someone to discuss with. Thank-you for the lesson in grammar and psychology. I find that equally as interesting.

You ask "what evidence is there that God exists?
Look around, and do you see trees, flowers, animals, people? What about computers, medical research, and other things that have been revealed to the world in the last hundred years. These things didn't self-start. Everything bears witness there is a God. It's simple. All one needs is the faith of a child to believe. Why complicate it so?

You also ask, "What evidence is there the Bible is the word of God?"
You ask Me, a Mormon? Why, (people of my faith would say) the Book of Mormon is evidence that everything the Bible says is true.
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22stick%2C+and+write%22&search.x=32&search.y=13

 

Re: faith rayww

Posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 20:30:55

In reply to Re: faith alexandra_k, posted by rayww on October 10, 2004, at 20:13:04

> hey, I'm just happy to have someone to discuss with. Thank-you for the lesson in grammar and psychology. I find that equally as interesting.

I am happy to have someone to have a conversation with as well :-) I hope we can continue this after the thread gets redirected.

> You ask "what evidence is there that God exists?
> Look around, and do you see trees, flowers, animals, people? What about computers, medical research, and other things that have been revealed to the world in the last hundred years.

This seems like an abductive argument (an argument to the best explanation). All these things exist: trees, flowers, animals etc - and what is the best explanation for their existence? - you maintain it is god. I personally would go with an evolutionary account.

Neither of these can be 'proven'. They are rather frameworks within which more detailed specific (and often rival) accounts are worked out. The choice of what framework we adopt is a matter of faith.

These things didn't self-start. Everything bears witness there is a God. It's simple. All one needs is the faith of a child to believe. Why complicate it so?

Why is it less of a mystery that god has existed forever, or that he brought himself into being - than to consider that the universe has always existed forever or that it brought itself into being? Both are equally mysterious at the end of the day...

> You also ask, "What evidence is there the Bible is the word of God?"
> You ask Me, a Mormon? Why, (people of my faith would say) the Book of Mormon is evidence that everything the Bible says is true.

But the trouble is that the argument looks like this:

Premiss one: the bible is the word of god
Premiss two: the bible says god exists and doesn't lie etc.
Therefore god exists and does not lie etc.

But Premiss one begs the question by assuming the existance of god - which is exactly what the argument is supposed to prove. One cannot use the bible to prove the existance of god without circularity.

So we are back to faith...

 

Re: faith alexandra_k

Posted by rayww on October 11, 2004, at 0:34:43

In reply to Re: faith rayww, posted by alexandra_k on October 10, 2004, at 20:30:55

"So we are back to faith"

Exactly, and that's where the argument stops, because how can one argue faith?

It takes faith to pay tithing. It takes faith to live a chaste life. It takes faith to obey the health code. It takes faith to live the ten commandments. It takes faith to believe in the Bible and other scripture. It takes faith to believe in God, and Jesus Christ. Why are we here to live by faith? The answer is found within the question itself.

If God wanted us to have absolute proof He would give it to us, but that is obviously not in the cards. The proof comes after the trial of our faith. Faith is as real as life itself. Substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen.

My mother lives a life of faith. Being with her is almost magical. Life flows before her like grace, unfolding step by step over her most arduous journey. The Lord tries those whom he loves. If you're not being tried now, just wait a bit. As soon as you begin to believe, God will begin to mould you into the spiritual being you were created to become. That may sound unappealing, but it is actually a life full to overflowing with blessings and grace.
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22whom+the+lord+loveth%22&search.x=27&search.y=9
Evolution:
My 'theory' of evolution is that the theory itself evolved backward from the creation story, just like the cave man evolved backwards from Adam. dna has pretty much ruled out that we started out as apes. We may end up apes, but it was not our beginning.

Actually, I agree with 90% of the evolution principles, most of which fit in with the creation theory. If you think of a day being 1000 years of our time, it makes more sense, and if you picture our earth beginning in another orbit, even more.

I prefer to believe that the first man (Adam), also known as Michael, helped create the earth. Eve, the last creation, was God's crowning glory. Adam was highly intelligent, having walked and talked with God in the Garden of Eden. Once expelled, and children began to be born, things (people, understanding, living conditions) degenerated. No one knows how many hundreds, thousands or even millions of years Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. If so, I would be interested in knowing.

Have you ever travelled to Israel? Hard evidence there. Undeniable even. Those things did and do exist. The Dead Sea Scrolls exist, and were written by someone, and some of what was written is the same as our Bible today. God has, since the beginning of time, commanded prophets to record His words and teachings, so we would not be left without proper guidance.

God would not create the world and everything in it, and then vanish without a trace. His words are well preserved by His own hand, through His prophets, His spokespersons.

Mysteries of forever:
What if everything has always existed, including you and me? Things are organized and created from something. Something cannot be created from nothing. Energy and element has always been out there waiting to be formed into something. We're all in the program called 'eternal progression'. When our earth rolls up and completes its purpose, glorifying God, it will be presented to the Father, and his glory will increase, and Christ will move to God's spot as Lord of all, and His glory will increase. He follows the footsteps of his father, , etc. The Bible even says it.
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22what+he+seeth+the+father+do%22&search.x=24&search.y=7

Creation is like a circle. If you break the circle there is a beginning and an end, but as long as the circle is intact, there is no beginning or end. There is no such thing as death of your spirit. You lay your physical body to rest, and then go on to your own eternity. If you have no end, then you also had no beginning. It makes perfect sense to me.

Each one of us is unique. All we are expected to do is fulfill our own sphere of existance, whatever that might be. God makes no mistakes, even as hard as some of life is. We become co-creators with God, and then go on to build up our own kingdom, continuing what we continued here in our individual uniquenss.

Life is one eternal round that goes on forever. If there is no end, there was no beginning. We are connected to our fathers, and our children will be connected to us. Genealogy is an interesting pastime while struggling to figure this out. Through genealogy we sometimes hear faint whispers from the past, proving that life goes on.

My logic is not meant to offend. Thankyou for encouraging such a deep discussion on faith. It is good to stretch one's thought once in awhile.

 

Re: faith rayww

Posted by alexandra_k on October 11, 2004, at 20:22:17

In reply to Re: faith alexandra_k, posted by rayww on October 11, 2004, at 0:34:43

> It takes faith to pay tithing. It takes faith to live a chaste life. It takes faith to obey the health code. It takes faith to live the ten commandments. It takes faith to believe in the Bible and other scripture. It takes faith to believe in God, and Jesus Christ.

I agree.

>Why are we here to live by faith? The answer is found within the question itself.

Although there is also the question 'why are we here?' which does not contain the answer within the question.

You have faith that we are here to serve god (or to have faith in god). I have faith that we are free to create our own meanings and pupose and choose our own path. We both have faith, just in different things.

>My logic is not meant to offend. Thankyou for encouraging such a deep discussion on faith. It is good to stretch one's thought once in awhile.

Your logic causes no offence, I think that such discussions are useful too. I have the utmost respect for your faith. I do not think that one needs to believe in god or the supernatural in order to have faith, however, as I have much faith in many things though little faith in religious propositions. Faith is extremely important, though, and it is something that cannot be replaced by knowledge (as there isn't the right kind of a-priori or a-posteriori evidence for knowledge).

Faith is a nice antidote for my scepticism and pessimism. It is good to be reminded of that.

 

Re: faith alexandra_k

Posted by rayww on October 11, 2004, at 23:54:54

In reply to Re: faith rayww, posted by alexandra_k on October 11, 2004, at 20:22:17

Your response was refreshing. I'm trying to understand the similarities in our differences. Like you, I have chosen my own path and have created my own meanings, but in the light and shadow of a standard bearer (my religion and my God).

 

Re: faith

Posted by alexandra_k on October 12, 2004, at 16:57:42

In reply to Re: faith alexandra_k, posted by rayww on October 11, 2004, at 23:54:54

> Your response was refreshing. I'm trying to understand the similarities in our differences. Like you, I have chosen my own path and have created my own meanings, but in the light and shadow of a standard bearer (my religion and my God).

Yes, thats right. Everybody chooses their own path as one must decide for oneself what propositions to have faith in. Just because one has faith in religious propositions doesn't mean that one didn't choose that path for oneself. I forget that sometimes. I also tend to forget just how much some people get out of having faith in religious propositions. I do think that one doesn't need to have faith in religious propositions to live a good and satisfying life and to have faith: but I tend to forget just how much some people do get out of their religious faiths.

 

Re: faith alexandra_k

Posted by rayww on October 13, 2004, at 10:27:06

In reply to Re: faith, posted by alexandra_k on October 12, 2004, at 16:57:42

I appreciate your views and understand more because of them. I'm glad bob allowed this discussion to work its way through. Was anything accomplished?

I wonder if people such as myself, and others who have conscientiously chosen to follow a religious path are still considered to be brainwashed, mind bent, dogmatized, or blindly deceived. If we could somehow get through to the masses that both sides to faith are acceptable, and as you say, realize that everyone has freedom to choose their own path.

If something works for you, then you should embrace it with your whole heart. If it is not working, then have the faith to abolish the pride that keeps you hung up on it, and take courage to try a new path. But, keep searching till you find a path that works for you.

My concern is that far too many people give up before they have thoroughly investigated the options, then turn to drugs or other false stimulants, rather than face their own reality. Reality can be the most painful dwelling, but through faith, all pain can be used to our best good. I would add to faith, hope and charity.

Do you ever feel in sync with the universe, or in rhythm with nature when you know you have chosen something that was perfectly right for you? What about a perfect coincidence? In those moments we catch a glimpse of something bigger than the picture we are now a part of and for a split second understand why we are here.

How would you define hope? In what way is hope different than faith? A scripture definition of faith, hope and charity is:
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22abideth+faith+hope+charity%22&search.x=25&search.y=8

Faith, hope, and charity are like a trinity/trilogy, each with its separate meaning, but whole only when connected.

The scriptures define charity as "the pure love of Christ".
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22pure+love+of+christ%22&search.x=31&search.y=10
Charity is love received from God and given to others. I wonder if we can truly love without charity, and if we can possess charity without faith, or faith without hope. I can trust the scriptures for answers, I can choose to have faith to believe what I read, I can hope for a better world, and I can decide to have charity toward people in general. Faith, hope and charity belong together.

What motivates a genuinely good neighbor? I would have to say faith, hope, and charity-all three. Some people are really good neighbors.

Faith must have some kind of measure, even though it is as 64bowtie just said in Rod's response to the other thread on faith.

Would the measure of your faith be your works?
Would the measure be found in the "why" you do what you do, and in the motivation, and in your thoughts?
I hope you aren't offended when I share my scripture definitions of ideas and theory. Here is the 13 verse lecture on faith and works, given by James, a brother of Jesus. This links faith in Christ to works, but I know faith in other things also leads one to good works.
http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=james+2%3A14-26&search.x=31&search.y=10

My point in drawing this all together under the umbrella of faith, is to make the connection between faith, hope, and charity with how we treat our fellow men. Good works is charity defined, if your motivation for doing things is love.

A person who does not know or love God can certainly know and love people and their community and their world.

No one or no religion has the corner on love. Love is universal. But, the question here is where does love come from? My belief is that all love emenates from God, whether we believe in him or not. Love comes through us from somewhere out there. I did not invent love. It is borrowed. First I feel it, and then I share it.
I love you.

 

Re: faith

Posted by alexandra_k on October 14, 2004, at 0:04:56

In reply to Re: faith alexandra_k, posted by rayww on October 13, 2004, at 10:27:06

>I'm glad bob allowed this discussion to work its way through.

Me too. I was starting to think that I should just leave the faith board alone!

> I wonder if people such as myself, and others who have conscientiously chosen to follow a religious path are still considered to be brainwashed, mind bent, dogmatized, or blindly deceived.

I know that some people think that which particular religion one chooses is due to social and cultural factors rather than one hitting apon the 'right' or 'true' religion. That what religion one chooses is more a matter of socialisation - which perhaps means that ones religion, like perhaps ones morals aren't so much a 'conscious choice' but are rather accepted becuase one doesn't know any different. This is supposed to be supported by the finding that what religion people are tends to have more to do with what others in the region believe. There are 'clusters' of different religious faiths around the globe, rather than everyone converging on a single one (which some expect would happen if there was one true religion) or the different religions being randomly distributed if everyone made a conscious choice.

I do not think that this follows, however. We do not just blindly follow our parents morals, and we do not just blindly follow our parents faiths. If they do not do it for us, we are likely to choose an alternative path, but if we find them satisfying then why not just consider it a choice that we have made?

If we could somehow get through to the masses that both sides to faith are acceptable, and as you say, realize that everyone has freedom to choose their own path.

I hear you :-)

> If something works for you, then you should embrace it with your whole heart. If it is not working, then have the faith to abolish the pride that keeps you hung up on it, and take courage to try a new path. But, keep searching till you find a path that works for you.

Yes indeed.

> My concern is that far too many people give up before they have thoroughly investigated the options, then turn to drugs or other false stimulants, rather than face their own reality. Reality can be the most painful dwelling, but through faith, all pain can be used to our best good. I would add to faith, hope and charity.

I think that religion can become an escape from reality in much the same way that drugs etc can be. Both can be used to assist, and both can be used to ones detriment. I do hear you, though, that some people seem to choose a path that is likely to lead to pain and suffering. We must simply conclude (like Socrates) that they know not what they do as nobody would choose bad willingly.

> Charity is love received from God and given to others. I wonder if we can truly love without charity, and if we can possess charity without faith, or faith without hope.

I guess I would like to say that charity doesn't have to be received from god (seeing as I am an athiest), as if I didn't say that I would be left having to conclude that there is no charity! Maybe reflecting on ones concept of god results in a certain kind of charity, however.

> Would the measure of your faith be your works?
> Would the measure be found in the "why" you do what you do, and in the motivation, and in your thoughts?

I would have to say both of the above. I would say that the measure of faith and the measure of belief are ones practices and activities. (Including the verbal activities of reporting on what one believes and / or has faith in). Morality seems to have a lot to do with ones intentions: if I do something 'good' for evil purposes then it seems that we should indeed take intention into account with respect to deciding what is moral.

> I hope you aren't offended when I share my scripture definitions of ideas and theory.

Of course not!

> My point in drawing this all together under the umbrella of faith, is to make the connection between faith, hope, and charity with how we treat our fellow men. Good works is charity defined, if your motivation for doing things is love.

That sounds really good.

> A person who does not know or love God can certainly know and love people and their community and their world.

Indeed.
I love you too.
Thankyou for sharing your thoughts, faiths, and beliefs. And thankyou for accepting my atheism without complaining to Dr. Bob and getting me banished from the faith board. I do not mean to offend - only to deepen our understanding. You have helped me deepen mine. Thankyou.

 

Re: faith alexandra_k

Posted by rayww on October 14, 2004, at 8:56:52

In reply to Re: faith, posted by alexandra_k on October 14, 2004, at 0:04:56

Thank you for being open to this discussion, as it has helped me understand more about faith too. Some of my best friends are athiest, and they are some of the most community minded and caring people I know. btw, I have never complained to dr bob about anyone.

 

Re: faith alexandra_k

Posted by rayww on October 16, 2004, at 16:42:44

In reply to Re: faith, posted by alexandra_k on October 14, 2004, at 0:04:56

You have thought-provoking insight, and I would like to respond.

> >I know that some people think that which particular religion one chooses is due to social and cultural factors rather than one hitting apon the 'right' or 'true' religion. That what religion one chooses is more a matter of socialisation - which perhaps means that ones religion, like perhaps ones morals aren't so much a 'conscious choice' but are rather accepted becuase one doesn't know any different. This is supposed to be supported by the finding that what religion people are tends to have more to do with what others in the region believe.

<<<
I have never heard it put quite like that before. I would assume that those conclusions were drawn from people within the religions you speak of, as well as from outsiders not peeking in. May I explain why I feel that we don't fall into those categories? We have no geographical boundaries, we speak and teach in all languages, and though we began small in number, are beginning to dot the earth. We do not cluster. We mix and mingle, support local governments, attend public schools, have trades and business, and don't receive pay for church work of any kind. Humanitarian aid throughout the world, and perpetual education fund, helping people discover for themselves who God is (missionary work), genealogy, and helping preserve the traditional family are some of the things we do. If one were to categorize us (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) would you put us under disaster relief, humanitarian aid, missionaries, educational institutions, genealogy society, Christian-Love your neighbors, or salt of the earth? There are those who ignore all of the above and label us a false prophet Satanic cult. As Socrates and Christ both said, "they know not what they do".


>>There are 'clusters' of different religious faiths around the globe, rather than everyone converging on a single one (which some expect would happen if there was one true religion) or the different religions being randomly distributed if everyone made a conscious choice.

<<<
Perhaps in the beginning there was only one true religion, but look what became of it. People who believe in Biblical history believe that within a few years of creation, there was already murder to get gain, secret combinations, and great wickedness, so great that God saved only 8 people and a representation of every species and baptized the earth with water. Some believe Adam and the Garden of Eden was located near Adam Ondi Ahman http://scriptures.lds.org/chphotos/10 here in America, and that as the flood waters subsided, the ark settled on a peak near the holy land, and America became known as one of the Promised Lands http://scriptures.lds.org/gsp/prmsdlnd

Some also believe that God set the rainbow as a sign that he would never again destroy the earth with water, and as long as the rainbow appears, the earth will not be destroyed by fire either during that year. http://scriptures.lds.org/gsf/fldtnhst
I personally think that bits and spatterings of truth have filtered down into every religion, but none (except a complete restoration) has all.

> > ...... We do not just blindly follow our parents morals, and we do not just blindly follow our parents faiths. If they do not do it for us, we are likely to choose an alternative path, but if we find them satisfying then why not just consider it a choice that we have made?


<<<
Exactly! Right on! I would like to meet one person who has blindly followed their parents morals and beliefs into adulthood. Is there one?

>> I think that religion can become an escape from reality in much the same way that drugs etc can be. Both can be used to assist, and both can be used to ones detriment. I do hear you, though, that some people seem to choose a path that is likely to lead to pain and suffering. We must simply conclude (like Socrates) that they know not what they do as nobody would choose bad willingly.


<<<
I think many do choose bad willingly. My 4-yr-old GS openly admits he wants to be the bad guy that makes everyone cry. I also think that many know better than they do, and I know there are tons who believe there is one true church, yet want no part of it. As far as using religion like one would a drug, possibly, but if so which would be the true high and which would be the counterfeit?

>>I guess I would like to say that charity doesn't have to be received from god (seeing as I am an athiest), as, if I didn't say that, I would be left having to conclude that there is no charity! Maybe reflecting on ones concept of god results in a certain kind of charity, however.

<<<
Most think of charity as the world defines it, giving to the poor, charitable donations, etc. A scripture definition of charity may have more than one interpretation as well.

> > Would the measure of your faith be your works?
> > Would the measure be found in the "why" you do what you do, and in the motivation, and in your thoughts?
> > I would have to say both of the above. I would say that the measure of faith and the measure of belief are ones practices and activities. (Including the verbal activities of reporting on what one believes and / or has faith in). Morality seems to have a lot to do with ones intentions: if I do something 'good' for evil purposes then it seems that we should indeed take intention into account with respect to deciding what is moral.


<<<
Well stated. Our discussion makes me wonder if Mormons (aside from our belief in God) have more in common with athiests than with other Christians. Is there a religious organization called Athiest? (poor question)

I know from your dialogue here that you have very strong beliefs. Whether you have discovered them for yourself, or have been taught by good parents, it doesn't matter. You seem to be comfortable and confident in your chosen path. All the best to you.

 

Re: faith rayww

Posted by alexandra_k on October 17, 2004, at 1:47:46

In reply to Re: faith alexandra_k, posted by rayww on October 16, 2004, at 16:42:44

> I think many do choose bad willingly.

But people avoid harm / pain if given the opportunity as it is part of what it means for something to be harmful or painful. Sometimes people choose a short term high over a long term reward though. I just think that people who desire 'harm' do not see it as harmful otherwise they would avoid it. Otherwise we end up with a paradox (see the Meno).

My 4-yr-old GS openly admits he wants to be the bad guy that makes everyone cry.

Why, does he get all the chicks? The admiration of his peers? Does your 4 year old perhaps not realise as yet that when others cry they feel as bad as he does when he cries.

>I know there are tons who believe there is one true church, yet want no part of it.

I knew a guy who believed the (king James version) to be the word of god. He was a satanist - he fully believed that he would be banished to hell to burn with satan, but he also believed that satan was the only one with enough balls to say to god 'I am sick and tired of worshiping you all day, I want to do my own thing for a change'. He didn't believe he was worshiping something that stood for evil, he saw it as standing for independence and individuality. Perhaps it is true that he did not desire evil under that description.

>Our discussion makes me wonder if Mormons (aside from our belief in God) have more in common with athiests than with other Christians. Is there a religious organization called Athiest? (poor question)

Not that I know of. Actually, I hate to complicate things as I know that I said I was an athiest before, but that is actually more than I am entitled to. Since I believe that religious discourse does not make a truth evaluable claim about the world, I cannot conclude that it is false. But I suppose that if one absolutely insists that religious discourse is making a truth claim about the world then I have to say that it is necessarily false becasue the concept is contradictory and thus cannot be instantiated.

All that is just a way of saying that I am trying to back off on the atheism. I think that in general most athiests are a little more hostile to discussing god. Not all, but in general.

> I know from your dialogue here that you have very strong beliefs. Whether you have discovered them for yourself, or have been taught by good parents, it doesn't matter. You seem to be comfortable and confident in your chosen path. All the best to you.

I am not sure how strong they are. I am taught to pick the most plausible sounding position you can find and then argue for and defend it as best you can. Others will be sceptical and will try to convince you otherwise. At the end of the day maybe you'll be convinced or maybe you won't - but at least you have made a considered choice.

You seem equally comfortable in your chosen path,

good luck]
faith
charity
and hope

to you as well rayww. Take care :-)


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