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View Diary: Mark Sumner is Almost Right: It's Reason vs. Faith (70 comments)

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  •  I don't see anything positive about faith (0+ / 0-)

    Faith is the rejection of reason, evidence, and proof. That's pretty negative in my book.

    There is an art to teaching that is independent of the subject matter. - daveinojai

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 02:04:32 PM PDT

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    •  that's just one negative concept of it. (0+ / 0-)

      If you have faith in a friend, or a lover, are you rejecting reason?  Or evidence?  No, you have some of that; just not all of it, or any proof of future action.  

      Why consider all faith equal?  Is all love equal?  Why specify blind faith unless that is one type of faith rather than all of it?

      I sympathize with where you are coming from, but I gotta say that you don't really understand faith, probably stemming from a conviction that it doesn't merit understanding.  It's too big a concept to so easily dismiss.  This is in no sense an invitation to any sort of religious conversion, but to philosophical consideration & perhaps meditation.

      Whistleblowing is the highest form of dissent.

      by Leftcandid on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 05:25:36 AM PDT

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      •  Faith in a friend or a lover is backed by (0+ / 0-)

        the evidence of their behavior and actions towards me. It's not the same as religious faith; it's actually backed up by evidence in past behaviors of the lover or friend. There is no evidence or proof to support faith in any deity; there could be a hundred different reasons why someone's prayers "were answered," most of which fall into the areas of either coincidence or confirmation bias, and neither of which convince me for even a split second.

        Look, I've tried to understand faith for years, but I just don't get it. And don't think I haven't tried - much of the writing of CS Lewis and John Shelby Spong is sitting on my bookshelves, and much of it, I even agree with - right up until they start trying to convince me that a deity exists, based solely on their holy book (which, sorry, does NOT qualify as 'evidence') or their deep feelings that something ineffable MUST be out there (which, again, not evidence - feelings are created by chemical reactions). Argument from "Well, it has to be there because otherwise there's no purpose to life" or "Well, my holy book says so, therefore it is" - no. Those are not arguments that fly with me. More to the point, I find these arguments weak and ridiculous, and it reduces my ability to respect or take seriously those who are making them.

        I just can't take seriously a belief in something that you can't see, touch, or experience with the physical senses and never can.  I'm supposed to believe that there's a god because someone had a mind-blowing, powerful hallucination, or because their prayers were coincidentally "answered?" I'm supposed to believe that there's a god based on a book of questionably reported history, biography, genealogy and half-baked theology? Really? You really expect any thinking being to take that seriously? The mind can and does play tricks on you, and self-delusion is one of those things that too many people of faith (in my experience and observations) are prone to participation in, and quite good at rationalizing, because it's too scary to admit that there's no proof of their beliefs.

        Faith is not a "big concept." It's just self-delusion due to fear. That's all it is. Faith is something people use to excuse the fact that they reject evidence and believe their fantasies, nothing more.

        Now, if you can show me evidence that faith is something more than self-delusion in the face of contrary and/or nonexistent evidence, I'm all ears. But right now, that's what it looks like to me.

        There is an art to teaching that is independent of the subject matter. - daveinojai

        by Killer of Sacred Cows on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:51:20 AM PDT

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        •  I wan't talking about religion at all; I was (0+ / 0-)

          talking about faith.  Reread what I wrote to confirm this.

          You have focused on religious faith only.  You can have that discussion with yourself all you want, but if you ever decide to separate faith from religion--perhaps by realizing there is a distinction made between faith and blind faith--then reply to this comment.

          Whistleblowing is the highest form of dissent.

          by Leftcandid on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 05:53:21 PM PDT

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