Eight/8 Examples Of Correcting Fallacious Definitions Of Faith:
A key factor is the simple fact that one must not invent definitions of another’s terms. In a thread/post at www.STR.org in the comment section of Show Them God Is Better Than the Promises of Anything Else ((…at https://disqus.com/home/discussion/standtoreason/show_them_god_is_better_than_the_promises_of_anything_else/…)) Amy Hall takes the time – eight different times – to define the Christian’s analysis of the doxastic experience (…our noetic frame and the nature of belief…).
Each time – all 8 times – our Non-Theist friends do not take the time to hear but just plow ahead and insist that because what popular culture means by “faith” is different than the Christian’s meaning then WHEN the Christian SAYS anything about the doxastic experience the Christian MUST simply drop Christianity and Christianity’s metaphysical landscape and INSTEAD embrace/affirm popular culture’s definition. So according to the Non-Theistic/Critic’s plowing-ahead it is the case that “therefore” the popular culture’s meaning IS what the Christian means. But of course the Christian doesn’t mean that but instead means what the Christian said and, so, that Non-Theistic “tactic” or method there only guarantees that no forward progress in mutual understanding can transpire.
The term “shoehorn” for instance means different things in different settings. That’s the nature of syntax, of “words”, of language and so on. When are we dealing with a Noun? A Verb? When is it Connotation? Denotation? What about discovery with respect to linguistic content? Are we riding beneath subtext or atop context? …and… so… on…
Unfortunately some of our Non-Theist friends are unable to break free of their high school dictionary when interpreting reality “out there” because through all of it they return to the inane lens of something akin to “high school dictionary full stop”. But Christendom’s wide array of longstanding trajectories houses the wherewithal to speak towards its own metaphysical topography.
The aforementioned eight/8 examples are given in the following 8 items and note that these are from a dialogue in a comment section and so the comments will reflect that syntax for the context they were in.
1 of 8
Trusting in the promises of someone that haven’t yet come to pass, or trusting in something we can’t yet see is not the same as being confident something is true even though you have no reason to think it is. In the illustrations given in that chapter of Hebrews, God made Himself known to people, and then they trusted what He said, even though the fulfillment of His promises were sometimes after their deaths (i.e., they couldn’t see the fulfillment). But they wouldn’t have trusted Him if He had not first made Himself known to them. This is why the Old Testament says a great many times that God did such-and-such so that the nations would know He is God. In other words, we trust (have faith in God—His promises for our future and His character) because of the reasons we have to trust Him. In the same way, you have faith in your wife to uphold her promises of marriage to you. You have confidence in what you hope for (i.e., that she will fulfill her promises) because you know her—you have reason to trust her and her promises. You can’t yet see the future of what she will do, yet you have faith (trust) in her. The fact that you have faith in her does not prove you have no previous evidence to trust her. In fact, it says the opposite. It’s because you have reasons to trust her that you have faith in her and her promises.
2 of 8
You said, “Faith is the filler when there is insufficient evidence to know something based on our senses and/or experience.”
No. That is simply not the way the Bible uses the word. Faith would be the disciples trusting in Jesus (who had already given them clear reasons to trust Him) when He said Peter could walk to Him on the water. Faith isn’t “filler.” Faith is trust. And God clearly goes out of His way throughout the Bible to give reasons for people to trust. Faith still means trust. We don’t “use it” to get to a belief in God. Rather, we have reasons to believe in God, and we have reasons to trust Him, thereforewe trust that He will follow through with His promises in the future (i.e., we have faith in Him).
You said, “No such leaps of faith are required with my wife’s actions. It is a totally different connotation of the word faith.”
No, it’s the exact same meaning. You trust that your wife is trustworthy based on what you know about her, such that when she tells you something, you believe it. What you are trusting her to do is irrelevant to the meaning of the word. The trust isn’t “filler,” it’s based on your knowledge of her. In the same way when people become convinced that God exists, and they become aware of His past actions, they therefore trust in Him as a Person and believe what He’s promised for the future—things we can’t yet see. That’s the way the Bible uses the word.
3 of 8
You said, “This has to do with you running from one connotation of the word which demonstrates some of your beliefs to be unfounded.”
No. It has to do with denying a connotation of the word that has nothing to do with how the Bible uses the word, and therefore nothing to do with what the Bible means when it says the word “faith,” and therefore nothing to do with what we actually mean when we say we have faith. The fact that some people use the word that way does not mean that meaning applies to the way Christians—or the Bible—use that word, so to superimpose that meaning over the word when we use it—or to try to hold that foreign meaning against us—is to misunderstand at best and to mislead at worst. And further, it makes conversation very difficult when you keep telling us what we mean by a word even though we’re telling you that’s not what we mean when we use it. We have reasons to think God exists, we have reasons to think the resurrection happens, we have reasons to trust the Bible, we have reasons to think God has acted in history. Nowhere does the Bible talk about some “filler” thing called faith that we use to find truth in opposition to the evidence. Nowhere. Faith is trust, and in the Bible, God consistently gives evidence to support that trust. You don’t have proof your wife never cheated on you, and yet you believe that she hasn’t. But I would never say that you’re using “faith” as a filler to come to that conclusion, and that you’re running from the connotation of the word that demonstrates your belief that your wife never cheated on you to be unfounded. No. Your faith in your wife is trust, and that trust is based on your knowledge of your wife, not in opposition to the evidence. The insistence internet atheists have on redefining the word “faith” is ridiculous, rhetorical, and unproductive.
4 of 8
And what I am saying is that the cultural definition some people have taken on is not the definition we’re using or the Bible is using, so it matters not a bit that it’s in the dictionary. If you want to understand how we’re using the word, the fact that our culture has redefined it has nothing to do with that. If you want to insist that we answer for the culture’s redefinition, then that’s just unproductive silliness.
You said, “There are literally dozens of verses which instruct believers to some form of “walk by faith not by sight.” What else can that possibly, reasonably mean…”
I actually already talked about this when I talked about Hebrews 11 and when I described your trusting things about your wife that you can’t see (like her past and future faithfulness). You’re not trusting (having faith) in her despite the real evidence in front of you, but because of it. That is, because of the evidence you have about her and her character, you have faith in her. As I said, “Trusting in the promises of someone that haven’t yet come to pass, or trusting in something we can’t yet see is not the same as being confident something is true even though you have no reason to think it is.” Walking by trust in things we can’t see with our eyes (like the people in Hebrews who were trusting God would come through on His promises) has nothing to do with lacking reasons to trust. Your mistake is that you try to conflate the two. I can’t see all the reasons for the bad things that happen to me, but I trust God when He says there are reasons. Why do I trust? Because I’ve become convinced God exists, and I’ve found Him to be trustworthy. In other words, I walk by trust in God, not by whether or not I’m currently seeing what He promised. That is how trust (faith) works when we’re talking about having faith in people. The faith the Bible talks about is not only not incompatible with reasons to trust, it actually requires reasons to trust. That’s the kind of faith the Bible talks about.
5 of 8
Of course I concede people wrongly use the word! Like I said, our culture has twisted it over time so that it doesn’t reflect the use in the Bible. But it’s irrelevant if the sloppy thinking of some (or even many) doesn’t reflect what the Bible actually says about it. As for the two quotes above, I definitely think the second one is sloppy thinking, but the first one fits with what I’ve said. We can’t see God with our eyes, but that doesn’t negate the fact that God (according to the Bible) understands that in order to trust we need to have reasons to trust. We can’t see Him with our eyes, therefore God does things over and over throughout the Bible saying He’s doing it “so that they may know” He is God. Again, the need to trust when we can’t directly see something is not opposed to the need to have reasons in order to trust. The two go together, and the Bible puts them together. Jesus does the same thing. Can they directly see with their eyes that He’s a Person of the Trinity? No, so He gives them evidence. I can understand atheists taking in the cultural view of the word and not knowing what the Bible actually says about it, but the charge becomes rhetorical when it’s pointed out that the Bible doesn’t teach that understanding of faith, yet they persist in making the charge against Christianity. If you want to argue against Christianity, argue against Christianity, not the mistaken ideas people have of it. That would be like arguing that modalism is ridiculous, therefore Christianity is ridiculous; and then, when a Christian explains that the Bible doesn’t teach modalism, continuing to insist that the charge is accurate against Christianity because many Christians believe in modalism (which, in fact, many mistakenly do). The truth is, it’s very unproductive to argue against Christianity by arguing against modalism.
6 of 8
The “trait that lets you believe”?
Uh…a trait I call “being convinced”?
Being convinced it’s true is what “lets me believe.”
Again, you wouldn’t talk about any other understanding of the world in these strange terms you’re using. I don’t put religion in a separate, strange category from every other understanding I have of the world. And I don’t require that I see “physical evidence” to become convinced about every single thing I think is true about the world (much of history, for example—also, philosophy, logic, etc.). I don’t need some special “thing” that “lets me believe” that morality is real and objective, even though there’s no physical evidence for it. There are many other ways to reason to a conclusion and become convinced it’s true. So to say that religion alone is some crazy category that requires some special “thing” to “let you believe” just because you can’t put it in a test tube just sounds strange to me. Rather, those who become convinced Christianity is true then trust (have faith in) God; the faith isn’t what causes a person to think it’s true in the first place.
7 of 8
I don’t think you’re hearing what I’m saying because I’ve already addressed that. Lack of physical sight is not the same as lack of evidence. The fact that Thomas touched the risen Jesus is itself a piece of evidence for me. Testimony is a form of evidence. Philosophy, history, logic, and the work I’ve seen God do throughout the centuries are all evidence. When “ye of little faith” is said in the Bible, it’s talking about the person’s lack of trust despite what God has said and done. Thomas did not believe Jesus would rise from the dead, even though Jesus predicted it. He did not trust the other disciples who told him they had seen Jesus risen from the dead. The point is he already had reasons to believe what he heard from them was true because he had been with Jesus for years, listened to what He said, watched Him do miracles, knew the Scriptures, and heard the testimony of the other disciples; and he did not trust Jesus or the disciples enough to believe it. Again, we believe all sorts of things based on non-physical evidence (testimony, philosophy, logic, etc.). What do you call it when you think something is true based on one of those non-physical things?
8 of 8
You said, “Anyone who believes the second story because of the testimony or because it is written in a book, has filled the gap in evidence with 2.b faith….”
No. Just because people are convinced by reasons you aren’t convinced by, that in no way means they used some other “thing” to fill some sort of gap. They were convinced, you weren’t. That’s it. In fact, people believe all sorts of things about all sorts of subjects I don’t think are true, but it would never occur to me to say, “Clearly, since they know the evidence wasn’t good enough for what they think about that political subject (or whatever), they must be filling the gap with some other ‘thing,'” because I realize that people are convinced by different things. You keep insisting we treat religion differently from every other judgment about reality in our lives, and I simply don’t do that. But as long as you’re insisting on it, we’re just going to go around in circles. And I would call that insufficient evidence too. Don’t be silly. That’s not analogous to Christianity. Like I said before, over-the-top rhetorical flourishes only hurt your credibility.
End 8 Quotes/Excerpts.
Worldviews take a bit of teasing-out of not only WHAT the claim is but also WHY the claim is in fact held. This pattern repeats itself when it comes to “Faith & Evidence” once again. For example, is it “A” or is it “B” via the following:
((A)) Iron miraculously floats on water all by itself.
((B)) Causal Agents (God, Man) intentionally rearrange and manipulate nature’s fundamental building blocks and invent novel – never before seen – elements….. and other arrangements all the time, and, also, Causal Agents manipulate physical systems and suspend physical things on water…all the time. That’s how iron “floats” on water. We do it all the time. God is the Causal Agent where miracles are concerned.
Christians reject [A] and affirm [B] with respect to the definition of the term “miracle”.
That’s not complicated. Atheist’s believe “iron floats on water” in the only relevant sense here. Once again: it’s not complicated.
A key step being skipped by our Non-Theist friends is discussed in the following:
God vs A God vs Gods vs The Gods vs Sky Daddy vs Santa Clause vs Imaginary Friend vs Being Itself vs Existence Itself vs Metaphysical Wellspring Of All Ontological Possibility at https://metachristianity.com/god-vs-a-god-vs-gods-vs-the-gods-vs-sky-daddy-vs-santa-clause/
“…..Dr. William Lane Craig defines miracles as extraordinary acts of providence which should not be conceived, properly speaking, as violations of the laws of nature, but as the production of events which are beyond the causal powers of the natural entities existing at the relevant time and place….” (…from http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2017/07/05/miracles-are-useless-if-2/ ..)
The step by step unpacking of that the Critic’s bizarre and disingenuous “Tactics” eventually unravels their attempt to foist things akin to, say, “The Universal Stalemate Straw Man” as described in the following linked comment from a comment-section ~ note that the comment opens with: “….There Is Misinformation & Misinterpretation – Therefore No-God…!” but from there one will have to scroll down about half way through the comment to the bolded section “The Universal Stalemate Straw Man” ~ and so that said the comment is at https://randalrauser.com/2019/12/five-reasons-that-christians-unnecessarily-experience-a-crisis-of-faith/#comment-4736707296
Brief Conceptual Observation:
In the particular thread referenced earlier, after our Non-Theist friends plowed over Amy’s carefully explained definitions, our Non-T. friends then moved the goal post once again and plowed over my own description of the Christian account of the doxastic experience and simply demanded that I too must mean something very different. Then they avoided interfacing with our actual definitions once again and went on about a new topic and demanding *evidence* of the X’s on the list which they gave. That behavior of theirs is mentioned simply to introduce the following concept: That mode of inquiry in which every reasoned reply the Christian offers is met by a rapid-fire style of yet more new topics while never actually addressing replies is akin to “Just Say No to Fragenblitzen” at https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2015/01/saying-no-to-fragenblitzen/
So then, a little more on the “Iron Floats On Water” topic: No one has any evidence that iron floats on water “all by itself” which is why the Christian does not believe “that”. However, the referent of “God” and “Being Itself” and “Causal Agent” and the semantic intent within the syntax of ….causal agents intentionally manipulating and rearranging nature’s fundamental building blocks…. ((…as in the Periodic Table of the Elements and many other demonstrations etc…)) are all cohesive. In the same way, our Non-Theist friends have no evidence, none, with respect to their apparent belief in a Flat World/Earth ~ well ~ in a manner speaking as what is meant there by “Flat” is the referent of “Edge” and their voyage atop the “Flat Earth” as they set sail and are tirelessly vigilant in their attempt to evade the unavoidable Edge of Reason Itself as, at some ontological seam somewhere, “Reasoning” is revealed to be a property which must die the death of ten thousand equivocations ~ as described in https://www.metachristianity.com/atheism-world-flat-none-non-non-theist/
The mistake is that some assume that Christians use  Experience and Intuition and/or  Eyewitness Accounts in some sort of vacuum in isolation from a far wider T.O.E. ((ToE/Theory Of Everything)) which incorporates reasoning through reality’s wide array of variables. But that all leads to the fallacies of replying to, say, intuition “as if” the Christian is positing “intuition full stop” and/or “as-if” the Christian is positing “eyewitness accounts full stop” and the fact that anyone would camp out on those two accusations against the Christian rather than interact with the worldview’s entire set of truth-claims is either an uninformed and honest error or else it is intentional and therefore dishonest.
Disqualification vs. Falsification: Most of what we believe is not falsifiable in any heavy weight sense. Explanatory power reaches a certain critical mass at some point, either in affirmation or in disqualification. Disqualification is not always falsification. Though sometimes it is. Example:
Certainty / Uncertainty: uncertainty never has disqualified a premise, but what is clear is that WHEN this or that premise forces a reduction to absurdity, the premise itself is THEN rationally rejected (it’s been falsified). Certainty/uncertainty cannot help us decide – or more precisely – certainty/uncertainty do not necessarily and rationally compel reason (…in her role as truth-finder…) into A vs. B. vs. C., as it were. All that is left then is that painful “Y” in the road between the forced reductio ad absurdum (…on the one hand…) and reason’s lucidity (…on the other hand…) and that is why it is the case that when this or that premise forces a reduction to absurdity the premise itself is NOT ONLY rationally rejected BUT ALSO falsified rather than “only” “disqualified”. General context on that is at the specific comment that opens with “…but imagine you’re talking to an A or a B or a C who starts by assuming Q or R or S…” which is linked here: https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/overcome-your-cognitive-bias-with-the-50-50-rule/#comment-3967551213
Key Factoid: The Conscious Observer ((… “I” “i-am” /and thereby all I-Statements such as I-Am/I-Reason/I-Think/I-See/I-Perceive/Etc.…)) in Non-Theism suffers, eventually, at some ontological seam somewhere, the death of ten thousand equivocations as there is no Hard Stop of I-AM given (A) Non-Theism’s Necessary Conservation of [No I-AM] in/at ANY “level” of ANY “irreducible/fundamental nature” of ANY X/Thing/Etc. and given (2) the fact that should Reality in fact have such a Rock-Bottom well that is just Theism. Unavoidably we find in the fate of the Conscious Observer the fact that even Reason Itself is falsifiable when unpacked through the Non-Theistic lens — it just eats itself alive. Whereas should we retain logic and reason and identity ~ without equivocating at/in any step ~ and carry through to lucidity “through-and-through” vis-à-vis all explanatory termini ~ without equivocating at/in any step ~ we arrive necessarily within nothing less than the various contours of Absolute Consciousness ~ see Total Rationalism, Total Intelligibility, and Perfect Bliss at https://metachristianity.blogspot.com/2021/09/total-rationalism-total-intelligibility-perfect-bliss.html ~ and also see Consciousness, Emergence, Intentionality, Searle, Reason Atop The Irrational, And Naturalism’s Egregious Deficiency at https://metachristianity.com/consciousness-emergence-intentionality-searle-reason-atop-the-irrational/
Faith Is Relying on Knowns As We Work Through Unknowns
((A)) Science has faith in the lame man walking and THEREFORE spends billions to move in that direction.
((B)) That is contrary to Hume’s shouts of Black Magic and shouts about Zeus and Celestial Teapots ~ and so on.
That particular [B] is curious because the “person” that is “science” clearly “believes” and has faith in the lame man walking “one day” and, based on the Knowns, spends billions as it navigates the Unknowns. Is it “easy” to make that Forward March? Well no. Is it sometimes frustrating? Well yes. And yet science marches on.
It’s called Evidence + Faith + Faithfulness + Knowns + Unknowns. Folks have died while only partially through this or that unknown, never having reached their desired end, only to have that end actualize further downstream in more distal generations. That is BOTH emotively disappointing in the moment AND intellectually rational in that same moment. It’s called Evidence + Faith + Faithfulness + Knowns + Unknowns.
Why don’t our Non-Theist friends share in that doxastic experience along with the Christian and the whole of reality? Why do our Non-Theist friends in fact go out of their way to hedge and equivocate only so that they can re-define all of that, only so that they can deny that entire swath of the human experience? Well again it is either honest and uninformed or else aware/intentional and hence dishonest. Something akin to the following:
“I know this isn’t what theists mean, but I’m going to pretend otherwise for rhetorical purposes” as per https://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/02/omnibus-of-fallacies
“….Faith is believing in something without sufficient evidence, or in the face of contrary evidence….”
There again as with the aforementioned Knows // Unknows the accusation is confused about physics and mathematics and about what Christian faith in general is, and more specifically about what mankind’s reasoning is. Evidence based faith is the only rational, and Christian, kind. Corrie ten Boom, no stranger to the hard problem of evil, commented,
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
((A)) We know and have good reasons to trust something or someone.
((B)) Then, there is all that happens outside of and around ourselves and that person.
Notice that “B” cannot “un-do” “A” unless and until “B” somehow demonstrate otherwise in “A”. Right there with Corrie ten Boom is a new challenge in, say, how to get a satellite or etc. into orbit around the earth and the fact that that challenge cannot “un-do” the mathematics we will trust, lean on, to work through the problem. At first the mathematics keeps hitting some brick walls. But we’ve reasons to trust those Knowns nonetheless. Is it confusing at first? Well yeah. Is it hard? Well yeah. But that’s got nothing to do with leaning on, trusting, that which we’ve rational reasons to trust, namely mathematics, as we journey through, work through, the frustrations, the delays, the problem, the Unknowns.
We trust the known, the rational, and proceed through life’s various array of X’s with the known and the rational in hand. That’s faith in the middle of trouble. We trust the known and the rational. We lean on it when problems arise. Like mathematics. We use the math to press forward and work through the unknown, through the problem. Because we trust it. The fallacious assertion that the unknown / problem somehow “un-does” mathematics is just silly and uninformed.
Silliness: By the Critic’s definition of ‘faith’ we would say that when we face a challenge in the bizarre physics of getting a satellite into orbit we’d just toss out mathematics and panic – because a problem/work/trouble meets us fact to face. The silly premise seems to be that IF the aforementioned “((A))” ((….We know and have good reasons to trust something or someone…)) is mathematics THEN it is not faith and IF it is a person it is not faith – and why? Well because faith must be free of said “((A))” according to the Critic’s fallacious definition of faith.
Silliness: The fallacious premise seems to be that the reality of the unknown/problem of the odd equations needed to get X into orbit is itself evidence that we have no evidence on how to proceed, that we are now, moving forward in the midst of this unknown, this problem, trusting our mathematics without any rational reason to do so.
That’s just uninformed….silliness.
Like Corrie ten Boom and Mathematics, we trust the known, that which we have good reason to trust, as we journey through various unknowns/problems. There’s no new data that is going to convince us that round-squares exist. Reason rejects absurdity. Should the “appearance” of a round-square show up, then, again, we trust the known, that which we’ve good reason to trust, and press forward, looking for the ins and outs and the why’s as to that appearance, knowing all along that, at some ontological seam somewhere, the reason(s) for the appearance will be found-out, unmasked…revealed.
When it comes to causal agents intentionally rearranging and manipulating nature’s fundamental building blocks in real time, we have good reasons to trust in the reality of those events. We “know” those events “happen”. We even hear of stories in which causal agents intentionally “un-do” subatomic X’s and rearrange them and invent elements / arrangements which as far as we know the universe has never, not once, seen before. The syntax of Science and the syntax of Scripture converge there, and demonstrably so. And the Christian always knew that such syntax regarding Causal Agents and the physical world would happen as he pressed through the hard problems and confusing unknowns. The Christian Metaphysic got it right from eons ago.
Because of the constantly repeated demonstrability of the rational and reliable content within the ontological history of becoming which has come to us through the ancient Hebrew with respect to Man and Cosmos – and because of the constantly repeated demonstrability of the rational and reliable content within the ontological history of becoming which has come to us through Christ with respect to Man and God.
Losing Faith & Finding Faith
The definition of losing faith: It turns out that Losing Faith In God too often sums to losing faith in Magic, in Presumption, and in people who sin far more often than it sums to losing Faith in anything of the Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis Christ. Losing faith in God too often sums to losing faith in:
c. People who sin
Therefore, losing faith in God is almost never void of some element of that trio (….magic, presumption, people who sin…) and that is telling. Whereas, we can say that Losing faith in God rarely sums to losing faith in:
a. The Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis Christ
An interesting read is where Feser describes his journey out of Atheism. It’s about 7K words but worth it.
A brief excerpt:
“As Plotinus’s remark indicates, that does not mean that the will does not have a role to play. But that is true wherever reason leads us to a conclusion we might not like, not merely in matters of religion. And once you have allowed yourself to see the truth that reason leads you to, what reason apprehends is (given the convertibility of the transcendentals) as good and beautiful as it is real. If you find yourself intellectually convinced that there is a divine Uncaused Cause who sustains the world and you in being at every instant, and don’t find this conclusion extremely strange and moving, something that leads you to a kind of reverence, then I daresay you haven’t understood it. Of course, there are those whose heads and hearts are so out of sync that they cannot follow both at the same time. But we shouldn’t mistake this pathology for an insight into human nature……
…..Speaking for myself, anyway, I can say this much. When I was an undergrad I came across the saying that learning a little philosophy leads you away from God, but learning a lot of philosophy leads you back. As a young man who had learned a little philosophy, I scoffed. But in later years and at least in my own case, I would come to see that it’s true.” (…from http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/07/road-from-atheism.html …)
A little more: John Wright describes his own conversion. A brief and slightly [edited] paraphrase:
“My conversion was in two parts: a natural part and a supernatural part.
Here is the natural part: first, over a period of two years my hatred toward Christianity eroded due to my philosophical inquiries.
Rest assured, I take the logical process of philosophy very seriously, and I am impatient with anyone who is not a rigorous and trained thinker. Reason is the tool men use to determine if their statements about reality are valid: there is no other. Those who do not or cannot reason are little better than slaves, because their lives are controlled by the ideas of other men, ideas they have not examined.
To my surprise and alarm, I found that, step by step, logic drove me to conclusions no modern philosophy shared, but only this ancient and (as I saw it then) corrupt and superstitious foolery called [Christianity]. Each time I followed the argument fearlessly where it lead, it kept leading me, one remorseless rational step at a time, to a position [Christianity] had been maintaining….. That haunted me….”
The previous two links are also in the comment at https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/overcome-your-cognitive-bias-with-the-50-50-rule/#comment-4261347166
Lastly ~ Four Items:
1 of 4 || “The Definition of Faith”
That is the title of a specific comment which is at https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/overcome-your-cognitive-bias-with-the-50-50-rule/#comment-4261361856 ((…note that a few of the links **within** the comment/post go to STR’s old format and so do not open but they are extra content and not needed for the actual post/comment itself…)). The link should open on that specific link but if one must scroll then the comment opens with the following:
“The Definition of Faith
Faith just is evidenced based vis-à-vis leaning on Knowns/Evidence as we navigate various Unknowns/Uncertainties. That is looked at in the following excerpt from Welcome To Wonderland……..”
2 of 4 || What Would It Take To Give Up Belief In God?
Non-Theist: “This is clear when one asks them what evidence would cause them to abandon their beliefs. The answer is inevitably that nothing would ever cause the Christian to abandon his or her belief. That is the response of someone who is not willing to view their beliefs from a rational perspective, someone who is not willing to weigh new evidence to examine their beliefs.” (A. Ginn)
So then the reply is in the following zip code:
Trade away ultimate or cosmic logic for an ultimate or cosmic reductio ad absurdum?
How does one even “go about” doing “that”?
The necessary transcendentals regarding reality’s concrete furniture press in. Is there evidence which could cause me to give up my belief in logic? In reason? In love? Well of course not. What a misguided question. How would I even go about “giving up” the very being of reason itself — “qua irreducible reason” as it were? Or irreducible logic? Or irreducible love? That is to say, how would I even “go about” giving up my belief in the immutable contours of the real? There just is no evidence which could cause me to disbelieve in the irreducible contours of — the irreducible <i>Image/Imago</i> of — those two inescapable “Eyes” of (a) brutally repeatable logic and (b) brutally repeatable love as reason herself thereby compels us onward and upward. Sight just is Logic||Love even as sight just is Reason||Reciprocity.
After all, it is through such that we even speak of sight.
I suppose this or that collocation of ultimate or cosmic reductio ab adsurdum-s would be an alternative, but then I could never know what such evidence would even look like nor could I even know such a thing given the deflationary truth values by which it must make its case in front of me, by which it opines and pleads and foists against the Necessary.
What would it take to trade away ultimate or cosmic logic for an ultimate or cosmic reducito ad absurdum? CAN one make such Trade? Of course not. OUGHT one make such a Trade? Of course not.
In fact, we couldn’t pull it off even if we wanted to.
Lots of folks try. Its like watching one of those TV’s Funniest Home Video thingy-s…. there comes that point in the video when you want to cover your eyes, I mean you just KNOW that it’s going to be SO BAD, but at the last minute you peak, because you just KNOW that the punch line is on the way.
3 of 4 || “…merely a lack of belief…”
Being Itself? Existence Itself? Logic Itself? Reciprocity in Being? Self/i-am/First-Person? One can deny those, sure, but it looks bizarre. And if one does not understand WHY/HOW denying Being/Existence/Person/Logic in fact IS denying the Christian God, perhaps see God vs. A God vs. Gods vs. The Gods vs. Sky Daddy vs. Santa Claus vs. Imaginary Friend vs. Being Itself vs. Existence Itself vs. Metaphysical Wellspring Of All Ontological Possibility at https://metachristianity.com/god-vs-a-god-vs-gods-vs-the-gods-vs-sky-daddy-vs-santa-claus/
And so? Well “…is merely a lack of belief…” can be true if, say, “Not-X” has X as “UFO’s”. But the nature of “Not-X” is radically different if X is, say, Existence-Itself//Being-Itself//Consciousness-Itself//Person-Itself//Logic-Itself ~ and so on. All logical consequences of Not-X must be owned. But of course such ownership is what we typically don’t see our Non-Theistic friends engage in, and, on that theme, two reminders should our Non-Theist friends attempt to navigate that phraseology while retaining such disingenuousness:
“It is not enough simply to remain indifferent to the whole question of God, moreover, because thus understood it is a question ineradicably present in the very mystery of existence, or of knowledge, or of truth, goodness, and beauty. It is also the question that philosophical naturalism is supposed to have answered exhaustively in the negative, without any troubling explanatory lacunae, and therefore the question that any aspiring philosophical naturalist must understand before he or she can be an atheist in any intellectually significant way. And the best way to begin is to get a secure grasp on how radically, both conceptually and logically, belief in God differs from belief in the gods.” ((—from The Experience Of God by D. B. Hart))
“Obviously, then, it is God in the former— the transcendent— sense in whom it is ultimately meaningful to believe or not to believe. The possibility of gods or spirits or angels or demons, and so on, is a subordinate matter, a question not of metaphysics but only of the taxonomy of nature (terrestrial, celestial, and chthonic). To be an atheist in the best modern sense, however, and so to be a truly intellectually and emotionally fulfilled naturalist in philosophy, one must genuinely succeed in not believing in God, with all the logical consequences such disbelief entails.…” ((—from The Experience Of God by D. B. Hart))
4 of 4 || Faith, Evidence, Hebrews 11, Trusting Knowns, Navigating Unknowns, and Faith “vs” Works
That is a kind of “Melting Pot” of multiple segues surrounding “Faith” comprised of multiple copy/pastes/links/comments and so on in a series of [Numbered Comments] and so on. Fair warning that it is tedious because it’s a melting pot with multiple links, some of which are to the Stand To Reason https://www.str.org older format which do not work, but if interested it is at https://metachristianity.blogspot.com/2018/04/faith-evidence-hebrews-11-trusting.html