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The definition I'm looking at is the firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

 

I'm not religious, but I have faith in a lot of things. Faith in family, faith in friends, faith in my fellow man, etc. These are all based on something. Based on personal experience, based on history, etc. I have no proof my fiance will meet me at the restaurant after work today, but I have faith she will. That's based on something. I have faith my government won't try to enslave the populace. I have no absolute proof of that, but it's based on something.

 

Now when we talk about religious faith, which admittedly is a different animal, what if anything do you base your religious faith on? Personal experience? The Bible? It's the one your family raised you with? Supposing you were born in a different culture where the most popular religion & the one your family followed was completely different than your current one, do you think it's highly likely that you would then have a different belief system?

 

I guess the topic is where do you draw your religious faith from?

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The definition I'm looking at is the firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

 

I'm not religious, but I have faith in a lot of things. Faith in family, faith in friends, faith in my fellow man, etc. These are all based on something. Based on personal experience, based on history, etc. I have no proof my fiance will meet me at the restaurant after work today, but I have faith she will. That's based on something. I have faith my government won't try to enslave the populace. I have no absolute proof of that, but it's based on something.

 

Now when we talk about religious faith, which admittedly is a different animal, what if anything do you base your religious faith on? Personal experience? The Bible? It's the one your family raised you with? Supposing you were born in a different culture where the most popular religion & the one your family followed was completely different than your current one, do you think it's highly likely that you would then have a different belief system?

 

I guess the topic is where do you draw your religious faith from?

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Actually HC, it's not faith that makes you think your fiancee will meet you today, etc.... These are all educated expectations you have created as a result of past experience.

 

Now, with the church, there isn't really any experiences that would lead you to an educated expectation. You ever see God? Any outright, corroborated evidence that he exists that cannot be rationally atrributed to something non-divine?

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I'm not religious, but I have faith in a lot of things. Faith in family, faith in friends, faith in my fellow man, etc. These are all based on something. Based on personal experience, based on history, etc. I have no proof my fiance will meet me at the restaurant after work today, but I have faith she will. That's based on something. I have faith my government won't try to enslave the populace. I have no absolute proof of that, but it's based on something.

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I agree. I am not religous, but I have a faith in Humanity. I do not believe in organized religion. I was brought up Roman Catholic, I went to church, I had my holy communion. But when I was 13 my mom basically let me decide what I wanted to believe and what I wanted to decide what my faith was. Organized religion in my opinion is a scam. It was a way to keep order thousands of years ago. With that said I do not hold prejudice against people who do believe in organized religion. To each his own, is my philosophy, if everyone thought like me the world would be a very boring place. I just believe that treating people with respect and living everyday with a basis of the betterment of humanity, is the way I would like to live my life.

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Let talk about scientific faith?

 

Yes,there is such a thing.

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That isn't the same thing. Religious faith is blind faith. There is no proof for what religious books say. Science is based on evidence. The scientific theories and facts we are taught in school all have proof backing them up and have been accepted by the scientific community, otherwise we wouldn't be taught them.

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Pascal's Wager is a great article on religious faith. I'll summarize:

 

Religious faith is a coin toss, you toss the coin (atheists and believers) or you don't (agnostics), but, Pascal's argument is that people not taking the wager are beating around the bush (basically agnostics are making a decision to not take the wager) and that this wager is so huge you HAVE TO on some level gamble (it's not like buying a loaf of bread. It's a belief in a superior being who may not exist based on a personal rationale in that belief).

 

Also, taking the wager is PERSONAL. No one else can convince you to take the wager, you have to truly decide for yourself on your own terms to do it.

 

Anyways, that's a rough outline, but Pascal's basic argument is that it doesn't make any sense to him not to believe in God, finally (because if you die and there is a God, you're screwed; where after living a full-life believing in God you find out he doesn't exist, at least you lived a good life).

 

Pascal is considered an apologist and I'd recommend any apologist reading on the subject (Pascal is easily more readable, however).

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Pascal's Wager is a great article on religious faith. I'll summarize:

 

Religious faith is a coin toss, you toss the coin (atheists and believers) or you don't (agnostics), but, Pascal's argument is that people not taking the wager are beating around the bush (basically agnostics are making a decision to not take the wager) and that this wager is so huge you HAVE TO on some level gamble (it's not like buying a loaf of bread. It's a belief in a superior being who may not exist based on a personal rationale in that belief).

 

Also, taking the wager is PERSONAL. No one else can convince you to take the wager, you have to truly decide for yourself on your own terms to do it.

 

Anyways, that's a rough outline, but Pascal's basic argument is that it doesn't make any sense to him not to believe in God, finally (because if you die and there is a God, you're screwed; where after living a full-life believing in God you find out he doesn't exist, at least you lived a good life).

 

Pascal is considered an apologist and I'd recommend any apologist reading on the subject (Pascal is easily more readable, however).

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This is one of the ideas that baffles me. The "you should believe in god just in case" scenario. Why live your life a certain way, & follow a certain set of rules for life "just in case" you die & find out there's a heaven? If you believe, by all means. But to follow something "just in case", what kind of a rationale is that?

 

First of all, most religions would have you believe in their god or follow their particular dogma in order to "get it right" anyway. If you believe in, oh I dunno, let's say Odin for jollies. You believe Odin the ancient Norse god is the creator of all things. You're a good Viking, you pray to him, burn & pillage lots of villages in his name, sacrifice a few animals for him, build a statue of him. Then you die, & WHAM! Turns out the Greek gods were the real deal, & Zeus is not amused....

 

To say that you know there is no god is as baseless as saying you know there is one.

 

Pascal's argument makes no sense to me. It's using the ends to justify the means.

 

Pascal's basic argument is that it doesn't make any sense to him not to believe in God, finally (because if you die and there is a God, you're screwed; where after living a full-life believing in God you find out he doesn't exist, at least you lived a good life)

 

Problem with this is, who says you lived a good life? It all depends on how you translate what your god/religion asks of you. Is just "believing" enough? Can you be a violent dirtbag criminal, believe in a god, and that's it? Or maybe you went through life repressing every selfish thought, every possible desire, never taking any risks, questioning nothing. It all depends on which particular god or religion we're talking about anyway. If you bomb a building because you thought Allah wanted you to destroy some infidels, or went on the Crusades to reclaim the holy land from the muslims, then you died and it turns out Allah/God wanted no such thing, or Brahma the Hindu creator showed up, then you're screwed again.

 

I would offer an alternative to Pascal's Wager: Why play the game? Why the need to pick a side? If you just live your life as a decent person, then 1) if there is no god you can take solace in the fact that you were a decent person, and 2) do we really envision if there is some sort of omnipotent spirit, that it's an angry conceited vengeful thing that needs or demands that you follow him in order to get into the afterlife/heaven/whatever?

 

Wow am I rambling. I need some sleep.

 

Anyway, Pascal's Wager assumes you're "screwed" if a god exists & you didn't believe in him/it.

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I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord. I believe in the Bible, and I believe in the same God as my parents. But somewhat recently I've come to believe in God in a different light. I had always heard "God's working in my life" or "I felt God working in such and such place and time", but I really came to realization this fall that God was indeed working in my life. He had put different things in place and caused different things to happen. He has a plan in my life, and I am learning day by day to trust him. I've also seen him work in my friends' lives...especially my roommate's. It truly is a blessing.

 

The beauty is that I feel like I don't deserve it at all. I've done a lot of crap (no I dont go get coked up and have sex with prostitutes), but I've done things that no one knows about, sins of ommission, and having a poor attitude. I tend to rely on myself, when in actuality I've come to realize that it isn't me....it's God.

 

In actuality, there's no reason I should be playing college football. If you look at me, im freakin scrawny, and I was scrawnier when I came in. I'm not all that great, and I've been through a lot of crap. They seemed to work out, and often times I had no control over it. This summer I came to realize that it wasn't me doing it, it was God, and that he has a bigger plan. It's actually exciting.

 

That's just one example in my life where I KNOW God is working in my life.

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