Faith (Religion)

by David Turell @, Monday, September 24, 2018, 15:39 (84 days ago) @ dhw

TONY: However, the more you learn, eventually you reach a point where faith is a pre-requisite to learning anything more.

dhw: You reach a point where faith is a prerequisite for believing more than you can learn.

That is a definition of faith. For me faith is required when one reaches the end of logical study and only one answer remains of two choices, chance or design,


TONY: If you knew everything material reality could teach you without assuming the unknown, you would run into the wall of the unknowable, beyond which we can not see. That wall presents you with two choices: design or chance. Either choice is made on faith. Not blind faith; reasoned faith. This reasoned faith is, in a way, binding. It binds you to certain thought patterns, your priorities, your view of your own life and that of others, it grounds your particular morality and ethos.

dhw: Yes, if you make a choice between God or no God, it may well influence all of these factors, particularly if you bind yourself to one particular religion with all its dogmas.

TONY: If you choose faith in blind chance, then we are all meat sacks of chemical soup on a dirt ball of chemical soup interacting with other meat sacks of chemical soup. 'You' are not really 'you', but instead are an agent-less bundle of chemically induced illusions.Even the concept of 'you' is an illusion. You have no objective value, your choices have no meaning (because they are not really choices but simple chemical reactions to stimuli), others have no intrinsic value beyond how they excite your chemical soup. All life, including your own, is a random, purposeless event. Behave however you like, do whatever you want, how you want, to whom you want, because 'you' don't 'want' anything...

dhw: I don’t know what terrible experiences you have had at the hands of atheists and agnostics to create this utterly jaundiced view of them. Even if I am a bunch of chemicals, I consider myself and other people to be real, not illusory. We know of no “objective” values, but I do not need to believe in any God in order to do what I believe is “good” (which happens to coincide with some of your religion‘s values). You go on to speak of death (no room to quote it all), as if a permanent ending rendered life itself meaningless. For me it is the very transience of life that makes every moment precious and full of meaning. Is the love of your family and friends not worth anything to you unless there is something bigger than you? Do you give food to the poor because that is what you think your God wants you to do, or do you give it because you have feelings for your fellow humans? Present life is anything but pointless.

TONY: If you choose faith in a designer, regardless of your views of the designer, then there is at a minimum, purpose.

dhw: I have several purposes that are immensely important to me, even without a designer.

TONY: It also acknowledges something greater exists, to which, will we nil we, we are subject to as the rightful authority.

dhw: There may well be something greater. If your God exists, then of course he is the rightful authority. Are you hoping to frighten me? Perhaps he will hate me for my doubts and my sins. Or perhaps he will love me in spite of them. But if he doesn’t exist, there is all the more reason why I should make the most of my life here. That does not mean lack of purpose or freedom to behave any way I like. Every heard of society? Do you really think love, empathy. human kindness, conscience are the exclusive province of your religion?

TONY: If nothing else is known except that there is a designer, then at least part of your purpose is to care for their property, as if it were a precious gift.

dhw: I don’t know if there is a designer who owns me and the universe, but I object vehemently to the insinuation that I need faith in your particular God in order to regard life and the world we live in as something precious.

DAVID: I agree faith is not needed to live a proper good life.

dhw: Thank you, David, for restoring the balance.

There is no question atheists and agnostics can be as properly moral without religion. I became a believer from reason and research alone. I've always lead a moral and ethical life from a sense of obligation to my fellows, not from an religious reward or punishment dictate, which is a childish philosophy.


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