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RitaTG's picture

RitaTG

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Heard on CBC radio: "The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty."... by Anne Lamont

Hello again my friends!

I was listening to CBC Radio One on my way home from church today.    They have such wonderful discussions on various aspects of faith.    I really felt like I was listening in to a radio version of Wonder Cafe!

Anyways ..... back to the topic .... the discussion was about the very existance of God and the guest was a Jewish Rabbi.

I would like to hear some viewpoints on a very interesting quote that really caught my ear.

The quote is by  Anne Lamont : "The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty."...

Hearing this really lifted and encouraged my spirit.   I would really like to explore this thought a bit further and I would appreciate your help.

Thank you so very much!

Rita

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SG's picture

SG

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I would agree with her. To me, faith is a strong belief but that is far from saying certainty. To me, certainty is about proof whether it is that is a theologist certainty or an atheist certainty. It can be disbelief and it can be certainty to me.

 

I do not find doubt to be the opposite of faith... Some of the most faithful were doubters who worked on it.... LOL

boltupright's picture

boltupright

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StevieG wrote:

I do not find doubt to be the opposite of faith... Some of the most faithful were doubters who worked on it.... LOL

Excellent choice of words!  This place offers such wonderful poetry.

This is poetry to my ears, & I can even build a song from such wonders as this.

 

& no this isn't sarcasm.

 

 

Bolt

BrettA's picture

BrettA

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RitaTG wrote:

The quote is by  Anne Lamont : "The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty."...

Generally, one place I look for this type of point are standard references and the antonyms (the "opposite" in this context?) listed at thesaurus.com for various meanings of "faith" include:

 

agnosticism, denial, doubt, rejection, skepticism, and unbelief (re: higher power); disbelief, distrust, doubt, misgiving, skepticism and suspicion (re: trust in something).

 

So on that level, I'd suggest Anne Lamont is rather off-base...

 

Now, I consider myself to have absolutely zero faith in anything like theism, but without further context, I'm unclear if that places me in an opposite position.  But say someone does consider me this way, then I'll reiterate what I've said many times and I think is a generally acknowledged fact:  Gods cannot be be disproven.  Thus on this level, there can be no certainty.  Again, Anne Lamont seems off-base or perhaps just plain wrong.

 

Going further afield, the Richard Dawkins forum has a question associated with this ["Where do you stand on the probability of God's existence?"] and it breaks it down into 7 points, three of which would likely be considered as the opposite of "faith" for a total of 4,624 votes.  Of these, 3,407 (73%) are unambiguously less than "certain".   Once more, Anne Lamont seems off-base.

 

Taking the remaining of the "most certain" 1,216 (26%) is more difficult because of the wording, but as I include myself in that category, I'll give you my perspective... which is that I find myself somewhere between the categories, so I effectively round-up to the top category as I perceive myself closer to that.  And I can add that each and every person I know who lacks faith and the idea of "certainty" has cropped up fully admnits that they are not (and as implied above, cannot be) "certain".  But where the actual line is drawn, I can't say (for certain - he-he)

 

I'll suggest that it is above 75% and I'd comfortably hazard that it's easily in the 90% range for those who are not certain, leaving somewhere less than 10% as feeling "certain" about their position re lack of faith.  Again, Anne Lamont seems very much off-base, but does she indicate reasons for her assertion?  Source:  forum.richarddawkins.net/viewtopic.php

MikePaterson's picture

MikePaterson

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I agree with Anne Lamont: and, for me, faith is very much about  unconditional, but actively questioning, trust. Certainty is simply silly.

redbaron338's picture

redbaron338

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I'm in agreement with Ann Lamont, and with MikePaterson as well.  Thise who have faith are less afraid of their doubts, and more willing to examine, probe, and if necessary, learn to cope with/ live with their doubts.  Thise who are certain deny that any doubt exists.  Peace, RB

Arminius's picture

Arminius

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Before we can define the opposite of faith, we have to define faith.

 

If faith is a feeling, an experiential certainty, then the opposite would be the absence of such a feeling. 

Azdgari's picture

Azdgari

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What Arminius said.  "Faith" has so many meanings that it's almost irresponsible to try to use the word.

GRR's picture

GRR

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Arminius wrote:

Before we can define the opposite of faith, we have to define faith.

 

And "certainty."

 

I would guess that Lamont, being a progressive American, is talking about the "certainty" of American right wing evangelicalism.

 

She is not (at least I would conclude) talking about, for example, "faith" in a 6000 year old earth trumping the "certainty" that the durn planet is several orders of magnitude older.

RitaTG's picture

RitaTG

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Wonderful discussion everyone and thank you for some very good points to ponder.

Now, if I may, I would like for us for a bit to consider the biblical definition of faith from the Book of Hebrews.    There it says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.   I bring this up because this is the definition that came to mind when I heard Anne's quote.    Also, I recall the time when a person said something  to Jesus like "Lord I believe, help my unbelief".      And of course there is Thomas...

I hope this helps you understand the eyes I am seeing all this through and I look forward to learning more as we discuss this!

Hugs

Rita

Olivet_Sarah's picture

Olivet_Sarah

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I would agree with much being said here - I think faith means so much to so many different people that I *would* agree certainty is it's opposite; I can also see a certain difficulty in defining the very word though, thus having some difficulty finding an opposite for it. I think doubt, also, *can* be its opposite, but it depends on the type of doubt. Doubt as in questioning and adapting - no. On that I quite agree that some of the most faithful people in the world doubt, and I would suggest those whose faith cannot withstand doubt have a very flimsy faith indeed.

chansen's picture

chansen

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Faith should be flimsy.  It is, essentially, belief without evidence.  Religion tries to make faith a positive attribute, because without faith, religion would die.  Religion and Faith are in a symbiotic relationship.

 

If you have a deeply-held belief, indeed base your life on it, without a shred of evidence that it is true, I maintain that this is not a virtue.

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artemisia

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I love that quotation (and the book it's from - Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.)  Lamott's words ring true for me, or what feels to me to be the spirit of her words, I didn't really analyze it in terms of semantics.  My own faith journey involves spiritual seeking, keeping mind and heart open to new meaning and possibilities.  For me, certainty is a barrier to growth, whereas doubt leads me to dig deeper for understanding.

Arminius's picture

Arminius

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GoldenRule wrote:

Arminius wrote:

Before we can define the opposite of faith, we have to define faith.

 

And "certainty."

 

I would guess that Lamont, being a progressive American, is talking about the "certainty" of American right wing evangelicalism.

 

She is not (at least I would conclude) talking about, for example, "faith" in a 6000 year old earth trumping the "certainty" that the durn planet is several orders of magnitude older.

 

Hi GR:

 

I mean "certainty" as a feeling.

 

Certainty as a feeling is very different from the biblical literalism and absolutism of the extreme religious right, which defines certainty as the unquestioning belief in the absolute truthfulness of their particular dogma.

 

Whom they take they take to the stars, to learn one of the meanings,

To launch off with absolute faith, to jump through the ceaseless rings,

And never be quiet again.

 

-from REAL POEMS by Walt Whitman

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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Faith is not something I believe - it's something I experience.

 

Why I call this experience faith, I'm uncertain? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I can't  explain this experience - as I can, say, the experience of feeling the sun on my face?

Arminius's picture

Arminius

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Pilgrims Progress wrote:

Faith is not something I believe - it's something I experience.

 

Why I call this experience faith, I'm uncertain? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I can't  explain this experience - as I can, say, the experience of feeling the sun on my face?

 

Yes, PP, uncertainty about verbalizing experiential faith is something I share with you.

 

Unlike sunshine on the face, which is a common experience and for which there are common explanations that are readily understood by everyone, the experience of faith is unique to every experiencer. It is, as Martin Luther said, a matter between the individual and God. No one can tell anyone else exactly what this experience is, or ought to be like. No one need interfere, no intermediaries required.

waterfall's picture

waterfall

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I believe everyone can have their moments of doubt and remain faithful.  I like the words of Billy Joel (which by the way this song was song in church yesterday)

 

RIVER OF DREAMS

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin' for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it's too hard to cross
even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find what I've been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
I've been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I'd never lose
Something somebody stole
I don't know why I go walking at night
But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is I've been looking for
(Three beat Pause)
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To the river so deep
I know I'm searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night (break)

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I've never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That is runnin' through the promised land (Long Five beat Pause)

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night
 

SG's picture

SG

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I would say ancients experienced and could explain but not really explain. We have their attempts at explaining. LOL

Gray Owl's picture

Gray Owl

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I would agree on so many points.

 

Faith is beleiving something good will happen, we're just not sure how God will answer our prayer.  Too often we miss a prayer answered, because we are rigid in what we want, so we don't realize we got so much more God's way.

chansen's picture

chansen

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Sun Warrior wrote:

I would agree on so many points.

 

Faith is beleiving something good will happen, we're just not sure how God will answer our prayer.  Too often we miss a prayer answered, because we are rigid in what we want, so we don't realize we got so much more God's way.

 

So, we said our prayer, it didn't happen, but things worked out anyway.  And this is all down to God because....he works in mysterious ways?  He had bad reception?  He wants to mess with us?

 

How about, "Stuff happens?"  Sometimes good, sometimes bad, often unexpected.  Stuff happens.  And, if you remove God from the equation, stuff would still happen.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad, often unexpected.  Just like before.

Azdgari's picture

Azdgari

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According to what Sun Warrior has said, God's actions are indistinguishable from a lack of God's actions.  I can agree with that.

SG's picture

SG

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chansen, in all the time spent here do you not get that there are those of us who do not believe in a God sitting up there with headphones on answering or not answering that prayer switchboard or that even has ears to hear or needs ears.... ?

Azdgari's picture

Azdgari

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StevieG, how does that relate to the post chansen made?  You claim he's making a false assumption; how are the words of his post actually impacted by that assmption?

chansen's picture

chansen

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Exactly.  Where did I postulate a God  with headphones?

 

Besides, headphones are the Devil's invention.

 

Sun Warrior wrote that sometimes God answers prayers in unexpected ways.  All I'm saying is, how do you know God had anything to do with it?  Without God, things would be pretty much the same.  Stuff would continue to happen.  Some good, some bad, a lot of it unexpected.

 

A God of any description continues to be superfluous to our situation.

SG's picture

SG

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Personally, I do not think God has anything to do with it. I don't believe in a Erector set/Lego/Playskool playing God. God made stuff and stuff happens.

SG's picture

SG

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If God was superflous to our situation then why do so many cultures have creation stories and dieties and beliefs about what lies outside ourselves or our realm of existence? 

 

I agree with Volatiare "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer" that if God did not exist it would be necessary to invent God.

chansen's picture

chansen

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StevieG wrote:

If God was superflous to our situation then why do so many cultures have creation stories and dieties and beliefs about what lies outside ourselves or our realm of existence?

We're pattern seekers.  We look for answers, and bad answers are preferable to no answers at all.

 

Religions are simply early attempts to explain why things happen, and set some ground rules for conduct.  As we saw last week in a thread, the second Ten Commandments has an order not to boil a young goat in its mother's milk.  You might just call this stuff outdated.

 

 

StevieG wrote:
I agree with Volatiare "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer" that if God did not exist it would be necessary to invent God.

 

And that's exactly what people did.  As Voltaire also said:

 

"Si Dieu nous a faits à son image, nous le lui avons bien rendu."

 

If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor.

blackbelt's picture

blackbelt

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StevieG wrote:

If God was to  superflous  our situation then why do so many cultures have creation stories and dieties and beliefs about what lies outside ourselves or our realm of existence? 

 

I agree with Volatiare "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer" that if God did not exist it would be necessary to invent God.

 

 

because throughout history man has wanted to know more than there simple carbon self existence, with that they created not just one god but many gods .  Volatiare is in error because what he supposes, actually  occurred , so the True God manifested himself, to correct this error  
BrettA's picture

BrettA

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StevieG wrote:

I agree with Volatiare "Si Dieu n'existait pas...

Speaking of Voltaire and of inventing...

 

“The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning.” -- Voltaire

 

"Let us therefore reject all superstition in order to become more human...” -- Voltaire

 

"If god wanted people to believe in him, why'd he invent logic then?" -- David Feherty        / Derail (almost) off /

blackbelt wrote:

...the True God manifested himself...

Awww, ratz!  I knew I should'a kept the damned TV *sigh*.

SG's picture

SG

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The prohibition on seething a goat in its mother milk is one I know quite well as a former Orthodox Jew who kept two sets of dishes, utensils, pans.... for decades. It was not an explanation of anything or offering any reason why stuff happened. It was considered either a ritual for fertility deemed a no-no or deemed to simply be inhumane, depending on who you believed.  Jews believed/believe that an animal, even a dead one, should be treated with dignity. They also said you should not gather eggs while the mother bird watches. Call it outdated. I do not.

torodad's picture

torodad

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"Certainty is silly", you suggest.  Would you mind my asking whether you agree that the scientific method, which is the basis of all scientific knowledge, is a constant search for more and more certainty?   If certainty is silly, all of science is wasting its time.

At the risk of aggravating you, I suggest that there something fundamentally wrong with employing one set of rules for testing  science and a different set for testing faith. 

Stephen Jay Gould, the late pre-eminent  Harvard anthropologist, argues for that approach in his book,  _Rocks of Ages_ .  I don't buy his argument, but I recommend the book as a worthwhile read.

There are very few thing about which I am totally certain.  One of them is that no Supreme Being engaged in an act of Creation.   For me, there is nothing the least bit silly about that conviction.

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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Doubt is not a pleasant state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
Voltaire

 

I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker.

Voltaire

 

God prefers bad verses recited with a pure heart to the finest verses chanted by the wicked.
Voltaire

 

The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker
Voltaire

 

The most beautiful of all emblems is that of God, whom Timaeus of Locris describes under the image of "A circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere."

 Voltaire

 

I have a million of them .....

And my personal favourite....

 

I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left.
Voltaire

Granton's picture

Granton

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 Great stuff everyone.  Guess I'll have to google who Anne Lamont is - but I think she must have just watched the movie DOUBT.  Anybody see it?  I think it is terrific on so many levels.

 

Great song waterfall ---- Bono also said the said song "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For..." is also about faith.

 

I guess I always think of faith as something active, something in the real world that may not at first blush have empirical evidence, but is no less real --- think it was Barthe or Bonnehoffer who called it the Divine Otherness.  And one thing I've learned, is that there are no words to explain it to someone who hasn't experienced it.  Which of course leads us into grace... something I am sure we can all agree on for a definition!

 

 

torodad's picture

torodad

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StevieG, Voltaire merely came close to getting it right.

"God did not exist, and man found it necessary to invent him" would, however pass the test.

RitaTG's picture

RitaTG

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To the various atheists that have contributed comments here (and I do hope that is an acceptable and polite term) .... thank you so very much for your viewpoint.

Although I will fully admit to believing in a God that is interested in us and that includes me I also admit that I can point to no firm evidence to support that belief.    All I can say is that "something" ....and I hold that to be a "someone" has touched my soul in a deep and personal way.    Again, that I cannot explain or show and I respect your scepticism regarding all of that.    I also know from the kind way that you have always treated me that you do respect my viewpoint as well.   Is it not wonderful that here we can safely give our various viewpoints and debate in positive ways??     Finally!, dialogue without animosity or the need to conquer another person's viewpoint.     I really do appreciate the candid way that you expose the other side of the question as it helps me to soberly and deliberately consider my beliefs.    I feel very challenged but never threatened and I do hope you take that as a compliment.   All in all though ..... I will also tell you that the discussion has helped strengthen my faith and not through fear or "for the team".

Why do I believe so? ....well I shall be honest as I can about that ...... there is just something in me that reached out and experienced something wonderful.    Sorry, I sincerely cannot explain it better than that and how I wish I could.   Not to try and convince you but to try and answer your question better.   Thank you all for the friendship and kindness you have shown to me and again than you for being sincere and respectful in expressing your viewpoints.

Hugs

Rita

chansen's picture

chansen

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Rita,

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'll guess that some of the more accepting and inclusive people you've met have been atheists.  In my experience, those who don't base their views on religious dogma (and this circle may include atheists, agnostics and some "liberal" theists) are the last to pass judgement on a person simply for who they are.  I think it takes a belief that you know the mind of God, to look down on people simply for the way they are, or if you prefer, they way they are made.

 

This is one reason I use the Steven Weinberg quote, "With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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RitaTG,

 

I like what Anne Lamont is saying there.  It is a good BS (belief system) to promote :3

 

torodad,

 

"If you thought that science was certain - well, that is just an error on your part."
— Richard P. Feynman

 

Just a Self-writing poem,

Inannawhimsey

RitaTG's picture

RitaTG

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Chasen:  ....

The people that accept me are from many walks of life and the vast majority of them believe in God in various ways and to various degrees.    Some of my best supporters are quite devout Christians.   I suppose those are the ones that have moved beyond rules.    Thank you for bringing this to my attention!    This is something to contemplate.

Your observation about those that profess to know the mind of God is painfully true.

Isn't it a terrible thing when someone hijacks the position of another and speaks on their behalf?   

Steven Weinberg made a very astute observation and I hope that I and others have learned and matured to do better.    I am a very devout and believing person and I find that as I delve deeper into matters of God and faith that I become less and less judgemental and more and more prone to letting others make their own decisions and live their own lives.     As a parent, this has been put to the test with those that are closest and dearest to my heart.

It seems that the more I consider the mind of God that the more careful I become of trying to speak for God.    I am so glad that I can just share this openly with you!

As you can plainly see, I have much that I am still sorting out and I am definately just another everyday person, a work in progress .... and I do not have it all together yet LOL

Please keep your comments coming as I do appreciate them so very much.

Hugs

Rita

Gray Owl's picture

Gray Owl

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Well, Chansen, I was once like you.  What can we do?  We are not given the tools to interpret reality with God in it.  We're programmed at the innocent age of 5 to look at the world a certain way, and first impressions are deep foundations to work against.  Not having the mental structure to 'see' God in action is no fault of your own.  Society is on autopilot.

 

I am actually of the other extreme.  I am finding out more and more that the pews are filled with spiritual people, who know far more about spiritual reality than the narrow spiritual experiences allowed by Christianity.  They have extra spiritual Gifts not allowed by the Church, so they sit quietly, not allowed to speak, because even the Church doesn't have the mental spiritual equipment to handle it.

RAN's picture

RAN

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I think that having faith in a person is rather different from having faith in a proposition.

We may have faith in our political leaders, or not. They may deserve our faith, or not.

Children should be able to have faith in their parents, spouses in their partners, investors in their bankers, etc.

 

I am not sure how "doubt" and "certainty" apply to having faith in a person. Perhaps in deciding how much faith we have that the person will deliver on a particular promise? Could we ever be certain?

I am not sure life is possible for someone who has faith in noone. Would that mean life as a recluse?

How feasible would it be to have faith in everyone? A target for every scam going round?

 

As I understand it, "faith in God" refers to this type of faith. Some people have faith in President Obama. Some have faith in Mum or Dad. Some have faith in Richard Dawkins. Some have faith in God.

 

chansen's picture

chansen

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Sun Warrior wrote:

Well, Chansen, I was once like you.  What can we do?  We are not given the tools to interpret reality with God in it.  We're programmed at the innocent age of 5 to look at the world a certain way, and first impressions are deep foundations to work against.  Not having the mental structure to 'see' God in action is no fault of your own.  Society is on autopilot.

"Not having the mental structure to 'see' God in action is no fault of your own."

 

LMAO

 

Do you really believe this?  That believers have a different "mental structure" than non-believers?

 

One other thing I don't have a "mental structure" for, is gambling and lotteries.  Is that another deficiency on my part?  I always thought that when your expected returns are lower than the cost (true of pretty much any gambling, or it wouldn't be the money maker that it is), then it's not a good idea to wager money on.  But perhaps I just don't have the "mental structure" to believe in gambling.  Through no fault of my own, of course.

 

Sun Warrior wrote:
I am actually of the other extreme.  I am finding out more and more that the pews are filled with spiritual people, who know far more about spiritual reality than the narrow spiritual experiences allowed by Christianity.  They have extra spiritual Gifts not allowed by the Church, so they sit quietly, not allowed to speak, because even the Church doesn't have the mental spiritual equipment to handle it.

I know what you need:  You need an Electric Monk!  Douglas Adams described them in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency:

Quote:
The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.

 

Unfortunately this Electric Monk had developed a fault, and had started to believe all kinds of things, more or less at random. It was even beginning to believe things they'd have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City. It had never heard of Salt Lake City, of course. Nor had it ever heard of a quingigillion, which was roughly the number of miles between this valley and the Great Salt Lake of Utah.

Click for more

 

With one of these puppies (which, I suppose, could be built in the shape of a puppy if you wanted), your Monk could believe in spiritual things for you that those other people in the pews have never dreamed of, no matter how illogical.  Think of all the time you'd save!

Gray Owl's picture

Gray Owl

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Exactly, Chansen. 

 

But I have faith.  I don't know the first thing about nuclear physics, but my lights go on, and I have faith in the movies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  All I see is the results.  Don't know how it works.  It's all about the invisible, in this case invisible numbers in somebody's head, instead of another invisible reality, God. 

 

We all have to choose what invisible we believe in.  After all, we are all just electric currents running in our brains, and we only know that because we have machines to tell us we actually exist.  Those machines run on invisible electricity and the math in design of the machines.  Something solid, so we don't have to think too hard.

 

I think it's called conditioning. 

Azdgari's picture

Azdgari

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Sun Warrior, do you see no difference between induction without prior experience, and induction with prior experience?

 

You're talking like you don't see a difference between them worth noting.

chansen's picture

chansen

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Sun Warrior wrote:
Exactly, Chansen.

Umm...no.  Not "exactly".  That was satire.

 

Sun Warrior wrote:
But I have faith.  I don't know the first thing about nuclear physics, but my lights go on, and I have faith in the movies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  All I see is the results.  Don't know how it works.  It's all about the invisible, in this case invisible numbers in somebody's head, instead of another invisible reality, God.

Q'est que fark?

 

If you cared to learn, there are ways to study all of those things.  They aren't "invisible" - you just don't know them.

 

Sun Warrior wrote:
We all have to choose what invisible we believe in.  After all, we are all just electric currents running in our brains, and we only know that because we have machines to tell us we actually exist.  Those machines run on invisible electricity and the math in design of the machines.  Something solid, so we don't have to think too hard.

 

I think it's called conditioning.

No, it's called "turning off your brain", because to actually thinking about stuff makes your head hurt.  Mine, too.  But you can't call belief in something demonstrable "faith" because you don't want to know.  The reason electricity flows to your house is available to everyone who cares to look into it.

 

There is no such ready explanation for God.  With God, you have to turn your brain off and believe.

Gray Owl's picture

Gray Owl

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Now you're getting it.

 

Yes, you have to turn off your brain, and turn on your heart.  I'm sure, if you wanted to, you could find the 'on' switch.

 

Just like nuclear physics, there are ways to learn God as well.  You just have to study it with your heart, not your head. 

Gray Owl's picture

Gray Owl

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Azdgari wrote:

Sun Warrior, do you see no difference between induction without prior experience, and induction with prior experience?

 

You're talking like you don't see a difference between them worth noting.

 

Haven't got a clue about what you're talking about, but it sounds smart.  Must be logic.

 

No, I just use the same thing scientific method does.  I observe repeatable phenomena.  Can't argue with experience when it happens over and over and over.  If you haven't experienced it, all you have is your logic.  And who created that for you?

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chansen

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Sun Warrior wrote:
No, I just use the same thing scientific method does.  I observe repeatable phenomena.  Can't argue with experience when it happens over and over and over.  If you haven't experienced it, all you have is your logic.  And who created that for you?

 

If you are observing it, but only you are observing it, there is nothing to distinguish it from a delusion.  Scientists are still interested, but what they want to observe is you.

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Gray Owl

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Most of our energy is taken up staying solid.  We want all reality to conform too.

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Dcn. Jae

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RitaTG wrote:
The quote is by  Anne Lamont : "The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty."...

 

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." - Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

 

Since faith is being certain, I don't see how certainty can be the opposite of faith.

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InannaWhimsey

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This

match3frog. wrote:

RitaTG wrote:
The quote is by  Anne Lamont : "The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty."...

 

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." - Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

 

Since faith is being certain, I don't see how certainty can be the opposite of faith.

caused me to go down etymolgy lane.  Words have such a RICH and DEEP history to them.

And did I ever find some delightful surprises!

From here: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=certain we get the following:

"c.1300, "determined, fixed," from O.Fr. certain, from V.L. *certanus, from L. certus "sure, fixed," originally a variant pp. of cernere "to distinguish, decide," originally "to sift, separate" (see crisis). Certainer, certainest were common to c.1750, but have fallen from proper use for some reason."

So our English word, 'certain', comes from Old French, which comes from Vulgar Latin, which comes from Latin, whose word was a variant of 'cernere', which originally meant 'to sift, separate'.  So 'certain' means a whole lot of things, it's meaning has changed over time.

Then I go here: http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/certain?view=uk

which reads:

"certain

  • adjective 1 able to be relied on to happen or be the case. 2 completely convinced of something. 3 specific but not explicitly named or stated.

  • pronoun (certain of) some but not all."

So again, being certain can include not being certain.

And notice the second part.  It says one of my favourite phrases (that those of you who have been here for a while have seen me write from time to time):

when certain is a pronoun, it means some but not all.  Sombunall.  A delightfully-fine word to head off dogma.

This gives a good, practical showing of how literal the meanings of some words has become in English AND it also shows, to me, how each of us have our own "favourite" definitions of words.

 

So Hebrews 11:1, taking the Oxford definition, reads:

 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and some but not all of what we do not see :3

 

 

Those Biblical writers were so SCHMART :3  G_d is so schmart, to put in such precise language.

 

(So, taking Anne Lamont : "The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty...", the opposite of faith then, is something like hoping for all we do not see?)

Just a Self-writing poem,
Inannawhimsey

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RAN

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InannaWhimsey wrote:

"certain

  • adjective 1 able to be relied on to happen or be the case. 2 completely convinced of something. 3 specific but not explicitly named or stated.

  • pronoun (certain of) some but not all."

So again, being certain can include not being certain.

And notice the second part.  It says one of my favourite phrases (that those of you who have been here for a while have seen me write from time to time):

when certain is a pronoun, it means some but not all.  Sombunall.  A delightfully-fine word to head off dogma.

This gives a good, practical showing of how literal the meanings of some words has become in English AND it also shows, to me, how each of us have our own "favourite" definitions of words.

 

So Hebrews 11:1, taking the Oxford definition, reads:

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and some but not all of what we do not see :3

 

Certain of your usages of "certain" are not pronouns but adjectives. In the quotation from Hebrews 11:1, "certain" is certainly an adjective, not a pronoun.

You may still get a certain mileage out of the third definition of "certain" as an adjective.

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