Excursus on Faith and Reason - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15006580
Got the idea for this thread to ruminate on matters of faith and reason (thanks @Godstud :D )


Most of you who know me any, may not know that I went through a period of Atheism in my life. I won't discuss that because it really isn't particularly edifying in itself, but to state that I have some basis lying in both periods of belief and of belief-in-unbelief for the things I say. It's personal, but others might find their situation analogous, or not.

I as a committed and devout Orthodox Christian am generally moved to fury at attempts to ''prove'' the existence of God, which already is in itself a kind of doubt in His Existence, as if He were a being rather than Being, Cosmic, (and thus an object of study via natural sciences and not theological science,) instead of the Maker of the Cosmos and therefore immanent and transcendent in relation to the Cosmos.

Sure, I believe that believing in God is rational, given that He is Reason, the Logos Himself. But because of the obvious anthropological state mankind is in at present, we cannot fully see or appreciate that unless we have our eyes fully opened to that. Therefore, the experience and knowledge of God, to know He exists, is like everything else in my understanding of life; personal and experiential.

So therefore I cannot judge other people simply and merely by the stage they are at in their personal experience of God, or lack of that true personal experience.

I believe however that once one has that experience, and can judge that experience rationally afterwards, life and it's reasonableness is greatly explained.

Because I see God as Three Persons in One God working within and externally to me, see it as a personal relationship (the highest, in fact), looking upon the ''God'' of the natural thinkers, a watchmaker who winds the watch up, the designer who is finished and now quite remote and impersonal, is no kind of ''God'' at all to me. So you'll get no ''proofs'' as such from me, only personal experiences. Not without my brain, but with it. With the eyes of the heart.
#15006585
So therefore I cannot judge other people simply and merely by the stage they are at in their personal experience of God, or lack of that true personal experience.
You are judging it based on your experience, which isn't right, or wrong, but it just might be unique, to you.

I believe however that once one has that experience, and can judge that experience rationally afterwards, life and it's reasonableness is greatly explained.
There are some things, like the experience you had, that cannot be applied to others.

I always hope that religion comforts people who need comforting. I, however, have real things to comfort me. Faith, isn't one of them.
#15006586
Godstud wrote:You are judging it based on your experience, which isn't right, or wrong, but it just might be unique, to you.

There are some things, like the experience you had, that cannot be applied to others.

I always hope that religion comforts people who need comforting. I, however, have real things to comfort me. Faith, isn't one of them.


It ''might'' be unique. But given the nature of the experience, for me it's a safe bet and a sure thing as a gamble. And the nature of the experience is rational, and therefore in my opinion universal. It's like going into a dark room, just before turning on a light. One has to go into the dark unknowing in order to see clearer later.
#15006588
Your analogy of a "dark room", however, I find faulty. It's more like having the haze of "faith" and religious conformity removed from your eyes, so you can see clearly.

I am truly happy you found religion, and it brings you happiness, but I cannot even conceive of becoming a truly religious person, after having that "haze" lifted. It boggles my mind as to how it happened to you.

To me it seems like learning the earth revolves around the sun, and then going backwards to it being the center of the universe again. It's all very comforting to the ego, but it's not real.
#15006593
Godstud wrote:Your analogy of a "dark room", however, I find faulty. It's more like having the haze of "faith" and religious conformity removed from your eyes, so you can see clearly.

I am truly happy you found religion, and it brings you happiness, but I cannot even conceive of becoming a truly religious person, after having that "haze" lifted. It boggles my mind as to how it happened to you.

To me it seems like learning the earth is round, and then going backwards to it being flat again.


Well, I call religion as a thing a ''neuro-biological disorder'', as Father John Romanides put the phrase. Just because on other threads I've defined it as a ''system of answers to questions of ultimate human concern'' and that these Systems are binding, doesn't make them right, automatically. Strictly speaking (and only once you've experienced it as it is designed to be) to me real Christianity isn't a religion at all, or at least doesn't have to be.

And since I can't personally transfer the experience to you, and don't know what stage of your journey in life is, it would be rash or arrogant for me to do more than relate my own thinking by analogy.

The way I see it, in a sense your reply is pretty accurate, and counter-intuitive to what you know if religion is based on what the common herd thinks or practices throughout the world and throughout history.
#15006597
My only problem with religions are that, without fail, they perceive their religious dogma, to be more important than facts.
#15006606
Godstud wrote:My only problem with religions are that, without fail, they perceive their religious dogma, to be more important than facts.


I agree entirely. I view my belief and of those of the same belief who have experienced it as we have, to be entirely rational, or more than that; ''supra-rational''. Thus there are no real facts in contradiction to it even if the whole world could be stating otherwise in opinion. Most people receive their religion, even the true one, in a natural way. That is to say, entirely on collective opinion and entirely in a superficial way. They can have a zeal and energy for what they believe that can move mountains, but should it occur to them that they will miss out on earthly blessings or lose what measure of popularity or power they have, they will turn on it with a fury.

But all that being said, for all it's reasonableness, I am quite content to accept something about my belief, in Dogma for example, without knowing all the reasons why it is or could be so. And more importantly, the true Belief should be capable of producing the effect of informing one's life in accordance with what is taught as moral and right. For example, there are solid reasons for my promotion or opposition to numerous issues discussed on PoFo, for which you and I often are in agreement. This is not too much of a surprise to me, because I think all persons of good will who are rational, have a fragment of that faculty within them that knows and perceives the truth. An Atheist of good heart, therefore, COULD be more of a ''Christian'' in their internal state of being than a ''Christian'' who is only nominally so and who uses parts of that belief system to justify their evil passions of one kind or other...
#15006609
Well said, @annatar1914. Christians like you and Drlee still give me hope for this world. :)
#15060857
I don't have faith. Faith is the duct tape of Christianity. It holds things together but doesn’t conceal the fact that something is broken or doesn’t quite fit.

Instead, I have reasonable suspicion. I don't carry a Holy Book in my trench coat. I'm packing heat and brass knuckles. The God I'm looking for runs a crooked casino, Earth, in a bad part of town, the Milky Way. The wheels are rigged, and the decks are cold. Einstein said God does not play dice with the universe. Yes, he does, and the dice are loaded. God leaves little to chance. You may call it Intelligent Design. I call it Cheating.
#15060905
Well I come from a Protestant background, hence I have a personal relationship with Odin unmediated by Church, State or convention. But it is this personal relationship with Odin that makes me eschew evangelism. The thing about my relationship with Odin is that he's my special friend, if lots of people had a special relationship with Odin, then they would no longer be special would they. Imagine I'm applying for a job and Jesus is my special friend, chances are if its desirable position with lots of applicants then a lot of the other candidates are going to have Jesus as their special friend as well, so how is that going to help me?

No there's 2 billion Christians and a billion and half Muslims, how in Einstein's name is becoming a Christian or a Muslim supposed to help me?
#15061001
Rich wrote:Well I come from a Protestant background, hence I have a personal relationship with Odin unmediated by Church, State or convention. But it is this personal relationship with Odin that makes me eschew evangelism. The thing about my relationship with Odin is that he's my special friend, if lots of people had a special relationship with Odin, then they would no longer be special would they. Imagine I'm applying for a job and Jesus is my special friend, chances are if its desirable position with lots of applicants then a lot of the other candidates are going to have Jesus as their special friend as well, so how is that going to help me?

No there's 2 billion Christians and a billion and half Muslims, how in Einstein's name is becoming a Christian or a Muslim supposed to help me?


You don't believe in Odin or much of anything really from what I've seen, I'd have more respect for you if you did, however you're just making a mockery of people who do believe in a God or god(s). Honestly tell me you believe in the Pagan Norse Mythos, with all it's magical and fantastic elements just as a Scandinavian of the 9th century might believe, or run along. :roll:
#15061002
I don't have faith. Faith is the duct tape of Christianity. It holds things together but doesn’t conceal the fact that something is broken or doesn’t quite fit.


Lame. That's not what Faith is.

Instead, I have reasonable suspicion. I don't carry a Holy Book in my trench coat. I'm packing heat and brass knuckles. The God I'm looking for runs a crooked casino, Earth, in a bad part of town, the Milky Way. The wheels are rigged, and the decks are cold. Einstein said God does not play dice with the universe. Yes, he does, and the dice are loaded. God leaves little to chance. You may call it Intelligent Design. I call it Cheating.


So you're a Gnostic, and your idea of God is the same as His being Decartes ''Demon''. Gotcha. You must really hate your life to be this alienated from reality.
#15061026
Not believing in a "God", is not alienating yourself from reality, @annatar1914, but accepting it. Believing in a "God" means that you hope the next reality is better than this one, so you sort of are looking for an alternative to the current reality.
#15061039
@Godstud

Not believing in a "God", is not alienating yourself from reality, @annatar1914, but accepting it.


That's not why I said what I said to Mr. Urbanek. I was talking about his Gnosticism. Atheists do know about Reality, but they don't know Everything ;)

Recall that while i am very much a Christian, I am also a Materialist, there is nothing in Creation except Matter, ''Spirit'' as the Idealists affirm doesn't exist.




Believing in a "God" means that you hope the next reality is better than this one, so you sort of are looking for an alternative to the current reality.


Not so. The Christian Believer has Paradise today, and should want to share it with others, today, in this life. Heaven in the future is just the culmination of the Heaven, the Kingdom of God, that we should be experiencing today; ''the Kingdom of God is within you''.

I am a Socialist, do you think I'm so disengaged from the world that I don't think it can or should be made a better place to live for everybody, if possible? When the Lord comes again, He will render justice unto each man according to his works.
#15061043
annatar1914 wrote:Atheists do know about Reality, but they don't know Everything
I may be an Atheist, but I've never claimed to know everything, so that's a bit of a strawman. No Atheists do claim to know everything. They just know what they don't believe, free from facts and evidence, and you can't get much more pragmatic, than that.

annatar1914 wrote:Not so. The Christian Believer has Paradise today, and should want to share it with others, today, in this life. Heaven in the future is just the culmination of the Heaven, the Kingdom of God, that we should be experiencing today; ''the Kingdom of God is within you''.

I am a Socialist, do you think I'm so disengaged from the world that I don't think it can or should be made a better place to live for everybody, if possible? When the Lord comes again, He will render justice unto each man according to his works.
You are the exception, not the rule.
#15061047
@Godstud , you replied;

I may be an Atheist, but I've never claimed to know everything, so that's a bit of a strawman.


Earlier in the thread, I spoke about living true Christianity as an experience and something personal (although lived necessarily collectively on some level), but it's also expressed as a way of life. If you truly love truth, and you truly live love, I have every confidence in the results. So, no strawman.


No Atheists do claim to know everything.


Most people of any persuasion live on autopilot going off of a pre-set cluster of ideas, a closed system of thought which may not theoretically constitute a claim to 'know everything', but on a practical everyday level they do think in such a fashion. What isn't known isn't regarded as worth knowing, is the common rule for almost everyone I think.


They just know what they don't believe, free from facts and evidence, and you can't get much more pragmatic, than that.


See above :)

You are the exception, not the rule.


I don't know about all that, but thank you.

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