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. :)
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