truth dancer wrote:
Faith is a choice. I talked with Juliann about this concept, and thanked her for introducing it to me. You may choose to have faith in many things, in view of conflicting evidence. Faith in creation. Faith in evolution. Faith in aliens. Faith in Mormonism. Faith in scientology. Faith in infallible logic. Faith in the USA. Faith in capitalism. Faith in deism. Faith in your spouse. Faith in your children. Faith in the sun rising tomorrow. Faith in global warming. Faith in science. Faith in the Big Bang theory. Faith in corrupt politicians. Faith in God. Faith in the Virgin Mary. Faith in the system. Faith in George Bush.
What is the dfn of faith in your view?
If you are suggesting faith is having confidence or trust in someone, then yes this would be a choice, and your comment makes sense.
If however you are suggesting faith is a belief not based on proof then I do not understand your post.
I understand how people can choose to believe anything and everything when there is no proof, no experience, and no sense of it.
But I disagree one can choose to believe something that their experience, knowledge, and understanding tells them clearly, based on experience and evidence, is untrue.
When someone tells me that can choose to believe the sun is made of green jello and really honestly believe it, then I will believe we choose what we want to believe. Until then... I do not think we can arbitrarily believe whatever we want.
Let's skip faith in George W Bush, or faith in aliens. I was wondering if we could discuss faith in the context of faith in a supreme being, a Deity, or God as a prime example of faith.
Faith in God is common on the planet. Usually it is tied to religious belief, but not always. Is faith in God rational? Is it possible for human language to define a creator or a supreme being? Possibly. Is the concept of a creator or a supreme being rational? Possibly. Is the concept of life evolving over billions of years without a creator rational? Possibly. Could a supreme being have played a role in the evolution of the all of the life forms on the planet? Possibly. Is there definitive evidence that God never existed or that the supreme intelligence has always existed? Who knows. Is intelligent design a more productive or accurate model than evolution and natural selection? Possibly. Is the existence of a supreme being a fallacy for the irrational and religiously deluded masses? Possibly.
Many of these questions form the basis of humanity's complex theories of philosophy and spirituality. Yet the paradox of life largely remains unanswered. Evidence and counter-evidence exists to support or deny the existence or non-existence of deity. Many people have spiritual experiences or near-death experiences that they claim as support for the existence of a supreme being. Many others points to advances in science and the theory of evolution as a superior model that is more grounded in rational actuality than in mystical belief. What is the answer? There may be no satisfactory answer.
If someone tells me that the sun is made of green jello and really honestly believes it, does that constitute faith or an unrealistic belief? I think it constitutes an unrealistic belief on the basis that it is not supported by any scientific data. Any faith should be supported by quantifiable data, if available. If I choose to believe that the sun is a tremendous fusion reaction, where hydrogen is burned into helium, in a furnace many million times the size of any engine produced by the smartest of scientists, and that the sun has burned at a constant steady rate for thousands, if not millions of years, at the precise distance from the earth to sustain life, and exerting the precise amount and type of energy to cause photosynthesis in all plant life, would that be an unrealistic belief? Possibly. Would it be unrealistic to believe that some type of supreme being was the creator of this engine that was capable of supporting life?
Here's what scientists attribute to "mother nature" in regards to the sun: "Nature has written a wonderful mystery. The plot continually changes and the most important clues come from seemingly unrelated investigations. These sudden and drastic changes of scientific scene appear to be Nature's way of revealing the unity of all fundamental science.
The mystery begins in the middle of the nineteenth century with the puzzle: How does the sun shine? Almost immediately, the plot switches to questions about how fast natural selection occurs and at what rate geological formations are created. The best theoretical physics of the nineteenth century gave the wrong answer to all these questions. The first hint of the correct answer came, at the very end of the nineteenth century, from the discovery of radioactivity with accidentally darkened photographic plates.
The right direction in which to search for the detailed solution was revealed by the 1905 discovery of the special theory of relativity, by the 1920 measurement of the nuclear masses of hydrogen and helium, and by the 1928 quantum mechanical explanation of how charged particles get close to each other. These crucial investigations were not directly related to the study of stars.
By the middle of the twentieth century, nuclear physicists and astrophysicists could calculate theoretically the rate of nuclear burning in the interiors of stars like the sun. But, just when we thought we had Nature figured out, experiments showed that fewer solar neutrinos were observed at earth than were predicted by the standard theory of how stars shine and how sub-atomic particles behave.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we have learned that solar neutrinos tell us not only about the interior of the sun, but also something about the nature of neutrinos. No one knows what surprises will be revealed by the new solar neutrino experiments that are currently underway or are planned. The richness and the humor with which Nature has written her mystery, in an international language that can be read by curious people of all nations, is beautiful, awesome, and humbling."
This account of the scientific properties of the sun was taken from Nobelprize.org at this site:.http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/articles/fusion/index.html
Could the factor that scientists call "Nature", possibly also be called a supreme being, or God, or intelligent design, or some form of intelligence? Possibly. There seem to be no right or wrong answers, only beliefs and theories.
This is where I finally answer your question: What is the definition of faith, in your view? Here is my definition of faith, in the context of faith in God. Faith in God, is the ability to extrapolate all scientific information, factor in all personal spiritual experiences, and take an honest appraisal of the value of each component, under a subjective test, and decide whether the preponderance of the evidence points toward, or against, the existence of a supreme being. In other words I ask myself the question, subjectively, does the majority of evidence that I have experienced, and that humanity has experienced, point toward the existence of Deity? When my scale tips toward an answer, and 51% of the evidence points in that direction, I think that faith is the ability to take that computation, and determine that a belief in a supreme being is justified by the evidence. So, therefore I choose to have faith, in view of the lack of a concrete answer, based on the calculation I described above. Likewise, if the evidence, from all of the sources came up 49%, I believe that faith that no supreme being exists would also be justified. For me, the scale of my spiritual evidences combined with the physical evidences I see in the world, tips the scale in favor of there being a Supreme being, so I choose to have faith in that Being.
Sorry to be so long-winded, truth dancer, but it was a tough question. Hopefully, I explained myself well enough to be understood. I wonder sometimes if the written word isn't the weakest form of communication. I think it is. Ah well.