Friday, May 10, 2019

Is there anything you accept on faith?

think it is Dawkins' view that you should never take anything on pure faith. But on the one hand, if you take statement X, and say that statement needs proof, then someone might say ask for proof of that statement, and then ask for proof for that statement, and then ask for proof for that statement. etc. So there  has to be something you believe that doesn't have to  be proved by something else.  Is what you believe without proof something you believe on faith? If so, what are those things you don't need proof for? 

44 comments:

unkleE said...

I think it is a good point but I think framing it in terms of faith is a mistake (by Dawkins and by us now). Our belief in reason, or the external world, or the reality of other minds or the reality of our sense experiences may be foundational beliefs, but they are not really made on faith alone (assuming we accept Dawkins' definition of faith). They are made because they seem to work (which is empirical) and make sense (which is reason).

All this (as you know) could be described as foundationalism, the idea that all our beliefs should be built on a foundation of tested and verified beliefs. But it could be argued that as this is never possible, for the reasons you have given, that making our beliefs coherent with sense experience and evidence is more achievable and more helpful.

Starhopper said...

Looks like it's once again time for me to dust THIS off, and re-post it. I think it's (modest cough here) the best thing I've ever posted to this site, and says everything that needs to be said about faith (everything, that is, in this forum).

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

You have a lot of good points there Starhopper. The thing is I think first we believe for whatever reason then we use faith to cover the gaps in evidence or areas where our reason don't work.

I think atheists do the same thing,I just got through answering a long lecture by Sean Carroll on you tube, which I will blog about this Monday. He appeals to Multiverse to answer the one argument or God he admits is good and can't be disproved that is Fine Tuning. He also admits the Multiverse cant be proved. So the only answer he has to the one God argent that can't be disproved can;t be proven. One would think that he would at least admit to a draw on God's existence. But no he is willing too accept a lesser standard than empirical, which is an absolute contradiction to what most atheists say.

That is no different than me putting faith in God to fill the gaps the evidence and logic don''t cover as long I have some basis in the evidence and logic to extend faith from.

Jim S. said...

That's Agrippa's Trilemma (or Munchhausen Trilemma). There are three possible scenarios when someone asks "How do you know that?" over and over again. You can eventually bottom out in a belief that you say you don't need to give a reason for. This is foundationalism. You could eventually circle back to a belief you gave earlier: "I believe A because of B; I believe B because of C; I believe C because of A." This is coherentism. Or you could just go on forever giving new reasons without stopping or repeating (if you stop then it's foundationalism and if you repeat it's coherentism). This is infinitism. Peter Klein has been defending it of late. A fourth possibility is just to say we can't have reasonable beliefs: aka skepticism. But then, of course, you couldn't reasonably believe skepticism either, so it's self-defeating.

Legion of Logic said...

This is infinitism.

That doesn't seem very practical.

Limited Perspective said...

I take it on faith that the Russians and not American citizens decided the 2016 election.

Legion of Logic said...

Faith is increasingly required to believe that as time goes on.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Atheist physicist Sean Carroll argues the idea of God doesn't stand up as a scientific hypothesis. His ideas don;t cut it as theology. I critique his lecture on

Metacrock's Blog

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Limited Perspective said...
I take it on faith that the Russians and not American citizens decided the 2016 election.

May 12, 2019 8:20 PM
Blogger Legion of Logic said...
Faith is increasingly required to believe that as time goes on.


open your eyes man he;s scared to death, he's quaking in his shoes. He knows he;s a criminal.Why else is he's afraid for us to read the full muller report?

Legion of Logic said...

Why else is he's afraid for us to read the full muller report?

Mueller himself said that his investigation could establish no collusion. Not to mention a report that was only slightly redacted to comply with federal law was made available for select Congressional leaders to read, with Democrats declining to do so.

I am not holding my breath waiting on some amazing revelation that Mueller knew about but declined to act on. At this point, though, I'd be so furious at the behavior of Democrats that I would stonewall them at every turn, too, just to flip them the bird. Guilty or innocent, I would not cooperate with them. Otherwise the Collusion Delusion would never end.

Legion of Logic said...

All that to say, I see no evidence whatsoever that Trump is worried. If you've seen something I haven't, I'd appreciate a link to it.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
Mueller himself said that his investigation could establish no collusion.

Collusion is not a crime, and was not being investigated. Mueller did not find sufficient evidence for criminal conspiracy. The collusion was laid out for everyone to see.

I am not holding my breath waiting on some amazing revelation that Mueller knew about but declined to act on.

He revealed several instances of obstruction that he was not allowed to act upon, by Justice Department policy.

One Brow said...

Blogger Jim S. said...
A fourth possibility is just to say we can't have reasonable beliefs: aka skepticism. But then, of course, you couldn't reasonably believe skepticism either, so it's self-defeating.

As a skeptic, I do take some things on faith. The notion that every person has equal value is a statement of faith. The notion that identical experiments produce identical results is a statement of faith. The notion that my senses convey relatively reliable information about the world is a statement of faith.

Much like Starhopper's notion of faith being expressed as an active process, so is skepticism.

Starhopper said...

Good point, One Brow. Just as faith (correctly defined) has nothing to do with how one obtains information, but rather is concerned with what you do with said information once you have it, so also with skepticism. You learn nothing simply by being a skeptic, but one's skepticism defines what you will do with the information that you do have.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

LL You regurgitate Trump's propaganda Muller said no collusion now he didn't say Trump did not collude that's a fact.He said he sees no evidence (I see tunes of it but it probably can't be proven) to prove it. But Trump get's you looking at that you totally ignore the fact that Muller did say he obstructed justice in about 23 ways.

He can be impeached, he had committed impeachable offenses. He has achieved nothing, Hes destroying democracy and decency. His jaundiced administration is a satanic infection.

Legion of Logic said...

We will see. I predicted nothing would come of the Mueller investigation as far as Trump himself goes, and so far my prediction has held up. I continue to predict the Democrats' screeching will also amount to nothing, including obstruction charges.

But we will see.

Limited Perspective said...

The Mueller investigation was based on a fraud.

I think everything I take on faith has been questioned to the extent I can know, then I just go with it: my car's speedometer, my wife's faithfulness, my food's safety from the grocery store, my doctor's advice, my best friend's explanation of his current troubles.

StardustyPsyche said...

OP
"So there has to be something you believe that doesn't have to be proved by something else"
The only thing I "believe" is that which is proved by itself, rendering your assertion false.

I am provisionally convinced of a great many things, starting with the basic reliability of the senses and building from there.

I believe to an absolute certainty that I exist in some form. That belief depends on itself because it defies all counter speculations no matter how extravagant or fanciful, and is self referentially true to a probability of precisely 1.

I have no need of further belief, uncertainty simply does not bother me. Life is uncertain and then you die.

Legion of Logic said...

You believe you exist, yet that belief is dependent upon internal and external senses which you are only provisionally convinced are reliable.

I'm going to bed now.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Legion of Logic said...
We will see. I predicted nothing would come of the Mueller investigation as far as Trump himself goes, and so far my prediction has held up. I continue to predict the Democrats' screeching will also amount to nothing, including obstruction charges.



the words of one who actually read the report

Muller: "The president is not exonerated.the president obstructed justice"

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Limited Perspective said...
The Mueller investigation was based on a fraud.


that is shear stupidity, No one has said that,if there was even a hint of that idea Trump would be jumping all over it., no major official of the executive has tired to formally advance that idea. they indicted about 20 people connected with Trump camping how did they do it it;s fraud?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Legion of Logic said...
You believe you exist, yet that belief is dependent upon internal and external senses which you are only provisionally convinced are reliable.

the cogito is more basic than Just the senses

I'm going to bed now.

try actually waking up next time

StardustyPsyche said...

Legion of Logic said...
"You believe you exist, yet that belief is dependent upon internal and external senses which you are only provisionally convinced are reliable."
Right, unreliable and subject to counter speculation, such as I am god dreaming, I am a psychotic strapped to a gurney on a distant planet, I am the universe itself, I am a brain in a vat, I am a computer simulation and so forth.

In each and every one of those cases, no matter how unreliable and distorted my senses might be, it is absolutely impossible that I do not exist in some form.

Cogito ergo sum withstands even the most extreme skepticism.

Theists commonly project belief and faith on atheists. It seems like the theist so very much lives his own life in a condition of faith and belief that the method of thinking which eliminates any need for faith is apparently impossible for the theist to grasp.

For example, the OP, written by an experienced, educated, published philosopher, yet hindered and limited still, after all his years of contemplation and writing, still using a linear regression to faith and wondering how this regression to faith could be avoided.

So often I have then heard "X is your god".

No, I have no god and no need of faith. Life is uncertain. I act on my sensibilities and my probability estimates, which I am well aware could be wrong. Then I will die never knowing the true nature of existence with certainty except for one feature of it, which is that there must be an existence of some kind because I absolutely must exist in some form.

Legion of Logic said...

Looks like I forgot to apply my facetious font.


try actually waking up next time

Looks like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

No, I have no god and no need of faith. Life is uncertain. I act on my sensibilities and my probability estimates, which I am well aware could be wrong. Then I will die never knowing the true nature of existence with certainty except for one feature of it, which is that there must be an existence of some kind because I absolutely must exist in some form.


that is a faith statement. I think atheists have Roberto admitting they have faith because they try to turn faith into a liability. Bit faith is a fact of life and fact of conscious thought.

By the same token Christina need to be skeptical in certain ways such as when they see wolves in sheep's clothing,like Republicans.

bmiller said...

Christians should not confuse political parties with religious teachers (false or otherwise). That would indicate a profound confusion of religion with politics.

oozzielionel said...

"what are those things you don't need proof for? "
1) Presuppositions
2) Brute facts
3) Self-evident truths
4) Unquestioned basics
5) Assertions gained from trusted sources

Legion of Logic said...

Christians should not confuse political parties with religious teachers (false or otherwise). That would indicate a profound confusion of religion with politics.

Haven't you heard? Only Republicans are bad. Conservative Christians are all sellouts and heretics.

bmiller said...

Yeah, I've heard that. It's the position of those who worship politics.

Starhopper said...

oozzie,

I have difficulty with the number 5 on your list. To the person believing in X because he heard it from a trusted source, the fact that said trusted source asserted such is (for the believer) proof that the assertion is true. You and I may not accept it as true, but even so, proof was required by the believer before he accepted the assertion.

It's just that our standards of what constitutes "proof" differ, but everyone still requires proof.

StardustyPsyche said...

@Joe
"that is a faith statement."
Here we see what I described, the theist who is so narrow in his thinking that he feels compelled to ascribe faith to a fully faithless position.

Perhaps it is the individual's inability to conceive of a self consistent faithless position that leads both to adopting a personal faith based outlook, while ascribing faith to the faithless, since you very apparently lack the mental capacity to understand how a faithless position is even rationally possible.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Blogger StardustyPsyche said...
@Joe
"that is a faith statement."
Here we see what I described, the theist who is so narrow in his thinking that he feels compelled to ascribe faith to a fully faithless position.

The party line asserts X and you assert X. the party line says"tap dance here"so you tap dance. Just because the party line asserts it doesn't make it so.

Perhaps it is the individual's inability to conceive of a self consistent faithless position that leads both to adopting a personal faith based outlook, while ascribing faith to the faithless, since you very apparently lack the mental capacity to understand how a faithless position is even rationally possible.


First of all, Einstein, I was an atheist from age 16 to 23. Obviously I am aware of the party line that tells you to thin you have no faith, I am also aware of how self deceived you are in regurgitating a party line, because I've been there. Secondly, I made it out the other side just because you don't even get that you are spouting a part line. You think you really think for yourself and you don't.

You think because the party line tells you it's not one that means it isn't, sucker!

You have no objective actual proof that you wont weak up in hell when you die,You have faith that you wont, don't get me wrong I don;t belie in hell. But I have no proof its not real Neither do you. It is faith. Moreover, you proved my point about how atheists turn faith into a Poirot of scorn so they feel superior. You are the one who made it point of intelligence,I did not impure your intelligence.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Atheists thrive on feeling Superior That's the major reason to be one. They must faith into a negative because it's a point of superiority,. Saying one never relies on faith at any point is like saying one never relays upon instinct.

It is really a matter of where we place faith, faith itself is neither here nor there.

One Brow said...

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
Atheists thrive on feeling Superior That's the major reason to be one.

Most atheists who discuss atheism on line probably feel superior to you, but that really has more to do with your ability to conduct a discussion than their needs.

No one who wants to feel superior is going to choose a hated belief position.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

One Brow said...
Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
Atheists thrive on feeling Superior That's the major reason to be one.

Most atheists who discuss atheism on line probably feel superior to you, but that really has more to do with your ability to conduct a discussion than their needs.

No one who wants to feel superior is going to choose a hated belief position. Because you can't follow a simple line of reasoning.
May 16, 2019 5:19 AM


O that;s so cleaver. why don;t you try actually sustaining an argument for once?

"No one who wants to feel superior is going to choose a hated belief position." what a knee jerk, jerk, There is noway you can square that with all the stuff about atheists have higher IQ, Boghosian, I have tons of examples from Atheist Watch. John Loftus

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

"Of course, there are examples of extremely intelligent individuals with strong religious convictions. But various studies have found that, on average, belief in God is associated with lower scores on IQ tests. “It is well established that religiosity correlates inversely with intelligence,” note Richard Daws and Adam Hampshire at Imperial College London, in a new paper published in Frontiers in Psychology, which seeks to explore why."

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2018/01/26/are-religious-people-really-less-smart-on-average-than-atheists/

that's not connected to a need to feel superior is it? no of course not!


studies show atheism ad rejection of Christianity = low self esteem"

Part 2

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

that first link doesn't work the part 2 does, here is part 1

One Brow said...

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
There is noway you can square that with all the stuff about atheists have higher IQ, Boghosian, I have tons of examples from Atheist Watch. John Loftus

I only need to point out there is a difference between "people who are atheists want to feel superior" and "people choose atheism because they want to feel superior". No one becomes part of a disliked minority group to validate feelings of superiority; if anything, the process goes in the other direction.

Legion of Logic said...

No one becomes part of a disliked minority group to validate feelings of superiority

Pretty sure that's not true. Lots of people like being part of an edgy counterculture. And given the apparent basic requirement of blatant disrespect that New Atheism displayed, it definitely thought of itself as an edgy counterculture.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I only need to point out there is a difference between "people who are atheists want to feel superior" and "people choose atheism because they want to feel superior". No one becomes part of a disliked minority group to validate feelings of superiority; if anything, the process goes in the other direction.

My argument is not contingent upon atheists choosing to be part of atheism. When i became an atheist it didn't matter to me how popular or hated it was. In fact at the time being a moody high school kid I probably thought joining an un popular group was cool or something. I did not consider that at all. Living in Texas I was prepared to be in the minority no matter what I thought as long as I was thinking.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Also there is a difference in why one becomes an atheist and why one posts as an atheist and argues with apologists. I've often wondered if I would have done that had we had the net in my atheist period.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
Pretty sure that's not true. Lots of people like being part of an edgy counterculture.

Which is not quite opposite to what I said, but still a fair point.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

About the Islamic issue. Do you know that hospitals and nursing homes are full of Africans? No American wants to wipe asses for a living so people flock over from Africa to do that while they train in nursing. I've met some pretty good people in that regard.

One girl I met is a Christian but she lived in a place in Africa where she was forced to learn the Koran, she knows the Bible and Koran equally well and she knows them well.She speaks highly of the average Muslim and says the idea that they are all terrorists is stupid. They areas slack in execution of those passages in the Koran as Christians are about stoning people.