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Thread: Rationalizing faith.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Point of history:

    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Even online dictionary definitions have shifted to reflect common usage. Faith practically being synonymous with trust and confidence, etc. It's quite odd.
    That's not the change. The idea that faith and trust are separate contexts is the change, a product of the changing philosophical and scholarly trends in European tradition. Faith, in Christian contexts, does and always did mean a personal relationship of loyalty and mutual trust/obedience; it is a translation of the ancient Greek term pistis, which held both meanings, likewise its Latin equivalent fides from which the English term is etymologically derived. They often were used in civil contexts to indicate legal relationships; for instance, a viceroy had the "faith" of his king, and something similar was being implied about Christ and his followers in relation to God, that they were adopted sons of God and therefore had the faith of and in God, a reciprocal relationship of faith and authority. No one predating the Renaissance ever talked or wrote about faith as though it were synonymous with "acceptance of a philosophical proposition". But cultures and priorities change over time. That new definition came to sit alongside the older sense of the word connoting trust and confidence, and both senses have been used (often interchangeably) in religious circles and secular contexts from the end of the Renaissance onward to the present. Four hundred years is a long time, and both definitions are commonly in use in our society at this point.
    I wasn't disputing that the word 'faith' has been, and still is used in multiple ways, synonymous with trust, confidence, etc, just that this semantic drift creates sufficient ambiguity to allow theists to align and defend their faith, a belief held without the support of evidence, with trust or confidence.....which are not the same, thereby muddying the water.
    I agree that the water is muddy, just not with your chronology of the concept. The ambiguity was always there, not of recent invention.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Hope may come in different flavours, a reasonably probable expectation at one end of the scale to an unrealistic belief at the other, from hope to faith.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Hope may come in different flavours, a reasonably probable expectation at one end of the scale to an unrealistic belief/faith at the other.
    Personally, I see religious faith in much the same light, and indeed see hope and faith as rather strongly interlinked concepts. Only zealots, politicians, and atheists have capital invested in a conception of faith as inherently unthinking.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    I wasn't disputing that the word 'faith' has been, and still is used in multiple ways, synonymous with trust, confidence, etc, just that this semantic drift creates sufficient ambiguity to allow theists to align and defend their faith, a belief held without the support of evidence, with trust or confidence.....which are not the same, thereby muddying the water.
    I agree that the water is muddy, just not with your chronology of the concept. The ambiguity was always there, not of recent invention.
    I didn't give a chronology, the ambiguity has always been there. It just seems like technology, the internet more than anything else, has focused or intensified it in recent times. I could be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Hope may come in different flavours, a reasonably probable expectation at one end of the scale to an unrealistic belief/faith at the other.
    Personally, I see religious faith in much the same light, and indeed see hope and faith as rather strongly interlinked concepts. Only zealots, politicians, and atheists have capital invested in a conception of faith as inherently unthinking.
    Hope as the basis of belief is "unthinking". It is believing something is true b/c you hope it is true, which given the two have zero logical relation is irrational. IOW, it is emotional based belief where wishful thinking is treated is interchangable with objective reality. The Bible and Christian theology make numerous references to the idea that faith is not merely hope with the acknowledgement that it might not be actually true, but is hope-based doubtless belief in the actual truth and reality of the idea (to the point of centering one's whole existence around it). It's only dishonest religious apologist that deny the inherent conflict between reasoned thought and faith as Abrahamic religion has always conceived and promoted it.

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Hope may come in different flavours, a reasonably probable expectation at one end of the scale to an unrealistic belief/faith at the other.
    Personally, I see religious faith in much the same light, and indeed see hope and faith as rather strongly interlinked concepts. Only zealots, politicians, and atheists have capital invested in a conception of faith as inherently unthinking.
    Given degrees of probability for something to be true, or the likelihood of something happening as hoped for, perhaps faith is a less rational form of hope, which is why faith, but not necessarily hope, is defined as a belief held without the support of evidence in that context.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    The Bible and Christian theology make numerous references to the idea that faith is not merely hope with the acknowledgement that it might not be actually true, but is hope-based doubtless belief in the actual truth and reality of the idea (to the point of centering one's whole existence around it).
    Oh? I for one would be interested to see your homework on this.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    The Bible and Christian theology make numerous references to the idea that faith is not merely hope with the acknowledgement that it might not be actually true, but is hope-based doubtless belief in the actual truth and reality of the idea (to the point of centering one's whole existence around it).
    Oh? I for one would be interested to see your homework on this.
    The analysis ronburgundy made is pretty much describing the basis of Pascal's wager, frequently used by evangelical Christians in attempts to convince people to accept the faith.

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    Tricksy Leftits Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Religious belief doesn't come in through reason or rational examination. The rationales from the religious are after-the-fact justifications, not reasons, and certainly not the reasons they believe. That all happened in other areas of the brain.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    It's just that they shameless substitute false witness to a reality that they subscribe to in order to belong to that group that believes in heaven and life after death.

    Fear of mortality and many other shortcomings in life leaves life after death as an awesome opiate which intoxicates us all to some extent.

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