CausalCode

  • **
  • 948 Posts
    • View Profile
1. A simple question: "Do Christians have faith in oxygen/air they breath"?

No Christian has answered yes to the above question, as far as I have encountered.

Their answers to the above question could be summarized to be something like: "I don't need faith in air, because it's obviously there, because we breath it constantly".

2. Another pertinent question emerges: "So why then do theists have faith in God?"

3. Thereafter, faith in God is extremely disrespectful of God, as it is an admittance that there is no actual surety on whether God exists!"

I welcome intellectual responses.



Signature: I am interested in completing a novel learning model I call the "Supersymmetric Artificial Neural Network".
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 11:41:07 am by CausalCode »

1

Walter

  • **
  • 6 Posts
    • View Profile
Except the bible itself portrays faith as a virtue:

Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

2

Axe Elf

  • **
  • 321 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Debate Proposal: Faith in God is actually extremely disrespectful of God
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2019, 07:35:32 pm »
I believe that all "facts" (outside of the basic fact of one's own existence) are based in faith.

That is, the only thing that we can KNOW to be true is the fact of our own existence (and even that fact can only be known to oneself, and not to anyone else).

Anything else that we believe to be true is based on faith in one of the following three things:

1)  Faith in our own personal experience; that is, that a "real world" exists outside of our own heads, and that our sensations and perceptions are at least to some degree representative of that reality.

2)  Faith in the testimony of others regarding their own personal experiences.

3)  Faith in the axioms of formal reasoning systems.

So in an honest epistemological analysis, there is no actual surety that ANYTHING (other than myself) exists.  I choose to have faith in those things which seem to me to be the most reasonable.  I see no disrespect in choosing to believe that something exists when it may, in fact, not exist--whether that thing is oxygen or the square root of -1 or the Leaning Tower of Pisa or God.

3

palewine

  • **
  • 900 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Debate Proposal: Faith in God is actually extremely disrespectful of God
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 07:57:22 pm »
It could be argued that belief allows you to interact with something further.

Looking at the oxygen analogy, you don't have to believe in oxygen for it to benefit you by breathing it.

But if you 1) believe in it, and 2) have knowledge about its properties, you can use techniques to manipulate it for your own advantage. For instance, you can create it from water, you can compress it, you can create hyperbaric chambers, etc.

I'm arguing for the theistic point here even though I'm a (recent) agnostic, so maybe instead of devil's advocate I'm playing "angel's advocate"? ;)

4

shoyt

  • **
  • 282 Posts
    • View Profile
1. A simple question: "Do Christians have faith in oxygen/air they breath"?

No Christian has answered yes to the above question, as far as I have encountered.

Their answers to the above question could be summarized to be something like: "I don't need faith in air, because it's obviously there, because we breath it constantly".

2. Another pertinent question emerges: "So why then do theists have faith in God?"

3. Thereafter, faith in God is extremely disrespectful of God, as it is an admittance that there is no actual surety on whether God exists!"

I welcome intellectual responses.



Signature: I am interested in completing a novel learning model I call the "Supersymmetric Artificial Neural Network".

There are many ways the argument can fail.

First is that many people could say that yes, they do have faith in Oxygen. They know it exists because it can be demonstrated, but they have faith (confidence, trust, assurance) that when they breathe, their bodies will make use of it, or that when they strike a match, it will light, and so on. God, as transcendent, is beyond demonstrability. So while one may rightly believe that such a being or reality exits, one might doubt it since the existence of God is genuinely doubtable (i.e. sound arguments can be made against God's existence, and sound arguments can be made for God's existence).. Too, we may have experiences that, beyond epistemic doubt, are not otherwise dubious and give us confidence, trust, assurance, and so on.

Second, there's no argumentation for the premise that doubting the existence of God does or should be disrespectful, whether from our perspective or God's; this is the central failure of the argument itself.

Finally, other than the presumption of the truth of the hidden premise that we or God should see x behavior as disrespectful, a second hidden premise likewise not argued for and only taken for granted is that it is "obvious" God exists, and nothing could be farther from the truth.

P1) If it were obvious God existed, then it would either be rationally or experientially so.
P2) Logic doesn't concern itself with truth nor tells us things about the world that aren't already known.
P3) Experience doesn't tell us about the way the world is but is the basis of our representations of it.
P4) Only axioms, tautology, and truism are epistemically obvious.
P5) Logic, axioms, tautology, and truism are epistemically trivial.
SC1) If God's existence is rationally obvious, then it is either through logic, axioms, tautology, or truism. (def "rational", P2-P4)
SC2) If God's existence is rationally obvious, then it is trivial. (P5, SC1)
P5) Experiences are obvious but our representations of them are not.
P6) God is a representation of a person's direct or indirect experience.
SC3) It is not certain that God is the source of any experience. (P5, P6)
C) That God exists is either rationally obvious and trivial or is not obvious at all. (SC2, SC3)

Food for thought ... if you have to argue that deity do or don't exist to someone who disagrees, it's not obvious just in case both people are after the truth.

Therefore, it is extremely disrespectful to fellow interlocutors to argue the existence of deity is obvious; you're essentially commenting on their character and motives in a bad light.


5

nielnielson

  • *
  • 4 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Debate Proposal: Faith in God is actually extremely disrespectful of God
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 06:48:13 pm »
From my understanding, the basic argument that is being presented is the following:

1. If belief in something requires faith, then there is not much certainty in that thing
2. The theist (Christian) has faith in God.
C. Thus there is not much certainty in God (4,5 MT)

Before responding to this argument,  I think it is important to agree on a definition of faith. From your proposal, I think we have at least similar definitions, which in my own words I will describe faith as: fully trusting in something without having complete proof, which prompts an action or change. If your definition differs, please provide your alternative.

I begin with a critique of the oxygen analogy, as I think we may be able to provide a more appropriate one.The oxygen analogy doesn’t seem to require any sort of belief or acknowledgment, much less faith, since it is just a natural process that our bodies require without even thinking about it. One could go their whole lives without even asking the question, why do I breath? but still do so (until they stop breathing of course :-)).

I submit the analogy of a chair, where an individual looking at the chair must first assess the chair, inspect its structural integrity, the material it is made of, etc., to eventually come to a decision to sit in the chair. Sitting in the chair in this analogy is faith, where faith is a decision that one comes to after assessing the evidence. There is still no guarantee that the chair will hold, but choosing to sit on the chair demonstrates faith in its ability to support my weight.

For myself and most Christians that I know, this is how we view faith in God. The scriptures, personal experiences, and the testimonies of others are evidence, which eventually leads to a decision to have faith in God. With this being said, I disagree with the first premise that I believe you are presenting, as there are plenty of situations in addition to sitting in a chair, which require faith, yet we wouldn’t say there isn’t much certainty.

Your secondary conclusion is that “Faith in God is actually extremely disrespectful of God”. I believe you mean to say “... extremely disrespectful to God”, and I will respond to this statement, but correct me if you stand by the original. I don’t really see how this conclusion follows even if your previous statement that there is not much certainty in God is true. Attaching this argument to other analogous situations sound strange.


“I have faith that my spouse will remain faithful in our marriage” - This certainly doesn’t seem disrespectful to the spouse, quite the opposite actually.
“I have faith that X company will perform well this quarter” - Disrespectful? It doesn’t even seem appropriate in this situation.
It seems quite clear that this argument doesn’t follow in other situations, and I agree with other comments that faith is seen as a virtue in Christianity.