Posted by James 5:16 on August 02, 2001 at 13:49:34:
: Let us not confuse faith with belief here. Whilst it is more than possible to believe something, it is altogether a different concept to have faith in it. Faith is a concept requiring dedication and commitment whilst belief requires nothing. I can believe that Tiger Woods will win the next US Open Golf Tournament. To have faith in the same concept requires a higher degree of commitment.
: Thus, it is the same in regards to religious activity. Whilst Christians have faith, atheists and agnostics choose disbelief or the belief to not choose sides. Atheists and agnostics are not required to sacrifice any time or dedication defending their beliefs. However, for a Christian to defend their faith is inbuilt in the religion.
: Belief is just a matter of opinion. Faith on the other hand is a more amorphous concept which requires total devotion. It is possible to be wrong in what you believe in. To be wrong in which faith you follow has far more devastating consequences.
Well put, except that a Christian makes no distiction between belief and faith. I, in not using faith properly brought about this nice statement. Thank you for clarifying it for me and the other readers.
: As I said, I consider myself an agnostic for lack of a better term, and to choose disbelief is only as the result of lack of clear evidence in the contrary. There is no clear evidence that atheists are correct either, but I am more sympathetic as they do not need to prove anything.
: I repeat my example: If you claim there is $10 in your pocket, the onus of proof lies in you to pull it out to prove it to us. The onus does not lie on the bystander to prove that this $10 never actually existed.
: Most humans are perpetually searching for the truth in life. However few consider the possibility that there are no ultimate truths to ever be found. Its not a choice to believe in nothing, we are all born believing in nothing. Only through interaction with others are our morals and beliefs defined. If you were born on a secluded desert island with no companionship, the concept of a higher being may exist, but the Christian concept of God never would. Likewise in many foreign countries. Would a Christian God really settle for such a haphazard system? Logically that answer is no. If you have faith, you state that we can't understand God's plan, no matter how seemingly bizarre or unjust it is.
Actually, God sets up a set of rules for the people born, raised, live and die on that desert island. He says that those people will be judged based on the set of rules by which they were living.
Also, I stated that we do not always understand God's plan. I certainly don't and it would be arrogant to try. In many ways, I do understand His plan. It may seem bizarre or unjust to you but it is the set of rules by which I live by. (Faillingly, somewhat ironically.)
: I give you the sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the angry dog".
: From this we can infer that the fox was escaping as a means of self preservation. It could also stand as a metaphor for the business goals of an executive officer in the army, amongst other things. The balance of probabilities suggest the simplest explanation is the correct one, although not necessarily always the case.
First, we can infer nothing. The fox could have jumped over a wall of dogs because that is what it was trained to do. Now, I'll agree that most of the time the likeliest set of events is the one that is correct, but not always.
: Christians believe in a few fundamental aspects. These aspects cannot be wrong for it would cause the breakdown of your entire faith.
: It is essential as 2+2=4, in an equation stating 12+432/(2+2) = ?
: If these fundamentals are correct, you will have an answer. If these fundamentals are incorrect, you will again have an answer. However, only one answer can legitimately be correct.
: There should be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that these fundamentals are true, otherwise the whole thing collapses. I reiterate, How can anyone possibly base their religion on something which has been written thousands of years ago, and translated numerous times. Have you ever seen a foreign film translated? Translate even a foreign newspapers and there are a multitude of possible interpretations. Now consider the bible, a book which has been translated numerous times where even the Catholics and Protestants cannot agree on the Commandments. This basically results in 2+2 = X. X being the answer each religion believes to be the correct answer.
: Meanwhile, atheists don't need a foundation, they choose simply to deny that the equation exists at all or even has a legitimate answer.
: What is worse? To not have an answer or to have an incorrect one?
: I put it to you, that to have an incorrect one is worse, as this comes about as the result of the fear of the unknown.
Well, that is a good point, however, there are many translations to the Bible. Some are word particular others favor phrases. No one Bible is a perfect translation into English and very few would make that claim. Those who do are wrong. There are words that we don't have in English but did exist in anchient Greek for example. So, what we, as Christians, try to do is attempt to come to a reasonable translation based on people who understand the language best. In fact, the Bible that I read and quote was translated by non-believers. It tries to translate the Bible best based on words and not phrases. We try our best and have faith that we can understand based on a variety of texts.
: That's true, but that doesn't mean i revere any of these books as holy or try to infer deeper meaning into it. I just enjoy the books for what they are, an entertaining story and leave the metaphors to English students.
: We all judge what is worthy in believing in. Whether this is influenced by others, events or even a book is in your hands. However to place all your faith in one book to dictate your lifestyle is an act of faith, not reason, and I believe reason to be paramount to faith.
: It is human nature to be afraid of many things, but the least anyone should fear is religion :)
: I choose not to place any specific examples of religious inaccuracy in here as plenty have done so before me and I'm loath to waste space and repeat. However, I again mention the lack of guidance in regards to numerous issues such as: life in outer space, women clergy and sex before marriage as examples. Furthermore, the numerous supernatural events which occur throughout, whilst nothing remotely supernatural in that vein occurs in modern society. I also take issue in any God choosing to punish disbelief with torment in hell :) I will be more specific in the future if you wish, but that will be in another thread for clarity's sake.
: I don't claim that the statement is wrong, or cannot teach us anything, I merely claim that the statement may not be totally accurate :)
: There is a difference, as there is between belief and faith. Shades of grey between the black and white if you wish.
: I sincerely hope you have the patience to wade through all my responses then :)
: I tend to write in spurts, and as such your responses intrigued me to the extent where I found myself trying to more clearly state my point of view.
: Feel free to respond to any of my ramblings which you consider relevant :)
Thanks for giving me the chance to clear many of them up.
Post a Followup