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The Properties Of Belief

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Thank you for hosting my thoughts and questions.

 

I have been born into a world of faith, wherein a good majority

of the population believe in one god or another (or more).

My goal is to understand how and why this is so.

 

What is it that a devout Muslim and a devout Christian have in common?

What is it that drives the devout of any denomination to proclaim that their reality bares greater verisimilitude?

What does it take (psychologically) to convert 'faith' to 'truth' in this lack-of-testable-data scenario?

What are the driving factors within Islam that bring about this change (faith to truth)?

 

Thanks again.

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PropellerAds

I think the core, the solid and wonderful core of the Christian Faith is about love, that God loved us while we were still sinners and brought mercy and justice together so we could share in that love. John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

 

CS Lewis wrote "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. "

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Thanks Tanker. But every question has been avoided.

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Only in your mind. But people answer in the way they wish and you have no control over that. Try asking one question at a time, you may then gets response that is acceptable to you.

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Try asking one question at a time, you may then gets response that is acceptable to you.

I thought of mentioning this ^ but it seemed too condescending, and so I didn't.

 

If there are thousands of religions and thousands of gods,

am I being intellectually dishonest to research just a few of them and then say that I know the truth?

 

Thanks.

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Truth is different to each man . Men either put their faith based in Knowledge [science ] , or innate intuition . Philosophy and Science are intermingled although you'll hardly find a scientist who would admit that .Knowledge can lead to faith , or atleast a notion that there is something bigger at work in the Universe .

There is a difference between faith and blind faith . Blind faith is based on tradition , peer pressures , fear of being different , fear of persecution , and just plain ignorance of the physical world that confronts us in the sciences . True faith is based on observation of the physical world , understanding the immense complexity of nature , realizing the complexity of man , the existence of good and evil [for they both truly exist ] and the free will of man to choose rather than act on animal instinct . This is where the Philosophical intersects with the Scientific . What is truly know of the origin of the Universe ? -NOTHING . We can aptly and even accurately observe , measure and in several cases predict behavior of the physical world , but on a very local scale .

  There is a saying which may illuminate this notion - 

 A simple man sees the hand of God in nature and a wise man sees the face of God in the eyes of his brother .

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In what sense is 'truth' different for each man? For Example, ohms law is as far as we know the same truth for everyone? It cannot be true that men put their faith on knowledge OR intuition - the dichotomy is not as simplistic as that. I'm not sure but you seem to be defining knowledge in a rather narrow way - cannot you see that knowledge of how day science works could bring a person to faith much like knowledge of a particular faith might do.

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 Tanker, a good example is Global Warming . The argument started over 40 years ago , yet still , how many people believe it is anthropologic and how many believe it is a natural cycle . The truth IS DIFFERENT to each man regardless of reality . Don't quite understand what you mean by the statement - "...knowledge of a particular faith might do " .

 I , as well as many ,  have knowledge of several particular faiths , yet one does not subscribe to any of them blindly , and even if one is born into any particular religion , sooner or later that person will use their own reasoning process to actually develop faith . And that is done by processing all information available , that includes a sense of the natural observed world and the philosophical implications of such an observation . For science can not provide answers to the profound questions of origins . The nature of Faith is a belief in things not seen , but intuition and philosophical  notions lead one to a rational conclusion which if compared to scientific knowledge will tend towards the philosophical . If one is looking to science for answers to questions that are unprovable in the physical realm , then one must look to the philosophical . Science can lead men to faith , and just as many men away from faith .That is where the philosophical comes in .

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I want to know what is triggered within the mind of a believer that stops 'them' from researching further.

 

How can Tanker (for example) be satisfied with his choice of religion (Christianity) when his religion accounts for less than 1% of all spiritual material available?

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Because Tanker as well as any other member of any other belief system has reached his conclusion based on what he has seen or heard , compares it to his notion of reality and decides that , his chosen view of reality fits said observations and knowledge gleaned from all sources of his life's experience .  I have seen a thread on this blog entitled "the meaning of life " . Can you provide an answer ?  And if you could or would , do you think that your answer would be standard ? What would it be based on ? Science ? Experience ? Or would it be based purely on the philosophical or your own intuition ?

 You mention 1% of spiritual material . What material ? All spiritual writings are based in the meta-physical , that is, things that are unseen and do not necessarily agree with known laws of physics . Therefore whether you are exposed to 1% or 100 % , what would be the difference ? Again you would use experience , logic and intuition as to what amount of that material you choose to believe , and I would venture to say , that the material one would choose to accept and believe, would likely be less than 1 % of all spiritual writings [ material ] available . Countless volumes have been written , how much would be necessary to read in order to arrive at a conclusion .

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Haha! Thanks, Eclipse.

 

But I'm trying to get Tanker to acknowledge 'this', not you.

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I want to know what is triggered within the mind of a believer that stops 'them' from researching further.

 

How can Tanker (for example) be satisfied with his choice of religion (Christianity) when his religion accounts for less than 1% of all spiritual material available?

I wonder what give you the confidence to suggest that all believers STOP searching? It's utter rubbish. In my church for instance during university terms we have open meeting to consider these things. I think the trigger is in your own mind to always be convinced by your own arguments. Ever head of confirmation bias?

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Well Donald you are asking a rhetorical question , and in my opinion badgering Tanker . Doctors , Scientists, Teachers , Preachers ,as well as any religionist are always in the process of gathering information , it ends when we die , therefore in the interim ,all of them  operate based on information available ,and of that  information, that which is acceptable to the individual . Information that most closely matches their experience, rationale , and sensibilities .

 Since no knowledge on any subject , including the spiritual is complete , then all men are searching , and searching with the fact , that no one will ever have complete knowledge .

 There is nothing complicated here , after all , the profound questions of life , will not be answered in life , but in death . At that point it gets even simpler as per the possibilities - after we die , there is either something better , something worse , or oblivion . No one knows , nor will they ever know until such a time as death .

 It is unfortunate indeed , that in the world , people who are basically in interim belief systems , that is, never having all the information ,  never fully understanding what the spiritual reality is or isn't , cause undue harm to one another over it .

    LOL....even the atheist is lacking all of the information , an incomplete knowledge of reality , just as does the deist . For either to make definitive statements regarding reality , is in effect expressing faith ....in an idea or notion .

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Well Donald you are asking a rhetorical question , and in my opinion badgering Tanker.

Questioning is the most defensible form of teaching - Socrates/Plato

 

Doctors , Scientists, Teachers , Preachers, as well as any religionist
are always in the process of gathering information, it ends when we die,

therefore in the interim, all of them operate based on information
available, and of that information, that which is acceptable to the
individual. Information that most closely matches their experience.

That which is acceptable to the individual? Are we to teach themselves?

 

Since no knowledge on any subject , including the spiritual is complete ,
then all men are searching , and searching with the fact , that no one
will ever have complete knowledge.

Of course. But we've already covered this.

 

There is nothing complicated here, after all, the profound questions of life, will not be answered in life, but in death.

What!?

 

At that point it gets even simpler as per the possibilities - after we
die, there is either something better, something worse, or oblivion.
No one knows, nor will they ever know until such a time as death.

How you have reached this conclusion, I am sure that I do not know.

 

LOL....even the atheist is lacking all of the information, an
incomplete knowledge of reality, just as does the deist. For either to
make definitive statements regarding reality, is in effect expressing
faith... in an idea or notion.

There is a very big difference between faith and probability or heuristics.

Where there is evidence, no one speaks of 'faith'. We do not speak of
faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only
speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.

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Substitute emotion for evidence? Well the fact is we cannot make judgements without emotions can we, that's how the brain is wired.

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That works both ways Donald , some scientists hold that there are an infinite number of Multiverses - No evidence , some hold to String Theory -No evidence , others claim a Two-Dimensional Hologram -No evidence .These are not based on theoretical mathematics of an observational nature , but rather theoretical math equations of a hypothetical nature . Probablistic ? Yes , but nonetheless probabilistic guesses . Whose guess is more valid ? That is disputed even among scientists .

 Since no one will ever prove or calculate by any means - A First Cause , Theists and Atheists stand on equal ground . Put the word "religion aside " , religion is the result of the machinations of the humans mind . Purpose in the Universe is no less possible than Chance or Probability . Using Multi-verses as an argument for probability is a non-sequitur , since there is absolutely no evidence of that .  There is no settled science ,be it observational,  mathematical or theoretical that would indicate an existence of Multi-verses ,and the very term "infinite " is merely a mathematical metaphor for an unimaginably large number , just as the Big Bang is but a metaphor for Inflation , and as "Singularity "  is for an unimaginably small space where matter is unimaginably dense . None can be considered as known physical law , as that breaks down at various points precluding any empirical conclusion . So , the First cause will never be known and will remain in the realm of the philosophical .

 As for my statement that any answer to the profound question , Purpose or Probability will be illuminated at death , you express surprise ?  Think about it , if what Theists are saying is true , then consciousness will exist beyond death , if not - oblivion . For if the Universe has purpose then , that would indicate a First cause , and if there is a First cause that would indicate a Superior Intelligence at work in the Universe ,and of course that intelligence remains unseen , of a metaphysical nature .

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That works both ways Donald , some scientists hold that there are an infinite number of Multiverses - No evidence , some hold to String Theory -No evidence , others claim a Two-Dimensional Hologram -No evidence .These are not based on theoretical mathematics of an observational nature , but rather theoretical math equations of a hypothetical nature . Probablistic ? Yes , but nonetheless probabilistic guesses . Whose guess is more valid ? That is disputed even among scientists .

 Since no one will ever prove or calculate by any means - A First Cause , Theists and Atheists stand on equal ground . Put the word "religion aside " , religion is the result of the machinations of the humans mind . Purpose in the Universe is no less possible than Chance or Probability . Using Multi-verses as an argument for probability is a non-sequitur , since there is absolutely no evidence of that .  There is no settled science ,be it observational,  mathematical or theoretical that would indicate an existence of Multi-verses ,and the very term "infinite " is merely a mathematical metaphor for an unimaginably large number , just as the Big Bang is but a metaphor for Inflation , and as "Singularity "  is for an unimaginably small space where matter is unimaginably dense . None can be considered as known physical law , as that breaks down at various points precluding any empirical conclusion . So , the First cause will never be known and will remain in the realm of the philosophical .

 As for my statement that any answer to the profound question , Purpose or Probability will be illuminated at death , you express surprise ?  Think about it , if what Theists are saying is true , then consciousness will exist beyond death , if not - oblivion . For if the Universe has purpose then , that would indicate a First cause , and if there is a First cause that would indicate a Superior Intelligence at work in the Universe ,and of course that intelligence remains unseen , of a metaphysical nature .

 

I saw the eclipse of the moon last Sunday. It was beautiful.

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That works both ways Donald , some scientists hold that there are an
infinite number of Multiverses - No evidence , some hold to String
Theory -No evidence , others claim a Two-Dimensional Hologram -No
evidence.

 

Claim to 'know' as 'fact' do they?

I was always of the impression that what they meant was,

'If my hypothesis is correct, it would allow for the possibility of....'

 

Since no one will ever prove or calculate by any means - A First Cause,

Theists and Atheists stand on equal ground.

 

This use of the word 'equal' could do with some revision.

 

and the very term "infinite " is merely a mathematical metaphor for an unimaginably large number.

 

Despite the existence of countable and non countable infinities. Infinity is properly defined as non-finite.

 

I'm still not sure what you're trying to say with regards life after death... Perhaps you could re-phrase it again.

Something about us being conscious of being unconscious and how it might lead to knowledge of purpose?

 

Thanks.

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"countable and noncountable  infinities "  ???  Donald , you're still confused . As for what I meant by my statement of death , which likely you'll fail to understand even after an explanation , I'll simplify the idea for your sake /. If the Universe has a First Cause , that would indicate Purpose , if there is Purpose ,then there must be an intelligent force driving it , if that is so, then that force is one that is unseen yet responsible for all that is , and yes the reason you have consciousness of a reality. Therefore there is more to human existence than your simplistic "stardust eating stardust "  .So consciousness arises out of evolution and evolution is a purposed process to facilitate consciousness . Since consciousness can not be physically touched or quantified ,  it is the result of  electronic interaction of corporeal mass and energy yet not being corporeal itself , it is quite possible if not in fact true , that consciousness continues after death . Now that is a philosophical conclusion , but no more philosophical than Multi-verses , String Theory , Two-Dimensional Holograms or any other hypothetical theory that science espouses .  Apply Occam's Razor . And therein lies the EQUALITY between Theists and Atheists .....unless of course , you have some  information privy to you, that no one is yet aware of .  If so , please pay it forward .

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Please learn some grammar; that was fairly uncomfortable to read (and re-read).

 

"countable and noncountable  infinities "  ???  Donald , you're still confused .

Confused about what? You said infinity was 'unimaginablely large'. That is not an accurate descriptor.

 

As for what I meant by my statement of death , which likely you'll fail to understand even after an explanation, I'll simplify the idea for your sake /.

More cheap remarks, bad grammar and insults. How have you reached 'purpose' from 'first cause'?

 

if there is Purpose ,then there must be an intelligent force driving it

Is this purpose issued from an external agent (you)? Please be more specific.

 

Therefore there is more to human existence than your simplistic "stardust eating stardust "

I never expressed the limits to our existence or conscious lives... Not that stars collapsing under the laws of our universe is 'simplistic'.

 

it is quite possible if not in fact true , that consciousness continues after death . Now that is a philosophical conclusion

Woah! That was deep... Deep as whale ####.

 

Much of what you said equates to just a few words - 'The first cause' is responsible for everything.

 

Do you have any of your own ideas to add?

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Some physicists take the view that the quantum computer is evidence for multiverse - the idea is that each part of a calculation is done in different universes. It all comes from the idea that at everyinstant of change we create another universe .

 

A hypotheses does not make anything possible. A hypothesis is just a way of getting a yes no answer.

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Donald , I  think before you can understand any statement I make or any opinion I posit , you must get over your ego .  Now , of the possibilities involved in any  attempt at an explanation for the Origin of the Universe and REALITY , Purpose is among the possibilities . That is of course philosophical , but no less than infinite multiverses etc., as none of those theories involve empirical science . Science may counter, that they are hypothetical possibilities based on known physical laws .Yet there are no known physical laws that would be applicable to anything before the initial expansion ...NONE . Latest data from the LHC is in fact contradicting any known Quantum and Classical laws of physics and the Standard Model is being brought into question . So as I said previously, if you have any information , that you alone are privy to , please bring it forward . But please do so in a non-juvenile manner , unlike  your latest reply .

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Hi Eclipse

 

You are correct that purpose is, logically, a possible source for the universe but to posit purpose as a source you then have to find a source for purpose so you haven’t solve the origin problem just moved it back one step.  That’s not to say it’s wrong only that it doesn’t solve the problem of origins on its own.

 

There are hints that may point to a multiverse from observations we can make in this universe, the behaviour of sub atomic particles in experiments that appear to ‘know’ the entire experimental setup when they have only traversed one route though it for example or as Tanker pointed out the results of quantum computation experiments.  I suspect that neither of these effects are the results of a multiverse but the logical possibility exists and if it can be shown to be true we’ll see that the multiverse is indeed detectable.

 

The variation in the behaviour of leptons in the LHC experiment may well alter, even quite radically, the standard model currently used in physics but the new model will still have to explain all that we currently observe so the new isn’t likely to be a completely new model rather it’s more likely to be a rework of the current one though only time will tell.  Someone probably said something similar about Newton when Einstein came along and they’d have been wrong.  In science we have to work with the best information we have at the time understanding that all such information is provisional on future discoveries.  But science has a very solid track record of working this stuff out and producing results that work in this universe so there is truth in amongst all those theories even if they are imperfect.

 

Russell

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I agree with your statement Russel. Particle physics' latest finds are indicating that some change shape and others seem to come into and go out of existence. This of course is also indicating that we have an incomplete if not completely wrong idea of the true nature of reality. If basic parameters that we base most of our hypotheses on are incorrect ,then what is considered to be logically possible could be way off target .  The data is just coming in now from the re-started LHC , and it will be at least a year to get a better idea of what that data means ,but what has been observed is truly eye opening ,as much more than the Higgs Field has been observed, new particles observed with physics defying known laws and behavior of particles unexplained.  It is my opinion that the data will indicate just more incredible complexity than we had imagined , and will bring us no closer to the  first cause [if any ] , also in my own opinion , purpose is a logical possibility albeit  philosophical , but no less valid than  hypothetical Multiverses and String Theory .  These are extrapolations based on known physics , yet known physics is at best, is incomplete. I do not however discount any ground breaking discovery ,but  until such a time when there is, and subsequently some settled science , both scientific and philosophical schools of thought remain strictly hypothetical regarding reality beyond our local observations .

 I rule out neither .  

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