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OfflineDoctorJ
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The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief
    #1796392 - 08/09/03 09:31 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

I would just like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the very nature of beliefs and Faith make them both completely unprovable.

When I say I "know" something, its provable in some objective way. When I say I "believe" something, the use of the word "belief" neccesarily connotes that I can't prove it.

Beliefs can be questioned, certainly- disproved, definitely. It was once the belief of many on this planet that the Earth is flat. This was disproved once when someone sailed around it without falling off, and again when we managed to get off this lousy rock and photograph the whole damn thing from space.

Beliefs cannot, however, be "rationalized". Belief and knowledge are two very different things. Beliefs are assertions that can neither be proved nor disproved with the current information available to us.

I believe in God. Can I prove it objectively? No. Can it be disproved? Also, the answer is No. It is unfair for someone to ask me to prove the existence of God if it cant be proved that it does NOT exist.

Anyway, my point is that anyone who asks a person to rationally justify their faith is completly missing the point.


--------------------
'You can go to a hospital
Get yourself cleaned out.'


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1796582 - 08/09/03 10:47 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

This is why beliefs suck.
Beliefs are, fundamentally speaking, mental roadblocks.

Question Authority... but only if said authority doesn't agree with you?
Fuck that! I say NEVER STOP QUESTIONING (short breaks are okay though).


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Sclorch]
    #1796604 - 08/09/03 10:55 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

i was doing good for a while... with the whole knowing thing. But then i was crushed by something. And i felt that i didnt know anything anymore. Its like all that i thought i "knew" just crumbled, and i was left to just try and cope... to hope... be believing and trusting in a force. But i dont think there is any diagnosis for that. Shit happens, and you gotta pick yourself back up i guess.


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What?


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OfflineDoctorJ
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Zero7a1]
    #1796626 - 08/09/03 11:07 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

"This is why beliefs suck."

Well, if that is your belief, I will respect it, but personally, I disagree.

I would say there are both positive and negative beliefs.

Many people in the east believe in reincarnation. People who believe in reincarnation have a vested interest in preserving the planet, because they believe they will come here again.

Many people in the west believe you only get one life to live here on earth. They have no interest in preserving the planet, and often the goal of their lives is to see who can consume the most resources before they die.

Of course, there are negative sides to positive beliefs and positive sides to negative beliefs, but the point is that a properly applied faith can have a beneficial effect on both the individual and his environment.


--------------------
'You can go to a hospital
Get yourself cleaned out.'


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1796638 - 08/09/03 11:12 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

yeah man, excellent post!

i think the fact that we live on a round earth that we can sail around without falling off must have been completely mind-boggling when they first found that out.  i mean, that would be a major belief that was completely shattered.  growing up and knowing that the earth is round is much easier to accept and visualize than it would be to grow up thinking the earth is flat only to suddenly realize it is round.

anyway, yeah... good post! :laugh:


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Namaste.


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InvisibleAutonomous
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1796658 - 08/09/03 11:24 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

I believe in Purple three winged bandersnatches that breathe fire, eat tachyons and crap out kitty litter. Can I prove it objectively? No. Can they be disproved? Also, the answer is No. It is unfair for someone to ask me to prove the existence of Purple three winged bandersnatches that breathe fire, eat tachyons and crap out kitty litter if it can't be proven that they do NOT exist.


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"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination."
-- Mark Twain


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OfflineDoctorJ
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Autonomous]
    #1796692 - 08/09/03 11:35 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

I agree :smile:


--------------------
'You can go to a hospital
Get yourself cleaned out.'


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1797128 - 08/10/03 02:39 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Many people in the west believe you only get one life to live here on earth. They have no interest in preserving the planet, and often the goal of their lives is to see who can consume the most resources before they die.



I don't believe that, because even us evil western people want our offspring to live a good life.

But I agree that beliefs can have both positive and negative effects, and I think many negative effects come from beliefs that involve unnecessary and highly speculative ideas, because they sooner or later tend to interfere with true knowledge about reality.


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1797172 - 08/10/03 03:03 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

When I say I "know" something, its provable in some objective way.




I agree with 99% of what you said very well.
But.. since few people get interested in a play or movie until there's some conflict, let me gently take issue with the statement above.

There is such a thing as subjective knowledge. Something may be evident to you, but cannot be proven to others. For instance, love. If you ever loved someone, or some *thing*, whether it be a book, the search for truth, whatever..you *knew* for yourself you were in love, but it is really provable to others? Does that reduce it to a mere belief then?


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I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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OfflineDoctorJ
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Jellric]
    #1797337 - 08/10/03 04:56 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

^^yeah, I agree with that, but its farther than I'm willing to go with some of the people on this board.


--------------------
'You can go to a hospital
Get yourself cleaned out.'


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OfflineDoctorJ
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1797357 - 08/10/03 05:13 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

"I don't believe that, because even us evil western people want our offspring to live a good life."

Some of us do. Maybe you do. Maybe your parents did. But you wouldn't believe how many parents I meet who have a completely negligent attitude towards parenthood. I could go off on a rant for two pages about it, but I won't.


--------------------
'You can go to a hospital
Get yourself cleaned out.'


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Jellric]
    #1797369 - 08/10/03 05:21 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

you *knew* for yourself you were in love, but it is really provable to others? Does that reduce it to a mere belief then?



I like to think of knowledge as conditional. Like, given that X is true, I know that Y is also true. If I really were in love, then my memories and reports of this are true. Some conditional knowledge has your entire existence up until now as the precondition, and that's the knowledge we think of as subjective experience.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1797428 - 08/10/03 06:25 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

We have certain laws here that prevent certain things from happening; walking through walls, moving faster than humanely possible, etc. What if there was no wall? You wouldn't be walking through it, because it wasn't there. Walking wouldn't even exist, you wouldn't exist, which technically means you could do anything termed impossible, because you wouldn't exist.
It isn't rational, thoughts like this, and that is a good thing. You can use irrationality to "win" in rationality. I myself couldn't walk through walls, I know it is technically possible, but there is a lot of truths in my head that contradict that, my mind would have to be extensively reprogrammed to accomplish this, you would have to believe you could walk through a wall just as you believe you have the ability to simply walk...
Yes, I watched the Matrix for the first time last night, and I have learned a lot. A lot of people, I guess, never fully understand it the first time they saw it, but I understood it.
Belief is King, Belief is the key. One simple thought that it is not makes it not. Free your mind, FREE YOUR MIND! Muhahahahaha.
....all this pain is an illuuussiiionniioonnionnnn....
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Offlineneutralizer
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: fireworks_god]
    #1797442 - 08/10/03 06:46 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Watch it a few more times, if you're bored just throw it in the player and have it for background noise. I get a better picture of it each time I do that.


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There are things known, and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors - Morrison


Edited by neutralizer (08/10/03 06:47 AM)


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: neutralizer]
    #1797509 - 08/10/03 08:13 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Yeah, I am sure there are parts I missed and all, but for the most part, I followed completely.
Ahh, revelations. So sweet and enlightening.
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Zero7a1]
    #1797654 - 08/10/03 10:27 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Yep, why would anyone argue against another's belief? That's what the word kind of implies. Society seems to take this right and wrong things a little too seriously sometimes. isn't it odd how some words mean different things just because of the point of view. the english language certainly is a messy one :smile:

" was doing good for a while... with the whole knowing thing. But then i was crushed by something. And i felt that i didnt know anything anymore. Its like all that i thought i "knew" just crumbled, and i was left to just try and cope... to hope... be believing and trusting in a force. But i dont think there is any diagnosis for that. Shit happens, and you gotta pick yourself back up i guess."

hey it's all good. The way I've experienced things, I'm always rebuilding my foundation. There's always something new to learn because there's always a different perspective. isn't it amazing how a lot of people convey the same ideas but in different ways? btw what do you mean by trusting in a force? 


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Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.---senior doobie


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OfflineSpokesman
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: kaiowas]
    #1797678 - 08/10/03 10:46 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Yea i have very strong belives about human nature and our beginings and structer it around scientififc research, but who am i to say science is always right? Even deeper, who am i to say there is a human nature and that reality isnt just a dream, or that we ever even had a past? Therefore i can never force my beliefs on anyone, i just like to open their minds to think outside religion and standard interpitation of history. Thats why i dont preach about what i belive, i only question their own beliefs and alot of times can never get an answer, leaving the person seeing how fragil the structer of their belief is. And thats when i walk away feeling i have a purpose of existance while the other person mumbles about how i should be in a mental hospital.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1797778 - 08/10/03 11:55 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

DoctorJ writes:

Anyway, my point is that anyone who asks a person to rationally justify their faith is completly missing the point.

Correct. Faith and Reason are incompatible, and are in fact opposites. There is no point trying to discuss Faith in a rational manner, since it is by definition non-rational. You just piss off the person of faith and frustrate yourself.

pinky


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Phred]
    #1797852 - 08/10/03 12:34 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

If your ultimate goal is knowledge, then faith is definately damaging.

If your ultimate goal is happiness, then faith may be just what you need.

Faith is the act of forcing yourself into ignorance.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePyronate
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Phluck]
    #1797915 - 08/10/03 01:01 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Phluck said:
Faith is the act of forcing yourself into ignorance.




Precisely so.


--------------------
"It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom... keep that in mind at all times."

--Bill Hicks (RIP)


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OfflineCockyMandrill
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Phluck]
    #1797963 - 08/10/03 01:16 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Phluck said:
If your ultimate goal is knowledge, then faith is definately damaging.

If your ultimate goal is happiness, then faith may be just what you need.

Faith is the act of forcing yourself into ignorance.




I disagree. Faith doesn't bring you happiness, it just gives you a place to belong. It gives you the security of thinking you know what will happen to you after you die. Being happy isn't from joining some religion, its about truely fully accepting who you are and being content with that.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Phluck]
    #1798001 - 08/10/03 01:34 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Phluck said:
Faith is the act of forcing yourself into ignorance.




It depends on what you are having faith in, I think. Are we talking about faith in something that we have no way of really knowing, such as where we go when we die? How can having faith in where you will go when you die be the same as ignorance, if you have no way of knowing in the first place?

The way I see it, is that ignorance is blindly not accepting facts (of course, the question of what makes a fact a fact comes into question, the view of what is going on, what is real when you are on the stage in the play is going to be quite different than when you wrote the play...).

Southern Baptists believe that God created us, and there were no caveman, although fossils have been found and validated... they still hold onto their beliefs although the truth is right there.. that is ignorance. "Civilized" Christians who witnessed tribal rituals performed for their gods considered them ignorant.. if only they knew the truth, right?

Blaming sickness on evil spirits seems ignorant, but if you have no way of knowing... you never realize that you were ignorant until the truth is realized.. we are always ignorant until we are suddenly blessed with the truth.

The Christains know that the Wiccans are wrong, that they have their evidence that they are wrong, and the Christians will always have their God, that He is really there, that to worship someone else is ignorant... and the Wiccans know that life is only a participation in the sacredness of nature, etc, that to believe in a monotheistic god is wrong, and that they themselves are right..

Anyways, when you find the person or the source that has the Ultimate View in this universe about what is really true, about what is really false, please let me know. I'm interested to know that I've been ignorant all this while....
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflinePyronate
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: fireworks_god]
    #1798014 - 08/10/03 01:41 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

fireworks_god said:
The way I see it, is that ignorance is blindly not accepting facts




This ties into what Phluck was saying. When someone has faith in or believes something, they are stating that that thing is true and that they know it is true - when, in actuality, they do not know. In short, they are blindly not accepting the fact that they do not know whether or not what they believe is true.


--------------------
"It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom... keep that in mind at all times."

--Bill Hicks (RIP)


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Pyronate]
    #1798039 - 08/10/03 01:52 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Pyronate said:
In short, they are blindly not accepting the fact that they do not know whether or not what they believe is true.




Ahh, but as no one really knows what the Truth is, accepting something as True makes it True, because no one can prove that what you hold True is Not-True...

Welcome to complete chaos. The only reason this place APPEARS to have order is because we make it appear so...
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: CockyMandrill]
    #1798706 - 08/10/03 06:05 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

If your ultimate goal is knowledge, then faith is definately damaging.




To me faith is what you make due with until you find out what's really going on. In this case it isn't damaging, it's just a stepping stone to be discarded once you've walked over it into knowledge.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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OfflineDoctorJ
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Jellric]
    #1798873 - 08/10/03 07:07 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Pyronate Wrote:
"This ties into what Phluck was saying. When someone has faith in or believes something, they are stating that that thing is true and that they know it is true - when, in actuality, they do not know. In short, they are blindly not accepting the fact that they do not know whether or not what they believe is true. "

Ummm.. I think you need to reread my origional post again.


--------------------
'You can go to a hospital
Get yourself cleaned out.'


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OfflinePyronate
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: fireworks_god]
    #1799119 - 08/10/03 08:26 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

fireworks_god said:
Ahh, but as no one really knows what the Truth is, accepting something as True makes it True, because no one can prove that what you hold True is Not-True...




Accepting something as True does not necessarily make it so. Anyone can pick a random idea and decide to believe in it; this does not make it True, particularly since, odds are, millions or billions of people possess contradictory beliefs.

Ultimately, the only realistic path is to acknowledge the impossibility of knowing Truth, and instead merely examine possibilities.

Quote:

Welcome to complete chaos. The only reason this place APPEARS to have order is because we make it appear so...




Perhaps so.


--------------------
"It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom... keep that in mind at all times."

--Bill Hicks (RIP)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Phluck]
    #1799343 - 08/10/03 09:21 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Phluck said:
If your ultimate goal is knowledge, then faith is definately damaging.

If your ultimate goal is happiness, then faith may be just what you need.

Faith is the act of forcing yourself into ignorance.



Not necessarily. Everything requires faith at some level, even if it's just faith that the laws of science will always be consistent. For example, if you let go of an apple 1,000 times at the top of a building, and it hits the ground 1,000 times, then you see the pattern of gravity, and assume that it will always fall to the ground. But how do you know that this will always be so? You don't. You have faith that because it's happened every time before that it will happen every time, but you still cannot prove this. You can only prove that it has happened every time you have done it.

Also, there are subjective experiences that lead people to faith. It seems very real to them, but they cannot prove it is true to anyone else. For example, my experience with mushrooms has led me to believe that we are all one, but I cannot prove this to anyone. I realize that because I experienced this under the influence of a psychedelic drug, that the fact that I experienced it does not make it true. However, it was real enough to me that I cannot believe otherwise.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: silversoul7]
    #1799371 - 08/10/03 09:29 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

For example, my experience with mushrooms has led me to believe that we are all one, but I cannot prove this to anyone. I realize that because I experienced this under the influence of a psychedelic drug, that the fact that I experienced it does not make it true. However, it was real enough to me that I cannot believe otherwise.

Yes, but here lies the dichotomy with both religious-based faith and mushroom-induced insights: If people genuinely believed what they proclaimed, then it would be reflected in their outward treatment of others at all times, but, alas; this is rarely so.

With your apple and gravity example, people ALWAYS act is if it were true.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: silversoul7]
    #1799377 - 08/10/03 09:30 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Well said!


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OfflineDoctorJ
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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Swami]
    #1799391 - 08/10/03 09:32 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

"If people genuinely believed what they proclaimed, then it would be reflected in their outward treatment of others at all times, but, alas; this is rarely so."

mushrooms, to me, are a reminder of these principles. It is easy to forget them. It is hard to live up to them. Every time I start to feel disconnected and antisocial, I realize that I need to subject myself to an experience that will remind me of these principles in a convincing way (mushrooms are just one of many ways to do this)


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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: silversoul7]
    #1799458 - 08/10/03 09:56 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

"Everything requires faith at some level, even if it's just faith that the laws of science will always be consistent."

Any decent scientist is prepared to abandon his reliance on a certain theory once it has been shown that it is not the most likely possibility. This is not the same as religious belief.


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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Phluck]
    #1799469 - 08/10/03 10:02 PM (17 years, 10 months ago)

I would say a certain amount of faith is required for scientists who are searching for a unified field theory.

they must have faith that:
a) such a thing exists
b) the existence of such a forumla wouldn't predetermine their ability to find it (or not find it).


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Get yourself cleaned out.'


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Re: The Unprovable Nature of Faith and Belief [Re: Pyronate]
    #1800883 - 08/11/03 09:13 AM (17 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Pyronate said:
Accepting something as True does not necessarily make it so. Anyone can pick a random idea and decide to believe in it; this does not make it True, particularly since, odds are, millions or billions of people possess contradictory beliefs.

Ultimately, the only realistic path is to acknowledge the impossibility of knowing Truth, and instead merely examine possibilities.





I understand what you are saying, definitely, but millions or billions of people possessing contradictory beliefs doesn't mean that they or right, or that you are right, no one is right, and everyone is right.

Anyways, it is quite the subject, and nothing can be proven. I sort of think, though, that believing something makes it real.
Peace.


--------------------
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For I've never known completeness
Like being here
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Loving every breath of you

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