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Posts: 2694/2860
(20-Aug-2010 at 21:17)


Faith based arguments.

I thought I'd try to revive the religious forum with some classic debate.

What do you say to someone in a religious argument over the existence of higher power who is using faith as their argument? Isn't that just saying that you have no reason to believe in a higher power other than the fact that you want to?

Mars II - American Scientist
PhD - Physical Chemistry
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(23-Aug-2010 at 08:40)


That's actually the best argument there is. The whole point of religion is faith. If you build a case for beleif based on scientific or whatver arguments then it's faith or religion anymore. It's just a scientific law or whatver

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(24-Aug-2010 at 08:27)


Originally Posted by DHoffryn: View Post
That's actually the best argument there is. The whole point of religion is faith. If you build a case for beleif based on scientific or whatver arguments then it's faith or religion anymore. It's just a scientific law or whatver
My friends and I were discussing it and they seemed to agree that you can't argue with someone using faith as their reason. I think faith is a poor reason to believe for my previously stated reason. It is like answering the question "why?" with "because!"

Mars II - American Scientist
PhD - Physical Chemistry
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(24-Aug-2010 at 13:21)


Can you give me a better reason to believe when it comes to things like this? To me this seems like well for a lack of better world the only logical reason to beleive

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(25-Aug-2010 at 08:30)


Originally Posted by DHoffryn: View Post
Can you give me a better reason to believe when it comes to things like this? To me this seems like well for a lack of better world the only logical reason to beleive
It may work somewhat for a general "there is a higher power" argument but once you have a specific religion in mind it falls to shit. For example, you can't use this argument for Christianity because Judaism or Islam are just as solid using that logic.

Mars II - American Scientist
PhD - Physical Chemistry
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(25-Aug-2010 at 14:45)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by Mars II: View Post
It may work somewhat for a general "there is a higher power" argument but once you have a specific religion in mind it falls to shit. For example, you can't use this argument for Christianity because Judaism or Islam are just as solid using that logic.
Actually it's the opposite. You can try using experiences,proofs and whatver for a random higher power. But when it comes to specific religion the ONLY things I see making sense is faith. Pure blind faith. Not proofs, not logic but faith

But I am open to ideas as I said. Can you give me a better reason then this? This is the only one that makes at least a little sense to me

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(25-Aug-2010 at 16:23)


I'm probably a little biased since I'm an atheist, but faith does not belong in an argument - arguments are based on proof, logic and reasoning. Faith is the exact opposite of those three. Then again, with no proof of a higher power, it's not exactly like there can be any logical, rational argument for the existence of one - so faith-based reasonings are all that's left for a religious debate.
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(26-Aug-2010 at 20:44)


Lack of proof does not equal proof of lack. People who believe in evolution wholeheartedly tend to use this argument too. Much like we can't completely prove God's existence to everyone scientifically*, we can't say much about where we came from otherwise either. Both sides have to take their stance purely based on faith.

*What I mean by that statement is that there are things around us in this universe (big bang, human and animal anatomy, ecosystems, etc.) that are proven scientifically. I believe that many branches of science are explorations into the way that God's creations work. However, such things sometimes are not enough to prove to some who just can't see the connection. Of course, this is my belief and you are welcome to yours.

Refusal to comprimise only succeeds in driving the devil's bargain. However, when one comprimises one's morals, they become the devil's bargain.
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(26-Aug-2010 at 23:00)


Is it really faith when people just believe whatever their parents tell them to believe?

If all else fails, call someone a troll.
that can be fixed... / ∆
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(27-Aug-2010 at 14:38)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by Greeney: View Post
Is it really faith when people just believe whatever their parents tell them to believe?
Like santa until you are about 8?

I got into this debate with my sister a short while ago. She is a devout christian and I am a firm atheist. And she used faith and the fact that good things happen in her life to show as the proof of god. (I believe in god, I do what he says to do, good things happen in my life, there for god must exist)

I tried to point out to her that she was using correlation and trying to make it become causation, that it should have been two separate tracks (I believe in god, I do what he says to do) and (because Im an adult in a career, with a husband who is also in a career, and we have two kids, and a nice house other good things also come to me)

She however because of her faith refused to see it that way and "knew" that it was gods influence in her life.

When people of faith get into an argument over something like that usually their faith is so tied up into their life that any extrication of it is nearly impossible. As an argument they are not capable of it because it is ingrained in who they are and their entire world view. Its not just a "because I want to" its turned into a because I have no other way of seeing my world.

Heisenberg may have slept here. But we'll never know how fast asleep he was
Good god...
To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure of drinking at somebody elseís expense.

Adding to entropy...
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(27-Aug-2010 at 16:09)


These days I'm less inclined to start arguments about religion with religious people. There's simple no arguing with some of em.

A nice angle I sometimes use is the multitude of different religions around the world. Which one is right? How do you know that "your" God is the actual God out there?

This often leads to pointing out that even Christianity is just a human guess at things: in the early days there were different sects of christianism, each with a different view on things and a different version of Christ's story. The 4 books of the new testament were selected from over 25 different scriptures. Some aspects of the Christian religion were impleented for not so religious reasons.

but eventually there's always the argument that science can't explain all, there's always certain things science assumes, and the fact that I can't explain on the spot the full evidence, math or reasoning for stuff like quantum physics, big bang theory etcetera. From there on it gets more philosophical and vaguer and ultimately leads nowhere. One thing that never happens though is a believer saying: "you're right, it actually seems that there is no god!"
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(27-Aug-2010 at 19:18)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by Kyleesha: View Post
Like santa until you are about 8?

I got into this debate with my sister a short while ago. She is a devout christian and I am a firm atheist. And she used faith and the fact that good things happen in her life to show as the proof of god. (I believe in god, I do what he says to do, good things happen in my life, there for god must exist)

I tried to point out to her that she was using correlation and trying to make it become causation, that it should have been two separate tracks (I believe in god, I do what he says to do) and (because Im an adult in a career, with a husband who is also in a career, and we have two kids, and a nice house other good things also come to me)

She however because of her faith refused to see it that way and "knew" that it was gods influence in her life.

When people of faith get into an argument over something like that usually their faith is so tied up into their life that any extrication of it is nearly impossible. As an argument they are not capable of it because it is ingrained in who they are and their entire world view. Its not just a "because I want to" its turned into a because I have no other way of seeing my world.
Nah. What I mean is, these people who are so sure about their faith would be making the exact same statements from another religions perspective if both of their parents had decided to be another religion. Christians, for example, who constantly use faith as an argument would have never decided to be Christian if they were born into an Islamic family. So what good is their faith when they would have been devoutly loyal to a different religion if they were born elsewhere in the world? I don't particularly think less of people who believe in a God even to the point of delusional, but I don't like listening to someone who is only sure about something because their parents repetitively filled their head with that crap.

In regards to the correlation part of your post, it reminds of something I once read. Something like: The 99% of bad things that happen in the world are tests, the 1% of good things that happen to you is proof that a God exists.

If all else fails, call someone a troll.
that can be fixed... / ∆

Last edited by Greeney, 27-Aug-2010 at 19:19.
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(27-Aug-2010 at 21:52)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by Greeney: View Post
Nah. What I mean is, these people who are so sure about their faith would be making the exact same statements from another religions perspective if both of their parents had decided to be another religion. Christians, for example, who constantly use faith as an argument would have never decided to be Christian if they were born into an Islamic family. So what good is their faith when they would have been devoutly loyal to a different religion if they were born elsewhere in the world? I don't particularly think less of people who believe in a God even to the point of delusional, but I don't like listening to someone who is only sure about something because their parents repetitively filled their head with that crap.
I will have to disagree with you on this. I know someone who grew up in a christian household, but when his mother remarried to a Jewish man, he himself decided to convert to Judaism. I have a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, but am a Christian. Not because someone beat it into me. I became one by choice. Sure you might say, "Oh sure it's easier to make that choice because they both believe in God" and I'll have to stop you right there. I was at one point Agnostic because of my internal conflict between the two faiths, and had no direction. I was once a full believer in evolution, however that is something that has been proven less and less true as time goes on. However, again as I stated in an above post, that does not mean I reject all sciences.

Refusal to comprimise only succeeds in driving the devil's bargain. However, when one comprimises one's morals, they become the devil's bargain.
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(27-Aug-2010 at 21:57)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by Blind Seer: View Post
I will have to disagree with you on this. I know someone who grew up in a christian household, but when his mother remarried to a Jewish man, he himself decided to convert to Judaism. I have a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, but am a Christian. Not because someone beat it into me. I became one by choice. Sure you might say, "Oh sure it's easier to make that choice because they both believe in God" and I'll have to stop you right there. I was at one point Agnostic because of my internal conflict between the two faiths, and had no direction. I was once a full believer in evolution, however that is something that has been proven less and less true as time goes on. However, again as I stated in an above post, that does not mean I reject all sciences.
Which is why it's possible to have a discussion with you without wanting to bang my head against a wall.

If all else fails, call someone a troll.
that can be fixed... / ∆
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(03-Oct-2010 at 09:50)
"but faith does not belong in an argument - arguments are based on proof, logic and reasoning."

Yet you asserted that without using any proof, logic or reasoning. It may be that religion involves a leap of faith (although many dispute that, for example C S Lewis writes entertainingly that Christianity is perfectly rational). Why are arguments based on the belief that God is real and good irrational, but arguments based on the belief that it is wrong to harm others (for example) rational? Once you have the foundation of (for example) liberalism you can build systematically on that to make more complex arguments, but you still took that initial leap of faith to say that liberalism is good, just like you accuse religious people of doing.

I think there is a space in public debate for religious beliefs, and I think it's quite wrong to give views less weighting (or their own forum!) simply because they stem from a belief in a supernatural being.
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(10-Nov-2010 at 02:07)
I think everyone bases their arguments on faith. Its just that some people have their faith founded on religion, others base their faith on science and others still that base their faith on their own self-perceived wisdom.
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(03-Mar-2011 at 23:44)


If there were over a 100 eyewitnesses to a murder that happened last week in broad daylight, would you believe them? By what standard would you believe them, faith? Wouldn't it be your faith in the credibility of more than a 100 complete strangers that led you to believe them.

What if the murder had happened 250 yrs ago, and there were over a hundred recorded accounts of that murder, would you believe that it occurred.

So why is the faith of people who believe in the Bible, and all the accounts of the events within, any less valid than those who believe that Napoleon ever existed?
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(04-Mar-2011 at 08:07)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by adam332: View Post
If there were over a 100 eyewitnesses to a murder that happened last week in broad daylight, would you believe them?
That depends on different factors. First we have to see how reliable the witnesses are and what is their attitude towards the murdered and the killer. Then we have to see if there is proof that there was an actual crime. It's not that hard to stage a murder.

Quote:
By what standard would you believe them, faith?
What was the exact term in English? Empirical proof I believe it was is usually the best. However this does lend a degree of credibilty



Quote:
What if the murder had happened 250 yrs ago, and there were over a hundred recorded accounts of that murder, would you believe that it occurred.
Again to a degree. The credibility of an event grows less reliable with time.

Quote:
So why is the faith of people who believe in the Bible, and all the accounts of the events within, any less valid than those who believe that Napoleon ever existed?
You cna ask this about any religion, mythology. If you go by this logic all gods and mythological creatures are real. So why believe only in the Bible and not in the others?

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(04-Mar-2011 at 13:10)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by DHoffryn: View Post
That depends on different factors. First we have to see how reliable the witnesses are and what is their attitude towards the murdered and the killer. Then we have to see if there is proof that there was an actual crime. It's not that hard to stage a murder.

What was the exact term in English? Empirical proof I believe it was is usually the best. However this does lend a degree of credibilty

Again to a degree. The credibility of an event grows less reliable with time.

You cna ask this about any religion, mythology. If you go by this logic all gods and mythological creatures are real. So why believe only in the Bible and not in the others?
I believe in the second sentence, which you happened to omit in your quote of my inquiry, I defined them as credible. Which happens to answer your first remark about the reliability of said witnesses. If you think that it's not hard to "stage" a murder witnessed in broad daylight by more than a hundred credible witnesses....well we are on completely different wavelengths.

Simply put; with the factors I mentioned such a comment is ridiculous.

No, you can't say that about any religion. You may want to look at current population numbers of said religions before making such a claim.

If you consider that as of year 2000..... statistics show there were more Christians on the planet than any other religion. If you then consider that combined with Judaism, and Islamic believers. We are talking a majority of the entire planets population.

Why would I include all three of those major religions as a single populous? Just ask a Christian, an Israelite(Jew), and a Muslim if they believe in the God of Abraham.

All were founded on essentially the same group of writings. It was only less than 2000 yrs ago that the Christians broke off from Judaism based on their belief that the current events they had witnessed were indeed proof of a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Then it was hundreds of years after that in which the Islamic believers were formed based on their belief that Muhammad was the latest prophet in a continuation of the base religion.

To act as if those who believe in the God of the old testament are just the same as any piddly religion is a incredibly huge understatement. In actuality, they make up the majority of the entire planet.

So, when I say that those who have faith that all those Biblical events that are recorded(for arguments sake just the Old Testament) should be counted as credible as those who say Napoleon existed is very fair indeed.
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(04-Mar-2011 at 13:40)


Re: Faith based arguments.

Originally Posted by adam332: View Post
I believe in the second sentence, which you happened to omit in your quote of my inquiry, I defined them as credible. Which happens to answer your first remark about the reliability of said witnesses.
No it doesn't. You can't just define someone as credible. They are many factors and this essentially undermines your whole point. Credibility comes from the amount of information we know about the witneses and the situation. The further we go back the less information we have about all these factors

Quote:
If you think that it's not hard to "stage" a murder witnessed in broad daylight by more than a hundred credible witnesses....well we are on completely different wavelengths.
As long as you have the expertise it's really not that hard. Any second hand movie studio can do it. Stage magicians, con man and pretty much anybody who put's a little effort and can organise a few people

Quote:
Simply put; with the factors I mentioned such a comment is ridiculous.
Your comments are indeed ridiculous

Quote:
No, you can't say that about any religion. You may want to look at current population numbers of said religions before making such a claim.

If you consider that as of year 2000..... statistics show there were more Christians on the planet than any other religion. If you then consider that combined with Judaism, and Islamic believers. We are talking a majority of the entire planets population.
I might as well copy paste it
Your comments are indeed ridiculous

Quote:
All were founded on essentially the same group of writings. It was only less than 2000 yrs ago that the Christians broke off from Judaism based on their belief that the current events they had witnessed were indeed proof of a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Then it was hundreds of years after that in which the Islamic believers were formed based on their belief that Muhammad was the latest prophet in a continuation of the base religion.
That lowers the credibility actually

Quote:
To act as if those who believe in the God of the old testament are just the same as any piddly religion is a incredibly huge understatement. In actuality, they make up the majority of the entire planet.
Your comments are indeed ridiculous

Quote:
So, when I say that those who have faith that all those Biblical events that are recorded(for arguments sake just the Old Testament) should be counted as credible as those who say Napoleon existed is very fair indeed.
Only in your mind

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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