Friday, August 18, 2006

For Ekstasis

On a recent thread at Uncommon Descent Ekstasis picks me up for misunderstanding "faith".

My comment:

If he admits that he could never see DE as being false, even if there were no evidence, he has shown his bias to the tune of ignoring facts, and therefore should not be in the discussion.

If certainty in one’s own point of view without evidence (would not that be a defintion of faith?) disqualified one from discussion, I doubt there would be as many contributors here. :)

Comment by Alan Fox — August 18, 2006 @ 7:38 am

Ekstasis:

Alan,

Your statement “If certainty in one’s own point of view without evidence (would not that be a defintion of faith?) disqualified one from discussion, I doubt there would be as many contributors here.”

Besides other problems with this statement, this demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of what faith is. Faith is taking evidence and acting on it and behaving in a way consistent with it. Let me quickly prove to you that you have faith, of sorts. You probably own investments of some sort. You have faith that, based on limited evidence such as past history or limited knowledge of the stock or bond issuer, your investments will increase. Of course, theoretically, they could all fail tomorrow and go to zero. So, we all make decisions based on limited evidence. Life is impossible without it.

Comment by Ekstasis — August 18, 2006 @ 8:44 am

Me:

Ekstasis

Faith is taking evidence and acting on it and behaving in a way consistent with it.

This seems inconsistent with every definition of faith that I can find. The example of Doubting Thomas (and Dawkins’ “virtuoso believing”) suggests faith is belief without requiring evidence.

You have faith that, based on limited evidence such as past history or limited knowledge of the stock or bond issuer, your investments will increase.

This is consistent with my understanding of faith.

So, we all make decisions based on limited evidence. Life is impossible without it.

Absolutely. This is in itself an interesting (though I suspect off-topic)subject. If you want to pursue the subject you are welcome to post here.

Comment by Alan Fox — August 19, 2006 @ 1:51 am

As the subject is likely to be considered off-topic I set up this thread in case Ekstasis wishes to comment further.

2 comments:

Chris Hyland said...

Unfortunately faith, as with most words, has varying meanings when speaking to creationists. So in relation to ID faith generally has a similar meaning to science as this allows them to say that any religious person who accepts evolution and so bases their belief in God on 'faith' as opposed to scientific evidence doesn't really believe. This then suggests that the creationist would cease to believe in God if evolution were to be proved to their satisfaction, which means they don't have what I would call faith.

Alan Fox said...

This then suggests that the creationist would cease to believe in God if evolution were to be proved to their satisfaction, which means they don't have what I would call faith.

That would explain why fundies are so obsessed with rejecting evolution. They seem to have painted themselves into a corner over the issue. Their choice.