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Jodie.Lynne

Is Faith an Accurate Pathway to Truth?

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Jodie.Lynne

As the title states:

Is 'faith' an accurate path to truth?

Before we get started, I am talking about 'faith without evidence', in support of concepts for which there is no tangible evidence. Whether those concepts are 'god(s)', ghosts, spirit realms, "higher beings", and the like.

I am NOT talking about reasonable expectations, confidence in, or reliability in mundane matters. Like one's 'faith' in a spouse's fidelity, or the confidence that one's car will start when the key is turned. These are things that can be proven to be (mostly) true by past performance, history, and knowledge.

 

What I am interested in learning, is if people think that religious/spiritual faith is an accurate way to determine truth. If one can believe one thing, solely with faith and without evidence, does that not mean that they can believe anything, without evidence?

 

And, just for sh*ts & giggles, I contacted the Vatican. They said that if a thread on UM could be carried out WITHOUT personal attacks on each other, they would qualify it as a miraculous event. Let's see if we can get canonized!

 

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Kismit
1 minute ago, Daughter of the Nine Moons said:

It happened once in early '05. I was there.

Ahh the "oughts" times were simpler back then.

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Jodie.Lynne
4 minutes ago, Daughter of the Nine Moons said:

It happened once in early '05. I was there.

Pix or it never happened!  LOL :)

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Daughter of the Nine Moons
2 minutes ago, Kismit said:

Ahh the "oughts" times were simpler back then.

Subbys, snuffys and virgin squirrels lol the good old days :sk

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Daughter of the Nine Moons
1 minute ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Pix or it never happened!  LOL :)

YOU were there! :P

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and then
22 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

What I am interested in learning, is if people think that religious/spiritual faith is an accurate way to determine truth. If one can believe one thing, solely with faith and without evidence, does that not mean that they can believe anything, without evidence?

I think I understand your question so I'll try to respond.  For me, faith in a Creator IS my truth.  There is no higher truth for me.  I think that if one wants to grasp what is most important to a person, find out what they are willing to die for.  THAT is their ultimate truth.  Obviously, my faith would be heresy to a Muslim and to many of other faiths.  So truth in the sense of what is empirically provable has little to do with the kind of faith you are speaking of, IMO.  If there is proof, no faith is required.  This is the chasm that separates those of faith and those who cannot believe without measuring tangible characteristics.  To each, his own.

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Habitat

Faith without evidence ? Is there any other kind ?

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Golden Duck

What is "the path to truth"? Is there something to be discovered?  Is it our view of reality? 

If you could plot everybody's perception of reality on a bell curve, you just hope your perception doesn't have too high a z-score.

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Guyver
48 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

As the title states:

Is 'faith' an accurate path to truth?

What is truth?

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and then
9 minutes ago, Golden Duck said:

What is "the path to truth"? Is there something to be discovered?  Is it our view of reality? 

If you could plot everybody's perception of reality on a bell curve, you just hope your perception doesn't have too high a z-score.

This question captures my confusion of the terms of the OP.  Maybe I'm just jaded after so many discussions of faith but it seems to be just another way of proving that faith and truth cannot be one and the same because truth requires tangible evidence.  I say let people live their lives as they need to.  If they cannot trust or have faith without empirical data then that is how they should live their lives.  OTOH, for those who look at the vastness of creation and simply cannot ascribe it all to chance, let them believe as they wish.  No one is really harmed by this so long as neither group tries to enforce its views on the other.

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psyche101

If faith was the path to truth there would be many paths to many different truths. There are too many gods, and even too many ideas of each God to consider any one of them correct. 

A thing is true or its not. There are not many truths about the same end result. 

I don't think any person who is rational would agree that faith is anything more than truth to the individual who has constructed it. Many consider faith a personal truth, but many also recognise that cannot be evidenced. 

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Jodie.Lynne
1 minute ago, and then said:

to be just another way of proving that faith and truth cannot be one and the same because truth requires tangible evidence. 

Not really, I am wondering why people can believe "A" on faith, but disregard other subjects that have an equal amount of 'proof'.

For instance, some people believe, have faith in, claims of extraterrestrial visitors, but deny 'ghosts', or vice-versa. Some have faith in a deity, by pooh-pooh the belief in intelligent life elsewhere. Some folk swear that various forms of extrasensory abilities are true, but will scoff at the idea of fairies. And some people believe that their god is real and true, on faith, and other peoples god is false.

And that last one, to me, is like arguing over who would win in a fight: superman or the Hulk. IMO, they are all fictional characters, and that is not meant as a slur on believers.

Take the classic argument: Life on Earth began, because

A - God

B - natural causes.

There are, broadly speaking, three camps:

Theists who say A is the answer.

Non-theists who say B is the answer,

And a bunch of folk who try to reconcile both answers by saying "God did it using natural means.

 

So, basically, I'm asking why one would choose to believe in something that they have no evidence for. 

 

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Hammerclaw
Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

So, basically, I'm asking why one would choose to believe in something that they have no evidence for. 

 

One might also ask why one would refuse to accept incontrovertible evidence of something in favor of something else? The short answer is that human nature tends toward the unique capacity of making oneself believe pretty much of anything one has confirmation bias toward, with or without any sort of definitive explanation. Spiritual insight, or the esoteric interpretation of data sets reinforces preconceived conclusions. Reality becomes subjective instead of objective and one becomes lost in a world of dreams, longings and imagination. One refuses to see what's before one's eyes, or in the eyes of the fallible human being looking back at one from the mirror.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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Swede
1 hour ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

As the title states:

Is 'faith' an accurate path to truth?

Before we get started, I am talking about 'faith without evidence', in support of concepts for which there is no tangible evidence. Whether those concepts are 'god(s)', ghosts, spirit realms, "higher beings", and the like.

I am NOT talking about reasonable expectations, confidence in, or reliability in mundane matters. Like one's 'faith' in a spouse's fidelity, or the confidence that one's car will start when the key is turned. These are things that can be proven to be (mostly) true by past performance, history, and knowledge.

 

What I am interested in learning, is if people think that religious/spiritual faith is an accurate way to determine truth. If one can believe one thing, solely with faith and without evidence, does that not mean that they can believe anything, without evidence?

 

And, just for sh*ts & giggles, I contacted the Vatican. They said that if a thread on UM could be carried out WITHOUT personal attacks on each other, they would qualify it as a miraculous event. Let's see if we can get canonized!

 

The concept of "truth" is of a more philosophical nature, as you will find if you more fully investigate the matter. "Science" per se, deals with verifiable data and evidence. "Faith" is based upon various and assorted belief systems. Without going into detail, the very concept of "truth" can be notably subjective.

.

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Alien Origins
Posted (edited)

"Too see by faith is too shut the eye of reason." Ben Franklin...What is truth? Religion? Something else? Truth is a lot like beauty it's in the eye of the beholder...And to answer the OP's question in my opinion no.

Edited by Alien Origins

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Will Due
26 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

So, basically, I'm asking why one would choose to believe in something that they have no evidence for. 

 

From a certain age, it always seemed to me that the underlying main purpose and goal of life was to at least make one sincere attempt to live wholeheartedly by faith alone.

To believe without seeing in order to find out something. Something that would otherwise, remain unknowable.

 

 

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papageorge1
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Is 'faith' an accurate path to truth?

Before we get started, I am talking about 'faith without evidence', in support of concepts for which there is no tangible evidence. Whether those concepts are 'god(s)', ghosts, spirit realms, "higher beings", and the like.

I happen to believe in those above things; pantheistic god, ghosts, spirit realms, 'higher beings' and the like based on evidence and reasoning (and I would not call that 'faith'). I think above you are trying to refer to belief in these things as 'faith' without tangible evidence?

I study the paranormal and spiritual experiences of man and determine what I objectively believe is most reasonable to believe.

I doubt many people believe things for which they believe there is no evidence. No 'proof' maybe, but not no evidence.

Edited by papageorge1
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Hammerclaw

Faith is the blind acceptance of something without factual confirmation. Truth, like Perfection, is a vague and nebulous concept, subject to myriad interpretations and not worthy of serious discussion. Both are the province of philosophy and theosophy and arguments based on such. 

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Guyver
6 minutes ago, Hammerclaw said:

Faith is the blind acceptance of something without factual confirmation. Truth, like Perfection, is a vague and nebulous concept, subject to myriad interpretations and not worthy of serious discussion. Both are the province of philosophy and theosophy and arguments based on such. 

And I think people around here are into it.

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South Alabam

Faith is belief without knowing.

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Liquid Gardens
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

What I am interested in learning, is if people think that religious/spiritual faith is an accurate way to determine truth. If one can believe one thing, solely with faith and without evidence, does that not mean that they can believe anything, without evidence?

Good topic.  One thing that I think I've gleaned from occasional mentions of faith by the theists here is that I'm not sure faith is a 'way' of arriving at the truth as much as it is a statement of where they already are.  It doesn't seem to be a process or algorithm like empirical reasoning: proposition, investigation and analysis of evidence and the case for the proposition that gradually builds on itself, and then conclusion.  The investigation/analysis step to me for faith, although there are links to objective reality, seems to be a process that is directed inward mostly, involving 'feeling' deeply that something is true.  I've also heard theists tell me essentially, "I just believe", which makes me think to myself, what if I 'just believed' something without requiring the kind of evidence I need for everything else.  If that was the case I think I would say something like I believe it 'on faith'; faith isn't indicating what I've built my belief on, it's indicating that I'm believing in spite of what I don't have to base it on.  

That's not to say that there is nothing empirical at all about their religious beliefs nor that the faith I describe above applies to theists (for theists I think their faith has far more richness to it, it's intertwined with who they are as people and everything that happens in their life), but most theists I know including those here are honest enough to state that they understand that you cannot get to the truth of god by using the same methodology that you use for arriving at the truth of Pluto or electrons or I daresay most truths in this world.  For Christians I think it's built in to the religion that you're not supposed to be able to solely reason yourself to God given how much faith is praised; it's a feature not a bug.

The one thing that always seems odd though to me is that almost all theists I think can sound just as empirical and skeptical about propositions they don't believe as non-believers, and it seems to me that the demand for evidence, even for the faithful, increases proportionally to how important the actual truth is.  I don't think most people would want to face a faith-based jury in a court case where they had good evidence they were innocent, and something like 'faith-based surgeon' should be scary to everyone.

Edited by Liquid Gardens
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GlitterRose

Faith isn't really a pathway to objective truth because it isn't testable. 

The thing is that faith isn't really about the objective world. 

It's a belief that there is more than the objective world.

That could be truth, but no one would be able to prove it.

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psyche101

We have seen posters refuse to accept glaring truths such as orbits of the planets age of the universe and evolution deniers. Posters dismiss physics for an answer they have decided upon, and outright deliberate ignorance such as when Wendy Wright spoke with Richard Dawkins. 

All I have seen is the more devout a person is, the more likely they are to deny real world truths for their own personal views. Just this forum alone is brimming with such examples. 

I think that's a pretty clear example that faith is a pathway away from truth. It's a pathway to self validation. 

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Guyver

“The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”

St. Thomas Aquinas 13th century.  500 years prior to the Age of Enlightenment.  

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