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Confidence vs Faith part 2 
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Post Confidence vs Faith part 2
There are big distinctions to be made about the reasons people believe.

Terminology I find accurate and useful is to frame things in terms of faith and confidence.

Faith is an expectation without evidence, against the evidence and regardless of the evidence.

That means no new information will change your faithful belief. If you ever stop believing in an article of faith then it’s because you have LOST faith in that thing… and possibly gained confidence in something else.

Confidence is an expectation built on the preponderance of evidence in support of it. Confidence is flexible. It can increase or decrease depending on the quality of the data. Data which builds a predictive pattern that will either fail or succeed to correlate with the events of reality demonstrating the objective accuracy of that expectation. And as the true mark of justified belief this correlation determines the amount of confidence you should have in your belief.

The difference between confidence and faith is the entire purpose of the scientific method.

Part of the deal with confidence in science is the necessity of admitting your levels of confidence in different subjects and to flat out state “I don’t know anything about that” when that is really the case. So in order to be honest there are many times where it is necessary to say “I don’t know for sure”, or “here’s a good idea of how it COULD have happened, but we can’t say that it definitely did happen that way”.

As a result scientific knowledge and the advocates of science can occasionally sound unsure about things and even admitting ignorance on topics. What’s interesting about that is the occasional announcement from those with a mystic bent that “science doesn’t know everything” or that “science has had to change positions on things in the past”.

We don’t have all the answers. And really, how could we? The fact that scientific explanations change occasionally is the very fact that makes science powerful. The explanation changes when it is discovered to be wrong. More often than a scientific explanation being found wrong, what we find is a new explanation that fits the old explanation in every detail… and then explains a bit more that the first explanation could NOT account for. It isn’t the case that the old explanation was wrong about what it described, but that the new explanation is an even better approximation of what really happens. The explanation changes to become a better and better explanation.

So how can these two facts be used to shoo away scientific investigation?

“Science doesn’t know everything.”

So what? You don’t have to know everything to know ANYTHING. I have no idea what the human race will look like in 1 million years, or if we will even exist then. My lack of knowledge on THAT topic has nothing to do with my understanding in any other topic.

“Science doesn’t know everything, that’s true, but It does know THIS. And I can prove it.”

Scientific understanding has lead to the most powerful societies in history and predictions that are more accurate than the distance from the earth to the moon down to the width of a human hair. Yet acknowledging any lack of certainty in any realm is thought to be some great fault.

Contrast that with religious faith. Here is a tradition which claims to have at it’s source a body of knowledge that encompasses literally everything there is to know. God has total knowledge and understanding and what he says is The Absolute Truth.

And in some kind of weird fun-house reflection of science claim after claim in religion can be demonstrated to be observably false. Yet the assertion of total knowledge and unerring truth is beyond question.

What’s at fault here is not religion specifically. It is superstitious thought. And at the root of that is faith.

Faith is not a virtue.

Faith is our species greatest failing.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
If I could only remember who said/wrote it, but unfortunately it might be very true... "nobody can be reasoned out of something that they were not reasoned in to"...

And to balance it with a less depressing, well, hilariously accurate quote, with the difference that I do remember who wrote this one (Woody Allen): "My Lord, my Lord... What hast Thou done, lately?"...


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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
johnson1010 wrote:
Faith is an expectation without evidence, against the evidence and regardless of the evidence.

johnson1010 wrote:
Confidence is an expectation built on the preponderance of evidence in support of it.


johnson1010 wrote:
And in some kind of weird fun-house reflection of science claim after claim in religion can be demonstrated to be observably false. Yet the assertion of total knowledge and unerring truth is beyond question.

What’s at fault here is not religion specifically. It is superstitious thought. And at the root of that is faith.


I think the definition of faith given here by Johnson is thought to be typical of religious belief such as Christianity. How accurate is the description in reality?
It can be argued that young earth creationism is shown to be erroneous by consensual contemporary science which would then prove that a literalist interpretation of Genesis is false. From that perspective Johnson's argument would seem valid against a stubborn insistence on that interpretation.
Of course many Christians don't think it necessary to interpret literally and don't see a necessary conflict between science and Christianity or that they are mutually exclusive.
For a number of reasons I'm in the recalcitrant camp of belief in direct divine creation of all original things including humans, so may be guilty of Johnson's charge but that's another story.

But is belief in Christianity somehow unreasonable and is there really no evidence on which confidence can be built?
Alex Rosenberg debated William Lane Craig on the topic; Is faith in God reasonable?

While Rosenberg does not represent every atheistic rationalist view, nevertheless his rationalism seems to lead to irrationality in my opinion. Others may disagree with me here. If my understanding of his beliefs is correct this shows that at least some versions of rationality are impervious to reason and evidence.
He does make some good arguments at the same time and is certainly intelligent.

For anyone interested here's the debate. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSi4jbdAMK8



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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
Quote:
William Lane Craig


sorry Flann, i can't take any more WLC...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLEBqU3D2TU



Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:24 am
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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
yes faith is as we aussies say, a "tricky little bugger" :)

it's presented as the ultimate virtue

witness: the true believer

who believes even though everything points in the opposite direction, they endure to the end, the often bitter end, thus proving their faithfulness to God, and the faithfulness of God, and unbelievers get what they insisted on, damnation.

all these concepts seem to be the fruit of millenia of state sanctioned stupidity.

but i can kind of enjoy "faith" as in an "intuition born of experience", eg. "it's dark and everyone is freaking out but i have 'faith' the sun will rise soon" :-D

but that's probably something completely different.



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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
Speaking of which, Asimov's "Nightfall" is a wonderful treatment of the topic of those two different "faiths" - and the results of both. I'd agree, the 2nd "faith" you mention seem to those with "true faith" as faith, but it is something different.


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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
Flann:

I want to be clear that i am defining the use of the word faith that i am addressing here.

Faith as the soul reason for a belief. An expectation held without evidence.

"there is a god".

an expecation held against the evidence.

"the earth is 6000 years old"

also:

Quote:
witness: the true believer

who believes even though everything points in the opposite direction


And regardless of the evidence.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/1 ... 43657.html

"The weeping tree is not shedding god's tears of love on you. That's aphid piss."

"I will believe what i want to believe."



There are other uses of the word faith which i am not addressing in particular. When somebody says "my faith teaches me to be kind to others" they are not talking about the source of their belief in supernatural claims. They are talking about a culture of behavior associated with a religion.

"christianity is my faith" is equal to saying "christianity is my religion" and that is also not the use of the word faith that i am talking about.

You might say it is a good idea to belong to the christian faith because many churches organize charity drives. That is definitely a benefit of religion, where like minded do-gooders know where they can congregate and participate in charity. This is also not the use of the word faith i am addressing.

The word faith does fit the description of an expectation held without evidence, against the evidence and regardless of the evidence when you hold a belief just because you wish to do so.

If there is evidence in support of that belief then you don't need to use faith to justify it, even if it IS a belief that you would LIKE to hold. You have confidence in that belief because there is support for it.

Thanks!


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:46 am
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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
The worst part about WLC is that it's easy to see how he's wrong, at the same time it's easy to see how people are convinced by him. I suppose if your worldview isn't built using proper method in the first place, it won't be easy for you to spot where it's missing after the fact.

Flann, I think your faith is placed every bit as much in men such as John Lennox and WLC as it is in the bible. How do you determine the truth of men's words in debates like the one you posted? Do you do it emotionally, where whatever "feels" most rational is the one you agree with? Or do you quarantine your emotion in favor of the five pillars of critical thinking, and apply logic equally?

It's one thing to have faith in god, and entirely something else to have faith in a young earth. The two are not the same, and one of the beliefs is approaching the same sort of moral repugnancy as Hitler's mien kampf.


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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
i found this over on another thread, i think it was meant to be here or somewhere similar

sanimirza wrote:
But is belief in Christianity somehow unreasonable and is there really no evidence on which confidence can be built?
Alex Rosenberg debated William Lane Craig on the topic; Is faith in God reasonable?





Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:47 am
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Post Re: Confidence vs Faith part 2
Quote:
"The weeping tree is not shedding god's tears of love on you. That's aphid piss."
:lol:



Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:14 am
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