Does faith lead to subjective or objective human experience?

5wize

Well-known member
Transported from the Society Ethics forum because the question seems relevant here.

Christians claim an objective reality, especially in the realm of morality, as dictated by the nature of God. But the the entire experience of faith is, by definition, subjective - outside the experience of normative reality. That's why it's called faith and not just "accepted reality".

So faith in God seems to nullify any objective experience of God by definition. Faith allows someone to fill in the supernatural and philosophical blanks any which way they choose, and often the misrepresentation of false and competitive hearsay ancient miracles are at the core of much of it. That's why there are 43,000-ish variants on Christian belief and many different comparative religions outside Christianity - all trying to supernaturally top one another fed by the egos of their adherents and not by any common objective reality that everyone can experience for themselves.

Isn't it a Christian's worst nightmare that there may be no objective truth anchored by God? But, Christians seemed steeped in a lack of an objective reality by definition, and by expressed reality, as faith has proven to lead to a wholly subjective life experience in the realm of religion for everyone that practices it.

How do Christians claim faith, faith that leads to thousands of subjective thought variants, contradictions, and conflicts, and yet claim in the same breath to be the possessors of the one true and absolute/objective reality at the same time? Doesn't reality of how religion has evolved today itself prove them wrong in the subjective/objective claim?
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Transported from the Society Ethics forum because the question seems relevant here.

Christians claim an objective reality, especially in the realm of morality, as dictated by the nature of God. But the the entire experience of faith is, by definition, subjective - outside the experience of normative reality. That's why it's called faith and not just "accepted reality".

So faith in God seems to nullify any objective experience of God by definition. Faith allows someone to fill in the supernatural and philosophical blanks any which way they choose, and often the misrepresentation of false and competitive hearsay ancient miracles are at the core of much of it. That's why there are 43,000-ish variants on Christian belief and many different comparative religions outside Christianity - all trying to supernaturally top one another fed by the egos of their adherents and not by any common objective reality that everyone can experience for themselves.

Isn't it a Christian's worst nightmare that there may be no objective truth anchored by God? But, Christians seemed steeped in a lack of an objective reality by definition, and by expressed reality, as faith has proven to lead to a wholly subjective life experience in the realm of religion for everyone that practices it.

How do Christians claim faith, faith that leads to thousands of subjective thought variants, contradictions, and conflicts, and yet claim in the same breath to be the possessors of the one true and absolute/objective reality at the same time? Doesn't reality of how religion has evolved today itself prove them wrong in the subjective/objective claim?
See Wikipedia, “New Perspective of Paul” because some scholars have argued that “Faith alone” doctrine is fundamentally incorrect.

“Faith alone“ was only used by Paul when attacking “works of the Law” required by the Judaizing Christians who wanted Gentile Christians to be Torah observant, especially, circumcision, dietary laws, and observance of special days.

Paul’s main message was in the death and resurrection of a cosmic Christ, an apocalyptic eschatology in which the Good God [El] is saving pious, virtuous souls from a fallen material cosmos (“god of this age”) for the new one that follows (the age to come).

but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, 1) the power [YHWH Elohim?] of God [El] and, 2) the wisdom [Ruach Elohim] of God [El] .” (1 cor 1:23)

Some new perspectives on faith and grace from Wikipedia, “New perspective of Paul”. It’s important because if you make erroneous assumptions about what “faith” means then your conclusions will not be any better.

Faith
“By contrast, many recent studies of the Greek word pistis have concluded that its primary and most common meaning was faithfulness, meaning firm commitment in an interpersonal relationship. As such, the word could be almost synonymous with "obedience" when the people in the relationship held different status levels (e.g. a slave being faithful to his master). Far from being equivalent to "lack of human effort", the word seems to imply and require human effort.”

Grace
“Writers with a more historic Lutheran and Reformed perspective have generally translated the Greek word charisas "grace" and understood it to refer to the idea that there is a lack of human effort in salvation because God is the controlling factor. However those who study ancient Greek culture have pointed out that "favor" is a better translation, as the word refers normally to "doing a favor". In ancient societies there was the expectation that such favors be repaid, and this semi-formal system of favors acted like loans. Gift giving corresponded with the expectation of reciprocity. Therefore, it is argued that when Paul speaks of how God did us a "favor" by sending Jesus, he is saying that God took the initiative, but is not implying a lack of human effort in salvation, and is in fact implying that Christians have an obligation to repay the favor God has done for them.” [by living a pious, virtuous life, —good works resulting from salvation]
 
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Ontos

Active member
English "faith" from the Latin "fides" from the Greek "pistis" simply means "to trust" or to be "persuaded"

It speaks nothing of how one arrives at trusting or being persuaded - it most certainly can be "accepted reality"
 

5wize

Well-known member
See Wikipedia, “New Perspective of Paul” because some scholars have argued that “Faith alone” doctrine is fundamentally incorrect.

“Faith alone“ was only used by Paul when attacking “works of the Law” required by the Judaizing Christians who wanted Gentile Christians to be Torah observant, especially, circumcision, dietary laws, and observance of special days.

Paul’s main message was in the death and resurrection of a cosmic Christ, an apocalyptic eschatology in which the Good God [El] is saving pious, virtuous souls from a fallen material cosmos (“god of this age”) for the new one that follows (the age to come).

but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, 1) the power [YHWH Elohim?] of God [El] and, 2) the wisdom [Ruach Elohim] of God [El] .” (1 cor 1:23)

Some new perspectives on faith and grace from Wikipedia, “New perspective of Paul”. It’s important because if you make erroneous assumptions about what “faith” means then your conclusions will not be any better.

Faith
“By contrast, many recent studies of the Greek word pistis have concluded that its primary and most common meaning was faithfulness, meaning firm commitment in an interpersonal relationship. As such, the word could be almost synonymous with "obedience" when the people in the relationship held different status levels (e.g. a slave being faithful to his master). Far from being equivalent to "lack of human effort", the word seems to imply and require human effort.”

Grace
“Writers with a more historic Lutheran and Reformed perspective have generally translated the Greek word charisas "grace" and understood it to refer to the idea that there is a lack of human effort in salvation because God is the controlling factor. However those who study ancient Greek culture have pointed out that "favor" is a better translation, as the word refers normally to "doing a favor". In ancient societies there was the expectation that such favors be repaid, and this semi-formal system of favors acted like loans. Gift giving corresponded with the expectation of reciprocity. Therefore, it is argued that when Paul speaks of how God did us a "favor" by sending Jesus, he is saying that God took the initiative, but is not implying a lack of human effort in salvation, and is in fact implying that Christians have an obligation to repay the favor God has done for them.” [by living a pious, virtuous life, —good works resulting from salvation]
Maybe I should have used the word "belief" then.
 

5wize

Well-known member
English "faith" from the Latin "fides" from the Greek "pistis" simply means "to trust" or to be "persuaded"

It speaks nothing of how one arrives at trusting or being persuaded - it most certainly can be "accepted reality"
Yeah... It gets dicey using either the term "faith" or "belief" for this point. You are correct, we gain faith in what we witness and belief is a requisite of knowledge.

I am particularly trying to address an epistemology question. What leads to an objective valid faith or belief as opposed to a subjective faith or belief?
 

5wize

Well-known member
I am not sure that helps your case.
Your right. It doesn't. We gain faith in what we witness and belief is a requisite of knowledge. I am particularly trying to address an epistemology question. What leads to a valid objective faith or belief as opposed to a subjective faith or belief?
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Your right. It doesn't. We gain faith in what we witness and belief is a requisite of knowledge. I am particularly trying to address an epistemology question.

What leads to a valid objective faith or belief as opposed to a subjective faith or belief?
Was that rhetorical or were you really asking me? Ha ha!

For me (and I may be an outlier), what led to my faith was seeing God active in my life and the world.
 

5wize

Well-known member
Was that rhetorical or were you really asking me? Ha ha!

For me (and I may be an outlier), what led to my faith was seeing God active in my life and the world.
But that is subjective, right? I mean you started out the answer with "For me".
 

Ontos

Active member
...we gain faith in what we witness and belief is a requisite of knowledge.
If I witness something I then dont have to "believe" in order to have knowledge of what I just witnessed - that's a sort of cartesian notion I don't agree with, but anyways...

I am particularly trying to address an epistemology question. What leads to an objective valid faith or belief as opposed to a subjective faith or belief?
You're going to have to define objective/subjective...

But keep in mind - can a human escape being a subject? If no, then how can any human know anything "objectively" if objective is so defined as to nullify being a subject - being human?
 

5wize

Well-known member
If I witness something I then dont have to "believe" in order to have knowledge of what I just witnessed - that's a sort of cartesian notion I don't agree with, but anyways...
That's fine... I don't like to get bogged down in that either so I throw it in as a gratis acknowledgement of the opinion to get past it quickly and get to the heart of the point.
You're going to have to define objective/subjective...

But keep in mind - can a human escape being a subject? If no, then how can any human know anything "objectively" if objective is so defined as to nullify being a subject - being human?
So if we cannot know an objective truth by virtue of our subjective existence, then it would follow that piling theological subjectivity on top of that makes for an even weaker epistemology, right? Building a castle of sand on a pile of grass.

But the Christian claim is that faith causes a searing through the confusion like a light through the fog... but depending on the subjective culture you find yourself in, following the light granted by faith you just might find yourself in front of Muhammad, or Buddha, or Mary, or Koresh...
 

Ontos

Active member
So if we cannot know an objective truth by virtue of our subjective existence, then it would follow that piling theological subjectivity on top of that makes for an even weaker epistemology, right? Building a castle of sand on a pile of grass.

I didn't say "we cannot know an objective truth", Im just saying that if your going to define objective in such a manner that nullifies humans qua subject, then this whole thread is worthless as its just your subjective analysis of Christian epistemology.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Your right. It doesn't. We gain faith in what we witness and belief is a requisite of knowledge. I am particularly trying to address an epistemology question.

What leads to a valid objective faith or belief as opposed to a subjective faith or belief?
Would not an objective faith be one that others could also ascertain? It is objective, it is real, it is demonstrable, right?

And a subjective faith be one that only the subject is able to grasp?

I may be muddying the waters so feel free to ignore my comments. Ha ha!

This may help clarify what objective faith might be.
Objective: dealing with facts without allowing personal feelings to confuse them an objective report
Faith: commitment to interpersonal relationship

“Objective faith” means commitment to God based on facts?? versus feelings??
 
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5wize

Well-known member
I didn't say "we cannot know an objective truth", Im just saying that if your going to define objective in such a manner that nullifies humans qua subject, then this whole thread is worthless as its just your subjective analysis of Christian epistemology.
I didn't nullify humans access to objective truth. It was sounding like you were.

I believe in an objective reality as well. I don't see Christianity as adhering to or illuminating one.

Do you?
 

5wize

Well-known member
Would not an objective faith be one that others could also ascertain? It is objective, it is real, it is demonstrable, right?

And a subjective faith be one that only the subject is able to grasp?

I may be muddying the waters so feel free to ignore my comments. Ha ha!

This may help clarify what objective faith might be.
Objective: dealing with facts without allowing personal feelings to confuse them an objective report
Faith: commitment to interpersonal relationship

“Objective faith” means commitment to God based on facts?? versus feelings??
What would those those facts be and how would you ascertain them as facts digestible to another?
 

Ontos

Active member
I didn't nullify humans access to objective truth. It was sounding like you were.

I believe in an objective reality as well. I don't see Christianity as adhering to or illuminating one.

Do you?
That's why I said "if"

And I don't know any Christian who doesn't adhere to objective reality or illumes one.

But again, this comes down to how you define objective/subjective - which you still have not done.
 

5wize

Well-known member
That's why I said "if"

And I don't know any Christian who doesn't adhere to objective reality or illumes one.
I'll agree that they adhere to a concept of one. But the concept is obviously subjective as there are so many of them.
But again, this comes down to how you define objective/subjective - which you still have not done.
Simple. Common experience regardless of culture, like we all converge on what the color blue is or what pain, pleasure, or sorrow, or joy entails minus the anomalies.
 
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