What is Faith?

El Cid

Well-known member
I can't prove it, but most scientists agree that that is true. IOW there is evidence that that is true.
Quotes please, to the effect that there are no laws of physics at T=0. I have heard that the laws of physics as we know them break down at the singularity, or whatever it was before expansion. Maybe you are confusing that with no laws?
Breaking down plainly implies that they dont exist. If you leave a cake out in the rain, it breaks down and after enough time it wont exist anymore.
El Cid said:
Again, none of this can be proven but there is evidence which is my point.
There is evidence of an experience. There is not evidence that the experience means there is an afterlife.
It is evidence that the mind can exist outside of the brain. So that at death when the brain dies, the mind lives on.
El Cid said:
How can physical entities store non physical entities?
My knowledge of these things is limited, but what you ask is what neurologists call the hard problem meaning that currently we don't have all the answers. So two questions. Does not having all the answers mean there isn't one, and, what research into how the brain works have you done, what books have you read?
The Spiritual Brain by Dr. Mario Beauregard, a neurologist. He has done research showing evidence that the mind is not totally dependent on the brain.
El Cid said:
But the hormones are excreted by the opposite sex brain cells so that the hormones are also opposite sex, so you are contradicting yourself.
This seems very confused. What do you mean by opposite sex brain cells?
If you are a man, every brain cell in your brain can be identified as male and they secrete chemicals associated with maleness. And yet some men claim that they are mentally female. If this is real, it is strong evidence that the mind is not totally dependent on the brain, otherwise such a thing would not be possible.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Breaking down plainly implies that they dont exist. If you leave a cake out in the rain, it breaks down and after enough time it wont exist anymore.
Ah, I didn't give the full quote, it's the laws of physics as we know them break down, not the laws of physics altogether break down.
It is evidence that the mind can exist outside of the brain. So that at death when the brain dies, the mind lives on.
It's very poor evidence for that because it certainly hasn't been proven that is so, that's an assumption on your part of the explanation.
The Spiritual Brain by Dr. Mario Beauregard, a neurologist. He has done research showing evidence that the mind is not totally dependent on the brain.
That book is not beyond criticism and is only one side of the coin.
If you are a man, every brain cell in your brain can be identified as male and they secrete chemicals associated with maleness. And yet some men claim that they are mentally female. If this is real, it is strong evidence that the mind is not totally dependent on the brain, otherwise such a thing would not be possible.
I would like some evidence or link to an article that says brain cells secrete chemicals associated with maleness or femaleness.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Seem rather obvious to me, not vague at all.
This tells me little about the truth of your assertions, considering that people can be biased, wrong, illogical etc. I'm not accusing you of these things, but your above statement doesn't eliminate them.
It is not a science or math textbook, so there was no reason for Him to put that in it.
Here's what you originally said …

Only the Christian bible teaches that there is a definite beginning to the universe and coming from nothing detectable by humans. In addition, only the Christian bible teaches that the universe is expanding and winding down energetically. All of these have been confirmed by the BB theory.
Islam says that Allah created the universe, therefore in Islam it had a definite beginning.

It's hardly surprising that a creation story would include a definite beginning, so a creation story alone isn't enough to establish that any religion is particularly describing the big bang. It could all be coincidence. That's why you need something that describes the Big Bang that can be verified like an equation in order to establish the link.
 

El Cid

Well-known member
El, you are contradicting yourself. Here you say chemicals/electricity can do math ("Yes. . . .")
Gus Bovona said:
Computers operate according to electrical and chemical laws, like brains do, but they can instantiate or represent mathematical laws when they are arranged in certain ways, just like brains can, too.
El Cid said:
Yes when they are programmed to, but remember brains are not programmed.
But here you say they can't:
Gus Bovona said:
Will you finally admit that the fact of something being mere chemicals does not prevent it from doing math?
El Cid said:
. . . . There is no evidence that chemicals can do math.
My patience for your problems thinking logically is running out. Pretty soon I'm going to end this conversation, I think.
No, you misunderstood. I believe Brains contain more than chemicals. They contain a mind and ARE programmed. But you dont believe that. If atheism is true, then brains are just chemicals, so they would be unable to do math.
El Cid said:
In addition, every major survival problem that we have encountered in human history has been solved. Including the ability to travel to another body in space, ie the moon, a habitat that we were not designed to live in.
That we have solved some problems doesn't mean that our minds are infinite; at least until we solve an infinite number of problems. How close are we to that?
I think the evidence points to our mind having the potential of solving an infinite number of problems. Since the earth has a finite lifetime we will never reach that of course until the next world which will last forever.
El Cid said:
So you deny that there were two rocks under a tree 65 mya?
I'm not going to respond to some random question until you acknowledge my most recent post on this point, that you are merely repeating your claim.
My point is that numbers existed long before human minds did.
El Cid said:
Yes, you said you were.
Sorry, I misunderstood you.
El Cid said:
I am saying if we had unlimited time I think we could create an infinite number of those things.
This is a great example of your illogic. If we can create an infinite number of novels, say, with unlimited time, couldn't we also create an infinite number of musical compositions with unlimited time? What is the essential difference between novels and music that makes it impossible to create an infinite number of musical compositions with unlimited time but not so for novels?
Music is limited by the number of musical notes and what humans consider music. Ideas for novels theoretically have no such limits.
Look at what "In what way?" is in reply to, and your answer is there. In that way.
You have yet to prove that my claims are wrong. You also just intuitively claim that we cannot produce an infinite number of creative ideas.
El Cid said:
Most scientists agree that the strongest influence on our behavior is our genes, and yet we can go against them.
See the bottom of this post.

El Cid said:
I disagree.

No, unlike Scotsmen, there is an actual definition of culture so it doesnt apply.
Just don't make your claim that it doesn't apply, show me why the actual definition of culture necessarily makes it not apply.
From Oxford Dictionary: the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group:
El Cid said:
I will have to go back and reread it.
OK.

El Cid said:
Actually you can, many heterosexuals do in prison.

No, see above.

Well I have been studying and reading about animals for over 40 years.

We have no idea what he was actually doing. A few days before his head may have been struck by a horse kick and damaged his brain. Brain damaged animals do very strange things.
I take your point about overriding genetics, but what does this have to do with free will? Why does the ability to override genetics mean necessarily that we have free will? It seems like another possibility that accounts for overriding our genetics is the cultural, social, familial, and education programing of our brains.
Because our bodies are basically identical to animals and therefore also controlled by genetics, we are the only beings able to override our genetic programming. There must be a reason for that, and that reason is that our minds are not totally controlled by the physical which is controlled by genetics. That is evidence for free will. Animal minds are totally controlled by their physical brain so are bound to the laws of physics. Human minds are not.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
No, you misunderstood. I believe Brains contain more than chemicals. They contain a mind and ARE programmed. But you dont believe that. If atheism is true, then brains are just chemicals, so they would be unable to do math.
That brains contain a mind is your claim. Your evidence for that is that chemicals/electricity can't do math. But chemicals/electricity *can* do math. (What programs the computer or the mind is irrelevant to the fact that chemicals/electricity can do math.)

I think the evidence points to our mind having the potential of solving an infinite number of problems. Since the earth has a finite lifetime we will never reach that of course until the next world which will last forever.
What does this have to do with free will?

My point is that numbers existed long before human minds did.
What does this have to do with free will?

Music is limited by the number of musical notes and what humans consider music. Ideas for novels theoretically have no such limits.
What does this have to do with free will?

You have yet to prove that my claims are wrong. You also just intuitively claim that we cannot produce an infinite number of creative ideas.
What does this have to do with free will?

From Oxford Dictionary: the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group:
You're only showing that it's true by definition (since the definition says culture is done by people, then no animal can do culture), which is trivial, and which is not how anyone rational would look at the issue of whether animals have some elements of culture.

Because our bodies are basically identical to animals and therefore also controlled by genetics, we are the only beings able to override our genetic programming. There must be a reason for that, and that reason is that our minds are not totally controlled by the physical which is controlled by genetics.
That is evidence for free will. Animal minds are totally controlled by their physical brain so are bound to the laws of physics. Human minds are not.
You haven't considered the possibility that the thing that allows us to override our genetics is our genetics; that is, one part of our genetics, programmed in one place in our brains, overrides another part of our genetics in a different part of the brain. So, we might be genetically programmed to care about our close kin and provide them food, so when we ourselves are hungry, due to one part of our genetic programming, we can override that with another part of our genetic programming by giving scarce food to our close kin.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
This particular discussion was not about free will, it was about how science works.
Then why have you (as well as I) been talking about free will? When two people both say things about a topic in a back and forth, that’s what’s called having a discussion about that topic.

We have been talking about free will. Other things, too. Like a normal conversation.
 
Let me employ your terms in bold:

I had faith in my wife's fidelity. For this I had no ultimate truth, though I did have compelling evidence (though not of an empirical nature). I believed in her fidelity without seeing it, as I am not omnipresent and there were times when we were spatially separated. I was trusting WITH good reason. I had confidence in what I hoped for, an assurance about what I did not see.

Last week in driving from my house to my brother's new home, I came across a bridge which I had never crossed. I had faith that it would hold the weight of my car without collapsing, though for that belief I had no ultimate truth, though I did have compelling evidence (though not of an empirical nature). I believed in the bridge's strength without seeing it, as I had never seen anyone cross it before. I was trusting WITH good reason. I had confidence in what I hoped for, an assurance about what I did not see.

I have faith in Jesus Christ's love. For this I do have ultimate truth, and I do have compelling evidence (though not of an empirical nature). I believe in His love without seeing it. I am trusting WITH good reason. I have confidence in what I hope for, an assurance about what I do not see.
In other words, you believe it, therefore it's true.
 
So you believe I believe it, so therefore it's true that I do, right?
Hahaha, this is hilarious. You continue to prove my thesis that believers don't understand the distinction between knowing and therefore believing, and believing and therefore "knowing".

I have made an OBSERVATION on your opinion based on your statement of opinion. Observation of reality -> belief about reality. Get it?

But by all means, please, continue proving my point for me.
 

romishpopishorganist

Well-known member
My definition of faith:

Faith is accepting as truth that for which there is no sufficiently compelling evidence
Faith is accepting as fact that for which there is no ultimate proof
Faith is believing without seeing
Faith is trusting without good reason

Whenever I share my definition of faith with a Christian it is automatically, and with a high haughtiness, dismissed
And in it's place, the Christian asserts that faith is:

"confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see"

Can somebody please explain to me how my definition of faith differs from the biblical definition?

How does having 'confidence in what one hopes for'
differ from
'accepting as truth that for which there is no sufficient evidence'?

How does an 'assurance about what we do not see'
differ from
an 'acceptance as fact minus ultimate proof'?
Why do you think there is no evidence for theism?
 

El Cid

Well-known member
I thought I explained that earlier. What did you not understand? Animals do not have a true culture because they dont have free will. When a culture is developed you need set up a system of justice. Animals dont mete out justice because they do not have a moral conscience and therefore have no concept of justice and since they dont have free will they dont commit any crimes.
How does this matter in terms of whether we have free will or not?
Since we can do these things, that is evidence we do have free will.
El Cid said:
Since we do have free will we blame people for freely choosing to do something wrong. Why do you punish people like they have free will responsibility if you dont believe that we do?
to try to reprogram them, to give an incentive not to do bad things, and to protect the rest of society.
But that is unjust, to punish someone for something they had no responsibility or control for doing.
El Cid said:
There are some things that scientists know about all animals without actually testing every single animal. Such as belief in God, no animal has religious beliefs. No animal understands calculus, no animal can do geometry, no animal can speak a language, and etc.
how does this matter in terms of whether or not we have free will?
All these things require free will, so these abilities are evidence we have free will.
El Cid said:
No, I am just saying that not all humans love their children.
I was asking you how you knew something.
From my own experience of love, I know that humans can love.
El Cid said:
Without free will there is no justice.
that may be a consequence of not having free will, but it does nothing to demonstrate that we have free will or not.
It is evidence that we have free will. All humans have a desire for justice so that is evidence that we have a free will.
El Cid said:
Because they are programmed to eat food when they are hungry. And they are programmed to live at all costs. This shows that they do not have free will but we do because we CAN refuse to do those things.
how does that matter in terms of whether or not we have free will?
Because if we didnt have free will would not be able to refuse to do those things.
El Cid said:
If we didnt have a free will then we would already be programmed to do those things and not have to be taught those things.
why is that statement true? Why isn’t learning programming?
Learning can be a form of programming, but unlike animals we can choose not to learn, animals who dont have a free will cannot.
El Cid said:
No, if there is no free will then we would already be programmed, no learning necessary other than instinctual stimuli. Your genetic code already would have the programming to eat right and etc.
See above.
See above.
El Cid said:
But with learning, you can choose to reject that learning if you have a free will.
And you can choose to reject that learning if you have learned to reject other learning
Not if you dont have free will, you cant really choose to do anything.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
Since we can do these things, that is evidence we do have free will.
How does what animals have or don't have or what animals can do or can't do have anything to do with what we have or can do?

But that is unjust, to punish someone for something they had no responsibility or control for doing.
We would only incarcerate someone to either protect the rest of society or to re-program them so that society is protected. It's not retributive justice.

All these things require free will, so these abilities are evidence we have free will.
Why do all those things require free will?

From my own experience of love, I know that humans can love.
You are not all humans. What allows you to generalize from your experience to conclude something about **all** humans? Some things about you are true for all humans, and some things aren't. How do you tell the difference if all you have is what you know about yourself? You're saying what you know about yourself is the thing that allows you draw a conclusion about all humans, and that is illogical.

It is evidence that we have free will. All humans have a desire for justice so that is evidence that we have a free will.
Why is a desire for justice evidence for free will? And, are you saying it's sufficient evidence, all by itself, that we have free will?

Because if we didnt have free will would not be able to refuse to do those things.
Why?

Learning can be a form of programming, but unlike animals we can choose not to learn,
Whether we can choose not to learn has nothing to do with whether learning is a form or (re-)programming. If learning is a form of programming, then we can sometimes alter our behavior from what is genetically programmed.

animals who dont have a free will cannot.
What animals can or can't do has nothing to do with what we can or can't do.

Not if you dont have free will, you cant really choose to do anything.
Why not? Unless you're defining "choosing" as meaning "exercising free will," in which case your argument is circular.
 

5wize

Well-known member
There are some things that scientists know about all animals without actually testing every single animal. Such as belief in God, no animal has religious beliefs. No animal understands calculus, no animal can do geometry, no animal can speak a language, and etc.
It's a bit odd that you support scientific declarations about every animal from common observations of a subset. I mean, I don't disagree, but what do scientists say about dead things reanimating? Given that all of the living things we can test can't do that, can we extrapolate from your support of scientific observation that Christianity is not true?
 
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