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Argument: "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE (two trees edition)

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by 9-18-1, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. 9-18-1

    9-18-1 Active Member

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    Grants: The Torah (ie. first five books of Moses) *could* have come from God, but argues not in favor neither against.
    Addresses: Abrahamic Faiths (ie. god of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob etc.)

    *Assumption: God exists (ie. for the purposes of argumentation only).
    **Presumption #1: God "knows" good and evil.
    ***Presumption #2: God "knows" any/all truth(s) from untruth(s).
    *Required.
    **Espoused by Genesis 3:22
    ***ie. 'omnipotent'; 'omniscient'; 'omnipresent' etc.

    i. Eating from the tree of life brings (eternal) life.

    ויאמר יהוה אלהים הן האדם היה כאחד ממנו לדעת טוב ורע ועתה פן ישלח ידו ולקח גם מעץ החיים ואכל וחי לעלם
    And the LORD God said Behold the man is become as one of us to know good and evil and now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live for ever

    ii. Eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil 'surely' brings death:

    Genesis 2:17
    ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל ממנו כי ביום אכלך ממנו מות תמות
    But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    Two Trees:
    (i) The Tree of Life (life for ever)
    (ii) The Tree of Death (surely die)
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Argument:

    IF:

    (1) death is a result of eating from (ii),

    AND:

    (2) knowledge of good and evil is/can (only) be fully understood/known by God (ie. is not subject to it),

    AND:

    (3) a being can/could erroneously "believe" themselves to "know" good and evil,

    THEN:

    (4) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is equivalent to (ie.equal to) any/all beings who erroneously "believe" to "know" good and evil while not actually knowing good and evil.

    THEREFOR (deduction):

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    (1) If God is taken to be 'omnipotent'; 'omniscient'; 'omnipresent' etc. this commandment must be assumed potent: in order for it to have been issued by God, the same must "know" good and evil. Whether or not God "knows" Eve/Adam will "sin" is irrelevant: if "infinite" wisdom were a property of God (not argued here) this commandment must be regarded as coming from such a place (of infinite wisdom) - if even temporarily for the purposes of argument/testing. If potency of God is assumed, it naturally follows that all "death" is as a result of eating from (ii).

    (2) It must be assumed that God is not subject to duality, but rather must be found within their union as one. This is precisely what (i) represents: knowledge, understanding, wisdom, employing these faculties to distinguish what is true from what is not true. This does not call for, need, nor require "BELIEF": such a pursuit of unity necessarily begs one to visit/question what one "BELIEVES" incl. any dichotomous notion of good/evil, god/satan, and most importantly:

    "BELIEVER VS. "UNBELIEVER" (hundreds of millions are dead due to this)

    which has been a principle division in humanity for thousands of years.

    As such the components of knowledge, understanding (argued as a virtue), wisdom (argued as a virtue) necessarily equip one with a method to "know" any/all applicable 'who/what/where/why/when/how':

    NOT TO "BELIEVE"

    which necessarily protects/defends against falling into the (deadly) error of eating from (ii): "BELIEF"-based "knowing" of good and evil.

    (3) If a being "believes" to "know" good and evil, but has an erroneously dichotomous worldview (ie. subject to the duality of good/evil, god/satan, "believer" and "unbeliever" etc.) it naturally follows that this "believer" merely "believes" to "know" good and evil, because it can not be (fully, or partially) "known" lest one is either God, or "like" God (respectively; latter not argued here).

    (4) The degree to which an individual erroneously "believes" to "know" good and evil is proportional to (ie. equal to) the degree to which they are eating from (ii): such a mistaking renders only a local (ie. individual, internal) polarization unique to that individual (ie. sans. maya) which reflects outwardly based on his/her own binds (related to satan). These binds occur psychologically (ie. psychosomatic state relating to false "beliefs" rendering "false" worldviews which induces suffering etc.), emotionally (ie. emotional states relating to attachment(s), taking offense to criticisms of "belief"-based worldviews which reflect the identity of the individual, idol worship etc.) and habitually (ie. imitation, emulation, adoption of models/idols etc.).

    Deduction: The principle dichotomy of good and evil (even if illusory ie. non-existent) reflects the degree to which any/all (ie. humanity as a whole) erroneously "BELIEVE(S)" to know good and evil. Because satan requires "belief", and (ii) requires "belief", the two trees reflect a dichotomy of:

    (i) In a state of "KNOWING" good and evil.
    (ii) In a state of "BELIEVING" to "KNOW" good and evil.

    And because:

    (1) death is a result of eating from (ii),

    AND:

    (2) knowledge of good and evil is/can (only) be fully understood/known by God (ie. is not subject to it),

    AND:

    (3) a being can/could erroneously "believe" themselves to "know" good and evil,

    AND:

    (4) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents (ie. is equivalent to) any/all beings who erroneously "believe" to "know" good and evil while not actually knowing good and evil.

    THEREFOR:

    Deduction: "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    Any/all "belief"-based worldviews (jncl. religious) which favors division (ie. "us" vs. "them") necessarily indicates (ii) because such a state requires "belief" in knowledge of good and evil in order to adopt a polarized worldview.

    Any state (ie. person, nation etc.) either established on and/or maintained on (a) "BELIEF" are necessarily divisive and fundamentally false (ie. Islam purports the "belief" to be in possession of the perfect word of god, Christianity purports the "belief" in a 2-000-year-old resurrection, Judaism purports the "belief" that Moses received the Torah from God etc.). These are claims which require "belief" and adherents of such "beliefs" can only defend them by demanding evidence that they are "not" true. In reality, such "belief"-based assertions are absurdly unsound as they are, given that the Torah has at least four different authors, which is enough in and of itself to undermine the entire Abrahamic pantheon.

    End.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    Prediction: there will never be real lasting "peace" on the planet until the principle dichotomy of:

    "BELIEVER" vs. "UNBELIEVER"

    is addressed. I do not personally "know" how it will play out, but I know that "belief" is essentially the central problem on the planet (as a non-object) and the more humanity adapts a "KNOWING"-based 'state' rather than a "BELIEF"-based state (ie. as in all of the Abrahamic religions) only here will a true pathway towards peace begin.

    There are powerful "BELIEF"-based states which erroneously hold holy books and indecent idols as infallible and beyond scrutiny (ie. the source of fascism is religious protectionism). Because "BELIEF"-based person(s) identify with/as their "BELIEFS" (ie. in relation to their religious 'state'), anything that undermines the state is often taken personally. This is how adherents are "controlled": psychological, emotional, instinctual attachments to religious idols/books.
     
    #1 9-18-1, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  2. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Belief is a virtue when it is supported by reason applied to all of the relevant, available evidence (justified belief), only if it is commensurate with the quantity and quality of that supporting evidence, and if that belief is tentative in nature, that is, amenable to new evidence that makes the belief more or less likely to be correct.

    Unjustified belief, or faith, is not a virtue. It is nothing more than the will to believe something that one wishes to be true, and cannot be a path to truth, since any idea or its mutually exclusive polar opposite, at least one of which must be incorrect, can be believed by faith. Evidence-based belief must comport with the evidence, which is what makes it useful, since it can then be used to control some outcomes.

    Your argument above assumes the existence of a god, so this atheist didn't pursue it once that was apparent. It's not realistic to expect others to agree with your conclusions when they don't share your premises.
     
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  3. 9-18-1

    9-18-1 Active Member

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    This is not a "belief" - if something is supported by actual evidence, that is minimally a hypothesis, not a "belief". A "belief" does not require evidence - a hypothesis does.

    An example of a "belief" is: we are in possession of the perfect word of God. This "belief" is shared by billions of people on the planet.

    There is no actual evidence to support such a "belief" - much to the contrary in the cases of the Torah/Bible/Qur'an.

    That is the defining factor of the "belief" - unjustified. There is no such thing as a "justified" "belief".

    That is why the very first thing written is: addresses Abrahamic faiths.

    It allows that the Torah "could" have come from God, because it uses it (ie. the Torah itself) to undermine "BELIEF" entirely. If I were making an atheist argument, I'd have undermined the Torah for having multiple authors (none of which were Moses) which undermines the entire Abrahamic pantheon entirely.

    I talked about this towards the end - the argumentation requires the first few chapters of the first book of Moses, therefor denying its possible potency is devastating only to me - hence why the argument is addressing Abrahamic faiths only.
     
    #3 9-18-1, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  4. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Not true: Justified belief is Outcome Based.

    For example-- I'm writing this on a computer that has only 2 moving parts-- both are fans. Everything else is solid state.

    As such, my little laptop is more powerful than all the computers, all over the planet, back in the 1960's and 70's. Combined. It holds more storage, it has more raw computing power, has more memory, etc. And the screen surpasses anything available, anywhere on the planet.

    At that time.

    This computer is the product of Justified Belief, specifically the Scientific Method, which uncovered all the things needed to make computers possible, including this one.

    Prior to Systematic Testing of Discoveries? (scientific method) People pretty much just guessed-- and from those guesses, we have millions of religions, with millions of gods-- none of which were ever Justified by Outcome.

    The road to this computer was a Rocky One, too-- containing many false starts, invalid Rabbit Trails, and failed Ideas.

    But because the Scientific Method is Outcome Driven? The false starts, rabbit trails and failed ideas were discarded, sometimes quickly, sometimes after several generations of Outcome Experimentation.

    What I find rather passing strange? Is that all religions are the opposite of Outcome Driven-- they all rely on Foregone "Conclusions" (unsubstantiated claims).

    I suppose there is something of an Outcome: If the Claim is very specific? Such as, "A Certain City, will be Destroyed by Aliens From Space, in exactly 3 weeks", then this claim is easily tested--- and when found to be false-- the religion in question is discarded.

    And lest you think I was pulling something random out of myth? I wasn't-- there are examples of pretty much exactly what I wrote, above, and most people? Look at them and their followers and laugh.

    But the religions that survive, have switched to Nebulous, Can't Prove Either Way Claims-- such as "soul" or "You Will See When You Die". That way? THEY NEVER HAVE TO BE RIGHT.

    *sigh*
     
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  5. 9-18-1

    9-18-1 Active Member

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    There is no such thing as a "justified" belief. If something is "justified", it has a basis which elevates beyond a simple "BELIEF". A "belief" does not require a justified basis to be a "belief".

    lol

    This is not owing to "belief" - in fact the opposite: science. Science requires testing. "Belief" does not require testing - one can merely "believe" something and never test it, which is precisely what religious institutions are predicated on.

    Computers did not evolve based on a "BELIEF" - it is based on testing known working technology and systematically enhancing it. This is not a "BELIEF" - this requires science.

    Computers were not "guessed" into existence - technology was discovered.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "justified by outcome" but if it has anything to do with end justifies means... look at what people like Stalin did.

    That is what a "BELIEF" is - a worldview which places a desired "conclusion" (ie. in the form of a "BELIEF") without need/incentive to test the "belief".

    ...except they are not. Many such "prophecies" were predicted and never occurred, meanwhile the religious institutions which utilize such "prophetic" figures as their model/idol remain.

    That's the point of the argument: "BELIEFS" don't demand scrutiny, they shelter from it.

    Simply "BELIEVING" is not a virtue.
    *NOT* "simply BELIEVING" is a virtue.

    Through knowledge, understanding and wisdom, such faculties inform one of who/what/where/why/when/how *NOT* to "BELIEVE" (in), rendering such faculties favorable over "BELIEF" in all cases: they promote the natural process of reductio (ie. holding "BELIEFS" to scrutiny and eliminating any/all illicitly held).

    If a being "BELIEVES" something that is false, this will invariably will become a source of suffering:

    IGNORANCE = SUFFERING

    and when/if in a state of "KNOWING" (ie. no "BELIEF"), such a state brings with it the eventual (albeit certain) eradication of all forms of suffering. Therefor, once again:

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    Especially in the face of something much more favorable: knowing. Knowing how/why *NOT* to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (ie. "BELIEF"-based worldview adopting a dichotomy) is the same thing *AS* eating from it to become "like God": knowing good and evil. If the tree were left alone, and the person does not become internally polarized (ie. eats), they can *see* the dichotomy playing itself out naturally (independent of it) thus "KNOWING" good and evil, instead of "BELIEVING" to "KNOW" good and evil which cases death. Therefor, one again:

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE
     
    #5 9-18-1, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  6. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    We're obviously using different definitions for the word belief. You seem to be using the word the way I used unjustified belief.

    It really isn't important that we use words the same way, just as long as we are clear about what is meant when each party uses the word. I can understand you by translating your words into the ones I would have used to convey the same meaning.

    So, if I say that I believe that my car will start the next time I try to start it like it has the last 500 times I turned the key in the ignition, would you say that that is not actually a belief? It's supported by evidence, making it what I call a justified belief.

    This is just semantics. You agree that ideas can be held that are justified. You prefer not to call them beliefs. What do you call them, then? What do you call what I call the justified belief that my car will probably start the next time it is tested? It's certainly more than a hypothesis by now given all of the supporting evidence. It's not a fact that the car will start, just a very likely outcome.

    A belief does not require evidence to be held, but you seem to think that a belief cannot be supported by evidence, since if it is, it is no longer a belief. That's not a helpful way for me think about these things. I describe that as a supported or justified belief.

    Justified belief is not all or none. There are degrees of certitude. Some justified beliefs seem more likely to be facts than others, facts being linguistic strings (sentences or paragraphs) that accurately map some aspect of reality.

    A hypothesis does not require evidence. I hypothesize that the universe comes from a multiverse capable of generating uncounted universes of every type possible. I don't believe (or disbelieve) that, and I have no evidence for or against it.

    Yes, that is what I am calling a faith-based or unjustified belief. What do you call ideas like believing that the sun will dawn in the morning, or that if I live five blocks north and three blocks east of the pier, that if I walk five blocks south and three blocks west from my front door, I will be at the pier? Whatever you call that, I call it justified belief.

    And to answer your question again, what you call belief and what I call unjustified belief is not a virtue. It's a logical error. Whatever you call what I call justified belief is more a necessary function of the human mind as it goes through life accumulating experience, one comes to hold various positions whether he does that well and arrives at useful ideas that help him optimize outcomes, or just guesses and holds false ideas not corresponding to reality, such as wrong ideas about how to get to the pier arrived at by faith rather than looking at the streets and counting the blocks..

    Why is that important to you? The Abrahamic religions are faith-based world-views that are essentially spin-offs of one another. This discussion about the virtues of belief could be about any belief system, and needn't be limited to the Abrahamic faiths.
     
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  7. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    I would argue that goes beyond mere belief. If I have evidence, data, and facts, I do not believe - I know. I do not believe if I jump off a building I will fall due to gravity. I know this will happen.
    Belief, those things we think even though they are not based on evidence, logic, or available data, is most definitely not a virtue.
     
  8. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    *sigh*.... you absolutely did NOT READ what I ACTUALLY WROTE.

    This is known as a Straw Man Fallacy. But nice attempt.
     
  9. 9-18-1

    9-18-1 Active Member

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    I feel we have the same <object> in mind using different expressions as well, however I still defend there is no such thing as a "justified belief". For example, if it is "believed" that whatever solution is required for world peace would necessarily involve eradication of Jews (ie. mindset of Muhammad; Adolph Hitler) then any "justification" used necessarily results in genocide, which is not peaceful in the strict and practical sense (else: "knowledge" of good and evil necessitating "BELIEF" as argued in the OP).

    If even this was (is) accomplished (in the future), those carrying it out will still feel the deed is "justified" based on their "BELIEF" (ie. relating to their "BELIEF"-based religious worldview) that is was necessary anyways (when in fact not). This has implications for the root of human suffering in general (ie. "BELIEF"). Therefor:

    "BELIEVE" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    .

    It's an assumption. You assume that because the last 500 times you started your vehicle, you assume it will start a 501th time without issue.

    This is not a "BELIEF".

    And there's what makes your scenario removed from "belief". Compare to:

    "WE BELIEVE THAT THE QUR'AN IS THE PERFECT, INIMITABLE, UNALTERED, INERRANT WORD OF GOD AND MUHAMMAD IS THE FINAL MESSENGER OF ALLAH".

    Which is built on (bad) assumptions:

    i. Muhammad was visited by an angel in a cave
    ii. Muhammad received ongoing revelations from god

    which then form the basis of the "BELIEF" which imbues the Qur'an as having the highest possible authority, even higher than non-Muslim nations' laws.

    This did not happen 500 times before. This is a single, isolated event.

    Something similar happened with the Torah, however. Judaism also purports (ie. "BELIEVES") the Torah was delivered by god. In reality, it demonstrably has numerous different authors. Islam inherited this perfect-book mentality from Judaism and what is the result of this? Therefor:

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    I understand the problem, I feel it is related to standard of evidence. If a person has a particular "belief", especially if it reflects their preferred worldview, they will naturally search for confirmation(s)/validation(s). This potential for confirmation bias is devastating for anyone who holds a "BELIEF" which has some bearing on their identity. This kind of identity-based "BELIEF" is particularly devastating because one who identifies with/as their "BELIEF" (ie. in a religious book/figure) and the book/figure is undermined, the same will feel threatened/offended etc. because that same 'state' is serving the basis of their own.

    So I feel the problem of 'evidence' is only applicable insofar as one understands the value of evidence despite how it may challenge "BELIEF"-based worldviews. If "BELIEF"-based worldviews did not serve as the basis for entire states/empires, such problems would not exist anywhere near the magnitude they do now. Therefor,

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    I am still conflicted over the expression "justified belief".

    Correct, but it requires a QUESTION. For example, your hypothesis is a product of a question(ing) which lead you to arrive at a multiverse one. This is good: that is the function of the conscience: ones own internal questioning and seeking answers.

    The quality of the question reflects the quality of the conscience. I therefor understand those who are "unconscious" as "without questions" and/or automatons. This is precisely the state required for "BELIEF". Therefor,

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    Well the first is an assumption based on it having happened every other day (ie. far removed from "BELIEF") and the second is an ontological/geometrical/mathematical calculation with "proofs". This again is far removed from "BELIEF".

    This is conscience - it is required for learning. However "BELIEF" is not a conscious process: it is fixed, especially if involving objects/idolatry (ie. books, figures). When a "BELIEF" becomes fixed/immovable, an example of this would be a book, a religious figure, or an idea of heaven: someone putting on a suicide vest and blowing the hell out of another place of worship "BELIEVING" they will secure places for them and their family in a "BELIEVED"-in heaven. This is actually related to the ten commandments re: graven images. Both Christianity and Islam fall to scrutiny against the ten commandments ad absurdum. Again,

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    It is important to me because:
    -Women are absolutely abused in Islam
    -Christians/Muslims are both "worshiping" a male central figure
    -Judaism is built on falsifications of history re: Exodus and identity of Moses

    and the idolatrous institutions are still standing and exploiting people. I attribute probably near 90% of global human suffering to the Abrahamic faith systems because they contain the initial seeds of socialsm and fascism (ie. usury exploitation and religious blasphemy) and contains the principle divisive force on the planet:

    "BELIEVER" vs. "UNBELIEVER"

    in/as Islam. Persecutions of "unbelievers" who reject Islam have been active for 1400 years and are escalating globally. Ex-Muslims are being persecuted - women especially. Saudia Arabia is denoting atheism as "terrorism" when in reality Islam is the #1 terrorist 'state' on the planet being one of the longest & most consistent (ie. 1400 years old without major reformation eliminating the poorest practices) perpetually waging jihad against all "unbelievers".

    Muslims "BELIEVE" that the Qur'an contains the only permissible law of god, unknowing that the Qur'an is forged from Christian strophic hymns and apocrypha (ie. not the word of a god). However, they are actively attempting to replace 21st-century "man-made" laws with "god's law" sharia... which is actually man-made 7th century laws reflecting the darkest ages of man in the desert.

    When you have 21st-century man-made laws being replaced with 7th-century man-made laws, this is a problem. Those who "BELIEVE" they are fighting against "man-made" laws, are actually:

    i. Suffering them (ie. Qur'an / shara)
    ii. Misappropriating their suffering of man-made laws as external (ie. everyone else's fault)
    iii. Fighting *IN FAVOR* on them "BELIEVING" otherwise


    When a problem (ie. Islam) "BELIEVES" itself to be a solution (ie. sharia), this is the same agency as a cancer cell reproducing (performing normal function) but destroying the host body. Same analogy: Islam and the planet. China officially denoted Islam a mental illness / poison / cancer / tumor-like:


    China Is Treating Islam Like a Mental Illness

    Therefor:

    "BELIEF" IS NOT A VIRTUE

    I did - perhaps other way around.
     
    #9 9-18-1, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  10. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    No... you didn't. Your comments indicated you "read" the exact opposite of what I wrote...

    But going by your continued repeating of a known lie, as if repeating the lie would Magically make it Not A Lie?

    Well....
     
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