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critical thinking vs faith

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by waitasec, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    by definition critical thinking is,
    disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence

    by definition faith is,
    a belief that is not based on proof:

    so, would if be fair to say...?
    'in the sphere of faith (a belief that requires no proof) critical thinking can be applied while in the sphere of critical thinking faith (a belief that requires no proof) cannot be applied.

    and if so, what types of problems can arise when one does apply faith (a belief that requires no proof) in the sphere of critical thinking?




    i for one would say yes it is a fair statement and the problem that would arise from applying faith to critical thinking is that critical thinking becomes faith.
     
  2. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Basically, if one uses faith in their critical thinking, they're doing it wrong.
     
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  3. connermt

    connermt Well-Known Member

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    When dealing with faith, one could think critically. But that doesn't mean they have to accept their conclusion.
    Faith can (and oft does) exits independent of fact or honest, independent, critical thought.
     
  4. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I completely disagree with how you are defining faith. It seems popular nowadays to conflate "faith" with "blind faith," particularly amongst the atheist/humanist crowd. Not all faith is blind faith; not all faith is belief in something without proof.

    I also somewhat disagree with how you're defining critical thinking. Critical thinking is skepticism and questioning of assumptions.

    (this is a list pulled from a textbook, shortened for simplicity's sake)

    Me questioning your assumptions makes me disagree with your conclusions. I would interpret "faith" as being roughly synonymous with presuppositions in this context. We have to have presuppositions (things we trust or grant to be true for whatever reason), even in critical thinking. Our human brains can't escape having ordering structures for our thoughts.
     
  5. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    It depends on what one means by faith.

    Not all faith is unreasonable or without proof (a logical excercise). Some (like the Trinity) simply can't be explained by reason or logic of any kind and this is probably what most secular fundie's salivate over when they have a party with it.
     
  6. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    I don't know what a secular fundy is or why they salivate so much, but as a rationalist and skeptic it's simply a matter of placing things in their correct categories for identification. For example, god=no empirical evidence, requires faith, evolutionary theory=empirical evidence, rational. I don't know why categorical labelling would make someone salivate, but I hope your friends can be helped by a doctor or something.
     
  7. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    because they are in sphere of critical thinking

    what do you mean by exist?
     
  8. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    can you explain to me what faith with proof is?
    for example, is it a sense of hope in your child? if that is what you are eluding to that is not what i mean. i'll give you a silly example.
    if one were to see a commercial on TV and the announcer said, all or our children will die a horrible death tomorrow unless they deposit money into someone's bank account...
    and if that person believed the commercial because in their mind what ever comes from the TV has to be true, because in their experience it has even though it's never been verified ...are they applying critical thinking or are they applying faith...within the sphere of critical thinking.
    that is what i mean.
     
  9. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    i agree.
    please know i am aware that this is not the only definition of faith...
    it's one definition and the one i like to compare to critical thinking.

    i am aware that faith takes on all sorts of faces...in this thread i am specifically talking about a belief that requires no proof.
    :)
     
  10. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Only time will tell. Well, I suppose if it were that simple, millions of people are wasting their time talking about it. But let's not take millions, let's just take the elite religious thinkers :)yes: they exist along with Bigfoot as well) or even better yet, let's take Jeremy Waldron (see wiki) [by no means of the religious right] had this to say:

    Secular theorist often assume they know what a religious argument is like: they present it as a crude prescription from God, backed up with thread and hellfire, derived from general or particular revelation, and they contrast it with the elegant complexity of a philosophical argument........With this in mind, they think it obvious that religious argument should be excluded from public life...But those who have bothered to make themselves familiar with existing religious-based arguments in modern political theory know that this is mostly a travesty.

    God, Locke, and Equality....pg. 20

    And I agree with him. It's a rare bird that is even aware of the robustness of it all.
     
  11. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    If it can't be explained by logic, doesn't it follow it is not logical?
     
  12. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    I agree.
     
  13. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    I'm reminded of the ruler of the universe in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
     
  14. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    I don't think so (but I'm going to think about this). You provided a great example. Let's say I restate your antecedent as a premise: Whatever cannot be explained by logic is not logical.

    Let's further speculate that I accept your premise, but (like the turtle) I don't accept your conclusion. You respond "but it follows from the premise." I say I disagree. Can you explain to my why it logically follows? If you can't, does that make it illogical?
     
  15. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    By definition your 'critical thinking' pertains only to the physical world. It assumes there is no supernatural or spiritual world. Or, it recognizes it hasn't the ability to operate in that sphere.

    The faith of the Christian opens the door to that world. That faith is real, being defined in the Bible, and witnessed to the Christians spirit by the Holy Spirit. Its not proveable to you or real to you. But it is real nonetheless.

    Once that door is open for the Christian, then we can and do use logic, and reason, and critical thinking, in the spiritual sphere. Your confusion comes from wanting to apply your scientific method of knowing to the Christians spiritual method of knowing. And you can't.

    Quantrill
     
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  16. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Fair enough; thanks for the correction!

    I sometimes wonder if this "belief without proof" thing is a strawman, though. I think what happens is something like this. Rob believes in something based on some particular type of evidence/proof. Jen doesn't believe Rob's evidence is legitimate, for some reason or another. Jen then concludes that Rob is believing without proof and is taking things on faith. This is entirely reasonable from Jen's point of view, because by her views of adequate proofs, Rob is full of nonsense. Rob probably gets upset about this and can't understand why Jen can't see why his reasons are enough proof. To him, he has very good (and rational) reasons for believing what he believes, but to Jen it just isn't good enough.

    In other words, nobody believes anything without proof. The problem is that one person's proof is invalid to someone else, and so the person who declares the proof as invalid will be left with the impression that "belief without proof" is occurring or that such a belief is "irrational." Proof can be anything from the rigor of the scientific method to the trusted authority of your father and mother; it can be personal mystical experiences or just a gut feeling that something is right. Nobody is obliged to accept everyone else's proofs, of course.
     
  17. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    yes. practically speaking, we live and can verify that we live in a physical world, that is what i mean by the sphere of critical thinking.

    right. but once one applies faith in their critical thinking it is no longer critical thinking but it is faith, since the sphere of faith (belief that requires no proof) has no place for proof.

    .
    exactly, thats my point. you cannot apply faith to critical thinking
    but you can apply critical thinking to faith.
     
  18. idav

    idav Being
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    Sometimes we have to make decisions without having all the answers. I'd prefer knowing everything rather than having faith in being right.
     
  19. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    i think rob and jen both need to clarify what the criteria they each use in order to determine what evidence means to them...if rob is in the sphere of faith, and jen is in the sphere of critical thinking they will not come to any agreement unless they clarify what sphere they are in. in other words they would have to come to 2 different conclusions with regards to what sphere they are in...
    one conclusion of faith the other of critical thinking does that make sense?
     
  20. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    in a perfect world...


    of course, we don't always have the answers...but think about how boring and sterile our lives would be if we did...
     
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