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Featured Is Faith Evidence of Things Not Seen?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Left Coast, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    Depending on your favorite translation, Hebrews 11:1 reads:

    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

    Some religious folks believe that their faith itself is evidence that what they have faith in is actually true. This is particularly the case, it seems, when it comes to supernatural claims or ones that don't have good evidence for them.

    In my view, this is a manifestly absurd and circular position. People believe all kinds of things, some true, some untrue. The fact that I believe, for example, that the world is flat, is not evidence that I'm correct about that.

    Do you believe faith is the evidence of things not seen? Why or why not?
     
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  2. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    No, because my thoughts(faith) apparently can't cause other things to come into existence.
     
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  3. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    No.
    For precisely the same reason that faith is not a pizza topping.
     
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  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    When I talk with christian believers I get mixed messages. They'll say you only need faith, then they say why can't you see proof of god in god's creation. Another hand they say they know god does this or that but on the other hand he, his nature, is unknownable.

    Maybe faith is the hopes that whatever they believe in god is true and the experiences justify their faith-but evidence? I think they got the wrong definition of the word.

    I'd like to know evidence for god from Jews, Muslims, and other abrahamics that (if the case may be) don't depend on faith as evidence of god's existences and edict. One Muslim on RF I remember said that they didn't have faith, they "know." But I never got to continue the conversation of how he knew. Asking christians is not very effective because the use of faith (abstract hope) and experiences (subjectivity) to justify their belief (rather than saying fact) and everything around them is confirmed by their already held biases.

    But, yeah, you can't make evidence fact by having faith. But maybe the other party is only using evidence for science and not considering evidence can be anything that justifies a person's claim etc. In religion, unlike science, evidence would mean something different. So, it wouldn't make sense to use the word in the same context for both "science" and religion.
     
  5. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    When people turn to faith it's evidence that they have no verifiable evidence for what they want to believe.
     
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  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I can separate blind faith from the kind of faith that comes from deep reflection.

    Blind superficial faith is the kind that children learn when they sing "because the Bible tells me so". They just accept something without thought. Blind faith to me is not "evidence of things not seen" - it's just swallowing something whole.

    Deep reflection comes about when thinking and meditating deeply on spiritual questions. Some bring all their power of intuition and all their power of reasoning to a question. This can lead to accepting a divinity that someone has not seen based on all the external and internal evidence that they've examined.
     
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  7. Power Stone

    Power Stone Unknown Member

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    Sure why not. I don't take 'evidence' so seriously
     
  8. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    No. That's poetic gibberish.

    Ask someone not familiar with the passage what "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." means and you'll get a blank stare.

    Faith is unfounded belief -- period/full stop.
     
    #8 Valjean, Aug 7, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  9. Amanaki

    Amanaki Veteran Member

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    Faith alone does not prove anything to other then you self :) every spiritual development begins with faith, then the more one cultivate mind and body, the more wisdom arise from the teaching, and in my understanding the faith is more and more confirmed on a personal level.

    What others would take it as, isn't that important, spiritual practice is a personal journey.

    If a believer said, I see God in this stone, the first thing a non believer would ask is, why, how, prove it to me.
    But it is personal experience, should be go around proving everything personal to us, because others can not see the same as we do?
     
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  10. Joe W

    Joe W Always a godfather, never a god.

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    You can be correctly convinced that intuition and reasoning lead to a divinity. And you can be incorrectly convinced? From inside your mind (reflection) being right looks exactly like being wrong.
     
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  11. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    That's fairly poetic language, but mostly correct, I think. Faith is hoping and trusting that what one would like to believe to be true, is true, even though one cannot know it to be so. And the "substance" of that faith is our acting on it. Our living according to that hope and trust. The "evidence", then, will be the results of those actions.
     
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  12. Sw. Vandana Jyothi

    Sw. Vandana Jyothi Truth is One, many are the Names
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    I probably sound like a broken record by now, sorry, but again I must point out that the seeker of the type of "good evidence" you speak of will forever be disappointed. That is, trying to validate spiritual experience using mind and senses (the tools of material science) is to use the wrong tools for the job. Mind and senses can only measure, react to and contemplate the mundane, the things and matters of this world.

    A spiritual scientist requires a different set of tools and methods. Spiritual experiences--the inspiration for and fosterer of faith--are not perceived by nor measurable using the regular tools (mind and senses)... because they are anything, nay, everything but mundane.
     
  13. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    I support the idea of "deep reflection" and bringing both intuition and reason to bear on a question. But I don't think that means my belief is evidence that I'm right. Particularly when my belief is given in absence of good evidence (which is the kind of "blind faith" you're talking about I think).
     
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  14. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    Hi Swamiji!

    So regarding spiritual experiences - if they don't use the "regular tools" of mind and senses...how do you have the experience? I mean, the experience has to be at least happening in your mind, doesn't it? You're perceiving it somehow.
     
  15. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    I am good at doubt. So in the end, I accept these:
    Cognitive Relativism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    Now if you combine (1) and (2), it means that it is unknown as with evidence, if the monitor, you are reading this on, is there as the monitor in itself.
    So the idea of evidence as per empirical realism is a belief and without evidence. But so is God. Now if you then combine that with Agrippa's trilemma there is no justified evidence, proof, truth and what not possible for any belief about what reality really is.
     
  16. Sw. Vandana Jyothi

    Sw. Vandana Jyothi Truth is One, many are the Names
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    Hi, Left Coast :)
    Thanks for asking! Consider if you will that human beings might, in addition to the regular tools, be endowed with other tools for perceiving and processing extra-sensory experiences. Think "third eye" and "hrit padma" (lotus of the sacred heart) and "higher consciousness" (beyond consciousness of mind). Most of us are not even taught about these tools, let alone how to employ them.
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    No, I do not believe that faith is evidence as that is a logical contradiction, since we would not need faith if we had evidence.

    That said, I think that we need to have faith that we will get the evidence we need if we earnestly seek God. As it says in the following verse, "He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." I think that the reward is the evidence we will get if we earnestly seek Him. Mind you, that is just how I interpret that verse below. ;)

    Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
     
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  18. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    Faith is only a very strongly held belief. It's not evidence of anything except of a very strongly held belief. That's it.
     
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  19. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    At best, the statement that "faith is evidence of things not seen" strikes me as bad poetry. But I'm almost always wrong about nearly everything.
     
  20. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Yeah, and as with Left Coast, it ends here:
    Cognitive Relativism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    So the claim that the world is natural and not supernatural is as much only a very strongly held belief, just as the reverse one.
     
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