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Is faith (believing something without evidence) a good or a bad thing - www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic…

53%
361 deviants said Neutral
27%
183 deviants said Good
20%
136 deviants said Bad

Devious Comments

:iconfogonthebeach:
I just noticed this (I'm a hug fan of your photography!), but I thought I'd throw my opinion in! I understand your interest in this subject, IvanAndreevich, but unfortunately it's a difficult question to answer with a yes or no answer. My first comment is that, with all due respect, the question in the poll in phrased poorly. I think you will find that very few people define "faith" as believing in something without evidence. I find it hard to believe that there would be any good reason to believe in something with no evidence what so ever.

Perhaps a better definition would be C.S. Lewis'. He defined faith as "the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods." He is basically saying that every view has doubts. You must have had doubts about your standpoint on God, religion etc. on bad days. We all do. But for whatever reason, you continuously return to your belief that there is no God or that you cannot know if there is a God (correct me if I'm wrong; I'm not entirely familiar with your religious views), despite your mood. People who "lack faith," bounce around from one view to another whenever the mood strikes them, based not on logic or actually believing what they are saying, but on how they are feeling at the moment.

You see, spiritual or religious people do not blindly follow the word of God because our parents told us to. That would be ridiculous and contrary to human nature, which is to question and seek out the truth. If you are interested in the evidence we believe points toward a personal god, you could check out such books as A Case for A Creator by Lee Strobel or Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Those books are from a Christian standpoint, but I'm positive there are thousands of books written from the viewpoints of people of different faiths. I simply don't have the eloquence or space to put that evidence into words here.

So, all in all, my point is that going by your definition of "faith", one could hardly say that was a good thing. But if one looks at the definition of faith from a man such as Lewis, I think you could agree with me that there is a strong argument in it's favor.
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:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Oct 24, 2012  Professional Photographer
| with all due respect, the question in the poll in phrased poorly

I know what you mean, but I obviously did it on purpose.

| the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods

That's a laughable definition of faith which gets nowhere.

1) My reason never accepted biblical (or other) fairy tales.

2) Things which I consider to be true or false do not change based on my mood. They change based on facts, and my critical analysis of those facts.

| You must have had doubts about your standpoint on God, religion etc. on bad days.

No matter how desperate I get, I will NOT engage in wishful thinking. So, the answer is no.

| But for whatever reason, you continuously return to your belief that there is no God or that you cannot know if there is a God

I am an agnostic atheist with respect to a generic deity, but the concept of the Christian god is outright laughable to me.

| People who "lack faith," bounce around from one view to another

I know many atheists, and I don't think any of them doubts their theology very much.

On the contrary, and I knew a guy who had to lie to his religious family about his theology as he was sick with cancer. His direct quote to me - "It's all bullshit!" Meanwhile his wife and sister prayed and prayed and he never did tell them. When he died, they still didn't know.

So according to your beliefs, he's in hell right now. According to mine, he was right and he no longer exists.

| You see, spiritual or religious people do not blindly follow the word of God because our parents told us to.

Yawn. In general, yes you do. That's why people in the US are Christian, people in Iraq are Muslim, people in India are Hindu. It's not a coincidence - it's a geographic distribution.

| you could check out such books as

I have looked at ALL the arguments for the existence of god, and I consider them all to be intellectually pathetic. And then of course, the thousands of different religions contradict each other entirely.

| But if one looks at the definition of faith from a man such as Lewis

You think that sticking to beliefs based on facts despite your emotions is faith?

I don't care how great of a writer your are, but you don't get to invent your own meanings for words which directly contradict established ones.
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:iconfogonthebeach:
Thank you so much for the reply! I really do enjoy debating this subject.


"I know what you mean, but I obviously did it on purpose."

Ok, my mistake. Just thought I'd let you know how it came across to readers.


"That's a laughable definition of faith which gets nowhere.

1) My reason never accepted biblical (or other) fairy tales.

2) Things which I consider to be true or false do not change based on my mood. They change based on facts, and my critical analysis of those facts."

I'm sorry, I may have been unclear here, and I hope you didn't take it as a personal attack on you, as that was not my intention. I'm afraid, though, I don't understand how it "gets nowhere". If you can honestly say you don't ever engage in wishful thinking, then you have very strong faith. Perhaps your faith is in something different than mine, but it is essentially the same thing. I can tell you from my personal standpoint that my faith is as based in fact as yours is. I can speak to you about the fact that my Christian standpoint is based on, or you can Google it for yourself (as you say that you have). Whether or not you interpret those facts the same way I do, is inconsequential to the issue of faith. You have faith in the fact that scientists do all of their research, and you have faith that the images you see are real, and that you aren't simply in a coma and dreaming all this. Perhaps that seems extreme, but I share that faith with you. I have faith that scientists and historians and teachers are doing their jobs correctly and imparting their knowledge of the universe onto me as truthfully and impartially as they can. I can not offer you any proof of that, right now so I must rely on faith.


"No matter how desperate I get, I will NOT engage in wishful thinking. So, the answer is no."

Ok, I'm glad you have such faith in what you believe to be facts. However, what we perceive as facts have changed throughout the ages. It was once considered a fact that the world was flat or that the universe revolved around the Earth. There are some things you can prove, through deductive reasoning, for example, "All food is edible. This is food. Therefore, this must be edible." Other things you can almost prove through inductive reasoning, for example "This dog is brown, and this dog is brown. I have only ever seen brown dogs, so all dogs must be brown." This would be an example of inductive reasoning. Of course, this is not true, there are plenty of different colored dogs. However, often 'facts' are gained from inductive reasoning, and cannot necessarily be trusted fully. Again, your trust in some 'facts' comes from faith. For example; gravity. I'm sure you believe that whenever you drop a pencil on Earth it will fall to the ground. However, the only way you could prove this was to pick up and drop every object from every height for all of eternity. This would, of course be impossible, and yet I am not going to "engage in wishful thinking" that gravity does not exist.


"I am an agnostic atheist with respect to a generic deity, but the concept of the Christian god is outright laughable to me."

I would be interested in how you came to your perception of a generic deity based on solely facts.


"I know many atheists, and I don't think any of them doubts their theology very much.

On the contrary, and I knew a guy who had to lie to his religious family about his theology as he was sick with cancer. His direct quote to me - "It's all bullshit!" Meanwhile his wife and sister prayed and prayed and he never did tell them. When he died, they still didn't know.

So according to your beliefs, he's in hell right now. According to mine, he was right and he no longer exists."

I will agree to disagree with you on this point, as I can not get inside the head of an Atheist and tell you whether or not they have doubts. I can only speak from my own experience.

I am very sorry for your friend. What an awful thing for him, you, and his family to have to go through. With regard to your comment, I can't tell you where he is, because I don't know his heart. I do, however, believe that God does see whether or not a person wants to be with Him. Of course, that is another debate entirely, but I will say that the Bible says very little about Hell, with the exception that it is eternity without God. Most other imagery of Hell comes from the "Divine Comedy" or "Dante's Inferno".


"Yawn. In general, yes you do. That's why people in the US are Christian, people in Iraq are Muslim, people in India are Hindu. It's not a coincidence - it's a geographic distribution."

You'll find that in Iraq and other Muslim countries, it is in fact law, that people embrace Islam. That does not mean that that is where their heart or faith is. It simply means they have no interest in being arrested for their faith. I do not blame them. In the US, however, you'll find, while the majority is Christian, there is an increasingly growing number of people of all religions. The people who are more vocal about their faith are, obviously going to be the majority because it isn't fun to be the only person who is different. So, I will admit that geographic distribution is a part of who stands up and shouts about their faith, but people who truly believe in something, do not, simply because they are told to.


"I have looked at ALL the arguments for the existence of god, and I consider them all to be intellectually pathetic. And then of course, the thousands of different religions contradict each other entirely."

Ok. Well, I respect your opinion, even if 'intellectually pathetic' may come across as a rather belligerent statement. Of course, religions contradict each other, if they didn't... Well, there would only be one religion. I'm apologize if I suggested otherwise.


"You think that sticking to beliefs based on facts despite your emotions is faith?

I don't care how great of a writer your are, but you don't get to invent your own meanings for words which directly contradict established ones."

Well, I appreciate the compliment, thank you! However, I would say, that this definition, is one that has been around for centuries, and it could be argued that yours is the contradictory definition.


Thank you again, for the reply, enjoyable debate, and lovely photography!
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:iconmarkbelain:
Faith is much more than simply believing in something without evidence.
Since you put that in the parentheses, though, I had to list as neutral. Other than that I think faith is a very good thing, those easy to manipulate.
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:iconrebacan:
I'm one of those people whom for whatever reason religious faith is not an option. You cannot fake faith. I have explained to my very religous family that I would believe if I could, I could even pretend in their presence, if it would make them feel better, but it wouldn't change how I feel.
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:iconmaddlouise:
MaddLouise Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I believe that ultimately the most important thing is knowledge and furthermore truth. It's important to "have faith" or believe in your peers that they can and will succeed in life, because for the time being you can't know what will happen. And it's important to feel supported, it can be a turning point for some. Whereas, having faith in religion I think is an issue. Mainly because we have folks who rank higher than others in most religions, where the elder can tell the faithful anything and they're likely to believe and do. I wouldn't say it's a good thing to have faith all the time, as you're likely to be hurt. To be naive is often less bliss than not.
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:iconkrazzyroflmao:
krazzyroflmao May 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Truthfully, I have not seen much good come out of faith other than moral boosts and things like being less afraid to die and knowing the one who killed your brother is going to get punished. (Christianity)

Sadly, faith can also be very bad. It has clouded minds and started wars. Hell, it got my uncle cut off from the family (gay). I wouldn’t be surprised to know my grandparents drove him to suicide. He is dead, and only my grandparents know how. Anyways, faith clouds the mind. It makes people reject facts, and start fights. Not much more to it.
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:iconeveningstars242:
eveningstars242 May 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think believing in something is what gives people hope. However, there are people out there would take any and everything on blind faith and that's not healthy. I have more faith in God than I do in my fellow man. Because the concept of someone/thing who loves you no matter what is beautiful. Man can be an ugly beast.
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:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich May 28, 2012  Professional Photographer
In other words, you like wishful thinking because you can imagine better things than reality?
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:iconeveningstars242:
eveningstars242 May 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If that's how you see it then yes but not everything is black and white
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