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Faith versus superstition?
Posted: 18 May 2009 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Knuckleheaded numbskulled sumbitch!

Sounds like most of the people in my family.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 18 May 2009 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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McCreason - 18 May 2009 05:04 PM

Knuckleheaded numbskulled sumbitch!

Sounds like most of the people in my family.

But, aren’t we all related?  Oh . . .

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 19 May 2009 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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burt - 16 May 2009 12:58 PM

Maybe it would be useful to take an intentional point of view on this and distinguish between faith itself and faith-with-an-object (referring to the latter as a form of belief).  Faith itself would not be something that could be given a precise rational definition, along the lines of what Kant called an aesthetic idea: “...by an aesthetic idea I understand that representation of the imagination which occasions much thought; without, however, any definite thought, i.e., any concept, being capable of being adequate to it; it consequently cannot be completely compassed and made intelligible by language.  We… see that it is the counterpart of a rational idea, which conversely is a concept to which no intuition (or representation of the imagination) can be adequate.”

Would you give an example of that type of faith? That language sounds vague to me. Many believers I’ve met describe “faith” in their gods as more or less like faith in the future or faith in a spouse, but that doesn’t sound right to me.

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Posted: 19 May 2009 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Carstonio - 19 May 2009 08:09 AM
burt - 16 May 2009 12:58 PM

Maybe it would be useful to take an intentional point of view on this and distinguish between faith itself and faith-with-an-object (referring to the latter as a form of belief).  Faith itself would not be something that could be given a precise rational definition, more along the lines of what Kant called an aesthetic idea: “...by an aesthetic idea I understand that representation of the imagination which occasions much thought; without, however, any definite thought, i.e., any concept, being capable of being adequate to it; it consequently cannot be completely compassed and made intelligible by language.  We… see that it is the counterpart of a rational idea, which conversely is a concept to which no intuition (or representation of the imagination) can be adequate.”

Would you give an example of that type of faith? That language sounds vague to me. Many believers I’ve met describe “faith” in their gods as more or less like faith in the future or faith in a spouse, but that doesn’t sound right to me.

I’ll start off with just examples:

Aesthetic idea: The cognitive (mental, emotional) experience one has when viewing a work or art like the King Tut funeral mask; or when listening to music (Beethoven’s 9th). 

Rational idea: the concept of number, the concept of a triangle.

I think you’ll agree that these fit into Kant’s definitions. 

For faith, feelings of confidence and security experienced physically in the upper chest and projected onto aspects of the world (which, as a mental extension of this, one then says that one has faith in—the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and so on that get attached to this all being, in the end, inadequate and at bottom superfluous).

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Posted: 20 May 2009 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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burt - 19 May 2009 01:31 PM

For faith, feelings of confidence and security experienced physically in the upper chest and projected onto aspects of the world (which, as a mental extension of this, one then says that one has faith in—the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and so on that get attached to this all being, in the end, inadequate and at bottom superfluous).

Dumb question - why would one label an aesthetic idea as faith? I suspect that the believer’s mistake is to misinterpret that physical sensation as evidence for the existence of things in the world, as opposed to a projection onto the world.

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Posted: 25 May 2009 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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arildno - 18 May 2009 05:03 PM

Faith is born whenever people develop the misconstrued idea that their superstitions contain the most fundamental answers to their personal lives.

Well put but I would change it to read:

Faith is born whenever people develop the misconstrued idea that their superstitions contain the most fundamental answers to their personal lives or to any revelation of truth.

Stay Well
Wotansson

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Posted: 25 May 2009 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Carstonio - 20 May 2009 01:51 PM
burt - 19 May 2009 01:31 PM

For faith, feelings of confidence and security experienced physically in the upper chest and projected onto aspects of the world (which, as a mental extension of this, one then says that one has faith in—the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and so on that get attached to this all being, in the end, inadequate and at bottom superfluous).

Dumb question - why would one label an aesthetic idea as faith? I suspect that the believer’s mistake is to misinterpret that physical sensation as evidence for the existence of things in the world, as opposed to a projection onto the world.

All I’m suggesting is that experiences of faith might be analogous to aesthetic ideas rather than rational ones.

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Posted: 26 May 2009 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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burt - 25 May 2009 10:12 PM

All I’m suggesting is that experiences of faith might be analogous to aesthetic ideas rather than rational ones.

Does that fit in with the idea of faith as an attempt at wish-fulfillment?

Pearls Before Swine by Stephen Pastis

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Posted: 26 May 2009 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Carstonio - 26 May 2009 07:45 AM
burt - 25 May 2009 10:12 PM

All I’m suggesting is that experiences of faith might be analogous to aesthetic ideas rather than rational ones.

Does that fit in with the idea of faith as an attempt at wish-fulfillment?

Pearls Before Swine by Stephen Pastis

Not really.  More like the emotional experience a person would get from a work of art.  But without the art.  Wish-fulfillment would only come in when a person started intellectualizing about the experience and trying to assign it to an object.

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