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I lack Faith

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by Paleophyte, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    You seem to be contradicting yourself here. You say you lack belief but then talk about "believing in that which can be poked, prodded and tested." You don't really lack belief, then, only the desire or willingness to exercise belief in a theistic worldview.

    So, can you poke, prod and test, say, integrity? How much does integrity weigh, exactly? Where, precisely, is integrity located in the material universe? What's the boiling point of integrity? One could ask the same questions about a myriad of other empirically untestable things in which we all believe quite firmly: love, bravery, patience, humor, mercy, kindness, etc.

    I would also question your philosophical (not scientific) statement about what you choose to believe. Basically, you've defined your position as empiricism and/or scientism. One of the glaring problems, though, with this philosophical point of view is that it cannot itself be subjected to empirical testing. One cannot empirically test the statement that only what is empirically testable is true. Consequently, empiricism self-destructs.

    It is an old - and false - idea that religious faith and evidence and reason are mutually exclusive things. A Christian's trust in the claims of the faith is (or should be) anchored to various facts and arguments, historical, rational, metaphysical and even scientific in nature. Paul the apostle explained this quite clearly:

    2 Timothy 1:12
    12 ...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

    Paul's faith began with "I know"; it moved to "I am persuaded"; and finally resulted in "I have committed to him." There was no "blind leap of faith," no suspension of reason, or abandonment of knowledge, in Paul's worldview. This is true of many (though, not all) Christians today.

    Faith in God is cultivated within a heart God has softened and prepared for His truth. There is no argument or body of evidence that can shift a heart set in sin and rebellion against God toward Him. God must move in a person's mind and heart to overcome their natural sinful disposition and inclination away from Him. If He does not, no sin-bound person can come to know Christ as their Saviour and Lord.

    John 6:44
    44 No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draws him...


    2 Timothy 2:25
    25 ...if God, perhaps, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.
     
  2. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    "Lord, increase our faith" (Luke 17.5) is a good prayer!
     
  3. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Sorry, I thought that the implied subtext was obvious so I didn't express it as capital "B" Belief. To clarify, I lack Belief in a Deity while believing in the mundane. Similar to my earlier comments on "Faith" and "faith".

    And why would it have anything to do with desire or willingness?

    Yes. How else do we determine how much integrity an individual has other than through a critical examination of their words and deeds?

    Integrity does not possess those qualities, as I'm sure you are aware. That hardly makes it untestable. Discussing the thickness of a shadow is folly but measuring it's length was vital to one of the first accurate calculations of the size of the Earth.

    My wife tells me that I test her love and patience.

    All of the above can be examined, albeit not in the stereotypical laboratory setting.

    That's hardly unique to empiricism. All epistemologies rely on axioms that cannot be proven. Godel's incompleteness theorem shows that you can't even manage a complete and consistent set of axioms for math.

    So I'm waiting on God to tenderize my heart? :eek:

    And why would you think that I was either set in sin and rebellion?

    I'm clearly missing something here. People are naturally sinful and disinclined to Believe in God? Sounds like an odd set of instincts to give us. :confused:

    Errr... Why wouldn't He? :scratch:
     
  4. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Capital "B" belief? What does that mean? My belief in God doesn't require capitalization...

    Why would belief have anything to do with desire or willingness? Many times it has everything to do with it! I have witnessed mothers refuse to believe certain things about their children, not because there wasn't good evidence for those things, but because the mothers simply didn't want to believe their children were capable of them. I've seen couples in love refuse to believe a bad report about each other even though there was ample evidence to establish the bad report as true. The Bible says,

    John 3:19-20
    19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.


    You can observe the results of integrity, but integrity itself is not accessible to empirical testing or direct observation. When a man behaves with integrity, we recognize this by observing his honest, consistent, trustworthy behaviour. But this behaviour is not integrity itself but the consequence or symptoms of the man's integrity.

    Unlike a shadow, integrity does not possess empirically testable qualities, yet it is nonetheless real. You cannot test the length, or weight, or hardness, or flexibility of integrity. Integrity has no boiling point, nor can you collect some in a test tube. There is no place you can go to mine or harvest integrity. No one I know, though, denies that there is such a thing as integrity.

    Not in any laboratory. You may observe the effects of love, or joy, or courage, but you will never actually be able to test these things directly as things distinct unto themselves, separate from the human behaviours we associate with them and that they provoke. So, then, the idea that all that is true and real must be empirically-testable is, it appears to me, obviously false.

    The problem with empiricism that I pointed out has nothing to do with "unproven axioms" but with self-destructing logic. If the statement "Only what is empirically testable is true and real," then what about the statement itself which cannot be empirically tested? The statement must be false, not being accessible to empirical, and we can reject it as such. Thus, empiricism fails.

    Absolutely.

    This isn't merely what I think, but what the Bible repeatedly states about unbelievers.

    Ephesians 2:1-3
    1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.


    Colossians 1:21-22
    21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
    22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight--


    Romans 3:23
    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    It is how we choose to exercise our free will.

    Because He knows in His omnisicence that many will reject His drawing efforts.
     
  5. AservantofGodandthelordJC

    AservantofGodandthelordJC Member

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    Because you can only stop being a tiny unevolved creature through faith. Faith is the first step, but I'm telling you now everyone will have no choice but to take that first step. You can take it now, or unpreparedly later. Am I saying all religious people are great for having faith? No, it comes down to the individual. If you have nothing else, even if you have one single doubt (which means you have nothing), strengthening faith should be your focus.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  6. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Just trying to distinguish between the Belief in a Deity rather than belief in the mundane.

    Isn't deductive reasoning wonderful. Theories are abstracts. Utterly intangible. Yet the basis of science is that we test them.

    Then how do you know that it exists?

    I suspect that your difficulty is that you have too strict a definition of testing. King Solomon famously tested a mother's love for her child.

    That statement would only represent the most rigid and absolute forms of empiricism, which was rejected as fatally flawed long ago.
     
  7. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Not following you here. Last I cheked I was a reasonably evolved and complex creature.
     
  8. AservantofGodandthelordJC

    AservantofGodandthelordJC Member

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    Same could be said of a caveman. How do you describe rocket science to a monkey? Is it even possible? By comparison to divinity, that is what it's like. It's impossible to teach divinity to a 'normal' human, that's why faith is a requirement, you can only teach yourself. But it is real, much more real than the world you perceive now. Currently you are completely blind and delusional and have no idea what reality is. This is due to conditioning, your parents raising you, their parents raising them ect. It is like you are in a box with no windows and you do not believe there is a door, you have to believe there is a door before you can find and open it.. you can't see the door either or anything on the outside until after you open it, not before. Faith is the attempt to find and open it. If you don't have faith that there is a door, you will never attempt to find it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  9. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Yes. The difference between us and the "cavemen" is trivial.

    With a selective breeding program and a few hundred generations.

    More like trying to explain the internet to the bacteria on my keyboard, though even that analogy falls short of the gulf between us and the infinite.

    I doubt that a human can comprehend divinity by any means. They wouldn't be human anymore if they could.

    Flattery will get you nowhere. Why exactly do you think I am delusional?

    My parents and grandparents were Christians. Try again.

    I fear that it's a lot worse than that. I don't even believe that there's a box.
     
  10. AservantofGodandthelordJC

    AservantofGodandthelordJC Member

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    You can pick apart everything and argue all you want, however, the truth remains the truth regardless. Why do I think you're delusional? I don't just think that, it is factual. It doesn't matter that your parents were Christian, because they were conditioned as well. You create your own fabricated reality due to this conditioning, that is why no two people perceive things exactly the same way. God does not change to suit belief or opinion. Everything that is not God itself, everything God did not create does not exist, aside from the freewill which gave you the ability to create your own little world.

    The funny part is, you're much more religious than I am due to your belief in disbelief. I don't have a religion, and when I share a belief I specifically note that it is a belief.
     
  11. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    OK, but that doesn't tell me why. Can you explain why you think I am delusional.

    You know my family that well? Who conditioned them? And why?

    Thanks for reminding me to file for tax exempt status.
     
  12. AservantofGodandthelordJC

    AservantofGodandthelordJC Member

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    You are delusional because you are separate from God. Your parents were conditioned by their parents, because they were conditioned by their parents to believe delusion is reality, of course it is not intentional.

    One thing I would like to ask you as an atheist is despite all the evidence of paranormal activity, ghost hunters, psychics, historical evidence of miracles, saints whose bodies do not rot, astral projection, channeling, the thousands of books written on these topics ect. What is your explanation for all of this, do you think every single thing is fabricated?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  13. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Well I'm certainly confused. :scratch: I don't see how that's even possible with an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent Being.

    Let's try again. What specific delusion do you think I am suffering from?

    I'd ask who conditioned their parents but it's pretty clear you've gone into an infinite regress here.

    Ask me as a skeptic. I've known atheists who believed all sorts of woo. First of all, what evidence? Second, deliberate fabrication is just one possibility. Much of it can be chalked up to superstition and lack of understanding.
     
  14. AservantofGodandthelordJC

    AservantofGodandthelordJC Member

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    Anything that does not exist eternally, does not exist at all. A human's need for physical survival is where original conditioning stems from. Which is why Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, to conquer this conditioning, note how in this story his desire to eat is labeled as being tempted by satan. The evidence I was referring to there was the bibles existence but yes I know you do not accept that as evidence, but you can see the truth for yourself out of pure intention. When you die and realize you still exist then you will have no choice but to have faith, the beginning of a long journey to undo what you have created in place of reality.

    The easiest way to have a spiritual experience without being 'holy' or anything like that is astral projection, anyone can do it and the astral realm is where the dead but still delusional reside. I do not expect it to be taken as evidence either, but if you try it, it is rather compelling. All you have to do is go to sleep while staying awake at the same time and there are countless techniques to accomplishing this. I simply visualize walking around in areas that are common ground to me as detailed as possible and it just happens.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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