Archive for Monday, January 24, 2011

Faith Forum: What’s your definition of faith and how has your own belief shaped it?

January 24, 2011

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The Rev. Jill Jarvis, Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, 1263 N. 1100 Road:

As a religious liberal, I have a natural and, I believe, healthy skepticism about claims to truth. Given the multitude of mutually exclusive religious assertions of absolute truth, I realized early on that it was ultimately up to me to decide what I believed — if only to choose among them or reject them all. Rather than accept others’ ready-made truths, I have to trust my own ever-unfolding understanding, informed by personal experience, ancient and modern wisdom, science, and the perspective of trusted others.

As a Unitarian Universalist, I am a person of faith. In our tradition faith is not an unshakeable belief in that which cannot be proved. Faith does not require us to suspend our questioning or to reject the certainties of science. Faith calls us simply to examine the experience of human history and our own personal lives, and to live according to the lessons revealed to us: That life holds within itself an eternal potential for good. And that this potential can be realized only when we humans join in the process to make it so. This was the spirit of faith inherent in the Civil Rights movement. It is present today in the struggles for immigration justice, universal health care, and LGBTQ equality. It has sustained me through the joys and sorrows of my own life.

As faith is a commitment from within, religion is the way we live our faith. Religion holds the symbols, stories, rituals, and sacred spaces we create to practice and renew our faith together. In a Unitarian Universalist community we share the insights of our unique experiences, reflecting together on our differences in ways that encourage new wisdom and personal growth. But if religion becomes an end in itself — rigid and coercive, unable to integrate new understandings in a changing world — then religion becomes an obstacle to faith, and can even distort faith into an instrument of alienation and destruction.

— Send e-mail to Jill Jarvis at jjarvis1@kc.rr.com.

The Rev. Gary O’Flannagan, pastor, Cornerstone Southern Baptist Church, 802 W. 22nd St.:

Many people today don’t understand what faith really is from a Biblical perspective. Some people think Biblical faith is blind, without reason that faith is only for the uneducated and unenlightened. So, how do I define faith? Faith is a personal trust in someone or something other than ones self. In the New Testament letter to the Hebrews we’re told that “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1 NIV.

Faith is much like a light in the distance of a dark night, we’re not sure where the light will lead us but we walk toward it because the light is better than the dark and when we arrive we find ourselves safe. The Bible talks a lot about faith, it has over 240 references to faith and many of these references deal with people following God, not knowing everything, just knowing they have to follow him and they are shown living out their faith in real ways, in ways that sometimes doesn’t make sense except for the person who is living it.

New Testament, Biblical Christianity is a lifestyle of faith. We don’t know everything, we don’t have all the answers as we follow Christ. But He is the light in our dark world, Jesus speaking to his followers said in John 8:12 NIV, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

My belief hasn’t shaped my faith as much as my faith has shaped what I believe. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t think or struggle with many of the issues of our world but my faith leads me to believe that God not only has the answer but that he is the answer. And in due time we will all see if the Christian faith is valid.

— Send e-mail to Gary O’Flannagan at gary2_1962@yahoo.com.

Comments

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith=An unsupported, irrefutable belief contrary to all other sense data. Usually the basis of a delusion or mistake about the actual world. The opposite of knowledge.

cheerio 4 years, 3 months ago

Have you sat down in a chair today? If so, wtihout thinking about it you put your faith (the belief that it wouldn't break) into practice. Is that the opposite of knowledge?

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

Actually I have years of empirical knowledge about the structure of chairs and which ones will and will not hold me. It is not faith. If I try to sit on my god and expect him to hold me there would be no knowledge since I have never seen the structure of god and thus cannot determine whether he is good for sitting on. That would be faith.

cheerio 4 years, 3 months ago

It is a display of faith each time you/I go to sit in a chair. Yes, our knowledge leads us to believe that it will hold us. Perhaps one day it will not. That is when our faith has been misplaced.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

I have no idea how you define faith. If you can see it and measure it then there is no need for faith. My observations may be right or as has been the case for me my observation may be wrong, but there is no faith. As I sit I look at the evidence in support of the idea that the chair will hold me, made of metal, not visibly broken, and a guy fatter than me just got out of a similar one. If I said I have an invisible chair and you may sit in it if you wish and you sat in it that would be faith, since there would be no evidence that any chair existed. I know some preacher gave you the chair example because it was easy for you to understand but this common example is flawed.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@ WHY... "not visibly broken"...hmmm...it would take a WHOLE lot of faith for me to sit in that chair after the fat guy!!!
To sit in an invisible chair would make either myself a complete NUT CASE (or you for suggesting that I sit in the invisible chair!!)...I think it would be a toss-up regarding our sanity if we dealt with the invisible chair!!!

HOW DARE you be so condescending toward "cheerio" with your last line because he or she doesn't buy into your ridiculous diatribe...just who in the world do you think you ARE?????!!!!

You have NO idea what you are talking about...at times like that, people often find it's much better to shut their mouths and go away.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes sitting in invisible chairs is stupid. So is believing in an invisible god.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

But my God made Himself visible to us. God loved us so much, He sent His Son as a baby...not as a great and mighty King (as well He could have), but an innocent baby with no safe home for His birth. I (and a lot of others) believe that was so we, who are just ordinary folk, could identify with Him as opposed to a grand King. I believe in the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus was to show us the way to our heavenly Father...after so many years of legalism, Jesus' message was pure love...as was His dying for our sins. No more animal sacrifice...He was the ultimate sacrifice and oh, how I love Him for that!!! He made it possible for all of us to have an eternal relationship with Himself and the Father. That, to me, is the greatest love of all. It's yours for the accepting...or not. Free will.
I think of all of you on this site...I have enjoyed learning your opinions, disagreeing with some of you, saying, "Yes!!" with others...but all in all, it has been a time of renewal for me. I thank every single one of you for that...I realize we all have come to terms with agreeing to disagree. You're a great bunch of people here in Kansas!!!

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@ cheerio...your last comment is one of the most well-spoken (or written!) four sentences I've ever heard (or read!) regarding faith. I've heard the analogy using the chair before, but you have taken it a step further, which is probably why there's been no rebuttal from "WHY"...

And a great point you made in your first comment...gotta love it!!! "Is that the opposite of knowledge?" SIMPLY WONDERFUL....

Well spoken (written), cheerio!!!!

Joe Blackford II 4 years, 3 months ago

Hmmmmm,

I started the BSA "God & Country Award" under the Rev. George Gardner, Andover Methodist Church; and was exposed to the diversity of viewpoints within Christianity.

And finished with a minister who insisted we memorize & recite creeds; I don't recall using an abacus to enumerate the # of citations of a particular term, but my interests rapidly declined.

I went on to work for Bishop (then Father) Gerber at Blessed Sacrament in Wichita; and later, 5 years @ McPherson College (Brethren).

On no occasion was I exposed to the concept of Unitarian Universalism.

I may have to rethink my conclusions . . . .

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 3 months ago

George Gardner was a hell of a man and one fine pastor.

skinny 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith=Something that isn't there in real life, but that you believe it is. It hasn't!

CHKNLTL 4 years, 3 months ago

faith is not needing proof to believe. faith is letting go of your worries. faith is knowing it's gonna be okay.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

You don't need faith for the the second two of your list. And it is going to be okay but you will not exist in under a century so no need to worry about too much.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, hello again, "WHY"!!!! I see you didn't take my advice to go away. Too bad.
And, also, some bad news for you...we all certainly WILL exist in a century...whether it's under great conditions or not-so-great conditions is completely up to each of us. The choice is our own. So, there is indeed cause for concern.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

I will not go away sunshine. I you will not exist, just like all other mammals who die. Delusions about reality often lead people to the idea that they are eternal but nothing is.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@WHY....It's ok if you stay...but, yes, I plan on living eternally (my spirit, not my body).

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the permission to post in a public forum. You don't have a spirit, just a body. Sorry. I was disappointed to find out too.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@WHY...You're welcome! :~)

Yes, I do indeed have a spirit. How and when did you find out you don't have one? I'd really be interested in knowing. We are all spirits walking around in these vessels we call bodies. Our bodies will waste away when we die, but our spirits will live on through eternity, either in unity with our Creator and Lord Jesus Christ...or separated from that unity forever. That's our choice (free will).

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

I'd really be interested in knowing how and when you found out you do posses a soul. Oh, and the existence of free will. If you make the claims, you need supporting evidence. The burden of proof still weighs heavy on you.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the backup buddy. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to refute his logic. haaaaaaaaa

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

You're welcome ;-)

I think it's past time for reason and empirical truth to be accepted, rather than pinning one's whole existence on stories lacking any validity.

It's the 21st century after all.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@WHY and kantubek...You are free to laugh at me all you want. It doesn't change the fact that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was born in a stable, but He will return as King. And the time is drawing near...it's the 21st century after all.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

According to your myth it took Jesus 4-5 thousand years to come the first time. It may take him a few more centuries before he remembers to drop in on his loved ones.

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not laughing at you, merely trying to spread reason instead of delusion. There is no fact that "Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords," that's entirely your opinion that you came to sans evidence. If you had been born in ancient Greece or Rome, you would believe in their gods instead of the Christian one. Same goes if you were raised Viking, Odin and Thor would be your masters. By accepting the Christian God above all else, you have become an agnostic toward every other religious doctrine past, present, or future. If you're right, then none of the remaining faiths can possibly be right.

Once again, I will ask that you come forward with any proof you might have supporting your claims. You seem pretty certain that a rapture is coming, I would like to know a date and time so I can have the refreshments ready.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek...your last line shows that you take my belief system as a joke. And usually with a joke, one is laughing. So, your first line is a lie...you are indeed laughing at me. Why would I even have a discussion with someone who outright LIES all within one posting as you have done? I can take the laughter from you and "WHY"...just be big enough to admit that's what you're doing when it's right there in print. Why would I have a discussion with you now? Because I care about you as a human being...and I was once a questioning soul...an agnostic for years (a long time ago). I understand.

The only proof I have is that when I met Jesus, my life and my heart changed (for the better). I have the written Word (the Holy Bible) which so many on this site regard with disdain...it is my lifeline. Different writers have helped me along the way...C.S. Lewis, Catherine Marshall, I could write such a list!!

As I've responded to you several times, kantubek, I'm not trying to "prove" anything to you. The decisions you make in your life are your own. Everyone has that same freedom of choice. Mine is to worship Jesus Christ as my Savior. If I knew you, and loved you as a friend, your choice of religious belief would not stop me from loving you...and I would never try to change you. I have so many friends who are of so many different belief systems...what has that got to do with my loving them and having great, long-lasting friendships? I don't try to change any of their beliefs...I answer their questions, as I did with "yourworstnightmare"...that's all I do.

Oh, there have been foolish guesses about the date and time when Jesus will return, but only the Father knows. Jesus doesn't even know. I'm supposing when the Father can't take any more of the horrors going on in the world, He will tell His Son..."Go get my children!!" My personal opinion on why He is waiting so long is to give as many people as possible the chance to accept His Son as their Lord. Because every knee will bow and acknowledge Him as Lord of Lords...one of these days. Don't let anyone fool you as to the exact date and time...as I said, no one knows...just the Father. I can hardly wait...it will be GRAND!!!! You can read all about it in the Holy Bible if you wish to do so. Blessings to you, kantubek...I wish you only good happenings in your life!!

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Once again, I don't think your beliefs are a joke, or that funny for that matter. I think they are beguiling, bogus, casuistic, concocted, contrary to fact, cooked-up, counterfactual, deceitful, deceiving, delusive, dishonest, distorted, erroneous, fake, fallacious, false, fanciful, faulty, fictitious, fishy, fraudulent, illusive, imaginary, improper, inaccurate, incorrect, inexact, invalid, lying, mendacious, misleading, misrepresentative, mistaken, off the mark, phony, trumped up, unfounded, unreal, unsound, and flat out untrue.

None of those are funny.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek...indeed, none of those are funny.

I wish you the best in your life, kantubek. May you find peace that passes all understanding...blessings to you, kantubek.

Kim Murphree 4 years, 3 months ago

“faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” More specifically, this refers to faith in God. I know that faith in God is the antithesis of fear. But faith is not without works. By acting on my faith in God, by opening myself to inspiration from the Holy Ghost, I have had the courage to act, even in the face of great opposition, and when that action has finally produced positive and charitable results, my faith has grown into knowledge that God lives and communicates with those who would listen to His promptings. But faith in God is the only consistent.

Kim Murphree 4 years, 3 months ago

Not so, when experience proves it to be true. There is nothing blind in trying an experiment to see if faith works...the Lord says "prove me" and I took Him up on the trial. Ignorance is deciding upon an issue that you have never tried to understand or never experienced. Ignorance is judging before you take the time to learn about the issue or the person. That kind of ignorance leads to as much hatred and bias outcome as those who say they act on faith or in the name of God, and have no understanding of who and what that means. Here's what I mean: We have been admonished in many of our own actions, but our actions toward others have only TWO overriding commandments 1)love God--and in so doing, you must remember that this being is a being of LOVE, Charity is the actual word that is given, and 2) Love one another with that same Charity. If we really followed these admonitions, and remembered that we are literally brothers and sisters..that this is our purpose...then perhaps, there would be no more hurtful acting from fear and ignorance. And remember, this is NOT a utopian idea with no power...check the lives of Christ, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr....peaceful protest...teachers all...and one that I have faith, saved the sons and daughters of the world from its own destruction. I leave it to you to find out for yourself.

Bill Lee 4 years, 3 months ago

Belief without facts. This applies to both religion and politics.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure I buy into the concept of "fact". Well-proven theory, yes, facts, no. If you think a theory is a fact, you are operating on faith.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

I think gravity is a fact, yet it is clearly called a theory.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

If gravity is a fact, please explain how you can tell the difference between it and constant acceleration in a ship traveling through space sitting in a windowless room in both situations.

JustNoticed 4 years, 3 months ago

Facts are things that make statements true or false.

jonas_opines 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith is a superhot vampire slayer who looks a lot like Eliza Dushku.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith is trust in oneself to make decisions regarding reality.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

Hello ophiuchus!!!! Love your remark!!! Beautifully poetic...and so very true...

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

I like Rev Jarvis' take on this topic. I get disturbed by fundamentalists, most of whom do not know or care to know where the Holy Bible came from, who really wrote it. When I hear some one say "God told me" I know right away I am about to hear someone else's religious dictum that they heard from some preacher who fashions themselves as God's trumpet. Much of what passes for religious "knowledge" such as the "rapture" has absolutely no basis in anything including any Biblical documentation. No one has ever spoken to or heard "God".

I do not believe in the sort of "God" that seem to appeal to most "religious" people. I do believe there is a Divine Creator, this Universe probably did not happen at random, but does that really matter? No one really knows and those who loudly proclaim that they have the "answer" are simply deceiving themselves and others.

What matters is how we treat other humans, even those who continue to harangue us all that they have the "word" even when the "word" was actually written by some camel hearders sitting aroung a fire in a tent trying to figure out the same question we still hear today, "Who are we and where did we come from". There is no answer to this question to satisfy everyone, and it is foolish to try.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

You are almost there, the freedom of atheism is just around the corner. Now just study math and realize that imaginary creator is less probable than physical movement of mater and energy and you will have slayed the beast of religion.

guesswho 4 years, 3 months ago

I am not disagreeing with you, but reread Rev. Jarvis' last paragraph. One can be an atheist and have faith and religion.

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe. Certainly something to think about. I suppose part of it would be based on the reason for choosing atheism. As an empiricist I would have to deny faith but I suppose I could create a non theistic religion for social purposes. Then again I could have faith even though I know it is false because truth is not a requirement for faith.

somedude20 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith No More, Faith Hill, Faith Evens, Blind Faith,Faith Ford (Murphy Brown), Percy Faith

jhawkinsf 4 years, 3 months ago

I always liked Blind Faith. Clapton's guitar work was at it's best during those years and Steve Winwood's vocals were fantastic.
What was the question?

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@somedude20...OK, yours was my laugh of the day with the LJWorld gang!!! How long did it take you to come up with those names? Bet you used the internet...betcha, betcha, betcha!!! s-m-i-l-e

somedude20 4 years, 3 months ago

Percy and Faith Ford came from the net, the rest I learned in public (pubic) school

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 3 months ago

I ain't touchin' this with a ten foot pole. Suffice it to say I gagged over Brownback's inaugural address. That's what happens when you marginalize every religion but your own.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@Made_in_China...

I've never had the inclination to reduce my God to being on the winning side of a football game...or a war over oil. If we don't have oil, it's our own fault. Same for football games. So, if you would please not generalize as if we ALL bet our God against other "gods"...Thank you!!

Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

"...it's those other zealots..not me..", but when civil and otherwise intelligent people give lip service to the ideas of gods and devils, this is what empowers the lunatics of society.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@AreUNorml....Are you empowered yet??

You HAVE to smile at that come-back, AreUNorml...c'mon...s-m-i-l-e!!!!

blindrabbit 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith is faith; a belief in something that cannot be proved. Scientific proof; something that can stand verification by observation! So, everyone's faith is legitimate, regardless of how strange it might appear to anyone else; pick whatever you want!!

mr_right_wing 4 years, 3 months ago

Science requires plenty of 'faith' as well. A large percentage of science is made up of theory, not 'law' or proven fact. There are 'laws' of thermodynamics which contradict the 'theory' of 'evolution'. (In the religion of evolution, Father Darwin is your pope.)

Even the most zealous atheist has faith in something.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 3 months ago

.....just in case it's not clear = I'm agreeing with you.

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Science is the antithesis of faith. Empirical truth versus blind assumption. Scientific theory holds more validity than the layman's usage of the word. The theory of gravity is widely accepted, if you don't like it, how about you perform an observable experiment and jump off a bridge. Go ahead, test that hypothesis.

Oh, and calling evolution (or for that matter atheism) a religious belief is like calling bald a hair color. It's just laughable.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 3 months ago

I won't pull a merrill and give you pages of links that demonstrate how science has contradicted science. (When two things contradict, or something can't be proven, that's where faith comes in.)

There are different 'camps' in faith, I'm a 'fundy' there are (plenty) of those who would consider what I believe as outdated, ancient; even though the Bible says 'I am the Lord, I changeth not".

You also have 'camps' in the science world. Kantubek which 'camp' are you in? Holographic Theory, Big Bang Theory, Always Has Been Theory, Bubble Universe Theory, Bouncing Theory, or Protouniverse Theory? None of these can be 'proven' so which do you put your 'faith' in? I'll point out again; thermodynamics is 'law' evolution is 'theory'; it takes faith to pick a 'theory' over a 'law'

One more thing; "Brontosaurus"

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 3 months ago

"Faith is believin' what you know ain't so."

-Mark Twain

WHY 4 years, 3 months ago

I do find them interesting but not for the same reason you do. You will find as an underlying premise that there needs to be a meaning in the universe and that is given as proof that the christian version is better. There is no meaning in the universe thus the scientific explanation seems to work much better. Science can explain religion, religion can not explain science.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 3 months ago

I have no regard for what any MANs definition of 'faith' is...

Hebrews 11:1

My definition beyond that is trivial.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@yourworstnightmare....I don't think mr_right_wing noticed your "play" on his username!!!! Ha! mr_wing_nut...how funny is that??!!!! (All in good fun, mr_right_wing!)

And with all due respect (I love that phrase because it leaves the door wide open as to how much respect I'm giving the person referred to!!), I must completely disagree with Mark Twain's quote which you posted, yourworstnightmare.

jonas_opines 4 years, 3 months ago

Evangelical atheists irritate me just as much as evangelical anything-else, it seems.

Maybe it's just the unrequested proselytizing.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

So, in other words, jonas_opines, no one can carry on a conversation with you.

jonas_opines 4 years, 3 months ago

Nah, that's been shown to be demonstrably false in the past, so there must be an undefinable line in there somewhere.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 3 months ago

Careful there, jonas.

By this logic, any time you try to point out using facts and reality that someone is wrong, this is "evangelical" behavior.

There is a big difference, and this is a false equivocation.

And don't proselytize to me by explaining to me why I am wrong...

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

-Carl Sagan

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

"In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality."

-Clarence Darrow

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Who said anything about the relevance of existence? I'm simply trying to show the error of blind faith.

"I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of."

-Clarence Darrow

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Well since the Bible was written by men, anyone who quotes it is quoting ghosts. You still have the burden of proof in your hands, show me empirical data proving the existence of God. Here's another ghost quote for you:

"The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom."

-Clarence Darrow

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it is, and so far its main proponents have yet to bring about any evidence.

"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

-Bertrand Russell

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek...you certainly are good at using others' words...why not use your own? ophiuchus is absolutely correct...faith is not burdened by proof...THAT'S WHY IT IS FAITH!!!

Instead of quoting Darrow or Russell or anyone else, use your own words, your own mind...you'll find it exhilarating, I'm sure.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 3 months ago

This is exactly why faith is corrosive. Proof is reality. You might ad well believe in fairies and unicorns. How do you tell the difference with faith?

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

I have used my own words. I'm doing it right now. What's the matter using quotes from great minds? Do you not like them simply because they work against your notion of the world? Faith is burdened by proof, you can't make any claim and suppose it is true without finding evidence to support the claim.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." -Carl Sagan

As for using my own mind, it is laughable for you to say such a thing to me all while basing your life on a book written by men centuries ago.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek...oh, and you're not basing your life on all these quotes you're coming up with?? I'm sure your bookshelves are lined with books by the people you've been quoting...Sagan, Darrow, Russell...I'll take my one Book over all yours put together any ol' day. I've read your guys...yep, I'll take my guys over yours every time!!

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

The quotes are just a way to sum up my beliefs in a coherent form, it would take too much to actually put them into words, so I am sparing both myself and you from having to bother with it. I don't need any one certain line of text to dictate my beliefs, I am perfectly capable of coming to my own conclusions. I align with but do not fully ascribe to some schools of thought such as naturalism, empiricism, probablism, indeterminism, and fallibilism, but this is so much less of a part of my life than your one belief.

Still, the problem remains that you have posed faith in something which cannot be proven through empirical observation. This is where we differ entirely. It is up to you to prove the validity of your faith that you have posed. I do not pose anything besides you offering proof.

Everything your 'guys' wrote was just that: written by homo sapiens. You are basing your life on the writings of men thousands of years ago on subjects and ideas they could not comprehend, and did not understand. You've made the claim, so it's entirely up to you.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek....I don't intend to try to "prove" anything to anyone. I never said I would. This is where free will comes in...so, actually, it's entirely up to you, kantubek. I made my decision many years ago.

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Actually, by making a claim, you inherit sole responsibility of its validity, regardless of if you intended to or not. You're presupposing the existence of free will. You're going to have to try a lot harder to convince me.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek....I'm not trying to convince you of anything. This is merely a discussion format, right?

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith is not burdened by proof? This is exactly why faith is corrosive. Proof is reality. You might as well believe in fairies and unicorns. How do you tell the difference with faith?

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@yourworstnightmare...I didn't realize faith is corrosive. I consider faith the very essence of what "keeps us going" because of all the reality!!

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Exactly. The people making the claims have absolutely no proof, yet have everything to lose by making said claims.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@yourworstnightmare...I was agnostic for a long time years ago...I felt as if I were at the bottom of a very deep hole and had to climb out somehow...I didn't know how...it took years. I studied, I read, I prayed (to the only God I knew about, the Christians' God)...had no idea if my prayers were getting past the ceiling...didn't feel as if they were... Then I found the writings of Catherine Marshall. And because I love music, I started listening to old hymns. A lot of the hymns were written by people I could relate to and some of the words were as if they were coming from my own experience. (yourworstnightmare, there's too much information to relate to you here and I'm sorry about that.) I started sensing a peace deep inside...as I began getting to know this man called Jesus. That about sums it up in such a short space. I cannot tell you what to believe. I only know what my experience was and that I'm so in love with my Savior, Jesus! I'm trying to answer your question...but to do so, I know my words will offend many people on this site.

yourworstnightmare, perhaps if you listened to some hymns, that would be a start. There's a CD I listen to often..."Sounds Like Sunday" by Janet Paschal. Just as any CD, there are some arrangements I really enjoy and some I hit the button and skip over. I know Janet's life and I know she's "for real"...I can only listen to people sing about my Lord who are true in their lives to the words they sing...but if you think perfection is attainable here on earth, please, think again! You can also find Janet on YouTube...a beautiful spirit...she and I both have been through cancer which I believe is the ultimate test of one's faith (as is any disease or horrible happening in one's life). This is when it's all put to the "test"...do I trust Him with the outcome at each of my upcoming exams? Yes, I do, whether the tests are negative or positive. This is life on the planet earth. I am a sojourner just passing through to my eternal home with my God...I'm not there yet. So there will be earthly issues to deal with until heaven. My Lord will give me the strength to get through whatever comes my way. He has thus far...He will continue to do so. I certainly don't expect to live forever...when my time comes, His presence will be with me through it all. I am not afraid.

I will be praying for you to find your way, yourworstnightmare. The way planned exclusively for you by this lovely Lord Jesus. I've found that He is a gentleman...he's never pushy. He waits until we ask Him into our hearts and our lives. And once we do, He will never leave us...He will never betray our trust.

@kantubek...I have everything to lose? No, I have everything to gain. Peace and joy deep inside while on this journey and then to be in the presence of my God and my Savior, Jesus Christ, for all eternity...I call that a win-win situation!! Blessings to you, kantubek!!

Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

so now you're delusional. you talked yourself into a little room inside your head. luckily for you, there's a lot of delusional people in the world, so this seems really normal. it's absolutely not.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@AreUNorml...and I suppose you're thinking that you are the one, out of all the delusional people in the world, who is "normal"??? And just who are you to tell me what's "absolutely not" normal??? Who died and made you king of the world??? I happen to believe you, my dear AreUNorml, are delusional. In fact, WAY beyond delusional...but, there's always help!!!

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, you have everything to lose because you are pinning your entire existence on books written by men, on subjects they didn't understand. There is no proof of God, an immortal soul, or anything that Christians believe. It's all lies.

Also, it's very condescending to pray over someone.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek...that's what this whole "conversation" amongst ourselves has been about...faith. It's as if you haven't read anything that has been written...you keep hanging on to no proof, no proof, no proof. No proof does not mean what Christians believe is a lie. I have no proof about a lot of things in life...but I am now regressing and I will not be pulled into that. We've all been over and over proof vs. no proof, etc. I have things to do and places to go!! :~)

As far as my praying for yourworstnightmare, I was asked a direct question and I was trying to answer. Why is it so vexing to you for someone to pray for another? I was saying that to yourworstnightmare with compassion and love in my heart toward this person who asked me a very profound question. My greatest gift to anyone is to pray for him or her. That's something you have no power over, kantubek...I can pray for you (and I will) and there's not a thing you can do about it. YIKES!!!! How horrible is THAT???!!! I'll be praying for you...imagine my audacity in making such a statement!! Well, I suppose I'm just an audacious type of person...so be it.

I hope you have a wonderful day, kantubek!!

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

Your ignorance knows no limit. One day, (pretty soon in geologic time) we'll all be dead, and all the matter our bodies consist of will be cast off into the cosmos once again to find its way to the stars. Your soul won't be along for the ride. Enjoy your puny existence.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@kantubek....Wow!!! You really got me, didn't you? So, according to you, I'm ignorant and have a puny existence...

If I didn't know you must be in great pain over whatever life has dealt you, I would be ticked off with you. But there is an underlying angst in your posts and I feel sorry for that, kantubek. I wish you the best!!

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 3 months ago

I also feel consoled when I read a good piece of literature or hear good music. We feel consoled when we can relate to other human beings whether through books, music, or other media.

It is good to know that other humans have felt as you do and have had similar experiences.

The story of Jesus Christ is poignant to many people, not because he is the son of god but because of his human suffering.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@yourworstnightmare...I, personally, feel the most consolation when relating person to person as we have done. I'm so glad we "met" and were able to bridge a gap. I wish all humanity could do so. It's a wonderful feeling to share thoughts with another even if different.
One of my great joys in life was joining an Orthodox Jewish study group...I embraced them with love and respect and they loved and respected me right back, even with all my questions!! We never stop learning, never stop growing...isn't it wonderful??

I've got to get out of here...lots to do...hope to see you again in the LJ World!!!

kantubek 4 years, 3 months ago

"Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities."

-Voltaire

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 3 months ago

Reason is the greatest enemy faith has (from a church message board). Exactly! How ironic. Faith is the same as believing that a black cat crossing your path will bring bad luck. Nothing but superstition and foolishness.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 3 months ago

Believing something because it is observable, repeatable and predictable is very different than believing something that has no objective or empirical proof or reality.

The former is science; the latter is faith.

independant1 4 years, 3 months ago

Was handling a snake and praying when the kids brought this to my attention.

There is no argument in the world carries the hatred that a religious belief one does. The more learned a man is the less consideration he has for another man’s belief.

Will Rogers

Kim Murphree 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith is NOT blind...especially when experience proves it to be true. There is nothing blind in trying an experiment to see if faith works...the Lord says "prove me" and I took Him up on the trial. Ignorance is deciding upon an issue that you have never tried to understand or never experienced. Ignorance is judging before you take the time to learn about the issue or the person. That kind of ignorance leads to as much hatred and bias outcome as those who say they act on faith or in the name of God, and have no understanding of who and what that means. Here's what I mean: We have been admonished in many of our own actions, but our actions toward others have only TWO overriding commandments 1)love God--and in so doing, you must remember that this being is a being of LOVE, Charity is the actual word that is given, and 2) Love one another with that same Charity. If we really followed these admonitions, and remembered that we are literally brothers and sisters..that this is our purpose...then perhaps, there would be no more hurtful acting from fear and ignorance. And remember, this is NOT a utopian idea with no power...check the lives of Christ, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr....peaceful protest...teachers all...and one that I have faith, saved the sons and daughters of the world from its own destruction. I leave it to you to find out for yourself.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 3 months ago

@vocal...Somehow I missed this post! I'm so glad I happened to read it...just beautiful...!!! Love is the answer to so many of this world's problems. I'm with you, vocal...I took Jesus up on it when He said, "prove me" and I've never looked back!! He is my gracious friend, the One I turn to when I feel very alone and think no one else could possibly understand the depth of my pain or hurt, the One I thank when something so wonderful happens and there's no one else who could quite understand my overwhelming happiness!! Most of all, He is my Lord and Savior. Yes, vocal, I found out for myself. Thanks for your wonderful post!!

ignati5 4 years, 3 months ago

Faith is the belief in something you know isn't true.

booyalab 4 years, 3 months ago

There's a lot of stupid comments in this thread, but this one takes the cake. Congratulations.

I think, of any philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard had the keenest grasp of a Biblical definition of faith. He acknowledged that the leap of faith is perceived to be absurd and ridiculous by anyone who didn't take it, but he argued that it was the only way to find truth. I think that makes intuitive sense. Anything that we think we know is contingent on our senses. But we know, from science ironically, that the very interaction of our senses with objects affects how we perceive them. Therefore, nothing that we perceive is reliably true in the form that we perceive it. If objective truth exists, it is outside the scope of our limited perception.

Bob Forer 4 years, 3 months ago

I have faith in science and the irrefutable laws of nature. My beliefs are based on whether a proposition comports with those laws.

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