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Is Extremism the Default for Faith?


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No, I'm not, really. Faith is just a tricky thing when discussing religion.. especially among varying beliefs. In an unprovable context faith can only be binary. Loyalty can vary from person to person without budging the existence of their faith.
Let's take Christianity. Luke 12:27-28 says, "Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith." Little faith, implying that they should have more.

 

And Matthew 17:14-20 says, "14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, [1] and it [2] came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. [3] 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” So Jesus himself allows that faith is quantifiable, and that more faith makes more possible.

 

I offer the words of Jesus that faith is not a binary condition. And if faith can be weak or strong, it can be stronger, possibly strongest of all. And if there is a strongest of all faith, couldn't that be termed extreme?

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I'm beginning to think that the problem is that you don't understand how confidence predictions/probability works.   If I were to ask you a serious of questions and ask you about your probability as

This is a strawman. My definition of faith is not what is the probability that god exists? But it is what do you think is the probability that god exists?

 

I assumed you were making adding a quantifiable that is something other than wholly arbitrary. If you can't establish what "37% certain" is then "99% certain" has no actual meaning.

 

The first is about the Truth of God's existence, which is unknowable. The second is about how individuals gauge their own perceptions. People that have a high level of faith in God must also have high estimates of the probability of his existence. An athiest might be very low or none. Casually religious people might have some medium percentage estimate that God exists, but a lower estimate that a specific version of their bible is true.

 

The number they choose is arbitrary, and is not a matter of faith, but rather conviction.

 

Do you see where I'm going with this?

 

Yes, I see where you are going with this but I don't think you are quantifying faith. I think you are just quantifying an arbitrary self evaluation about the existence in God and calling that faith.

 

Again, I'm talking about people's perceptions of their own certainty here. Which is different, I think, than what you think I'm talking about.

 

No, I think that is exactly what you are talking about. I don't think what you are talking about is a quantifiable measure of faith.

 

 

Certainly it's impossible to have 100% certainty (reference), but there are plenty of religious fanatics that, if asked, would tell you that they have approaching that.

 

I'm not sure the relevance of such a statement as you must first assume that your measure is a valid measure of faith. I don't believe that, so your anecdote about religious fanatics is meaningless.

 

You can certainly ask a person on the street "do you have faith in God," the answer could be yes or no. However, the only reason why you would expect a binary answer is if you phrased the question in this way.

 

Or, as I am arguing, it could be the only wayto ask the question with any real meaning in the answer.

 

"Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing"

 

This fits in well with the gauging of confidence about your perceived probability of the existence of God.

 

No it doesn't. You have simply transposed the "conviction versus faith" argument with a new "confidence versus confident" debate.

 

Ok... if you're confident that God exists, just how confident are you? Technically anywhere from 51% to 99.999% could be called confident, but somebody with a 51% confidence is going to have a very different attitude than someone at the top of the scale.

 

Their level of faith, and what they tell you about their faith, will be very different.

 

No, you are redefining the word "faith". Your question, just like the "Yes No" version inserts a presumed qualification that the observer would not necessarily pick up on... or they would accept your definition of "faith" as quantifiable (whether you are correct or not). The mere fact that someone gives you an answer doesn't mean the the question was right.


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Let's take Christianity. Luke 12:27-28 says, "Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith." Little faith, implying that they should have more.

 

"Little faith" even in your next biblical quote is synonymous with "faithless", or absent any faith whatsoever.

 

See here:

 

And Matthew 17:14-20 says, "14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, [1] and it [2] came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. [3] 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” So Jesus himself allows that faith is quantifiable, and that more faith makes more possible.

 

I offer the words of Jesus that faith is not a binary condition. And if faith can be weak or strong, it can be stronger, possibly strongest of all. And if there is a strongest of all faith, couldn't that be termed extreme?

 

When you read the entire biblical quote in context Jesus makes it clear clear that "little faith" is "faithless", and that "faith the size of a mustard seed" is "faith"... for with "faith the size of a mustard seed" nothing is impossible.

 

He is telling the apostles that they had no faith in their ability to cast out the demon, so therefor the demon was not cast out.

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"Strong Conviction" is a subjective term for which you have provided no relative qualification. So I can't agree or disagree with your question without first understand the term as you understand it anymore than my answer would be at all informative to you.

 

And yet even subjective things can be said to be more or less, sometimes even objectively. You can, for example, objectively tell whether something is taller than another, regardless of whether you subjectively consider it to be "tall".

 

But to answer your question as I understand it, Faith is a thing that you have or you don't. How you go about living with or defending that faith is not a measure of faith but of other characteristics of the given person.

 

Money is also a thing that you have or you don't. That doesn't change that some people have more money than others. There's two separate questions, "Do you have money" and "How much money do you have". The same seems to be true of faith. Why does Jesus talk of people having not enough faith, or faith the size of a mustard seed, if faith is a binary yes/no thing? Same with the apostles:

 

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with
the measure of faith
God has given you.

Romans 12:3

 

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it
in proportion to his faith
.

Romans 12:6

 

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be
rich in faith
and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

James 2:5


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Oh, and if we want definitions, presumably a biblical definition may be desirable, at least for Christians:

 

Hebrews 11:1

New International Version (©1984)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

 

New Living Translation (©2007)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

 

English Standard Version (©2001)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

 

New American Standard Bible (©1995)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

 

International Standard Version (©2008)

Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.

 

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)

Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see.

 

King James Bible

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

 

American King James Version

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

 

American Standard Version

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.

 

Bible in Basic English

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the sign that the things not seen are true.

 

Douay-Rheims Bible

Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.

 

Darby Bible Translation

Now faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

 

English Revised Version

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen.

 

Webster's Bible Translation

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

 

Weymouth New Testament

Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.

 

World English Bible

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.

 

Young's Literal Translation

And faith is of things hoped for a confidence, of matters not seen a conviction,

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Let's not forget 2 Thessalonians 1:3

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.

 

It seems like an individual's faith, like his love for his fellow man, is something that can grow. It can start at a certain size, and get bigger or smaller depending on certain factors. That doesn't seem binary at all.

 

Why does so much of the evidence, including biblical scripture, seem to support the hypothesis that faith is quantifiable?


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"Little faith" even in your next biblical quote is synonymous with "faithless", or absent any faith whatsoever.
Really?! So *I* have to provide definitions for "faith" and "extremism" that are identical in order for you to take me seriously, but *you* get to say that "little faith" is synonymous with "faithless"?! Really?!

 

Translations really don't work that way. If Jesus meant faithless, wouldn't he have said, "Because of your lack of faith" or "Because of your faithlessness"? The Book of Matthew was originally written in Greek, and the word used there for little faith was ὀλιγόπιστος, or oligopistos. Oligos means "little", "few" or "small", all of which define a quantity. Oligos doesn't mean "none".

 

So I think your translation of what Jesus meant is wrong, or the original writer of Matthew was in error. You choose.

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This is why I find the debate on the definition of faith interesting. There are now two atheists arguing vehemently that there is a quantifiable faith for something they do not believe actually exists... and using the Christian Bible to prove it.

 

You may yet sway me, but ironically you don't believe your own argument.

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This is why I find the debate on the definition of faith interesting. There are now two atheists arguing vehemently that there is a quantifiable faith for something they do not believe actually exists... and using the Christian Bible to prove it.

The argument has nothing to do with the truthiness of God, but the fact that the language used can tell us something about the definition of faith... and who better to tell us the definition of faith than people who invented the concept??

 

You may yet sway me, but ironically you don't believe your own argument.

You're both missing the point and avoiding the argument.

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This is why I find the debate on the definition of faith interesting. There are now two atheists arguing vehemently that there is a quantifiable faith for something they do not believe actually exists... and using the Christian Bible to prove it.

 

You may yet sway me, but ironically you don't believe your own argument.

I'm not an atheist. I was raised in a Christian family and went to churches ranging from the suffocating Nazarene to the more open-minded Unitarians. I'm completely open to the possibility of the concept of a higher being, I'm just trying to define it in ways that aren't completely contradictory.
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I'm not an atheist. I was raised in a Christian family and went to churches ranging from the suffocating Nazarene to the more open-minded Unitarians. I'm completely open to the possibility of the concept of a higher being, I'm just trying to define it in ways that aren't completely contradictory.

 

What is the contradiction that you are trying to clear up, then? That may help us with a meeting of the minds on a definition of faith, at least.

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What is the contradiction that you are trying to clear up, then? That may help us with a meeting of the minds on a definition of faith, at least.
At the moment, I'm trying to determine if faith is a binary condition, or if it has degrees of strength. It makes no sense to me that everyone who claims to have faith in the existence of God (or in the various claims of their religion) has it to the same degree, nor does it seem like any religious texts hold them to such a claim.
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The argument has nothing to do with the truthiness of God, but the fact that the language used can tell us something about the definition of faith... and who better to tell us the definition of faith than people who invented the concept??

 

You're both missing the point and avoiding the argument.

 

I am simply trying to get someone that believes in variability of faith to explain what is actually variable in someone's faith. The percentage argument is insufficient for me as there is no way to differentiate 37% faith from 99% faith without accepting some simple agreement that 51% is "faithful" and 49% is faithless, or some other essentially binary set of resulting classification.

 

To be honest, for all the Bible quotes in the world I do not see where faith, as applied in any sermon or parable within, equates to anything other than my postulated binary definition of faith. People have it or they don't.

 

But for the sake of argument, let me do your job of defining variable faith for you and you can make of it what you will (but it is at least something the give this sclerotic argument some life):

 

I propose that there are two definitions of faith at play here:

 

1) The belief in a given religion and it's tenets

 

2) The the belief in a thing (God, after life, etc.)

 

Definition #1 can be a variable definition as it can be broken down into pieces and quatified that way, definition #2 can not be subdivided and is therefor binary.

 

For example, we can break down simple Christianity into the components Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Afterlife and Resurrection (again, simplified for the sake of argument) you can have someone that believes in God and Jesus and the After life but does not believe in the holy spirit or the resurrection.... so you could say their faith in Christianity is 60%.

 

I don't however, believe that you can say "I have a 60% belief in God" without first breaking down the argument as I did with Christianity... except no matter how you break down your thought of God into pieces and you will always be left with A, B, C, D ..... and God.


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At the moment, I'm trying to determine if faith is a binary condition, or if it has degrees of strength. It makes no sense to me that everyone who claims to have faith in the existence of God (or in the various claims of their religion) has it to the same degree, nor does it seem like any religious texts hold them to such a claim.

 

Thank you. Hopefully I have clarified my point a bit more as well.

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To be honest, for all the Bible quotes in the world I do not see where faith, as applied in any sermon or parable within, equates to anything other than my postulated binary definition of faith. People have it or they don't.

 

But for the sake of argument, let me do your job of defining variable faith for you and you can make of it what you will (but it is at least something the give this sclerotic argument some life):

 

I propose that there are two definitions of faith at play here:

 

1) The belief in a given religion and it's tenets

 

2) The the belief in a thing (God, after life, etc.)

 

Definition #1 can be a variable definition as it can be broken down into pieces and quatified that way, definition #2 can not be subdivided and is therefor binary.

But there are over 9000 sects of Christianity alone, and each believes something slightly different. Your definition #1 would require each practitioner of a particular religion to have an equal amount of faith in their sect and its tenets for it to be a binary condition. And for definition #2 to be binary, again, everyone has to believe in the same thing in the same way with the same intensity. The evidence doesn't support that.

 

I can point to many testimonies of the faithful from many religions who claimed to have faith at one point in their lives, only to have it grow due to some religious experience, or diminish due to a secular one. Paul admonished the Corinthians for not growing their faith, telling them he needed to feed them milk since they weren't ready for solid food.

 

Faith can't be binary if it grows through teachings and experience. And if faith has a quantifiable scale, then that scale has a low end and a high end, the extremes of any quantifiable condition. And if more faith is better than less faith, I'd like to know where too much faith can be considered extreme.

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Perhaps the "strength" of faith is really "how hard would it be to change the believer's mind?"

 

For example, one who has had a religious experience is far less likely to give up their faith, because they believe they have great reasons for their faith. One who has had no religious experiences whatsoever could easily give up faith.

 

The question is then, does that represent the "level" of faith or some other thing?

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I am simply trying to get someone that believes in variability of faith to explain what is actually variable in someone's faith. The percentage argument is insufficient for me as there is no way to differentiate 37% faith from 99% faith without accepting some simple agreement that 51% is "faithful" and 49% is faithless, or some other essentially binary set of resulting classification

....

 

For example, we can break down simple Christianity into the components Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Afterlife and Resurrection (again, simplified for the sake of argument) you can have someone that believes in God and Jesus and the After life but does not believe in the holy spirit or the resurrection.... so you could say their faith in Christianity is 60%.

 

I don't however, believe that you can say "I have a 60% belief in God" without first breaking down the argument as I did with Christianity... except no matter how you break down your thought of God into pieces and you will always be left with A, B, C, D ..... and God.

 

I'm beginning to think that the problem is that you don't understand how confidence predictions/probability works.

 

If I were to ask you a serious of questions and ask you about your probability assessment at some confidence range for each one, if you are well calibrated to reality, your assessments will be correct at the same probability as your confidence.

 

What I mean is this: What is your confidence that flipping a coin will result with head. If you know anything about reality, you'll answer 50%. Do the experiment, and you'll find that, sometimes it'll land on heads and sometimes tails. Do it enough times and the statement (this coin will land on heads) will be correct 50% of the time.

 

So when I ask you what your confidence is that God exist, someone that is extremely confident will give a big number, someone who is less confident will give a smaller number.

 

If you say that there is a 30% chance that x will come to pass, what you're really saying is that you are 70% sure that it won't come to pass.

 

If you are well calibrated to reality, if you guess that 10 different things will happen with only 30% confidence, that means 3 of those things will actually happen. You expect to be wrong 3/10 times.

 

Why is this important to faith? Because it's about expectations of reality without any evidence.

 

If one of those 10 things I'm only 30% confident about is that God exists, then I have allowed for the possibility that I am wrong. I don't have much faith in God, but there is still some reason I haven't assigned a lower probability... so there is still some wiggle room.

 

Let's say I'm a more faithful person, and am calibrated to 90% that God exists, that's pretty confident. Pick 10 things that I think are likely... The sun will rise tomorrow, God exists, The trains will be running tomorrow, etc... I still expect that one of those things will be wrong (again, the assumption is that I think I'm well calibrated).

 

Well, if I'm 100% confident that God exists, then I think there is zero chance that I am wrong about this assessment. I think it's pretty clear that someone who thinks there is no chance that God doesn't exist has a significantly more faith in God than someone who allows for a 10% chance that God doesn't exist.

 

In the former case, there is no doubt or skepticism. In the later, there is room for this potential.

 

Both of these confidence assignments fit the wikipedia definition for faith... 90% and 100% are both very confident scores (relative to 30% or 50%) but these are not binary states of confidences.

 

 

So I agree with your other points.. Perhaps I'm 90% confident that some form of God exists, but only 70% confident that it's the Abrahamic God and only 55% confident that it's the Christian trinity.

 

This scale of confidence, pretty clearly to me, reflects how faith is not a binary state. Nothing in biblical or modern-day language seems to suggest so.

 

Now I would agree that religions tend to require their followers to tend towards the extreme ends of faith, and extremism and fundamentalism further still, but I think you've completely failed to demonstrate your point.

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What is binary: having some amount of faith, having enough faith to do X, having some amount of money, having enough money to buy Y. What is not binary: the amount of faith you have, the amount of money you have. Evidence that the amount of faith is not binary: it is possible for someone with faith to have more faith than someone else that also has faith. Evidence that the amount of money is not binary: it is possible for someone with money to have more money than someone else that also has money.

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Perhaps the "strength" of faith is really "how hard would it be to change the believer's mind?"

 

For example, one who has had a religious experience is far less likely to give up their faith, because they believe they have great reasons for their faith. One who has had no religious experiences whatsoever could easily give up faith.

 

The question is then, does that represent the "level" of faith or some other thing?

 

But that could be a measure of bravery or conviction as much as faith.

 

As I tried to illustrate with the smoker example, there is a lot at play in a persons dedication to something that has nothing to do with belief or faith.


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But there are over 9000 sects of Christianity alone, and each believes something slightly different. Your definition #1 would require each practitioner of a particular religion to have an equal amount of faith in their sect and its tenets for it to be a binary condition. And for definition #2 to be binary, again, everyone has to believe in the same thing in the same way with the same intensity. The evidence doesn't support that.

 

Well, since the last percentage argument carried out the faith on the individual used as an example to six decimal points, they left room for ... ummm... 100,000,000 individual binary faith memes? I think that would be enough to properly dissect all human religions into finite yes-no propositions. :)

 

I can point to many testimonies of the faithful from many religions who claimed to have faith at one point in their lives, only to have it grow due to some religious experience, or diminish due to a secular one. Paul admonished the Corinthians for not growing their faith, telling them he needed to feed them milk since they weren't ready for solid food.

 

Again, I am seeing that differently than you, I guess. The unwillingness to act on a belief is an indication of no faith rather than little faith, and the willingness to act is a indication of faith.

 

If you break down religion into Dawkins' memes I think you could argue that the verve with with one tackles the tenets of a faith is a measure of how many of that religions memes that that person has faith in, not how much faith one has in a single tenet.

 

And in many cases I would argue that the verve has as much to do with influences beyond the religion itself.

 

Faith can't be binary if it grows through teachings and experience. And if faith has a quantifiable scale, then that scale has a low end and a high end, the extremes of any quantifiable condition. And if more faith is better than less faith, I'd like to know where too much faith can be considered extreme.

 

As I said, I think we are talking about two different -- but still accepted -- definitions of faith. Faith in a religion could possibly be quantified, but faith in an indivisible idea can only be binary. But faith is an indivisible idea and faith in a packaged series of ideas are both still called faith.

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But that could be a measure of bravery or conviction as much as faith.
Absolutely, but that doesn't preclude it being accurate for faith, does it?

 

As I tried to illustrate with the smoker example, there is a lot at play in a persons dedication to something that has nothing to do with belief or faith.
But the smoker is more analogous to someone with faith who does works that reflect that faith. It still doesn't show that one either has faith or does not.

 

Examples have been given of people who have, or profess to have, or seem to have, varying degrees of faith. If you google "How strong is your faith?", it will show you many religious sites that provide some kind of metric for judging the strength of faith. Apparently, one can show doubt but still have faith, so wouldn't a person with absolutely no doubt have a stronger faith than someone who occasionally doubts?

 

Can you give any similar examples of a binary form of faith that shows a uniformity of intensity?

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Does it matter if we call it "strength of faith" instead of "conviction of faith"?
Well, as you can see, I'm trying to determine if faith is always at the extremes, either 0% or 100%, or if there is a quantifiable strength about it that varies between believers. If the latter, is one of the goals of religion to increase that strength as much as possible during the lifetime of the believer?

 

Is "conviction' or "faith" a strong belief, or is it an unshakable belief? If it's unshakable, and therefore binary, then how can it grow or diminish?

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Absolutely, but that doesn't preclude it being accurate for faith, does it?

 

Well, that's my sticking point. I think it does. If there is already a characteristic that can be used to define amplitude of a person's reaction then there is no reason to duplicate that in an expanded meaning of the word Faith. Not as I see it, anyway.

 

It would be, for me, like suddenly using "apple" to define "sweetness".. you may be able to properly rationalize the difference between the statement "Maple Syrup is too apple" and "this apple is more apple than that apple" in context, but I think it just confuses the language and makes discussion less precise... and as such makes it less right than using "sweet".

 

But the smoker is more analogous to someone with faith who does works that reflect that faith. It still doesn't show that one either has faith or does not.

 

Well no. Not as I couched it, anyway. In the example the smoker is acting in direct opposition to their stated belief... but that doesn't mean they don't believe it.

 

 

Examples have been given of people who have, or profess to have, or seem to have, varying degrees of faith. If you google "How strong is your faith?", it will show you many religious sites that provide some kind of metric for judging the strength of faith. Apparently, one can show doubt but still have faith, so wouldn't a person with absolutely no doubt have a stronger faith than someone who occasionally doubts?

 

I'll go check them out... but I am going to guess in advance that any such test of faith will consist of a number of questions, many yes-no, to evaluate you on farious aspects of faith. Also all of them will be wrong. :)

 

Can you give any similar examples of a binary form of faith that shows a uniformity of intensity?

 

Do you believe in God?(absent the myriad characteristics and acts of God that exist in various religious scripture)

 

Do you believe in Life after Death?

 

Do you believe Jesus ever existed?

 

Do you believe in one apostolic church?

 

Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?

 

Do you believe in Reincarnation?

 

Do you believe in past lives?

 

and so on.

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Do you believe in Life after Death?

 

Do you believe Jesus ever existed?

 

Do you believe in one apostolic church?

 

Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?

 

Do you believe in Reincarnation?

 

Do you believe in past lives?

 

and so on.

Just because you pose a question to beg a binary form, doesn't mean the answer is necessarily binary.

 

example: Is your favorite color green?

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Do you believe in God?(absent the myriad characteristics and acts of God that exist in various religious scripture)

 

Do you believe in Life after Death?

 

Do you believe Jesus ever existed?

 

Do you believe in one apostolic church?

 

Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?

 

Do you believe in Reincarnation?

 

Do you believe in past lives?

 

and so on.

 

So basically, belief of a more than 50% probability of something being true is faith? But why do you put the 50% as the cutoff point when the cutoff point could be anywhere?

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Do you believe in God?(absent the myriad characteristics and acts of God that exist in various religious scripture)

 

Do you believe in Life after Death?

 

Do you believe Jesus ever existed?

 

Do you believe in one apostolic church?

 

Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?

 

Do you believe in Reincarnation?

 

Do you believe in past lives?

 

How strongly do you believe in the Abrahamic God?

 

How much do you believe in some form of Life after Death?

 

 

 

It really is in how you ask the question. Most people will prefer to answer quantitatively if you let them. Binary commitments are much more difficult, imo.

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So basically, belief of a more than 50% probability of something being true is faith? But why do you put the 50% as the cutoff point when the cutoff point could be anywhere?

 

I get this cut off point, and I would use the same one. Anything 51% and above is more likely than a random coin toss, and therefore something causal is happening.

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How strongly do you believe in the Abrahamic God?

 

How much do you believe in some form of Life after Death?

 

It really is in how you ask the question. Most people will prefer to answer quantitatively if you let them. Binary commitments are much more difficult, imo.

 

Neither answers are quantifiable, and you couldn't find a person who to tell you why they chose what they did over some other answer.

 

Again, it is my experience that such answers will translate into specifically binary behavior.

 

I really have know idea how to answer your afterlife question and I believe in an afterlife!


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So basically, belief of a more than 50% probability of something being true is faith? But why do you put the 50% as the cutoff point when the cutoff point could be anywhere?

 

No, I don't believe there is an way to adequately assign a percentage other than the simple 50/50.

 

What is the actual difference between 50% Faith and 55% Faith, without using percentages in your answer? How would you measure that beyond arbitrary declaration?


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Just because you pose a question to beg a binary form, doesn't mean the answer is necessarily binary.

 

example: Is your favorite color green?

 

I have already stated why I find such equivalences meaningless. You have simply inserted something that has real and verifiable and testable variance. You still haven't shown me where such real and testable variance exists within faith beyond arbitrary assignment.

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No, I don't believe there is an way to adequately assign a percentage other than the simple 50/50.

 

What is the actual difference between 50% Faith and 55% Faith, without using percentages in your answer? How would you measure that beyond arbitrary declaration?

 

One has a tenth more faith than the other? You measure faith by the aspects of it that you can see. And if you can't see it, you rely on the person's own declaration of how much faith he has. Just like you would measure someone's, say, love of chocolate.

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