On faith

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Magical Realist, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Does faith make you stronger or weaker?

    Example 1: A woman loses her house and her child in a devastating tornado. But she carries on because she believes in the will of God.

    Example 2: A man refuses the advice of his doctors to put his terminally-ill wife into hospice because he believes in the miracle of prayer. He refuses to accept her impending death because he has faith in God.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Faith would seem to offer a method of managing difficulties.
    I suppose it may help to blame a mythical character for ones misfortune but personally I think that is a weakness rather than a strength. To be really strong one must be able to face facts rather than dwell in a make believe reality.
    I find it strange folk can retain their faith in God when they suffer as a result of "acts of God" and dismiss everything on the basis that "God works in mysterious ways".
    Nevertheless this superstition has been used to cope with difficulties for thousands of years of human evolution so it is understandable how faith has a foothold in the way humans manage themselves.
    But folk using faith to cope should never ask "if there is a God and he has total control why does he make me suffer, why is he so cruel to me."
    In both examples above one wonders what approach would be best.
    Finally faith is personal... Use what works for you..
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  5. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Weaker in both cases.
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  7. timojin Valued Senior Member

    If I believe the purpose of my life is in the hands of God , Then I submit to the will of God , than my wishes are of no importance. because God is under control of my life.
    1 and 2 are strong.
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    So, you would be weaker, then. Is that what you mean?

    You would defer to God's wishes. If you thought (whether right or wrong) that God wanted you to remain as a fry cook, then a fry cook you would remain.
  9. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Let me say it in a metaphorical way.: I am embarked in a trip from Chicago to Los Angeles on passenger train . I can walk within the train from wagon to wagon, observe the scenery eat in the cafeteria, sleep in the sleeper , the train have many stops , I can get off, enjoy, but my destiny is LA and I can not do anything to the moving train.
    I believe the wishes of God is to respect my fellow man and nature .
    I am going to die as any other living being at a given time . It is important to us to make a better life for future generation . I don't know if your mother had to go to the river and bring water in a bucket , mine did.
    My mother had to wash cloths at the river, my wife pushes a button, and so on . Genesis 1 say to man go and conquer the land
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I find it difficult to accept that God wishes that we respect others or nature in so far as there seems that he has put nothing in place to even slightly compel those actions.
    I know it is about free will but we dont allow free will in a society and we are mere mortals.
    I can not understand if the God others believe in thought a little he could arrange things a little better such that people, animals and nature were treated better.
    Why should inoccent children suffer, why do millions of inoccent people suffer, why does man degrade the planet when it would seem so easy for a God to change the rules.
    I find faith impossible when confronted with the reality of needless and perpetual suffering.
    We each have inbuilt a mechanism for self preservation why would a God not build in a mechanism that caused us to preserve life and nature. Some folk have it why not everyone.. To do it that way is that too much to expect from a God.
    If he is real it would not be difficult.

    I respect others and nature but I do so because I think it is a good idea.
    To respect others often makes dealing with others easier and beneficial so that approach often has a practical beneficial outcome. I feel better if I treat others with respect.
    Nature should be respected but sadly humans often fail to respect nature.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and system of belief.
  11. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    when any faith seems scientific then I try to keep the faith and it makes me stronger.
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Say a student is having a hard time at school and wants to quit. He is told to have faith that he will get over this hard stretch. Is this good or bad?

    Say a doctor is working on a new cure for a disease. His first tests fail. But he has faith he is heading in the right direction. Is this faith good or bad?

    The young salesman who just begins his first job selling door to door, but does not sell anything for the first week. He has faith that he needs to keep trying and learning to be successful. Is his faith good or bad?

    Faith is the belief in things not seen. In all these examples, the future is not clear. One is stuck in the present which is not working out and extrapolating with that. Faith sees a better future, and helps one modify the present, to achieve the needs of the future.

    There are some things that are beyond our control. I can't have faith I will be 6 foot 6 inches, if I am already fully grown and only 6 feet. This would be a miracle. But reasonable things, that need extra push ad drive, benefit by faith. Faith allows you to deny the present to see the future you wish to live.
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Interesting. Are you suggesting science is a matter of faith too?
  14. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Are the benifits of faith as you see it dependent on the existence of God... or at least dependent on a belief that God exists.???
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member


    However, those who see their lives as a journey on foot (or on bike) do not limit their destination to LA; they may get inspired by the scenery and strike out on their own in whatever direction they choose - an option you don't have if your life is a metaphorical train.

    If one defers to another (any other) then, by definition, they are giving up some of their own power over their destiny.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Ah, but this is a different kind of faith.

    I make this distinction based on the fact that the OP posits two scenarios, both of which refer to in God (faith with a big 'F'). Your scenario does not explicitly invoke God, and I would argue, doesn't implicitly invoke it either, so faith with a small 'f'.

    In effect, he can have faith in himself. In his own abilities. That means the strength is still his to possess; he does not defer strength to another entity.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  17. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    No sir ! I'm not suggesting this. Personally I try to keep but not totally because the limitations of scientific theories.

    When I lived in Bangladesh then some people that I talked to about their faith and mine. Some of them are my friends. They believe on God but hate terrorists(ISIS, Al-Qaida,...). Because they claimed that terrorists are killing innocent people, Children.

    I told them there are many people dying because of earthquakes, flood, and others.
    So your god killing people and children too but you hate those terrorists only but pray to God. Do you know why those terrorists and your god doing this ? But they replied illogically to obey the God and to hate those terrorists.
    So I thought that their faith is illogical because the didn't know those rules of holy book(Quran) and what rules that those terrorists obey.

    When I told them that may be it is scientific if the lifestyles of those people are not good due to holy book then your God kills those people by earthquakes and others but it should be prove by experiment that those people(dead) had bad lifestyles. But what about those children who are killed by earthquakes and etc ! May be it's about genetics because may be you can pass your behaves and others genetically to your children. So your God kills those children too. But you have to show evidence(with experiment), not only holy books.

    So now I found some interesting....

    And they are called by terrorists because their activities that against the laws of government.

    If it is proved then I can't keep the faith fully because it generates sensible question/problem like ' why God helps to pass those behaves genetically to children( innocent that they will claim) ?'
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I don't think a faith in two different things entails that one is a different kind of faith from another. A person who believes a certain outcome will occur due to this or that, be it a God or oneself or fate or science or whatever, is essentially exercising faith all the same. The object of faith may vary, but the faith is the same. Whether the faith is justifiable for every object is another question. But then if the faith were completely rationally justifiable, it wouldn't be faith anymore. It'd be reason.
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    But we're talking about whether it makes one stronger.

    If you and a friend were walking out of a desert, you might have faith in him to keep you going, which means you're deferring to his strength. If you have faith in yourself though, it is you who has the strength.

    The moment you place some of your faith in anything other than yourself, you attribute what could be your strength to that other thing instead.

    For example, Timojin attributes his journey through life to a force outside himself that he cannot control. He is bound for LA.
    Xelasnave.1947 likes this.
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Having faith in something strong doesn't make you weaker. It makes you stronger. I have faith in my doctor. Does it make me weaker? No, it makes me stronger because I have less uncertainty and more confidence in the decisions he makes. The question arises: does faith in something ineffective then make one weaker or stronger? The woman who has faith in God and is sustained by that in her crises may have faith in something ineffective, but she still becomes a stronger person for it. Much as say a soldier with his lucky rabbit's foot is emboldened in battle.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  21. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Example 1 does not demonstrate faith in God. The woman sounds more like a sociopath.

    Example 2 is faith in religious doctrine.

    The whole point of faith is to give strength.

  22. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    I dunno', a symptom of insecurity?

    I don't need faith to finish coffee. I will drink life (or wine

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  23. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    What's her alternative? Suicide?
    Yet she still dies, whatever decision he makes. That's what terminally ill means... I'd probably rather die at home.

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