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Is Faith inherently irrational?

I would like to propose the motion that faith is inherently irrational.

I consider rationality (in a nutshell) to be:
'An accurate apportionment of belief in a statement concerning the objective nature of reality, with respect to the available evidence.'

I can think of no better definition of faith than the exact opposite of this:
'A grossly inaccurate apportionment of belief in a statement concerning the objective nature of reality, with respect to the available evidence.'

However, I invite those who have faith, and profess it as a virtue, to submit their definition of faith.

(EDIT 16/9/12: This is intended to be a discussion on the nature of religious faith, of the sort people cite when putting forward claims of the supernatural, of gods, of an afterlife etc.... This is not intended to be a discussion of the wider concepts of hope, loyalty, trust or monogamy, but feel free to mention them in passing, or in comparison to faith. ENDEDIT).

Joseph Dorrell

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    Sep 16 2012: Why start a new conversation:

    This conversation is about epistemology. What is knowledge? How do we know 'truth'? When is knowing - believing and believing - knowing?

    Faith was called into question. Knowing, in the sense 'knowing' without 'proof' - but KNOWING.
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    My best argument for why Joe considers his position and I believe Gabo: In longevity of actions, fundamental faith in thought - proves irrational and biased - while - consciously refusing alternative considerations to 'said' thought(s).

    Yet, why does that argument have a negative connotation? Don't people have faith about things that are not religious? Can't we be faithful about thoughts in nonreligious subjects?

    Biggest problem with faith came from the negative in the actions.. Harming others, being arrogant, getting angry when someone disagrees with you/them, not listening to someone because they do not share this fundamental faith... Disclaimer: NOT all are intrinsic features in modern fundamental religion, historically; more so.

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    My questions are:
    Where is the line between 'positive' and 'negative' thinking? *This also calls into question: morality and ethics as religion.

    What would a positive spectrum of thinking look like?

    What does positive thinking mean to you. and does your determination consider faith as a negative?
    Is it really negative, if the actions (prevention of actions) in the longevity' prove positive?

    Are actions (prevention of actions) not louder than words?
    + No harm no foul, is a rhyme for a reason!

    Question for Joe: Is calling into question rationality, fair, without first understanding intelligence itself?
    • Sep 17 2012: "Is calling into question rationality, fair, without first understanding intelligence itself?"

      Could you expand upon what you mean here. I'm not sure I can do the question justice without first knowing what it is you are suggesting we need to understand about intelligence, and how this relates to rationality.

      "In longevity of actions, fundamental faith in thought - proves irrational and biased - while - consciously refusing alternative considerations to 'said' thought(s)."

      I find this argument intriguing, though rather opaque. 'longevity' as in 'length of time'? Also, are you referring to a particular 'thought', a place-marker 'thought' or the process of thinking in general? An expansion and explanation would be useful.
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        Sep 17 2012: Well where rationality comes from is a type of thinking. Thinking is a product of intelligence.

        How can we suggest what is a logical conclusion - perhaps about faith being irrational - if we do not have a systematic understanding of our psyche? Especially if science now suggest we are more prone to acting (thinking) irrational - with the cognitive ability to be correcting - which suggest to me, well, more relative manners. Manners involving the process of thinking.

        Consider what faith would be applied to, in the long run of those applications of faith would account in further reasoning and logic structuring (or lack of). At the point where the faith becomes restricting or open-ended in thought is the point it becomes a degree of rationalism. That degree may be low, thus considered irrational.

        However when looking at things in longevity of how people think, what do we see? Behavior, attitudes, personality/intellectual development, self actualization ability, etc. If at any point these ideals of the psyche are being actively degraded due to the (in)actions of thought - that is irrational. This is what I would like to call a negative spectrum of thinking. Denying even your most the most fundamental fact you possess can create new realities - thus is positive for interpreting more nature.

        I am new to this epistemological via psychoanalytical arguing. Bare with me.

        I call a fundamentalist, a cave person at times, not to be crude but to be blunt. A fundamentalist in religion can be the nicest person in the world - help others, charity, communal work, etc. however they still hold faith in a supernatural thought. Are they really thinking in the negative spectrum of thought, if they had never harmed anyone? Never tried to prevent your active thoughts? Was accepting of others life styles?

        Although I suggest the argument from where you are coming from, I don't buy into it. Because although faith could be irrational, those who practice faith can be very much not.

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