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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 17 2012: Hey everybody :

    Faith , commonly means belief with no proof (religious faith especially).

    The question is : does the existence or the non-existence of proofs for a belief tell us something about the rationality of that belief ? The answer is : what that tell us is not sufficient to determine whether the belief is rational or not because with or without proof the belief itself may still be rational .

    That's what everybody seems to ignore here . It happens because the question is very inappropriate .
    • Sep 18 2012: "The answer is : what that tell us is not sufficient to determine whether the belief is rational or not because with or without proof the belief itself may still be rational ."

      How so? How can a belief something that is not backed up by any kind of evidence be rational? It may turn out to be right in the end, but that's like the broken watch that's right twice a day.
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        Sep 18 2012: Simple :


        Let's say 'a' is a belief which has no proof , let's say also that 'a' itself is something which make sense . Therefore you have this : a belief which make sense but which has no proof . You can't say about this belief that is irrational because with or without proofs it makes sense .

        This is the case with any sci-fi movie or with the novels Jules Verne wrote . This kind of movies/novels have no proof but they could be theoretical consistent constructions , therefore they still may be rational ---- a rational fiction .
        The existence or the non-existence of proofs alone can't tell you if a belief is rational or not .

        What you reveal here is atheism lack of thinking and indoctrination .
        • Sep 18 2012: In order to know if something "makes sense" you need to infer about it rationally and come up with at least circumstantial evidence, otherwise you're just guessing.
        • Sep 18 2012: I must agree with John, by what metric do you measure something to 'make sense', other than its agreement with evidence?
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        Sep 18 2012: So what you're saying me is that in order to know if something make sense I need to know if there are some evidence about it .
        That's not enough , did you understand what I just said ? that's not enough , you need more than evidence to realize if something is rational or not because there are things like the ones I mentioned which make sense but have no evidence . Besides proofs you need to test the inner consistency of that something , that's what I'm saying .

        Imagine a thing which has no proof but which is consistent , isn't it obvious that the nonexistence of proofs is not enough to determine if that thing is rational or not ?
        It is for me , it should be for you too . Here is where atheism fail .
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        Sep 19 2012: Joseph & John :

        " by what metric do you measure something to 'make sense', other than its agreement with evidence?"

        I just said it a couple of times here , what's so hard to understand it ? my English ? I don't think so .

        I say it again : the other metric I measure something to make sense besides evidence is THE INNER CONSISTENCY of that something .
        • Sep 20 2012: Dear E G,
          There are many religions in the world that have inner consistency. I would guess you believe in just one. Why?
        • Sep 23 2012: Inner consistency is a binary quality. Something is either internally consistent, or there are inconsistencies. If something is NOT internally consistent, then it is impossible. E.g. The classical 'Invisible Pink Unicorn' is impossible, because it is not internally consistant: something cannot be simultaneously invisible and pink. Conversely, whatever IS internally consistent is possible. However:

          1. That something is possible does not mean it is likely (It is possible that I win the lottery next week).
          2. That something is possible does not mean there is any reason to believe that is is true (it is possible that polar bears are actually aliens in disguise).
          3. What hypothesis are you putting forward as internally consistent?

          "What you reveal here is atheism lack of thinking and indoctrination"
          Yah boo sucks to you!...
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        Sep 20 2012: Mariangela Correa :

        Well , that's better than the guys before you .

        Anyway , I hope you notice how wrong the question Joseph Dorrell asked is .


        That's right I believe in just one , Christianity . Why ? Because if I take into account all about religions , all what happened , all is said ... and I analyze it then I find the Christianity the most worth believing/trusting .
        • Sep 23 2012: I would appreciate a more detailed answer to Mariangela's question : "There are many religions in the world that have inner consistency. I would guess you believe in just one. Why?".

          You seem to be saying that you analysed the available evidence to come to a conclusion that Xianity is 'worth believing'. Was it simply that you found Xianity to be 'internally consistent', see my comment above, or did you find actual evidence to suggest its claims are true? Have you found any inconsistencies in other religious faiths and beliefs which have caused you to dismiss them as impossible? I would be interested to know.
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        Sep 24 2012: Joseph :

        Let's just remain on the topic , the question was whether faith is inherently irrational , my answer is no because the faith can be consistent regardless of the existence of proofs . I tried to show you that your question is inherently wrong and I managed .

        It might be true what you said : consistent therefore possible - possible is not necessarily likely - possible does not mean truth . Therefore something consistent is not necessarily true or likely .
        The hypothesis I try to put forward is that faith is not irrational and it is not irrational as long as it might be consistent , that's why I'm not interested right now to prove that faith (generally speaking) is true or likely . In order to find out if faith is true or likely I need to take any faith separately .

        ( by the way something could be pink and invisible simultaneously ) .

        Well , it's true that 'to analyze' could mean many things . Let's take only two : 'to analyze' means :
        1. to see if there are any inconsistencies
        2. to see if there are proofs/evidence

        When I said that if I analyze the all religions I find Christianity the most worth believing I was talking with the meaning of 'to analyze' I've just gave you right above above . Am I clear enough ?
        • Sep 25 2012: You intrigue me with your tales of invisible pinkness... do tell!

          OK, serious. The problem with this topic is that is is often easy to say what is faith and what is not, but more difficult to explain the test by which something is decided to be faith. I think we can agree that belief in the existence of a god or gods is a matter of faith, belief in an afterlife is faith, belief in the temporary subversion of the laws of physics (miracles) is faith, belief in the healing power of prayer is faith. (stop me if you disagree).

          Surely, since you have analysed and rejected other religions, you must believe them to be without supporting evidence or internally inconsistent. Would it be fair to say that you consider the faith beliefs of other religions to be examples of irrational beliefs, or do you believe them to be rational beliefs, in which case, why do you not belief them?
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        Sep 27 2012: Joseph :

        Answering to your question : I don't believe in anything that seems rational , I pick up my objects of belief , I select them . That's about rational beliefs generally . About the other religious faith I can tell you is better to take and talk about them separately .

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