Can anyone really argue against a faith based belief?
A good friend of mine was just trying to dissuade me from my beliefs. And he was quite good and convincing. But alas we agreed that if my beliefs were founded in my faith then arguing was pointless and that it was just the way it is. And likewise I could not "convince" him of my faith. But we agreed that many folks get "convinced" of their beliefs.
If that is true we should be able to "argue" someone out of or into their beliefs based on faith.
And so I ask the question.
That is so strange for I have asked myself that same question and wondered how I became convinced of my faith and that if others read the same book (or different ones) and became convince of another faith; how could I be so sure of mine? I do go by scripture though and the oldest book in the world and I have searched for truth and not taken anyone's word for anything I believe. Maybe that is how I have such confidence in it but them I wonder about others who have as much confidence and they go by some man who one day had a dream or a vision and changed whole books...so I guess theirs are faith based for sure but I could never believe one man changing a whole religion as do several religions. So the answer is yes. I can argue it! lol
You are absolutely right Eric that you can't argue faith based on reason. Faith is just something that has been planted inside of us like a tree that can't be uprooted. I have carried my own seed of faith since my Baptist Grandmother took me to Sunday School as a little boy, and even though it lay dormant for a long time it could not be suppressed and eventually bloomed again. On the other hand, your friend may eventually feel the effects of your faith, get a sort of "contact buzz" from it, and might eventually come around. The best thing you can do is not beat him up with the Bible, but just keep being a friend.
I like the notion of a "contact buzz". And why not? I know I am most receptive to a way somebody walks rather than how they talk. I just love the idea of faith the size of a Mustard seed.
Oh I love that "mustard seed" too Eric. I never heard of it til I was 16 and someone sent me a card saying if I had that much faith and it insulted me but I never forgot it and I went in search of its meaning and now I so love it & their words to
It is entirely possible to argue against beliefs if the belief or opinion in question is factually inaccurate (e.g. the Earth is flat, the universe is 6000 years old, rock music is alive and relevant).
Rock music will NEVER die! That's blasphemy, LOL!
Rock music died in 1970 the very moment heavy metal was born, and then its gravestone was ground into dust in 1982 when punk came about.
Rock music still lives in our hearts. Metal ain't so bad neither is punk listen to what they gotta say bro.
There are so many thing and information and dis-information going on in this world and others that we can only touch on briefly. Trust in oneself is what Faith is all about. Thought when you put that rust or faith into something that others call imaginary that is where we get all these mixed up views and information. Just because it is right for one never makes it right for another. We can only show them other information. It is up to them and what path that they chose to follow to change or not. We can only plant seeds. You can't make anyone do anything, except in the case of force by physical or weaponry.
Jesus said to have faith and believe. That was the precept of the whole idea of believers and non-believers. If you beleive (in your own works and that equates to "faith") then will suceed in what it is that you chose to suceed in. If you do not have this "Faith", then you are considered by Jesus and that ideology as being a Non-Believer. This is why Jesus taught them to be separate. If you have a negative influence you most likely will not have faith in your own works. It has nothing to do with religion and who is what kind.
Go and Love your neighbors as yourself. Being positive is all it is about. Plant seeds, but never force. They may or may not come around and that depends on who they are and what path they chose for themselves and how much "faith" that they have.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you......remember that they are going to give your doing right back at you. Most people do not realize this. They can only see their side of it. Step into the others shoes and walk a mile in them first.
I have written a few hubs on this topic if you care to go read them. This was almost a hub in itself.
I think anyone can argue against a faith based belief and even 'win' the argument if it becomes a war of words. But winning at a logical or rhetorical level is not the same as convincing. We often think we have the right ideas, but we cannot always find the right words.
Believe what you will. If such a belief enables you to live a life that is positive, fullfilling and comfortable, that is a quest we should all be pursuing.
For many such beliefs, whether Atheistic or theistic are simply commitments to a cause, as one has a political mind set or convinced that his purchase of a car was the best deal ever made.
I would never think to challenge a theist on his belief, as long as it is not presented as a truth that all must abide by.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
The above is a quote from T. Jefferson, which I think is fitting and to the point, in his letter to the Bishops of Banbury and I think it says it all.
Belief is not truth and should never be presented as such, unless objective scrutiny is invited. To do otherwise is to invite a theocracy and tyranny.
Wow what an on point and great quote. Thank you for sharing that with us.
It is hard to argue with Jefferson. And perhaps sometimes that is the point.
This is where theists get so confused. They think that atheists are attacking their faith, but the truth is that they are defending "the separation of church and state". I don't care what your faith is, just don't try to force others to endure it.
Austinstar, isn't the denial of the right to exercise that faith in public a lack of separation between church and state?
I think conversation and debate is great for learning and for personal analysis when both parties are respectful and willing to participate. I don't begrudge anyone their beliefs, so long as they don't use them to try to infringe my right to not believe. Debate (not argument or fighting) leads to open minds and understanding. If you try to understand why a person believes what they do and see them as a person - it's easier to "agree to disagree" so to speak.
We are all humans and have different ideas. The sticky part in these situations is mutual respect and ability to allow freedom for both sides. Some theists for example want to put prayer in public school - big no no. On the other hand, some atheists put up billboards mocking religion - also a big no no. I think with disagreement needs to come respect and that means developing empathy for others. Empathy can only happen through discussions and getting to know how others think and feel.
"But alas we agreed that if my beliefs were founded in my faith then arguing was pointless and that it was just the way it is." - Exactly!
It's just as (pointless) for a believer to try convince a non-believer!
And yet everyday there are feuds between believers and non-believers. Faith and conventional logic do not go hand in hand.
Live and let live!
But a non-believer's belief is not based on faith. Convincing that person would only require logic (assuming they were a logical non-believer)
Aah but your question was: "Can anyone really argue against a faith based belief?" If someone were trying to convince a non-believer they'd be open to logic and tangible proof. When someone simply says: "I believe" no amount of logic changes them.
Perhaps, it would be helpful if you could define what you mean by "faith based". If you mean "irrevocable or unchangeable", there is no chance you would change your mind even when presented with evidence contrary to your belief. This would put you between a rock and a hard place, wouldn't it?
I certainly do not see faith as irrevocable or unchangeable. In fact quite the opposite.
Wavering, constantly in a state of flux and growth. Very personal. "Losing" and "gaining" faith are normal realities. There is no perfect faith it is subject to the subjective whims of each man. As we are sinners we also lack perfect faith.
I see faith as unshakable belief when it's based on experiential evidence or spiritual revelation. Anyone can argue against your belief, but he will not win, so long as your belief is backed by your personal experience of the truth.
Ben I see your thoughts here but I have yet to meet a man who could honestly say he had absolutely no doubt. Oh people think doubt is bad but it is so human.
Of course doubt is human, but it should not cause wavering. It should focus our minds on searching for the truth, which comes through personal experience.
Ben, "should" not is a long way from "does not". In the real world there is doubt and wavering. Peter is a great example, as is doubting Thomas. To deny doubt is to deny our humanity.
When you realize you are wavering, is the signal that you need to focus your mind on finding the truth. Both Peter and Thomas sought, and found the truth.
Right on Ben, perhaps that is why we are allowed to waver or have doubts, so that we redouble our focus and try harder.
Not really. Arguing against faith would be like arguing against someone's favorite food. I say I like sandwiches and there is no point in you arguing against my opinion. Though, it should be noted that people have lost faith before. Many non-believers were once believers. So, if faith is something that can go away, one might be able to make an argument against its validity and staying power.
Yes, arguments can be made and should be made, after all what is the beauty of believing in something if it cannot handle criticism. The conditions of debate should be-
1- The factuality of belief/ how hard can it stand against critical analysis.
2- The critic must be if not well versed, knowledgeable about the fundamentals of your system of belief or else he is not entitled to critical analysis.
3- Arguments should be put forth rationally and only a rational approach should be employed to solve them.
4- The preconceived notions of being correct before-hand by both the party should be avoided earnestly.
5- Try to be honest with yourself (one thing which seems so easy yet we often forget it)
Alas! Wish it were that easy. When faith is based on belief and someone is trying to talk you out of it a lot of things are set in motion which might hinder the outcome.
1- System of belief is rarely ever changed by a one on one conversation. At least I have never heard of it happen before.
2- The simple reason- human ego. We can and never will surrender in matters of belief because there is a lot at stake for a human.
3- Not only we find it very hard to reject something around which we build our identity or were influenced by it, it would be like accepting to someone that all I ever did or thought was a mistake. (Not that it actually is true but we feel this is the message that would go out).
4- Only contemplation or self reflection can change any system of belief we ever had.
Very interesting. This seems more directed at a religion than a belief.
This is applicable for any belief we've had.Look at it from this point of view, as kids we sometimes fight over whose father is right when conflicting views arise. We may realize he is wrong but still we struggle with the belief we had in our father.
I have trouble with a "one size fits all" notion when it comes to faith. 1,000 religions and billions of faiths.
I'm not saying what I say is infallible, but I do believe is does happen with a lot. We all face a time when any of our belief comes into question and we shy away from it because we don't want to accept our belief is fallible.
I see your point and agree to an extent. Clearly faith is human and therefor not infallible. In this regard I could be persuaded to alter my belief. Or at least I hope I could.
Its very difficult to dissuade someone from their faith. Once your mind is set, its very difficult to believe anything that's not in favor of your faith. Faith is usually based on feelings. People don't believe in logical explanations if it goes against their faiths. They live in denial no matter how many evidences are presented to them against their faith based beliefs. They just don't want to believe it that their faith is misplaced. One of the most common example of this are those people who are firm believer of their religious practices. Another example is relations. When you trust somebody blindly, you don't want to hear anything against them.
Its an ongoing argument, that's been going for ages. We can't know how other people's mind work.
This seems to suggest that the belief is wrong to begin with.
@ Ericdierker Belief is not wrong. It can be based on logic and experiences and can change with time. Faith takes your belief at different level. Faith don't need any explanations. May not change with time.
I misswrote that. It should have been "seems to suggest that faith is wrong to begin with." Sorry.
Eric.....Quote: "For those who believe, no proof is necessary; for those who do not believe, no proof is possible." Stuart Chase, (1888-1985) American Economist & Engineer, M.I.T educated
This pretty much sums up all that I have ever experienced in terms of this particular argument.
Wishing all a "Happy New Year"......Peace, Paula
Throughout the centuries, assorted persons, churches, cults, societies, rulers and who knows who else, have been trying to "convince" people out of what they originally belived (or did not believe).
Generally speaking, it has not worked well. This has resulted in more wars, genocide and torture than we can readily wrap our minds around. Many people who "converted" under such circumstances did so in name only, and to save their skins, not because their core belief system actually underwent any change.
The saying that applies there is, "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."
Ergo, in a civilized discussion, people will simply either agree in order to halt the discussion, or come to an "agree to disagree" concession.
Arguments over faith/religion are stupid and pointless, for no one is liable to change their outlook, belief or opinion. It is a waste of time and breath, and much more productive conversations could be had; for example, how to help the needy and homeless, and making plans to do so.
I do not have any problem at all with people believing whatever they wish, so long as those beliefs cause no harm to others or to the environment.
Where I do have a problem, is with those who are insistent that THEIR belief system is the only true and correct way to think or believe, and they set about trying to shove it down everyone else's throats. That's when I'll tell them in no uncertain terms where to get off and what to do with their preachments.
Interesting here that you put faith and religion as being the same.
For the most part, they are; when people speak of "their faith," the majority of the time, they are referring to their religious faith/beliefs. Of course, there is faith in ones fellow humans, but that's not what most mean when they say 'faith.'
Eric , Once I was a young man ! True my friend , I really was ...... I remember a minister who picked me up hitchhiking once and tried to convince me of my need to become involved in the greatest religion in the world ! When I asked , rather cynically,......... how was Christianity the greatest religion in the world , he replied " Because of all the religions in this great world , including some that have idols - a cow , a Buda , or whatever ; ......That Christianity was the only one that was completely based on Faith ! And that , is the irony of these forums where atheists attack Christianity , that so irritate me at times - Its all about a faith , the freedom that I can believe because I have faith that there IS a higher being !
That kinda stuck in my head for a long time, actually it's still there ! Bless you my friend !
What a wonderful answer and one that is true to my own thinking. Being an old hitchhiker I can also say that if he picked you up he was worth listening to. Blessings to you and yours Ed in this new year.
This missionary seems quite versed in his knowledge about christianity, unfortunately had he been so versed about other faiths. It is a nice thing to value what you have and other to make judgement about something you don't even know about.
Earlier where perhaps religion was about faith in our creator, even if we had no proof of his existence. It was a hope for those who had none. Now it has become a business.
It is true all around the globe. Though I do not deny the existence of genuinely religious people who are both tolerant and kind. It is a human trait after all not exclusive to believers or non-believers.
Parantap, could you expound on that comment again? I do not understand it. Knowledge of other religions is an interesting requirement to argue.
Yes Eric I would but there is no space in this section. In short
Jesus= idol of Christianity. If you deny this then understand, you are looking the other religions through the same lens. Buddha and Cow are not idols either, others are based on faith2
"Comparitive Religions 101" Each is different and doing them all by category or allegory leads to misunderstanding at best and conflict more normally. Buddhist faith is Buddhist faith. Christian faith is Christian faith. They are not comparible.
There is an exxcelent site that has all of the religions and their doctrines and such. ReligiousTolerance.Org. It is a must for anyone that thinks their religion is the only true religion.
Strange I have not seen one proclaim that theirs is the only faith -- who also claims to be Hindi or Buddhist? Could there be a reason? Dalai Lama may have something to say about this.
Exactly what I'm saying, they aren't comparable. You have to be neutral to others while if you are appreciating your own. Every belief is based on faith after all. As to Lady Guinevere There can and never will be one true religion.
My friends this humble question is truly blessed to have you contribute so well. I have learned much and am thankful.
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