Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

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SEG
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG »

Claire wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:51 am
A talking snake was used to symbolize Satan who's not made up.
Why not use Satan to begin with and how do you know for sure that the authors symbolised a snake to represent Satan?
SEG wrote:Do you think that Adam and Eve were also made up?
Claire wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:51 am
Adam and Eve are not symbolic.
How do you know that they are any different than the snake?
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:08 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:22 pm
The snake is clearly symbolic and there is nothing in the text that suggests to me that we need to know whether a snake spoke or not in order to understand the story.
Cool, I get that. If the snake was symbolic, then for the same reasons that you have pointed out, Christ's death on the cross could also be symbolic, yes?
Obviously it's symbolic. But I think the confusion here comes because you think that to say something is symbolic is the same thing as saying it didn't happen. We all use symbols all the time as a way of talking about reality. I gave the example of Richard Dawkins using metaphors or symbols from computer science to understand and explain evolution. Some people think those metaphors are highly accurate, they describe what is happening with great precision, others would use them but with caution, others would say they are very poor metaphors, others would reject those metaphors outright. That disagreement over the validity of metaphors should not be mistaken for a disagreement over whether evolution happened. If a historian uses a term like industrial revolution to describe certain events that took place in the 19th Century people myagree or disagree about whether what happened couldbe described as a revolution but that would not mean they are saying nothing happened. They are disagreeing over how literal, in the modern sense, a symbol or metaphor is.
Last edited by Moonwood the Hare on Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 pm
Claire wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:43 pm
SEG wrote:
Ask Chappy if he thinks the snake is a metaphor.
Whoever thinks there was literally a talking snake can read what I just told you.
...and that's the problem. Who is correct, those who think that the snake is an actual snake, or people like Moonward and you that think that it was made up?
Just to be clear no one said anything about it being made up. If by made up you mean some kind of arbitrary fiction then you have not really understood what we are saying. People select metaphors or symbols because they feel they are the best way of describing a reality they discern; we all do it all the time. The term made up is itself a metaphor comparing the composition of ideas to physical craftsmanship.
Last edited by Moonwood the Hare on Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:13 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:12 pm
SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:25 pm

Not in the case of a talking serpent.
Please show me the maths.
1. Some Christians believe that everything in the Bible is true, including the ridiculous story of a lip-less talking snake without a human-like larynx.
2. Some Christians believe that most things in the Bible are true except the things that YOU say are symbolic like the snake.
3. There are a huge number of Christian denominations, some say over 45,000.
4. There is a huge variation in what Christians believe is symbolic vs actual truth, even within the same denominations. Even in the same congregations.

YOU tell me the maths out of these jumbled numbers! What makes you think that YOU are correct and other vast numbers of Christians have got it wrong?

This tells me that that faith is a terrible mechanism to use to determine the truth.
You said that in the case of a talking of a talking seprent the term "unlikely" referred to a measurable proability. So we are talking about the probability of a state of affairs. You also say faith is an unreliable way to determine truth. If that is so then there can be no way of using a comparison of people's beliefs to measure the probability of a state of affairs.
Last edited by Moonwood the Hare on Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

SEG wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:26 am
Claire wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:51 am
A talking snake was used to symbolize Satan who's not made up.
Why not use Satan to begin with and how do you know for sure that the authors symbolised a snake to represent Satan?
SEG wrote:Do you think that Adam and Eve were also made up?
Claire wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:51 am
Adam and Eve are not symbolic.
How do you know that they are any different than the snake?
Again this is not how symbolism, especially mythic symbolism, tends to work. We can use a symbol to represent a defined entity. But often those who use symbols are representing forms or concepts that subsist on the edge of awareness. This is what T. S.Eliot meant when he described a poem as the angle of octopus with which the poet must wrestle. The symbol is an attempt to grasp the only partially known. So personally I doubt that the writer of Genesis was specificaly thinking of Satan but when later believers look back, they say 'Ah yes, that thing you were trying to describe, that is an aspect of the thing we now call Satan.'

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SEG
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG »

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:12 pm
Please show me the maths.
SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:13 pm
YOU tell me the maths out of these jumbled numbers! What makes you think that YOU are correct and other vast numbers of Christians have got it wrong?
SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:13 pm
This tells me that that faith is a terrible mechanism to use to determine the truth.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:04 pm
You said that in the case of a talking of a talking seprent the term "unlikely" referred to a measurable proability.
I said nothing of the sort!
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:12 pm
So we are talking about the probability of a state of affairs. You also say faith is an unreliable way to determine truth. If that is so then there can be no way of using a comparison of people's beliefs to measure the probability of a state of affairs.
It's unreliable in the sense that a group of people that adhere to the very same faith can use that faith to argue opposing views that something is true. If in the very same church two opposing groups of people can use faith to argue that something is both true and not true, you have a huge problem if you think that faith is a good mechanism for discovering the truth.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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SEG
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG »

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:22 pm
The snake is clearly symbolic and there is nothing in the text that suggests to me that we need to know whether a snake spoke or not in order to understand the story.
SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:08 pm
Cool, I get that. If the snake was symbolic, then for the same reasons that you have pointed out, Christ's death on the cross could also be symbolic, yes?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:39 pm
Obviously it's symbolic. But I think the confusion here comes because you think that to say something is symbolic is the same thing as saying it didn't happen.
Correct! Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas, concepts or qualities, not usually historical people or events. The cross is used to represent Christianity, it is not ACTUALLY Christianity in reality. Look at how the crucifixion was portrayed:

1. Two thieves were portrayed on either side of Christ, one "good" thief portrayed on the "right" side of Christ.
2. The bad thief wanted to be taken down, not to go up. The good thief was willing to endure the cross to go up to paradise.
3. The bad thief was often portrayed with his feet pointing away from Christ. The good thief was often portrayed with his feet pointing towards Christ.
4. The two thieves could portray James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Renamed as Boanerges = sons of Thunder) and Castor and Pollux. In art Castor and Pollux are depicted on right and left of Zeus. James and John asked Jesus to sit at his right and left in glory.

See: Mark 10:35-45 New International Version (NIV)
The Request of James and John
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
The symbolism surrounding the crucifixion was used to represent a fictional person in a fictional setting. Fictional depictions use symbolism to give meaning to what the author was feeling or trying to depict at the time of writing. Historical events don't need to draw upon symbolism, as the surrounding evidence normally speaks for itself. There were no eyewitness accounts, architectural or documentary evidence outside of the Bible stories. Have a look at the very first image of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on a wooden side-door of a church in Rome:
Crucifixion-Christ-Church-Santa-Sabina-Rome.jpg
Crucifixion-Christ-Church-Santa-Sabina-Rome.jpg (132.73 KiB) Viewed 524 times
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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SEG
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG »

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:09 pm
So personally I doubt that the writer of Genesis was specificaly thinking of Satan but when later believers look back, they say 'Ah yes, that thing you were trying to describe, that is an aspect of the thing we now call Satan.'
Yes, I doubt it too. Otherwise it would be written somewhere in the rest of the Bible and it's not. Satan is not known in Genesis because when the story was written, ancient Israelites had no concept of the devil. It was another 300 years before the concept was invented. If educated Christians were honest about this they would teach less educated Christians not to retrofit their erroneous preconceptions.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

SEG wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:06 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:04 pm
You said that in the case of a talking of a talking seprent the term "unlikely" referred to a measurable proability.
I said nothing of the sort!
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm
Yes but you are not talking about likeliness in the sense of calculable probability. You are talking about a personal judgement, and such a judgement has to have a strong faith element.
Not in the case of a talking serpent.
It's unreliable in the sense that a group of people that adhere to the very same faith can use that faith to argue opposing views that something is true. If in the very same church two opposing groups of people can use faith to argue that something is both true and not true, you have a huge problem if you think that faith is a good mechanism for discovering the truth.
This is true of every other method, a group of people using reason and evidence can also disagree. If this creates a problem for faith having a role in determining truth it creates a problem for all other methods. It's a non starter as an argument.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

SEG wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:11 am
Correct! Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas, concepts or qualities, not usually historical people or events.
This is quite obviously false. When historians talk about the industrial revolution orthe renaisance they are usingsymbolism to talk of historical events. When people talk about fightingagainst the crown they areusing a symbol toreference a historical person. There are dozens of other examples.

The cross is used to represent Christianity, it is not ACTUALLY Christianity in reality. Look at how the crucifixion was portrayed:

1. Two thieves were portrayed on either side of Christ, one "good" thief portrayed on the "right" side of Christ.
2. The bad thief wanted to be taken down, not to go up. The good thief was willing to endure the cross to go up to paradise.
3. The bad thief was often portrayed with his feet pointing away from Christ. The good thief was often portrayed with his feet pointing towards Christ.
4. The two thieves could portray James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Renamed as Boanerges = sons of Thunder) and Castor and Pollux. In art Castor and Pollux are depicted on right and left of Zeus. James and John asked Jesus to sit at his right and left in glory.

See: Mark 10:35-45 New International Version (NIV)
The Request of James and John
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
The symbolism surrounding the crucifixion was used to represent a fictional person in a fictional setting. Fictional depictions use symbolism to give meaning to what the author was feeling or trying to depict at the time of writing. Historical events don't need to draw upon symbolism, as the surrounding evidence normally speaks for itself. There were no eyewitness accounts, architectural or documentary evidence outside of the Bible stories. Have a look at the very first image of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on a wooden side-door of a church in Rome:

Crucifixion-Christ-Church-Santa-Sabina-Rome.jpg
So I think your argument that if there is symbolism in an account it cannot be referring to historical events, if that is your argument, falls.

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