Knowledge by Proxy

by braincleaned 141 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • adamah

    TEC said-

    Yes, I understand, but so was I. Have you read that entire chapter in Hebrews? Where Paul goes on to talk about the men of faith... praising them hearing, and obeying?

    Again, you ignore examples in Hebrews 11 which don't support your argument, eg when did Mose's parents hear God's voice telling them to put Moses into a reed basket in the Nile? (They didn't: they acted on FAITH).

    When did Cain HEAR God's instructions, telling him what sacrifice to offer? (Cain didn't: he offered on FAITH).

    When did the Early Xian martyrs HEAR God telling them that they weren't giving up their lives for a lie? (They didn't: they died on the basis of FAITH).

    Just like Abraham offered Isaac in sacrifice, based on FAITH that the prior promise God had made about blessing his descendents was based on the faith that God wasn't lying about the promise, and NOT due to the fact that Abraham HEARD the voice of God which ordered him to kill his son.


  • jgnat

    It is really unfair to introduce a new elephant, but I came across this when I went searching for that belief article. The analogy is the rider and the elephant, the elephant being the unconscious. It really has more to do with free will and how cognitively led we are (or aren't).

  • Theredeemer

    Again, the only evidence presented is "stories" from the bible and personal experiences. Fiction proving Fiction.

    Did Noah really exist? No concrete historical evidence.

    Did Abraham really exist? No concrete historical evidence.

    Did Jesus really exist? No concrete historical evidence.

    Even if they did exist, can anyone prove that all that is written actually happened? No

    Again, I ask, are christians so egotistical and self centered to assume that if there is a god he must be Jesus or Jehovah?

    The same conviction christians hold is the same conviction Hindus hold is the same conviction Muslims hold and so on. WHO IS RIGHT??

    You Christian?... Why? Because HE told you. Because you heard HIM. But a hindu has claimed the same thing. So who is wrong? Or better yet, who is lying? (Quickly they both answer "the other one")

    Neither, however, can provide the one thing an atheist is asking for: Proof.

  • braincleaned

    I see where you are coming from Tec — I was there for decades. Now, you make faith related to trust and obediance. Although partly true — Adamah well argued why this is missing the point.
    (example; Noah did not build the ark so much on hope than obediance to the "assurance about what [he did] not see"... the second part of Heb.11:1)
    Again, this is what I'm saying:

    Religious Faith vs Empirical Knowledge

    • religious |riˈlijəs|
    adjective — (of a belief or practice) forming part of someone's thought about or worship of a divine being; treated or regarded with a devotion and scrupulousness appropriate to worship

    • faith |fāTH|
    noun — complete trust or confidence in someone or something. According to Heb. 11:1 ~ "Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

    • empirical |emˈpirikəl|
    adjective — based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic

    • knowledge |ˈnälij|
    noun — what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information.
    Facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

    Both Religious Faith and Empirical Knowledge need specific sources to prompt a belief.
    We either freely choose or follow our environment/upbringing in the SOURCES of our convictions.
    TRUST is the first element that will generate religious faith or empirical knowledge.

    A) — Religious Faith is born from:
    1) — TRUST in a chosen source
    2) — HOPE that all that is promised will happen
    3) — BELIEF with no need for any visible or tangible evidence.

    B) — Empirical Knowledge is born from:
    1) — TRUST in a chosen source
    2) — QUESTIONING that all it predicts or presents is valid
    3) — BELIEF if the evidence and logic produces verifiable facts.

    BELIEF in itself is NOT a choice. Again, only the our SOURCES we trust are a choice.

    Theoretically, any conviction should present a good argument that make epistemic sense; meaning it should be falsifiable to prevent unattackable, isolated, and intrinsic circular arguments.

    This is why Faith is not debatable. It lives outside reason, as it does not demand explanation, justification nor empirical proof. Faith is primarily based in emotion, rather than reason, although there is a close connection between the two.
    One must not confuse the words Trust and Faith to disingenuously level the playing field.

  • friendaroonie

    Abandon belief for direct experience. As much as possible.

  • braincleaned

    // The NT easily proves and disproves, for example, the Trinity doctrine since it represents both beliefs simultaneiously (due to the disparate sourcing.)//

    SO on spot, Terry!

  • braincleaned

    Every employer would love to know God's trick: how to make people work for you while promising a paycheck that never comes, with no health coverage, and STILL have the employees kiss your feet! :D

    Walmart would KILL to get that info...

  • braincleaned

    Again, analyzing Heb. 11:1 " Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."

    There are two apparently strong words here to define "Faith":
    1) — assurance
    2) — conviction
    * (other versions use similar wording)

    However, these strong words shrink by the following words; hope, and evidence not seen.

    I could say I KNOW (strong word) that fairies are real (unprovable statement that makes the word "know" moot).

    In the following context, Paul gives examples of the latter kind, the works of men totally convinced of the existence of God, and that he was to be obeyed.
    Hope is also consistent with what these men expected in return (the approbation of God).

    BEAR IN MIND that this is an exercise in logic!

    I do not believe in these stories at all.
    — I write stories for a living, and even in fiction there needs to be an amount of logic within the scenario.
    The Bible needs some serious editing for clarity and consistancy.

  • adamah


    I like the idea of reserving use of the word 'conviction' for tangible evidence, which is required in a court of law to convict someone of a crime, after allowing both sides access to the same evidence in their attempts to either exonerate or incriminate the defendent.

    As such, it's a mistranslation to use the word 'conviction' in this translation, as it vastly overstates the meaning of the Greek word, 'elegchos' (proof, evidence). KJV properly renders it as:

    Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Of course, faith is described as synonymous with "unseen evidence", which is problematic since it is not perceivable.

    Faith IS imperceptible evidence.

    As such, "invisible evidence" is NOT considered as admissible in a court of law, eg you cannot convict someone using "invisible evidence" since it cannot be cross-examined by both the prosecution and defense.

    But such unseen evidence is exactly what Paul is defining as faith, and per Paul, faith should be used to support a believer's trust in God.

    The first part of the definition in Hebrews 11 (faith is substance of things hoped for) refers to the manifestations of a believers faith, i.e. the ACTIONS that OTHERS can observe as an outward demonstration of the believer's faith (the fruitages of the believer's faith). But the second part refers to the role faith is supposed to use in their own mind to justify their belief.

    But to use any derivative of the word 'convict' (i.e. 'convinced', 'conviction') as a synonym for a believer's 'faith' is conflation, giving it more credit than is even claimed by "Paul".


  • braincleaned

    Yes, I agree adamah.
    Well said. I could have used a better translation.

    The point is this; Faith is not a virtue, by far.
    No matter how one works to prove one has it.

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