Faith - Virtue or Vice?

by nicolaou 49 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nicolaou

    Faith gives you permission to believe that Jesus actually did feed thousands with a few loaves & fishes, walk on water and rise from the grave. All the evidence proves that none of this happened so why persist with faith? Why be dishonest with yourself? What's the point?

    I'm not asking this of newcomers so much but I do scratch my head at some posters who've been around here for a decade or more and have not budged one smegging inch from their starting position.

    If your claim is based only on faith you have nothing. There is a HUGE difference between believing that something is true and claiming that it is true. If faith is your reason for saying something is true just ask yourself why? Faith does not give you reason to believe it just proves you have no valid reason to believe.

    Faith is a vice 'a moral flaw or weakness' (merriam-webster)

    I say that because the foundation of any good, moral code surely must be TRUTH but faith allows, even impels, it's adherents to spread untruths and fallacies and gives the cover of virtue as it does this.

  • Simon

    It is puzzling how religious folk try to explain and prove that certain things happened as told in the bible - the whole point of faith is that there is absolutely no basis for it, it's simply blind trust in an irrational belief.

    I would have more respect for their position if their argument consisted of "it's just what I believe". I'd still think they were barking mad but at least they would be showing some honesty about it for once.

    Of course the reason they don't is because ... well, what do you have to try and gain converts if you have no argument? If your recruitment message is "we believ XYZ based on nothing whatsoever - come join us!".

  • sunny23

    In the large "pastor" thread Cofty started, I quoted another member and then made the statment:

    Psac: "Because I can feel Him in my bones."

    Sunny23: "Or perhaps its your subliminal fear of not having life after death resonating within you? Like Cofty said, many other religious people feel the same way you do towards a God you believe to be false (any God but yours). If one were to invent a new absurd and bogus made-up religion in North Korea, eventually everyone there would believe it and feel it in their bones too :)"

    And then I got this response:

    "Yes, and perhaps because of fear of losing the meaning of life in general. Take away God, that Love and Power and Grace (as they say) that is greater than us, and all life and meaning (for me) goes away. Evolution takes over - that we are just accidents that came through in time out of nothing, and a race of species that will disappear in time, meaninglessly - that all that is in the universe will grow into increasing disorder and then into nothingness - as law of entropy, that all of this shit is just a waste of time. Suffering has been discussed extensively in this thread - the picture of that asian mother with her dead daughter in hand brandishedly brought up from time to time to bring home the point. And we all have our own personal sufferings that we endure and go through each day. To go through all that, endure it, and burn in its fire, and then to find out that all is meaningless anyway, I would immediately end my life to save me all further trouble. After all, I am just an accident and nothing in all this universe has meaning."kassad84

    I know personally as a young JW I used to think the same way. As soon as I would begin doubting the existence of God I would start contemplating the idea of dying without an afterlife and the fear of the unknown and abstract concept of eternal unconsciousness for some reason scared the sh** outta me so I would look up at the stars and convince myself there had to be a God, and I would apologize for that moment of doubt (to make sure I stayed on his good side haha). I think that people refuse to deny their faith or they choose to have faith on the foundation of fear of the unknown coupled with the delusion that "without a God and afterlife there is NO purpose to anything." It's sad to see people say that they would rather kill themselves if life was an "accident" and there was no afterlife when atheists actually feel quite the contrary, that life and well-being is the most important thing of all because it is limited!

    Sam Harris adresses this concept well:

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Let me state what I said here on an older post:

    If I were the All-powerful Creator of all the universe it would be a very easy thing to prove my existence, requirements and will in an indisputable and unambiguous way. Everyone would know of my existence and requirements without them having to put forth effort to believe based on limited, ambiguous evidence that is highly subject to interpretation.

    I would regard faith as a harmful trait that makes one vulnerable to being deceived. My wisdom would cause me to understand that the concept of faith would make it easy for charlatans to devise all manner of false claims and teachings in my name and conveniently use the faith card to guilt persons into believing them in the absence of conclusive proof.

    I would teach my worshipers that faith is a flaw to be avoided and in this way protect them from being easily deceived by charlatans. They would be taught to see the wisdom in refusing to believe false, outlandish claims that require faith since they cannot be conclusively proven. There would be little room for doubt as to who is the true God and what are his requirements. There would not be a multiplicity of false religions as exist today.

    An All-powerful God who values and requires faith from his worshipers, is actually molding their minds in a way that makes them vulnerable to being deceived. It seems to me that such a God would not be very wise at all. Conversely, wise is the charlatan who, being unable to prove his outlandish claims, realizes that he can get persons to believe (or at least convince themselves that they believe) if he can convince them that having faith is a virtue and that disbelieving is an evil. It is the shrewd but powerless - the con[fidence] men - that rely on their victims having confidence - faith - in their claims. Faith is useless to the powerful as they can easily get others to know that their claims are true.

  • galaxie

    Faith is basically a ' wanting to believe ' this in itself is not always a virtue or vice.

    A founded faith ie a belief or hope that an outcome will be to ones satisfaction is very prevelent in us all.

    That is evidence or known circumstances should result in the desired outcome although never guaranteed.

    Then there is faith unfounded but only as a need or wanting to believe even coerced through fear of judgement or punishment.

    This type of faith can be either virtuous or a vice entirely depending on ones point of view.

    This type of faith always has reasoning as to why the person needs it. Its coming to terms with this type of faith which a person finds very difficult as it presents a situatuon which can lead to trauma and a whole new appraisal of the purpose of their being.

    I am speaking from experience, but confronting my faith and realising it was baseless has given me a happier life, not only for me but my children have benefited immensely from being frree thinkers and not bound by blind faith.

    Best wishes.

  • LisaRose

    Faith is not a vice per se, it is only bad if it is based on faulty reasoning. You can have faith in a person, if that person has demonstrated that they are trustworthy. You only get into problems when you put faith in someone that has not demonstrated they are worthy of such faith.

    Most believers do think there is reason to put faith in God, that's the problem, they are basing their faith on words in a book, when there is no evidence that the things in that book happened, or that the person in that book actually exists. I think most people choose to believe as a way of coping with their present life and to make them feel more comfortable about the prospect of dying. That is why they will not question their beliefs, because it is based on emotional needs, not logic. No proof or logical reasoning with work with them, because their belief is not based on logic. It is only when a person is willing to look at the facts and be open to where that takes them that they can get rid of the God delusion.

    There is some evidence that some people are genetically inclined to have a religious faith and some are not.

  • Simon

    Thanks for the link to the Sam Harris video - hadn't seen those before !

  • sunny23

    you're welcome Simon

    IslandMan that's a great point: faith is useless and counterproductive to the powerful who desire to be followed in a specific way.

    The concept of requiring FAITH for SALVATION is silly. Apply it to firefighters. If God was a firefighter.


    To me, 'Faith' seems to be ultimately about the fear of dying and having 'faith' in living beyond death. I would really like to hear about a religion that isn't based on 'hoping' to never die or on going to some 'Paradise ' after death. The opposite of Faith is just accepting our finality and living in the Now, making the most of the life we are currently living. Everything dies. Nothing comes after. Get over it and live Life like there's no tomorrow. Because the present is really all we've got.

  • cofty

    Believers never want to talk about the sort of faith that is the topic of this thread. They want to change the subject to talk about having trust in somebody who you already know exists.

    It is a dishonest way of avoiding the hard question.

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