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Questions about your faith? Have you been baptized?

May 21 2016 at 2:32 PM
Peter Boghossian  (Login DrPeterBoghossian)
from IP address

The Fifth Horsemen

If your faith is 100% true, then it would not hurt your faith if you really examine your faith. If you really exam your faith and if your faith is 100% true, then your faith would become stronger, not weaker.

Epistemologist & Epistemology Clinician
Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that focuses on how we come to knowledge, what knowledge is, and what processes of knowing the world are reliable. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

The Agenda of the 1 Peter 3:15 Project:
Teaching what is the correct methods to come to knowledge and how to us the correct methods to come to knowledge by using an array of dialectical and clinical tools and transforming a broken world long ruled by unquestioned nonsense into a society built on reason, evidence, and thought-out positions enabling people to live in a better world.

Questions about your “faith”:
1) Do you have faith? What is your faith in?______________________________________________________
2) How do you define the word “faith”?__________________________________________________________
Faith is . . . belief without sufficient evidence and reason.
If a belief is based on insufficient evidence and reason, then any further conclusions drawn from the belief will at best be of questionable value. Believing on the basis of insufficient evidence and reason cannot point one toward the truth. How can you have sufficient evidence and reason for your supernatural deity?____________________________________________________________________
Faith is . . . believing something anyway.
Faith is . . . an irrational leap over probabilities.
Faith is . . . a knowledge claim.
Conclusions one comes to as the result of an epistemological process are knowledge claims.
Faith is . . . a failed epistemology. It is an unreliable method to come to true knowledge.
Faith is . . . not hope. Faith is a false knowledge claim.
When the faithful say, “Jesus walked on water,” they are not saying they hope Jesus walked on water, but rather are claiming Jesus did walk on water.
Faith is . . . an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Assume an historical Jesus existed and was crucified, and that his corpse was placed in a tomb. Assume also that eyewitness accounts were accurate, and days later, the tomb was empty.
One can believe the body arose from the dead and ascended to heaven, one can believe aliens brought aliens brought the body back to life, or one can believe an spirit trapped in the tomb merged with the corpse and animated it.
All of these are extraordinary claims. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Belief in any of the claims would require faith because there’s insufficient evidence to justify any one of these particular options. Belief in any of these claims would also disregard other, far more likely possibilities – for example, that the corpse was stolen, hidden, or moved.
If one claims knowledge either in the absence of evidence, or when a claim is contradicted by evidence, then the word “faith” is used. “Believing something anyway” is an accurate definition of the term “faith”.
Dig Deeper: Bart Ehrman, “How Jesus Became God”.
Faith is . . . pretending to know things that you do not know.
Is pretending to know things that you don’t know beneficial for you?_____________________________
Is it good to pretend to know things that you don’t know about your deity?_________________________
Will your life have any meanings if you stop pretending to know things that you do not know?__________
Is pretending to know things that you do not know true for you?_________________________________
Why should people stop pretending to know things they don’t know if it helps them get through the day?
Should we teach children to pretend to know things that they don’t know?_________________________
Should you have the freedom to pretend to know things that you don’t know?______________________
Would society devolve morally if everybody stopped pretending to know things that they don’t know?___
Is your faith (belief without evidence) beneficial for you?______________________________________
If so, then how?______________________________________________________________________
Do you have faith (belief without evidence) in your deity?______________________________________
Is it good to have faith (belief without evidence) in your deity?___________________________________
Would your life have meaning without faith (belief without evidence)?_____________________________ If everyone abandoned their faith (belief without evidence), would society devolve morally?___________
Why should people stop having faith (belief without evidence) if it helps them get through the day?_____
Faith is . . . pretending to know things that one don’t know.
The “pretending to know things that one don’t know” pandemic hurts us all. Believing things on the basis of something other than evidence and reason causes people to misconstrue what’s good for them and what’s good for their communities. Those who believe on the basis of insufficient evidence create external conditions based upon what thy think is in their best interest, but this is actually counterproductive.
The less one relies on reason and evidence to form conclusions, the more arbitrary the conclusion. In aggregate, conclusions that result from a lack of evidence can have incredibly dangerous consequences.
Faith is . . . an unreliable and a failed method to come to knowledge and truth.
Faith . . . cannot adjudicate between competing claims.
Faith . . . does not have a built in corrective mechanism.
That is, faith claims have no way to be corrected, altered, revised or modified.
Faith. . . cannot steer one away from falsehood and toward truth.
The only way to figure out which claims about the world are likely true, and which are likely false, is through reason and evidence, not by faith. There is no other way.
Faith . . . cannot pass the “Outsider Test”.
“Faith causes us to distort or even ignore objective data as such we often ignore all evidence that contradicts what we want to believe” – John W. Loftus, The Outsiders Test for Faith (2013)
When people are presented with evidence that contradicts their faith, or are shown that they don’t have sufficient evidence and reason to warrant their faith or learn that the Bible is not worth crap or learn that there’s a contradiction in there faith (the trees could not come before Adam, Genesis 1:11-12 and 1:26- 27, and after Adam, Genesis 2:4-9) or come to understand that their reasoning is in error, they seem to cling to their faith (non-sense) more tenaciously. That is just plain crazy and stupid.
Are you ready to become self-aware of your ignorance?_______________________________________
Are you ready to start thinking like a scientist?_______________________________________________
Are you ready to learn the truth, the real truth? ______________________________________________
Can your faith pass the “Outsider Test”? ___________________________________________________
Faith . . . is slowly falling into disrepute.
The forces of unreason are diminishing in number.
Faith . . . taints or at worst removes our curiosity about the world, what we should value, and what type of life we should lead.
Faith. . . is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.
Science. . . adjusts it’s views (belief) based on what’s observed.
Faith . . . replaces wonder with epistemological arrogance disguised as false humility.
Faith . . . immutably alters the starting conditions for inquiry by uprooting a hunger to know and sowing a warrantless confidence.
“All men by nature desire to know” Aristotle (Book 1 of Metaphysics)
Faith . . . is by definition the belief in something regardless or even in spite of evidence.
"A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence" David Hume
Faith. . . has evolved mechanisms to shield it from analysis.
Faith. . . is not a virtue.
Faith . . . fly’s you into buildings.
Science fly’s you to the moon.
Faith . . . may not move mountains, but you should see what it does to buildings.
Faith . . . that is asserted without proof can be demised without proof.
Faith . . . Having faith in something just because you fear the consequences of not having faith in it is no reason to have faith in it.
Faith . . . is a delusion. When one person is deluded, it is called insanity, when many people are deluded, it is called religion.
Faith . . . means not wanting to know what is true.
Faith . . . is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail.
Faith . . . means making a virtue out of not thinking. It’s nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith and enable and elevate it are our intellectual slaveholders, keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction. Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don’t have all the answers to think that they do.
Faith . . . When there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.
Faith . . . is a device of self-delusion, a sleight of hand done with words and emotions founded on any irrational notion that can be dreamed up.
Faith . . . is the attempt to coerce truth to surrender to whim. In simple terms, it is trying to breathe life into a lie by trying to outshine reality with the beauty of wishes.
Faith . . . is the refuge of fools, the ignorant and the deluded, not of thinking, rational men.
Faith . . . is nonsense.
Dig Deeper:
Sam Harris, The End of Faith (Harris,2004)
John W. Loftus, The Outsider Test For Faith (Loftus, 2013)
Michael Shermer, The Believing Brain (Shermer, 2011)
3) How would you rate your faith on the Horseman Dawkins 1-7 scale?________________________________
Horseman Dawkins scale provides a 1-7 scale, with 1 being absolute belief and 7 being absolute disbelief in a divine entity.
Certainty is an enemy of truth: examination and reexamination are allies of truth.
4) Are you willing to revise your faith if provided sufficient evidence?__________________________________
If your answer is no, then does that mean that your faith is not based on sufficient evidence?_________
Is sufficient evidence is only sufficient evidence only when it backs up your faith but it is not sufficient evidence if it refutes your faith?__________________________________________________________
If the answer is yes, then how does that work?______________________________________________
5) Is your faith a “blind faith”?_________________________________________________________________ There is no need to modify the word ‘faith’ with the word ‘blind’. All faith is blind. All faith is belief on the basis of insufficient evidence. That's what makes it faith. If one had evidence, one wouldn't need faith, one would merely present the evidence. Faith is belief with insufficient evidence. People are not reasoned into their faith and when people are not reasoned into their faith, it is difficult to reason them out of their faith because they'll have to taught how to reason first. People can and should be reasoned out of unreasonable beliefs (faith) (PBS Frontline Documentaries: The Pursuaders and The Merchants Of Cool). Reasoning away faith means helping people to abandon a faulty epistemology. Analytic Thinking . . . promotes faith abandonment. (Boyer – 2012 Study). Start thinking. If one gains a proficiency in certain methods of critical reasoning there is an increased likelihood that one will not hold unreasonable beliefs (faith). This is exactly why the Bible tells you not to think (God’s ways are higher than man’s ways).

* The next five questions deal on how and why otherwise reasonable people embrace absurd propositions:
6) Do you have a history of not formulating your beliefs on the basis of sufficient evidence and reason?_______
7) Did you formulate your beliefs on what you thought was reliable evidence but wasn’t (e.g., the perception of the testament of the Holy Spirit)? ______________________________________________________________
8) Have you ever been exposed to competing epistemologies and beliefs coming straight from the other side?_
9) Have you yielded to social pressures? ________________________________________________________
Do the people around you have unreasonable beliefs and they want you to have the same unreasonable beliefs? ____________________________________________________________________________
Did you formulate your beliefs on the basis of other influences like parochial education, peer pressure, the Bible, or community expectations – all potent forces not subjective to the pressure of evidence?____
Are you pressured into participating in faith rituals?___________________________________________
Dig Deeper:
Cass Sunstein, Going to extremes: How like minds unite and divide.(Sunstein, 2009)
10) Do you devalue truth? Are you a relativist? ___________________________________________________
11) Have you damaged your thinking because you habituated yourself to not proportion your beliefs to the evidence? ________________________________________________________________________________
Do you actually celebrate the fact that you do so?___________________________________________
12) Have you been told that ignorance (non-sense) is a mark of closeness to God, spiritual enlightenment, and true faith?_________________________________________________________________________________
13) Do you have doxastic closure? Are you unwilling to compare your faith to evidence and reason?_________
In The Big Sort, American sociologist Bill Bishop argues that we cluster in politically like-minded communites(Bishop, 2008). One consequence of clustering is to further cement the process of doxastic closure (not thinking). The result is exclusive exposure to skewed information that reinforces preexisting beliefs. This is doxastic entrenchment. This is why you need to be around people who think different from you. This will help you to start thinking and to start asking questions.
Dig Deeper:
It would help a person who has the faith virus to start thinking by asking straight questions and getting straight answers from atheists directly. Matt Dillahunty and the Atheist Community of Austin, Texas have a show called “The Atheist Experience” which sole purpose is to answer questions from people with the faith virus. In addition, it would be a great idea to start watching debates between Christians and Atheists.
If your faith is 100% true, then it would not hurt your faith if you really examine your faith. If you really exam your faith and if your faith is 100% true, then your faith would become stronger, not weaker.
14) Are you willing to “contend for your faith”?____________________________________________________
15) Are you willing to back up your faith with evidence and reason at anytime (1 Peter 3:15)?_______________
Are you willing to face a challenge to your faith without getting mad? _____________________________
16) Are you ready to use an epistemology that is backed up by sufficient evidence and reason) that will bring your faith into alignment with reality?____________________________________________________________
17) Do you have the willpower to follow the truth after you learned the truth? ____________________________
A belief that is not followed by action is a make believe belief.
18) Are you willing to do what is morally right, all of the time? ________________________________________
Do you have “moral disengagement”?_____________________________________________________
19) Is your faith backed up by sufficient scientific evidence and the proper reasoning without using any logical fallacies?_________________________________________________________________________________
For all evidence-based beliefs, it’s possible that there could be additional evidence that comes along that could make one change one’s beliefs. What evidence would you need to make you change your mind? What would make your faith falsifiable? ___________________________________________________
If your faith isn’t falsifiable, then do you really believe on the basis of evidence? ____________________
Why don’t you just say that you’re not open to evidence and that you going to believe anyway?________
Isn’t that a more honest and sincere way to live your life? _____________________________________
Dig Deeper:
Brock and Balloun, “Behavioral receptivity to Dissonant Information” (Brock & Balloun, 1967)
Pascal Boyer, “Religion Explained” (Boyer, 2001).
20) Do you have the proper attitude to learn and follow the truth? _____________________________________
You must have the proper attitude to learn and follow the truth.
Dig Deeper:
Baltag, Rodenhauser, and Smet, “Doxastic Attitudes as Belief-Revision Policies” (2011).
Arie Kruglanski “The Need For Closure”.
21) Are you unwilling to learn the truth because of your ego and narcissism? ____________________________
It’s important not just be aware, but also to be sincere when asking yourself why you hold the beliefs that you do. Sincerity is indispensible not just in leading an examined life, but also in having meaningful relationships.
Are you ready to start being sincere in examining your faith? ___________________________________
23) Do you have a willingness to think critically and independently? ___________________________________
Note: If you have any problems with any question or statement and if you have evidence and reason to back you up, then come eat at the adult table. If not, then stay at the children table.

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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: Questions about your faith? Have you been baptized?

May 22 2016, 3:30 PM 

I find it interesting that the title of this thread by Dr. Peter Boghossian has the word "baptized"; but any reference to baptism is nowhere to be found in the entire narrative/questionnaire.

We can search the Bible [online] for faith-related keywords. My KJV ONLINE search shows me, e.g., references to "faith is" and "by faith" and I can get a clear definition of "faith" and real examples.

But we really need the author of this thread (or his staff) to engage in the discussion. And with this post the discussion has begun!!!

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Dianna Howell
(Login dianna01)

Count me in at the child's table

May 22 2016, 4:58 PM 

I will hold on to my faith and not reason it away.

1 Corinthians 3:18-21 (KJV)
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. [19] For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. [20] And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. [21] Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Questions about your faith? Have you been baptized?

May 22 2016, 6:08 PM 

Claiming that they can REASON OUT the truth and use that to deliberately OFFEND THE LITTLE ONES is the mark of those OF THE WORLD for whom Jesus would not pray.

If you have a remote grasp of the distance between the Spirit or Regulator of the universe you will come to Him like a little child: the wise will never get into the kingdom which does not, did not come with religious observations beyond being a humble student at the feet of Jesus who validated HIS authority by not having a pillow or a place to lay it.

Of the Wise:

[linked image]

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