Is faith a choice?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by manifold, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. manifold
    Offline

    manifold Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    48,682
    Thanks Received:
    7,223
    Trophy Points:
    1,830
    Location:
    your dreams
    Ratings:
    +20,692
    Is faith, or lack of it, a choice?

    For people who believe in God, do you think you could choose not to?

    For atheists other than Shogun, do you think you could honestly choose to believe in God, and really actually believe?
     
  2. Ravi
    Offline

    Ravi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    81,318
    Thanks Received:
    12,691
    Trophy Points:
    2,205
    Location:
    Hating Hatters
    Ratings:
    +29,747
    After careful consideration of the evidence, or lack of evidence, of the existence of God, why would it not be a choice to believe or disbelieve?
     
  3. manifold
    Offline

    manifold Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    48,682
    Thanks Received:
    7,223
    Trophy Points:
    1,830
    Location:
    your dreams
    Ratings:
    +20,692
    You can choose what evidence you'll consider and all that, but I just don't understand how the matter is reduced to a simple choice in the end. If you think a true choice exists, I submit that you don't really have faith at all, regardless of whatever choice you think you are making.
     
  4. Ravi
    Offline

    Ravi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    81,318
    Thanks Received:
    12,691
    Trophy Points:
    2,205
    Location:
    Hating Hatters
    Ratings:
    +29,747
    I don't know if I'm getting your meaning.

    If one just doesn't know, one isn't making a choice to believe or to not believe, correct...wouldn't that mean that being unsure is a choice?
     
  5. manifold
    Offline

    manifold Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    48,682
    Thanks Received:
    7,223
    Trophy Points:
    1,830
    Location:
    your dreams
    Ratings:
    +20,692
    No. It would only be a "choice" if surety was also an option. In your example it isn't.

    I'm really struggling with notion that you (and Shogun) don't actually understand the concept of choice. Are you really that dense or are you just pulling my leg?
     
  6. Ravi
    Offline

    Ravi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    81,318
    Thanks Received:
    12,691
    Trophy Points:
    2,205
    Location:
    Hating Hatters
    Ratings:
    +29,747
    I'm just not convinced either way.

    Belief in evolution is a choice. So why not belief in a supernatural being? There's also the fact that it is easier to believe something if you've been indoctrinated as a child...no real choice there, but the choice comes when you learn to reason.
     
  7. manifold
    Offline

    manifold Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    48,682
    Thanks Received:
    7,223
    Trophy Points:
    1,830
    Location:
    your dreams
    Ratings:
    +20,692
    Not really. No more than belief in gravity is a choice. Unless of course you believe that denial in general is a choice. I guess a case could be made to that effect, but not by me and I ain't buying it.
     
  8. Ravi
    Offline

    Ravi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    81,318
    Thanks Received:
    12,691
    Trophy Points:
    2,205
    Location:
    Hating Hatters
    Ratings:
    +29,747
    You do know that there are alternate theories of gravity, correct? So yes, belief in the conventional theory of gravity is a choice.
     
  9. Ravi
    Offline

    Ravi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    81,318
    Thanks Received:
    12,691
    Trophy Points:
    2,205
    Location:
    Hating Hatters
    Ratings:
    +29,747
    Then there is confirmation bias, which means only considering evidence that backs up your belief. One can certainly make a choice to discount things that don't fit.
     
  10. RetiredGySgt
    Offline

    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    39,508
    Thanks Received:
    5,897
    Trophy Points:
    1,140
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Ratings:
    +8,920
    It is a choice. If it is not a freely made choice it is meaningless. That is why forced conversions are failures.

    As for Evolution, the only thing proven in evolution is that WITHIN a species change occurs. There is NO evidence that one creature can evolve into 2 DIFFERENT species. And there is no proof man was an Ape like creature.

    Gravity exists but we do not truly know how it exists. Just the effects of Gravity.
     

Share This Page