'The Objective Standard' Weighs In: "The American Way to Save America"

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2010-09-17 00:42

Craig Biddle argues that hitherto there have not been adequate grounds for blocking the GZ Mosque. I disagree, for reasons which have been amply laid out on other threads: we're at war, declared by them, and we're entitled to assume that Mosques are war HQ with the onus being on them to demonstrate otherwise. In every other respect, including the need for unrelenting philosophical war against all goblinism (faith-based belief - faith being the foundation of force) and the eschewing of tolerance and the phony packaging of non-judgmentalism with non-initiation of force, I agree with this article.

Excerpt:

To accept faith as a means of knowledge is to capitulate to the Islamists completely. If faith is legitimate, then the tenets of Islam—which are accepted on faith—are legitimate. By what standard could a religionist argue otherwise?

Many Americans now realize that we need to launch an all-out cultural war against Islam. But few Americans are willing to face the fact that in order to do so we must repudiate the root of Islam—the notion that faith is a means of knowledge—and that this means repudiating religion as such.

Faith cannot provide people with life-serving guidance; it can lead only to destruction and death. If people want to live and prosper, they must embrace reason and the corresponding requirements of human life on earth: They must recognize and uphold rational principles such as the necessity of looking at reality and thinking for oneself, the necessity of being productive and trading with others, the necessity of judging people’s character rationally and treating them accordingly, the necessity of recognizing and respecting each individual’s right to act on his own judgment for his own sake so long as he does not violate the same right of others. These are the principles codified in Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, and it is high time Americans and Westerners in general discovered them.

The cultural war against Islam is not and cannot be against Islam alone; it is and must be against faith in general. If Americans want to save this country and live their lives in peace and security, they must summon the courage to condemn religion across the board and embrace a philosophy of reason.


Richard

Callum McPetrie's picture

We're not talking random, arbitrary statements that hold no weight with whoever says them. Of course it's possible to say "God exists" and say "I don't believe in God" and not contradict yourself - but only if you don't believe the first statement, or deny the second (eg, if you say it out of irony/sarcasm/as a joke etc). As thus, it is not a belief and therefore completely and totally irrelevant to our conversation.

A belief denotes a certain relationship between subject and object: A believes B, where A is the subject (eg. Bob) and B is a statement about the external world (eg that the sky is blue). To use the example, in order for the statement "Bob believes that the sky is blue" to be true, Bob must affirm the statement that "the sky is blue". If he doesn't, the statement is false - Bob doesn't believe that the sky is blue.

"The statements, "I believe in God" and "God doesn't exist", can both be true at the same time."

Keeping in mind, of course, that this is all totally irregardless of whether the sky is actually blue, or not.

Callum

Richard Goode's picture

Could you explain this one a bit better?

If you say, "The sky is blue", you've made a statement about the sky. You've said what colour it is. You've said nothing about yourself.

If you say, "I believe that the sky is blue", you've made a statement about yourself. You've said what you believe. You've said nothing about the sky.

Two statements contradict each other if, and only if, they can't both be true at the same time.

The statements, "I believe in God" and "God doesn't exist", can both be true at the same time. So, if you say, "I believe in God, but He doesn't exist", you haven't contradicted yourself in saying so.

the first claim - that God doesn't exist - is also a statement of belief.

No, it's a statement about God.

"Of course, it's a safe bet

Callum McPetrie's picture

"Of course, it's a safe bet that when someone says, "I believe in God", they'll assent to the proposition, "God exists". But that's a different claim. It might seem odd for someone to claim that God doesn't exist, and also to claim to believe that He does, but at least they haven't contradicted themselves in claiming so."

Could you explain this one a bit better? Presuming, of course, that the claim to believe in God is real - ie, he actually does believe in God. And, of course, remembering that the first claim - that God doesn't exist - is also a statement of belief.

"No, it doesn't. Y cannot be aware of something that doesn't exist."

I don't disagree. That's why I've been acting on the basis of Y claiming awareness.

Callum

Richard Goode's picture

when someone says "I believe in God", they are making the claim that God exists

No, they're not. When someone says, "I believe in God", they are making the claim that they believe in God.

Of course, it's a safe bet that when someone says, "I believe in God", they'll assent to the proposition, "God exists". But that's a different claim. It might seem odd for someone to claim that God doesn't exist, and also to claim to believe that He does, but at least they haven't contradicted themselves in claiming so.

Y cannot say that X exists, then claim no awareness of X, as Y making the claim that X exists implies Y's awareness of X's existence (whether justified, real, or not).

No, it doesn't. Y cannot be aware of something that doesn't exist.

Richard

Richard Goode's picture

Richard, how do you define "knowledge"?

The theory of knowledge I advocate is called reliabilism.

According to reliabilism, one knows that p (p stands for any proposition, e.g., that the sky is blue) if and only if p is true, one believes that p, and one has arrived at the belief that p through some reliable process.

There can be different kinds of knowledge because there can be different kinds of reliable process. Basing one's beliefs on evidence and reason is one such reliable process. Knowledge arrived at this way precludes faith, since faith is belief not resting on logical proof or material evidence.

"To be *aware* of something

Callum McPetrie's picture

"To be *aware* of something implies that you have empirical data (e.g., of the senses), i.e., that you have material evidence of some sort."

Yes, to properly be aware. To claim to be aware is a different matter, because when someone says "I believe in God", they are making the claim that God exists - they are not saying that "I think God might exist, but I'm not sure". Saying that God exists, they simultaneously claim awareness of his existence, whether justified (or real) or not. Put another way: Y cannot say that X exists, then claim no awareness of X, as Y making the claim that X exists implies Y's awareness of X's existence (whether justified, real, or not).

"But so is your claim that premise 2 is based on faith, so your conclusion (above) doesn't follow."

Could you demonstrate why? What I laid out very briefly was that, even though a ruler may find reasons that justify him having superiority over the lives of others based on his superiority, his acceptance of those reasons is ultimately always based in faith - and hence, his belief that he has the right to rule others. I'd like to see it refuted.

"For a belief to be an article of faith, you'd have to have thought enough about what justifies your belief to realise that it's not supported by logical proof or material evidence, acknowledge this, and then choose not to reject the belief."

I'm not sure this is entirely the case. All that simply needs to happen is that someone would completely believe in something, totally irregardless of the arguments for and against it. I highly doubt that anything more than 0.0001% of all the world's fervent believers have thought about their beliefs deeply enough to realise the absurdity of those beliefs, but they believe them regardless.

Richard, how do you do you

Richard Wiig's picture

Richard, how do you define "knowledge"?

So, in order to be aware of

Richard Wiig's picture

So, in order to be aware of God, you have to acknowledge that you have no awareness of God. Yes, that makes sense to me.

Richard

Richard Goode's picture

And what is this "reliable process"?

The reliable process in question is the process of having been created by God with certain innate knowledge, e.g., knowledge of right and wrong.

Callum

Richard Goode's picture

would you claim that accepting something on faith is a claim to be aware of a certain fact in the external world, without the necessary qualification of it being justified?

No. To be *aware* of something implies that you have empirical data (e.g., of the senses), i.e., that you have material evidence of some sort. To accept something on faith is to believe something in the *absence* of logical proof or material evidence, and, importantly (see my amended definition below), to acknowledge this absence. But it is possible in principle to have knowledge not resting on logical proof or material evidence, and to accept on faith what you claim to know, e.g., knowledge of right and wrong.

What is based in faith is that their perceived superiority provides a reason to regulate the lives of others.

Nice syllogism. Premise 2 is false, of course. But so is your claim that premise 2 is based on faith, so your conclusion (above) doesn't follow.

People believe all sorts of false things. Often, they mistakenly believe that they have logical proof or material evidence to justify their beliefs. More usually, they just accept what they're told as true, without question. These beliefs are not articles of faith. They're just mistaken beliefs.

For a belief to be an article of faith, you'd have to have thought enough about what justifies your belief to realise that it's not supported by logical proof or material evidence, acknowledge this, and then choose not to reject the belief.

"No. Faith is not knowledge,

Callum McPetrie's picture

"No. Faith is not knowledge, not a means to knowledge, and not a claim to knowledge, either."

But, would you claim that accepting something on faith is a claim to be aware of a certain fact in the external world, without the necessary qualification of it being justified?

"No. Usually tyrants attempt to justify their tyranny, e.g., by claiming to occupy the moral high ground."

They do. What is based in faith is that their perceived superiority provides a reason to regulate the lives of others. Let's put it in a syllogism:

1) A is superior to B.
2) A's superiority to B justifies A having control over the life of B.
Therefore: A has the right to control the life of B.

Here, premise 2 is based on faith because it could only be justified by reference to either the good of God, or of some other abstraction higher than any individual human being (eg. society). However, it could never be objectively proven what is good for God, or for society, if we accept either as the standard of good. Therefore, if the second statement in the syllogism can only be justified by appealing to the good of either God or society, but belief in what is good for either can only justified by faith, then the belief that "A's superiority to B justifies A having control over the life of B" can only be based in faith.

A Wolf in Dame Ednas Clothing

HWH's picture

To see the throngs of brainwashed victims of this cruel creed still
enthralled by this frocked fart as he perambulates about in his little
custom golf-cart makes me sick to the stomach. This alone should be
enough evidence to denounce and convict the whole sorry organisation
for crimes against humanity. Hats off to Dawkins for so eloquently
exposing this old fraud and his ilk for the lecherous old scumbags they
are.





Where did that doctrine
of eternal punishment for men and women and children come from? It came
from the low and beastly skull of that wretch in the dug-out. Where did
he get it? It was a souvenir from the animals. The doctrine of eternal
punishment was born in the glittering eyes of snakes -- snakes that
hung in fearful coils watching for their prey. It was born of the howl
and bark and growl of wild beasts. It was born of the grin of hyenas
and of the depraved chatter of unclean baboons. I despise it with every
drop of my blood. Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that
will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men
have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are
leaves on all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over.
Tell me these men are in hell; that these men are in torment; that
these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished
forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of
lies (Robert Green Ingersoll- Liberty of all)


digital camera scanner

Richard Dawkins' Speech at Protest the Pope March

Marcus's picture

Most UK Catholics support abortion and use of contraception

Marcus's picture

Unlike Rosie, there is some reason over faith amongst Catholic Church goers in the UK.
...............................................................................

"Seven out of 10 British Catholics believe that a woman should have the right to choose whether to have an abortion, according to a remarkable new poll that shows how far out of step the Vatican is with its congregation as Pope Benedict XVI completes his first visit to the UK.

The poll conducted by YouGov, which also revealed that nine out of 10 Catholic worshippers support the wide availability of contraception, quizzed a sample of more than 1,600 practising Catholics about their views on the vexed issues of abortion and contraception."

http://www.independent.co.uk/n...

And what is this "reliable

Richard Wiig's picture

And what is this "reliable process"?

Kasper

Richard Goode's picture

Have you read Rands essay: Metaphysical versus the Man-made?

No. Have you read Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion?

A century before Darwin, and two centuries before Rand, Hume utterly demolished the Argument from Design (and all other extant arguments for the existence of God).

As for human beings having innate knowledge from an unprovable, 'fantatious' creator I think you've gone several steps up the abstract ladder - if you will - with links of proof missing.

Yes. You need faith for this one. But I wasn't actually asserting this proposition; just that it sounds plausible to me.

Callum

Richard Goode's picture

Faith is not knowledge, it is a claim to knowledge.

No. Faith is not knowledge, not a means to knowledge, and not a claim to knowledge, either.

I claim that there are (at least) two kinds of knowledge. There's the regular kind, which is justified (by logical proof or material evidence), true belief. And there's a special variety, which is belief which is true in virtue of the nature of the knower. ("Pre-installed" knowledge, to hark back to my earlier analogy.)

What makes a true belief knowledge is that you came to believe it in the right sort of way. The theory of knowledge I'm advocating is called reliabilism.

the foundation of force is the claim that, as a certain group of people or individual is somehow better/more knowledgeable/holier than the rest, that they therefore have the right to rule over the lives of others.

Perhaps.

That is a claim that is always based in faith

No. Usually tyrants attempt to justify their tyranny, e.g., by claiming to occupy the moral high ground.

Amended definition of 'faith'

Richard Goode's picture

Faith is a belief not resting on logical proof or material evidence and *acknowledgement* that the belief in question does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

Without this important qualification, a belief in Objectivist ethics (which does not rest on logical proof or material evidence) would count as faith. As I've said previously, belief in Objectivist ethics is delusion, not faith.

$10,000 Reward for turning in Koran Burning Culprit

Richard Wiig's picture

I have no idea if this is true or not.

The East Lansing Police Department is seeking the publics help to find who is responsible for burning and desecrating a Koran. The incident happened on September 11. It was found at the front door of the Islamic Center of East Lansing.

The department is offering $10,000 for any information that would lead to the identification and prosecution of those responsible for this act.

Those with information are asked to call Det. Sherief Fadly at 517-319-6814.

http://www.wlns.com/Global/sto...

The secular West

Frediano's picture

...can never apologize for its secular freedom, just to appease theocratic politicos elsewhere. The PR campaign that those politicos are running, to try to cling to their theocratic gigs, is not our problem, it is theirs. We shouldn't be aiding them by surrendering/abandoning our own 1st amendment, which, unless we've forgotten, has multiple parts.

A mosque at Ground Zero is subject to all parts of the 1st Amendment, not just half of it.

I agree.....

Kasper's picture

Richard that example was so sloppy on so many levels.

A computer with innate knowledge?... How did it get there? Who discovered the knowledge? How do you get off treating a computer with innate knowledge as an entity seperated from its origin when the origin stares you in the face?

"It is possible in principle to have knowledge "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." Knowledge without evidence ain't possible. Don't tell me that's not what you said becaues if it isn't then you've made an error thinking that you could get away with narrowing material evidence to that which is only ostensible. You cannot ommit the essential facts and links to a given percept when that percept requires those links in order to be possible in the first place.

Dear Goblin!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I thought I was unshockable, till this:

However, it is possible in principle to have knowledge "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." Consider a computer you have just bought with an operating system pre-installed. The computer has a lot of innate knowledge, such as knowledge of the world's different time zones. Analogously, many Christians believe that we were created by God with certain innate knowledge, in particular, knowledge of right and wrong. Sounds plausible to me.

"Faith is a belief "not

Callum McPetrie's picture

"Faith is a belief "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." By definition, faith is not knowledge, or a means to it."

You're quite right here, Richard. Faith is not knowledge, it is a claim to knowledge.

"Faith is not the foundation of force, and there's no need for an unrelenting philosophical war against all religion."

This would depend on how you define faith. A particular religion may well be totally opposed to the initiation of force. However, the foundation of force is the claim that, as a certain group of people or individual is somehow better/more knowledgeable/holier than the rest, that they therefore have the right to rule over the lives of others. That is a claim that is always based in faith (to use your/Rosie's definition), regardless of whether the perpetrators are religious or atheists.

MUSLIM PLOT TO KILL POPE

Marcus's picture

"ISLAMIC terrorists disguised as street cleaners allegedly hatched an audacious plot to blow up the Pope.

The threatened attack was foiled at the 11th hour after police raided a cleaning depot in London as the suspects prepared to start their shift yesterday.

Last night six men – all believed to be North Africans aged between 26 and 50 – were being questioned by detectives.

Five suspects were detained at the cleaning depot and the sixth was held at his home yesterday afternoon...

It is feared plotters with links to Al Qaeda planned “a double blow to the infidel” by assassinating the head of the Roman Catholic church and slaughtering hundreds of pilgrims and well-wishers.

The suspected plot was smashed after Scotland Yard officers swooped on the depot in Marylebone, central London, at 5.45am after a tip-off just hours earlier...

The alleged plot is believed to be the second planned assassination on the Pope recently. In April, Moroccan students Mohamed Hlal, 26, and Ahmed Errahmouni, 22, were deported from Italy, strengthening fears that Al Qaeda were seeking recruits there."

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/...

Richrad

Kasper's picture

Have you read Rands essay: Metaphysical versus the Man-made?

It debunks the common argument that Christians make when they compare and assert that just as we acknowledge and accept that a man-made object had to have a creator so does a non man-made object. The former is man-made and the latter "metaphysical" in this context meaning naturally occuring in reality in the absence of human creation. To equate the two is to loose the distinction between naturally occuring phenomena and humanly created phenomena. The onus of proof lies on those who assert that natually occuring phenomena necessarily must have the same means of coming into existence as man-made phenomena.

Other than raising an interesting point for discussion the plausibility ends there. The computer was created by human beings who have already gained the knowledge that they've implanted into the computer. The computer comes about from the re-arrangement of what's already available to create the computer. The computer is a mere extension of the man-made object and the creator is provable as the link is direct.

As for human beings having innate knowledge from an unprovable, 'fantatious' creator I think you've gone several steps up the abstract ladder - if you will - with links of proof missing.

Links Missing:
God exsits - no proof, absent logic
Creating man out of nothing - no proof, absent logic
Creating anything out of nothing - no proof, absent logic
Giving knowledge (discovered by whom?) out of nowhere to a human being - no proof, absent logic.
The idea that knowledge imparted from another being to a human being concedes the idea that the impartor was more intelligent than the receiver of which we have no proof and absent logic for an imparter yet alone have intelligence.

However, it is possible in

Richard Wiig's picture

However, it is possible in principle to have knowledge "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." Consider a computer you have just bought with an operating system pre-installed. The computer has a lot of innate knowledge,

No it doesn't. Knowledge is a mental grasp of the facts of reality, something that a computer does not have.

Secular liberals are just as

Richard Wiig's picture

Secular liberals are just as enthusiastic about banning things as the religious right. You cannot use "faith is the foundation of force" to explain the actions of secular liberals. You need some other explanation.

No you don't. They are mystics who have faith in the collective, in the "common good", in Gaia, in Social justice, etc, all floating abstractions with as much realness about them as Gourd and other assorted fairies.

Faith is not the suspension

Richard Wiig's picture

Faith is not the suspension of reason.

Accepting something as truth with no evidence, is certainly an abandonment of reason.

Reason is not what enables people to live together peacefully.

Without reason we become mere grunting animals acting on our base instincts with vision that stops pretty much in front of our eyes. There's no living in peace without reason.

Olivia

Richard Goode's picture

A belief is a piece of knowledge which one holds to be a truth. In the case of faith there is no evidence for such knowledge, so it remains purely subjective.

I hope you have faith that you know what you're talking about, because I don't.

Kasper

Richard Goode's picture

If a christian says I believe in god because I have faith then I have no qualms with them. If they say that they "know" god exists because they have faith then a debate will ensue. The error most christians make is to equate their beliefs in the absence of proof with knowledge.

I agree.

However, it is possible in principle to have knowledge "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." Consider a computer you have just bought with an operating system pre-installed. The computer has a lot of innate knowledge, such as knowledge of the world's different time zones. Analogously, many Christians believe that we were created by God with certain innate knowledge, in particular, knowledge of right and wrong. Sounds plausible to me.

Ban, ban, ban

Richard Goode's picture

ban this and ban that, and just ban, ban, ban. They are indeed proponents of force, and there's no arguing with them

Sounds like New Zealand under the fifth Labour government. Secular liberals are just as enthusiastic about banning things as the religious right. You cannot use "faith is the foundation of force" to explain the actions of secular liberals. You need some other explanation. And you can use that other explanation to explain the actions of the religious right. There is no need to blame faith. To do so is to *misidentify* the root cause of the problem.

Where does that leave those who they are trying to force? It leaves them in an impossible position, a position that ultimately can only lead to violence.

Peace through superior firepower

Faith and reason

Richard Goode's picture

[Faith] is the suspension of reason and therefore a rejection of the very thing that enables people to live together peacefully.

Faith is not the suspension of reason.

Reason is not what enables people to live together peacefully.

Hebrews 11v1

Kasper's picture

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." NIV

Bullshit quibbling.

Olivia's picture

As Rosie points out, faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Faith is a belief "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." By definition, faith is not knowledge, or a means to it.

Faith is indeed a claim to knowledge.

A belief is a piece of knowledge which one holds to be a truth. In the case of faith there is no evidence for such knowledge, so it remains purely subjective.

To believe in something without proof.

Kasper's picture

You're quite right Richard that faith is not knowledge nor a means to knowledge. That is precisely the objectivist point. It is the Christians, most of them anyway, that struggle with this. To believe in something without proof and call it knowledge is exactly the premise objectivists will overturn.

If a christian says I believe in god because I have faith then I have no qualms with them. If they say that they "know" god exists because they have faith then a debate will ensue. The error most christians make is to equate their beliefs in the absence of proof with knowledge.

PROPHET CARTOON PAPER 'BOMB TARGET'

Marcus's picture

"A man hurt in an explosion at a Copenhagen hotel was preparing a letter bomb, police have said.

Officers in Denmark claimed that the bomb was likely to have been intended for a Danish newspaper which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad."

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/...

As Richard W points out (yet

Richard Wiig's picture

As Richard W points out (yet again) it's not the followers of Christianity and Judaism - or Sikhism, Taoism or Jediism - who are taking up arms against unbelievers. Faith is not the foundation of force,

They are not taking up arms militarily, but the would use force against others to ban abortion, ban stem cell research, ban pornography, ban this and ban that, and just ban, ban, ban. They are indeed proponents of force, and there's no arguing with them, because reason is not their modus operandi. Faith is. Where does that leave those who they are trying to force? It leaves them in an impossible position, a position that ultimately can only lead to violence.

and there's no need for an unrelenting philosophical war against all religion. In fact, to agitate for such a war is mutinous.

Of course, being a man of faith, you would say that.

Faith is not the foundation

Richard Wiig's picture

Faith is not the foundation of force

You can quibble about whether or not it's been correctly identified as a means to knowledge, but you can't quibble that it is the suspension of reason and therefore a rejection of the very thing that enables people to live together peacefully.

More Objectivist moronry

Richard Goode's picture

To accept faith as a means of knowledge

Biddle loses all credibility halfway through the first sentence of this excerpt. As Rosie points out, faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Faith is a belief "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." By definition, faith is not knowledge, or a means to it.

This looks to me like a typical Objectivist redefinition of a commonly used term (like 'reason', 'altruism' or 'dogma') to mean something quite different. In this case, Biddle is redefining 'faith' to mean 'divine revelation' (and, perhaps, 'innate belief'). Of course, the term 'faith' can also refer to a religion or to religion in general, so, by another quick equivocation, Biddle can switch from attacking those who hold beliefs on faith, to attacking religion in general.

If Biddle had ever taken Epistemology 101, he'd know that knowledge is standardly characterised as "justified, true belief," and be fully aware that knowledge *precludes* faith.

There's a war on. Against *Islam*. As Richard W points out (yet again) it's not the followers of Christianity and Judaism - or Sikhism, Taoism or Jediism - who are taking up arms against unbelievers. Faith is not the foundation of force, and there's no need for an unrelenting philosophical war against all religion. In fact, to agitate for such a war is mutinous.

Yes, an excellent article. If

Richard Wiig's picture

Yes, an excellent article.

If the insulting nature of a building is taken as legitimate grounds for government to ban its construction, what is to stop government from banning the construction of churches or synagogues, which insult not only (true) Muslims but also many atheists?

Perhaps the fact that followers of Christianity and Judaism are not taking up arms against unbelievers?

Well done

gregster's picture

Very good article Mr Biddle. Thanks for the Linz-link.

The Pope is obviously a twit.

Richard Wiig's picture

The Pope is obviously a twit. Someone should draw a cartoon and burn the Bible.

Faith is not so much a means

Richard Wiig's picture

Faith is not so much a means of knowledge as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof

But you take divine revelation as knowledge. The means there is surely faith.

Pope likens the rise of atheism in Britain to the Nazis

Marcus's picture

Rosie and Pope make excellent bedfellows. Wait a minute, she would have to be a "boy" for that Smiling
.............................................................................................................................................

"The Pope has urged Catholics to speak out in defence of their faith amid a 'dictatorship of relativism' which 'threatens to obscure the unchanging truth about man's nature, his destiny and his ultimate good'.

Speaking to a crowd of 70,000 in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park last night, Benedict XVI argued that the 'evangelisation of culture is all the more important in our times'.

Hours earlier he had launched an extraordinary salvo against 'aggressive secularism' on his arrival in Britain.

German-born Benedict XVI compared atheism to the forces of Nazism during an address in which he took his critics head on."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

To accept faith as a means of

Rosie's picture

To accept faith as a means of knowledge

I am not sure that this sentence is correct.

Faith is not so much a means of knowledge as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. I would dispute that faith could validly be considered a means of "knowledge" in the sense of apprehending truth through reasoning (which is how I think the word is being used here although there are different forms of knowledge that do not require proof e.g. I could have knowledge about all the verses of the Bible without proof that it is true; or I could have knowledge about the Theory of Evolution, Big Bang theory, Block Universe Theory etc without proof that it is true).

Not true

Olivia's picture

All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way.

That is not an assumption it is an observation. Order and laws are deduced by observation of facts. Faith is something completely different. You are really stretching here.

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

1. Christian Faith does not preclude the following:

[Recognizing and upholding] "rational principles such as the necessity of looking at reality and thinking for oneself, the necessity of being productive and trading with others, the necessity of judging people’s character rationally and treating them accordingly, the necessity of recognizing and respecting each individual’s right to act on his own judgment for his own sake so long as he does not violate the same right of others."

Ah, but Goblianity *does* preclude those things and *all* rational principles. It posits nonsense and demands we accept it without evidence. Just to take "looking at reality and thinking for oneself" - the essence of Goblianity is submission. To the non-existent, at that!

2. Each person, whether he has a religion of not, relies on some kind of faith. e.g., the faith that some lunatic is not going to drive on the wrong side of the road and kill you when you step in to your car and drive on the motorway, the faith that some lunatic is not going to assault you on the street, the faith that John Key is not going to become a Muslim tomorrow, the faith that Linz is not going to ban me from this site because I disagree with him again!

Those are not examples of faith. Faith is belief without evidence. There is evidence for all those propositions, which must in reason be tempered by counter-evidence: there *are* lunatics who'll drive on the wrong side of the road, John Key *would* become a Muslim if it meant getting re-elected, Linz *might* ban you if he thought you were engaging in bad faith when defending faith, etc. Reason is all about weighing evidence. Faith is all about discounting evidence.

3. If the faith is not violent and respects individual freedom of choice, then there is no rational principle to prohibit faith and would in fact be a violation of the very freedom one wishes to uphold.

No one is talking about prohibiting faith. We leave prohibition to the faith-peddlers.

4. Science also rests on faith. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.

Science rests on evidence. Nature is not "ordered" - it simply is. It's the *standard* of "rational and intelligible." If it were a "jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed" it wouldn't exist.

5. Thus both religion and science are founded on faith in the sense of a belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence. And until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, any claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus. So, at the end of the day, you have as much right to attack faith for faith's sake as you do for your faith that science will provide a complete account of the universe that excludes a Creator.

Existence exists. It doesn't require explanation. But your Lonely Goblin sure as hell does.

6. Faith being the foundation of force is a false premise. Explain why "faith" is the foundation for atheists robbing a bank, raping a woman. and other crimes initiated from force.

Faith is the philosophical negation of reason; force is the practical implementation of that negation. I've yet to hear of a conscientious advocate of reason who robbed a bank or committed a rape. If one did, he'd be a hypocrite.

Olivia

Rosie's picture

All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. That is faith, Olivia, not a proceeding from fact. Check out imaginary time, Theory of Relativity, Block Universe Theory, Big Bang Theory et al. Where is the fact there from your perspective?

Speak to a scientist and ask if science proceeds from faith. (I believe I recall your saying you listen to those wiser than yourself. I presume that you can not be a scientist.)

There is reason for my faith. In addition I have examined the Book of Revelations and read prophecy about the future unseen i.e., before it has happened (from the position in time of the writer) which has since been tested and found true.

Crucial to the article's inaccuracy, however, is the false premise upon which it is based.

Tell me where the Buddhist faith has its foundation in force for example.

Rosie...

Olivia's picture

faith in a religion is faith in something without reason.... things unseen and untested, untried and untrue.
Science etc does not proceed on faith but on what is factual... so far. Huge difference.
You're rationalizing again.

Linz

Rosie's picture

I can not agree with the article for the following reasons:

1. Christian Faith does not preclude the following:

[Recognizing and upholding] "rational principles such as the necessity of looking at reality and thinking for oneself, the necessity of being productive and trading with others, the necessity of judging people’s character rationally and treating them accordingly, the necessity of recognizing and respecting each individual’s right to act on his own judgment for his own sake so long as he does not violate the same right of others."

2. Each person, whether he has a religion of not, relies on some kind of faith. e.g., the faith that some lunatic is not going to drive on the wrong side of the road and kill you when you step in to your car and drive on the motorway, the faith that some lunatic is not going to assault you on the street, the faith that John Key is not going to become a Muslim tomorrow, the faith that Linz is not going to ban me from this site because I disagree with him again!

3. If the faith is not violent and respects individual freedom of choice, then there is no rational principle to prohibit faith and would in fact be a violation of the very freedom one wishes to uphold.

4. Science also rests on faith. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.

5. Thus both religion and science are founded on faith in the sense of a belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence. And until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, any claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus. So, at the end of the day, you have as much right to attack faith for faith's sake as you do for your faith that science will provide a complete account of the universe that excludes a Creator.

6. Faith being the foundation of force is a false premise. Explain why "faith" is the foundation for atheists robbing a bank, raping a woman. and other crimes initiated from force.

Neil,

Sandi's picture

Here is a fine example of why there is a need to restrict Moslem immigration

Recently I attended a presentation by

Sandi's picture

Dr. Maryanne Garry (Professor at the School of Psychology. Victoria University) and 2 of her Phd students, who spoke about a series of experiments showing how people fall victim to completely irrelevant information and rapidly come to believe things that just aren't so.

In other words if you repeat lies enough times, people will believe it.

Here is a classic example of how it works.

Some American schools are feeding US kids on goblin kaka!

More examples of "Infiltration and Subversion of Western Education" -
Trencherbone

Immigration

Neil Parille's picture

One solution to the problem is to restrict Moslem immigration. Biddle never mentions that. In fact, Biddle thinks America's immigration policies are immoral. His "open immigration" policy would allow tens of millions of Moslems to enter the US.

I once emailed Biddle and asked him if considers Israel's immigration laws immoral and he never answered. I asked him if NZ (with four and one half million people) should have "open immigration" even if it resulted in a Moslem takeover. No answer.

-Neil

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