Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 111
  1. #1
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    95
    Post Thanks / Like

    Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    I have seen the claim that one needs 'faith' to believe in evolution on a couple of different threads here. I couldn't disagree more and would like to find out why theists believe this.

    My premise is that it requires NO faith to believe in evolution.

    Faith:

    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
    2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
    3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
    4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
    5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
    6. A set of principles or beliefs.

    source

    I cannot find any logical reason where belief in evolution requires any of the above definitions of faith (with the possible exception of #6 - and I contend that # 6 would require one to have faith in 'everything').

    The theory of evolution has multiple lines of evidence from many different scientific disciplines. To accept evolution requires critical examination of the evidence free of bias (as much as possible) - not faith.

    Clarification. Clive and eliotitus made excellent points about the OP and I will try to clarify a bit here.

    When I refer to faith I mean it in the sense implied by definition #2 above. Belief despite the lack of material evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence.

    I define material evidence as:

    1. The repeatable and verifiable results of an experiment
    2. A repeatable and consistent observation of nature
    3. A logically consistent hypotheses that accounts for all the data, makes testable predictions and provides a method of falsification.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by bradfeaker; September 14th, 2009 at 11:03 AM. Reason: clarity
    *zip*

  2. #2
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    13,847
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    I have seen the claim that one needs 'faith' to believe in evolution on a couple of different threads here. I couldn't disagree more and would like to find out why theists believe this.

    My premise is that it requires NO faith to believe in evolution.

    Faith:

    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
    2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
    3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
    4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
    5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
    6. A set of principles or beliefs.

    source

    I cannot find any logical reason where belief in evolution requires any of the above definitions of faith (with the possible exception of #6 - and I contend that # 6 would require one to have faith in 'everything').

    The theory of evolution has multiple lines of evidence from many different scientific disciplines. To accept evolution requires critical examination of the evidence free of bias (as much as possible) - not faith.
    I think your claim is overbroad. I think a more narrow claim would nonetheless probably describe your position: it requires no more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in any other scientific theory, such as gravity.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  3. #3
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Venus
    Posts
    3,908
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Interesting Brad, I never saw someone make such a comment.

    I agree that it is odd.

    I personally believe in evolution because of the scientific research and logical conclusions which derives from the findings.

    Nobody needs 'faith' to believe that someone is a murderer when all evidence, which is backed up by scientific proven methods and conclusions, as well as DNA results prove that the said individual is the guilty party.

    Scientific research forms the back bone of both, so I still don't see how you can need 'faith' to actually believe in it.

    With that said, you need to remember that their are still true creationists amongst the Christian community. Some of them truly believe that evolution is from the devil. I think when Christians are faced with hard scientific proof and clear concise facts, it is natural (not necessarily right or logical) to call on their 'faith' to believe in it.
    >>]Aspoestertjie[<<

    ODN Rules

    Join our Facebook Page here!

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    95
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I think your claim is overbroad. I think a more narrow claim would nonetheless probably describe your position: it requires no more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in any other scientific theory, such as gravity.

    Good point - but I don't entirely agree. I take the position that that faith as in definition #2 stated above is NOT required at all. The fact that material evidence exists and the theory is logically consistent completely remove faith from the issue.
    *zip*

  5. #5
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    The theory of evolution has multiple lines of evidence from many different scientific disciplines. To accept evolution requires critical examination of the evidence free of bias (as much as possible) - not faith.
    Do these lines of evidence not lead you to the conclusion that you are confident in the truth of evolution:

    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

    The definition of faith is fulfilled.

    Now I'm guessing you're trying to contrast this with the theological definition of faith. Obviously using English dictionary definitions isn't really going to cut it when you're discussing theolgocial concepts brought up in ancient greek and hebrew texts. So let's have a look at what the Greek has to say on the subject. The word used in the new testamant for this type of faith is:

    πιστις

    The interesting thing about this word is that not only can it be used for "faith" according to the James Morwood dictionary it is also used for proof. Evidently this is something regarded in Greek as rather more substantial than the touted belief without or inspite of evidence.

    The thing that you seem to skip over is that faith is NOT belief without or in the face of evidence. It is simply belief in the strength of an idea. This can be transferred in to the religious sphere. If arguments such as the cosmological, teleological etc. etc. are convincing to you (note that I do not say they have to be impartially clear-cut) then they are "evidence" per se. It is not a matter of disagreeing on the worthwhile nature of evidence that divides atheism and theists it is a division of what constitutes convincing evidence.
    -=]Eliotitus[=-
    "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future"- Oscar Wilde

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    95
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by eliotitus View Post
    Do these lines of evidence not lead you to the conclusion that you are confident in the truth of evolution:

    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

    The definition of faith is fulfilled.

    Now I'm guessing you're trying to contrast this with the theological definition of faith. Obviously using English dictionary definitions isn't really going to cut it when you're discussing theolgocial concepts brought up in ancient greek and hebrew texts. So let's have a look at what the Greek has to say on the subject. The word used in the new testamant for this type of faith is:

    πιστις

    The interesting thing about this word is that not only can it be used for "faith" according to the James Morwood dictionary it is also used for proof. Evidently this is something regarded in Greek as rather more substantial than the touted belief without or inspite of evidence.

    The thing that you seem to skip over is that faith is NOT belief without or in the face of evidence. It is simply belief in the strength of an idea. This can be transferred in to the religious sphere. If arguments such as the cosmological, teleological etc. etc. are convincing to you (note that I do not say they have to be impartially clear-cut) then they are "evidence" per se. It is not a matter of disagreeing on the worthwhile nature of evidence that divides atheism and theists it is a division of what constitutes convincing evidence.
    Excellent point - along with Clive's point about the OP being overly broad.

    To clarify - I am referring to 'faith' in the sense of Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." NKJV.

    As to the teleological, cosmological and other arguments I believe the difference is I can point to concrete supporting evidence for the theory of evolution. I cannot produce any similar evidence for the existence of the judeo-christian God.

    If any such evidence exists I would sincerely like to see it.

    I will edit the OP and narrow the scope of my premise.

    Thanks!!!
    *zip*

  7. #7
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    733
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Here's my take on the issue.

    In modern times, there seems to be some semantic ambiguity regarding the phrase "believe in". Traditionally it means being confident that someone or something is going to do the right thing in the future. But today an existential meaning can also be used (i.e. "believe in God" = "believe that God exists", not "have faith in God's will and plan for the world").

    As far as I understand it, to talk about believing in evolution in the traditional sense is to speak nonsense. Evolution is not an active force with a mind and will of its own, directing lives and events towards some future goal(s). Thus it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of having faith in evolution. On the other hand, to say that one believes, based on the evidence, that evolution exists as a process is altogether different and hardly nonsensical.

    What I think is revealing about the evolution/creationism debate is that, upon careful inspection, there is a profound difference between the worldviews that each implies. Believing in a divine, purposeful creation implies belief in a goal-directed or teleological process -- in other words, the belief in a final destination for us all (and that this final destination must be the right thing for all of us). On the other hand, believing that a non-purposeful, emergent process of change over time (for which "evolution" is shorthand) implies the exact opposite -- that there is no final destination, nor does there need to be.

    It's not that "evolutionists" have rejected creationism and replaced its teleological process with another one. Rather, those who take the process of evolution as true have rejected any alternative goal-directed processes and replaced them with nothing. Where creationists and other theists have a need for a final end result, "evolutionists" simply do not.
    “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."

    - Herbert Spencer

  8. #8
    Will ADMIN 4 Gas Money

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,501
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    I think the question would be better posed as, "Do you need faith to believe in the process of Macro-Evolution." Micro-Evolution, as a process, is scientifically proven and easily observable. Anyone can look at the hundreds of species of dog, for example, and see micro-evolutionary procedures at work. I think the big question of faith as it pertains to evolutionary principle comes into play in the evolution of diverse species from common ancestors on a scale where the originating species may hardly resemble the final result over a long period (single cell organisms to humans, for example). Since we don't really have scientifically observable cases of macro-evolution, I'd say it's quite valid to say that while it seems like a reasonable idea and quite probable that the principles of micro-evolution could, over time, lead towards macro-evolution (and I personally do believe in macro-evolution), it still requires a certain amount of faith to believe in the macro-evolutionary process.
    -= Phrique =-

    I've got mad hits like I was Rod Carew.
    - The Beastie Boys

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    95
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    I think the question would be better posed as, "Do you need faith to believe in the process of Macro-Evolution." Micro-Evolution, as a process, is scientifically proven and easily observable. Anyone can look at the hundreds of species of dog, for example, and see micro-evolutionary procedures at work. I think the big question of faith as it pertains to evolutionary principle comes into play in the evolution of diverse species from common ancestors on a scale where the originating species may hardly resemble the final result over a long period (single cell organisms to humans, for example). Since we don't really have scientifically observable cases of macro-evolution, I'd say it's quite valid to say that while it seems like a reasonable idea and quite probable that the principles of micro-evolution could, over time, lead towards macro-evolution (and I personally do believe in macro-evolution), it still requires a certain amount of faith to believe in the macro-evolutionary process.
    I simply refuse to give any credence to the distinctions micro and macro evolution. Those terms are semantic straw men developed by the ID and creationist movement to confuse the issue. So called 'Macro' evolution has been repeatedly demonstrated in the fossil record and via genetic research. The Darwinian theory of evolution is only a couple of hundred years old - not enough to witness speciation to a complete end. But we have seen speciation occur in bacteria - in the lab and in the 'field'. Having been the personal recipient of MRSA (methycillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) 6 times I can attest personally to the fact of evolution.

    The fossils Tiktaalik and Archaeopteryx both demonstrate the fact of evolution from one species to another as well as other fossils. Evolution requires timescales incomprehensible to most people. I require no faith to evaluate the evidence and come to my own conclusions.

    Cheers...
    *zip*

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,471
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Have you personally witnessed the evolution of a species?

  11. #11
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    733
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Have you personally witnessed the evolution of a species?
    No. I haven't personally witnessed a supernova or a black hole, either.
    “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."

    - Herbert Spencer

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,471
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    No. I haven't personally witnessed a supernova or a black hole, either.
    Ok, so you have faith that they exist.

  13. #13
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    733
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Ok, so you have faith that they exist.
    I'm glad that my response inspired you to be more explicit about your usage of "faith". It now seems clear that your usage of the word conflicts with Bradfeaker's usage given in the OP. Please reconcile this disparity.
    “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."

    - Herbert Spencer

  14. #14
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    13,847
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    Good point - but I don't entirely agree. I take the position that that faith as in definition #2 stated above is NOT required at all. The fact that material evidence exists and the theory is logically consistent completely remove faith from the issue.
    You are making implicit assumptions of scientific axiome, such as "empirical evidence is reliable" (not provable), "the scientific method is a reliable method of proof" (not provable).

    More generally, my argument takes the form of the Munchausen Trilemma.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  15. #15
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    733
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    You are making implicit assumptions of scientific axiome, such as "empirical evidence is reliable" (not provable), "the scientific method is a reliable method of proof" (not provable).
    Strictly speaking, nothing is (logically) provable in (empirical) science.

    More generally, my argument takes the form of the Munchausen Trilemma.
    All arguments depend on one or more premises/axioms. What's wrong with this, exactly?

    I won't go into Gödel's incompleteness theorems just yet.
    “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."

    - Herbert Spencer

  16. #16
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    13,847
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    Strictly speaking, nothing is (logically) provable in (empirical) science.
    Well, given the proper logical and scientific axioms, you can construct proofs.

    All arguments depend on one or more premises/axioms. What's wrong with this, exactly?

    I won't go into Gödel's incompleteness theorems just yet.
    This isn't really about the Incompleteness theorem. This is about the nature of logical axioms, not the scope of logical analysis.

    And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. I'm just saying that axioms are held true a priori, and thus meet the definition of faith.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  17. #17
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Asia
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Isn't all philosophy based on axioms. Therefore, isn't faith necessary in allknowledge?

  18. #18
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    733
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Well, given the proper logical and scientific axioms, you can construct proofs.
    My point was that nothing is ever proven in science, because there is no certainty in science.

    This isn't really about the Incompleteness theorem. This is about the nature of logical axioms, not the scope of logical analysis.

    And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. I'm just saying that axioms are held true a priori, and thus meet the definition of faith.
    If you're going to go with that usage of "faith", like Kevin Browning, then I'd say we all have faith that we'll get up tomorrow morning.

    But somehow I don't think this is what Bradfeaker had in mind by "faith".
    “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."

    - Herbert Spencer

  19. #19
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    13,847
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    My point was that nothing is ever proven in science, because there is no certainty in science.
    ...um, what? I could understand if you meant "If you do not accept their axioms as true, then you cannot be certain of the truth of their conclusions." But by and large humans do accept scientific axioms as true.

    If you're going to go with that usage of "faith", like Kevin Browning, then I'd say we all have faith that we'll get up tomorrow morning.

    But somehow I don't think this is what Bradfeaker had in mind by "faith".
    If Bradfeaker wants to construct a straw man and knock it down, he's free to.

    ---------- Post added at 10:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:48 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    Isn't all philosophy based on axioms. Therefore, isn't faith necessary in all knowledge?
    Yes, that's my argument.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  20. #20
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    Excellent point - along with Clive's point about the OP being overly broad.

    To clarify - I am referring to 'faith' in the sense of Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." NKJV.

    As to the teleological, cosmological and other arguments I believe the difference is I can point to concrete supporting evidence for the theory of evolution. I cannot produce any similar evidence for the existence of the judeo-christian God.

    If any such evidence exists I would sincerely like to see it.

    I will edit the OP and narrow the scope of my premise.

    Thanks!!!
    Bear in mind the context of that verse not only within the chapter but within a theological grounding as a whole (including the rest of the bible). Please note the examples that follow is not faith in God's existance but faith in his honesty and faith to his creed. Trust of his moral system and good intentions. Quite distinct from faith in God himself. We see numerous references elsewhere in the bible as to how we know God exists (if most are only inferred) for example one of the more over declarations:

    Romans 1:
    20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Now moving back to the relevance in this thread. The two faiths being contrasted are actually the same thing. Off the basis of the evidence of that which is around us it is believed that God exists, likewise that evolution is true. If you contrast it with the faith in Hebrews 11 (a faith in the reliability of God as the author of Hebrews then launches in to describing the great faith the ancients had in God's promises) you're simply compairing apples and oranges. The two uses of faith are quite distinct and the faith in Hebrews 11 does not affirm God's existance but trust in him.

    EDIT: Just thought I'd respond to this specifically:

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    As to the teleological, cosmological and other arguments I believe the difference is I can point to concrete supporting evidence for the theory of evolution. I cannot produce any similar evidence for the existence of the judeo-christian God.
    Whether you regard one as more concrete than the other is an irrelevance. If you want something more tangible, the evidence of Jesus' life and ressurection is a more tangible evidence of the judeo-christian God. Whether you regard it as convincing or not on a personal level is irrelevant when you're talking about the levels and styles of faith required. Others do find them convincing evidence thus they are having faith in the same regard that you have faith off the basis of what you regard to be convincing evidence of evolution.
    -=]Eliotitus[=-
    "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future"- Oscar Wilde

 

 
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Evolution is not PROVEN
    By Apokalupsis in forum Science and Technology
    Replies: 190
    Last Post: February 25th, 2013, 09:06 AM
  2. Pope St. Victor
    By Montalban in forum Religion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: April 24th, 2006, 02:38 PM
  3. Galendir is Wrong!
    By PerVirtuous in forum General Debate
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: March 18th, 2006, 04:02 AM
  4. Criteria to get into Heaven.
    By Jamie in forum ODN Polls
    Replies: 151
    Last Post: October 13th, 2005, 11:59 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •