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  1. #1
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    origins of faith

    do christians think that a reasonable person can come to know god through reviewing the evidence? if so, what is the evidence?

    if not, how does one come to faith?

    if faith in the christian god is not reached through reason, is it given by god?

    if it is given by god, why is it only given to some?

    if it not reached through reason or given by god, how is it achieved?
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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fugue View Post
    do christians think that a reasonable person can come to know god through reviewing the evidence? if so, what is the evidence?

    if not, how does one come to faith?

    if faith in the christian god is not reached through reason, is it given by god?

    if it is given by god, why is it only given to some?

    if it not reached through reason or given by god, how is it achieved?
    No, reason is not asked for nor encouraged in most christian organizations.

    According to the bible god chooses.

    See above.

    He chooses.

    Is it really necessary to achieve?

  3. #3
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    Re: origins of faith

    Origins of faith lie in the trust that is in the first instance built up in looking at the smiling face of 'your mother' and the 'warmth and intimacy of cuddles'. It then expands into a wider faith and trust that includes our own processes of reasoning. Since our own reasoning is prone to fallibility, none of us can guarantee that we have a 100% handle on the truth, but since we need to believe in something we also need to have faith. {Whether this faith lies in belief or disbelief when it comes down to specifics is usually guided by our life experiences.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fugue
    do christians think that a reasonable person can come to know god through reviewing the evidence?
    No, one can not know God through reason, but only through Christ.

    However, one may come to believe in God through reason and later come to know him.

    if so, what is the evidence?
    Creation and the revelations of God.
    if faith in the christian god is not reached through reason, is it given by god?
    That depends on wether you folow the Calvanist or Arminian tradition.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post


    That depends on wether you folow the Calvanist or Arminian tradition.
    Its in the bible but than not all "christians" follow the bible now do they!

    God chooses, i've pointed it out many times!


    The Romans walk of faith is the most pointed example!

    God chooses whom will follow him, they than say yes or no. However the original decision begins with god!

  6. #6
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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    No, one can not know God through reason, but only through Christ.

    However, one may come to believe in God through reason and later come to know him.
    if one only comes to know through christ, do those who do not know chose to not transit through christ? this is the heart of many people's atheism. i don't know god, and so i must assume i haven't gone through christ. but why not? if christ would help me know, i would not object. but this has never happened. my question is why.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Creation and the revelations of God.
    i don't see how you can answer this question like this if you answered the first the way you did. you said we cannot come to know god through reason, and then answer the evidence to knowing god is creation and revelation. i may have misunderstood you. but i wonder if the evidence of creation is sufficient to know or even believe in the christian god. as far as revelation, on what evidence do we accept that?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    That depends on wether you folow the Calvanist or Arminian tradition.
    but this is the heart of the problem. if god chooses us, than i must ask if he hasn't chosen me? and if he hasn't chosen me, why not? if i must choose god, how can i make such a choice when i do not know him? if i can only know him through christ or believing in christ, on what basis do i take such a leap of faith? the evidence is insufficient to prove or even thoroughly convince... so i find no basis to believe in christ. so i cannot know god. and yet i am held accountable.

    the basic point is that if god chooses, atheists will burn in hell because of god's choice. if we choose, then atheists will burn in hell because they do not believe in something that lacks sufficient reason to believe in. how is this just?
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  7. #7
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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fugue
    if one only comes to know through christ, do those who do not know chose to not transit through christ? this is the heart of many people's atheism. i don't know god, and so i must assume i haven't gone through christ. but why not? if christ would help me know, i would not object. but this has never happened. my question is why.
    Forgive me, I was playing word games with you. When I said that one can only know God through Christ I was refering to the Christian concept of actually "knowing" God. That is having a relationship with God and knowing His love. That can come only through Christ.

    Thats why I also said that one can believe in God through reason. The Christian recognizes the difference. The Bible says that even the demons believe in God and tremble, but they do not know Him.

    I apologize for having done that, I thought you might know enough about this sort of thing to catch my drift when I highlighted the words know and believe.

    I for one lean heavily towards the arminian tradition and so believe that Free Will plays a major role in man's salvation. That is that it is left up to us, as individuals, to decide to believe in God and further to accept Christ's invitation to "know" God.

    i don't see how you can answer this question like this if you answered the first the way you did. you said we cannot come to know god through reason, and then answer the evidence to knowing god is creation and revelation. i may have misunderstood you. but i wonder if the evidence of creation is sufficient to know or even believe in the christian god. as far as revelation, on what evidence do we accept that?
    See above. Belief in God is only the first step or one of the first steps in coming to know God. And I argue that reason is one way of coming to a belief in God. Creation and revelation is one of the foundations of coming to believe in God through reason.

    but this is the heart of the problem. if god chooses us, than i must ask if he hasn't chosen me? and if he hasn't chosen me, why not? if i must choose god, how can i make such a choice when i do not know him? if i can only know him through christ or believing in christ, on what basis do i take such a leap of faith? the evidence is insufficient to prove or even thoroughly convince... so i find no basis to believe in christ. so i cannot know god. and yet i am held accountable.

    the basic point is that if god chooses, atheists will burn in hell because of god's choice. if we choose, then atheists will burn in hell because they do not believe in something that lacks sufficient reason to believe in. how is this just?
    Why is there insufficient reason? I find more than sufficient reason. You have judged the reason insufficient, that is your choice, a poor one in my opinion. However, just because you believe insufficient reason exists, does not mean that it is so. On the contrary many have judged there to be more than sufficient and have come to belief through such reason. Antony Flew, a leading atheist philosopher came to the conclusion that there was intelligent cause behind the universe, i.e. God. Of course his concepts of God are far different than mine, but for such a strong atheist to judge there sufficient reason just goes to show that reason does exist. But then again, it is your choice to accept or reject that reason.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  8. #8
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    Re: origins of faith

    Faith is recieved through asking Jesus to come into your heart.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Everyone has the ability to ask Jesus into their heart.

    Christianity is open to everyone.
    Last edited by Rawkhard; November 14th, 2006 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Use all of your gifts for God's glory.

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawkhard View Post
    Faith is recieved through asking Jesus to come into your heart.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Everyone has the ability to ask Jesus into their heart.

    Christianity is open to everyone.
    Well said, one point however what makes christianity different than any other religion?
    My opinion (just an opinion) is that christians (as well as most major religions) seem to think they are the only way to something that cannot be proven. So if this be the case would it not seem that any religion is right?
    As for faith, while i do understand that faith is necessary what about those (like myself - that want facts) can we not have facts, or proof?

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by wannaextreme View Post
    Well said, one point however what makes christianity different than any other religion?
    My opinion (just an opinion) is that christians (as well as most major religions) seem to think they are the only way to something that cannot be proven. So if this be the case would it not seem that any religion is right?
    As for faith, while i do understand that faith is necessary what about those (like myself - that want facts) can we not have facts?
    Christianity is different from any other religion because it is the only one in which
    God actually came and died so that we can be free of sin.
    Use all of your gifts for God's glory.

  11. #11
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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Why is there insufficient reason? I find more than sufficient reason. You have judged the reason insufficient, that is your choice, a poor one in my opinion. However, just because you believe insufficient reason exists, does not mean that it is so. On the contrary many have judged there to be more than sufficient and have come to belief through such reason. Antony Flew, a leading atheist philosopher came to the conclusion that there was intelligent cause behind the universe, i.e. God. Of course his concepts of God are far different than mine, but for such a strong atheist to judge there sufficient reason just goes to show that reason does exist. But then again, it is your choice to accept or reject that reason.
    yes, anthony flew converted to deism from a point of atheism. but this poses a problem. he did this because of the complexity of dna sequences. but all that this means is that he acknowledged a complexity that required a designer. this is a far cry from the christian god being an obvious reality. as a deist, he cannot believe in the christian god. i might believe in a creator/designer as easily as i believe in chance existence, but i find no sufficient reason to believe in the christian god. what say you to this?
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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawkhard View Post
    Faith is recieved through asking Jesus to come into your heart.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Everyone has the ability to ask Jesus into their heart.

    Christianity is open to everyone.
    Not really. It's only open to those who have been fortunate to have been raised in a society that at least allows the acceptance of Christian teachings.

    If someone is raised in a society in which Christianity is not accorded any level of validity, people are primarily going to follow the religion that they are taught growing up.
    Ezekiel 4:12 (King James Version)
    And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawkhard View Post
    Christianity is different from any other religion because it is the only one in which
    God actually came and died so that we can be free of sin.
    Why is that necessary?
    After all what is the true meaning of sin?
    Is it always what and how christians label it so?

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFungus420 View Post
    Not really. It's only open to those who have been fortunate to have been raised in a society that at least allows the acceptance of Christian teachings.

    If someone is raised in a society in which Christianity is not accorded any level of validity, people are primarily going to follow the religion that they are taught growing up.
    Yeah. In my country, it is illegal for Malays to convert to Christianity. If you are born Malay, then you must be Muslim all your life.

    So I guess all the Malays in Islamic countries will be headed to Hell, through no fault of their own.
    Trendem

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    Re: origins of faith

    Trendy - You believe as well as I believe, that any loving God would not dispose of humanity in the cursory way that humanity often seems to and want to.

    I am sad at the way the relatively marginal Muslim majority in Malaya are seeking to overturn Article 11 of their constitution which was meant to secure freedom of religious affiliation and practice.

    The problem is that an early verse in the Qu'ran answers: "Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clearly from error" (Sura 2.256 - in Arabic: la ikrah fi'd-din), but this seems to have been put on the 'back burner' in favour of more extreme exaultations; such as:
    Qu'ran (9:73): "O Prophet! Struggle against the unbelievers and hypocrites and be harsh with them".

    'Drafted by a group of experts in 1957, under the auspices of the country's former British rulers, the constitution includes two seemingly contradictory clauses. On the one hand, Article 3 states that Islam is the religion of the federation, and that only Islam can be preached to Muslims. On the other hand, Article 11 guarantees freedom of religion for all. As a result, Malaysia has developed both a general civil code, which is applied universally, and Islamic law, which is applied only to Muslims in personal and family matters.
    .
    .
    .
    The country is now riveted on the fate of ordinary citizens like sales assistant Lina Joy and former religious teacher Kamariah Ali, who are trying to change their religious affiliation through the legal system. Muslim professional organizations and the Islamic opposition political party hold the view that renunciation of Islam is punishable by death. Likewise, the defense by Malaysian civil reform movements of individuals' freedom of conscience has been denounced by some religious leaders as an attack on Islam.

    Currently, Malaysia has no law that would impose the death penalty on apostates. Yet public movements have been formed to highlight this Islamic tenet. If it is not applied, the argument goes, there will be a massive exodus of Muslims to other faiths. The immediate goal is to keep the courts from allowing Lina Joy or Kamariah Ali to convert.'
    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/.../post_406.html

    It is those contradictions in the Qu'ranic works that cause huge problems, because at the same time it is claimed as a complete and unadulterated work of 'Allah' - despite the so-called 'Satanic Verses'.

    In the meanwhile people like Lina Joy and Kamariah Ali continue to suffer because of their beliefs.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by wannaextreme View Post
    Why is that necessary?
    After all what is the true meaning of sin?
    Is it always what and how christians label it so?
    Sin is simply greek for "missing the mark".

    it's every time we do something that we know is wrong according to the bible, and its when we do not do something that we know we should do.
    Use all of your gifts for God's glory.

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    Re: origins of faith

    I think that if faith could come by reason, then God would forego the use of evangelists and simply put on an impressive pyrotechnics show. As it is, however, faith comes through encountering the Holy Spirit. This happens by being around those who are in unity with Him. If you survey those who become Christians (in a true, decision-making kind of way), you will see that it was not so much a fancy campaign or the precisely correct words spoken that drew them, but the Christians they encountered. In my years of ministry this has proven very true. People can be swayed by fancy words, don't get me wrong. There are stadium conversion events where thousands say the "sinners' prayer" and ask Christ into their lives. But these have no root and the words they say are easily forgotten.

    Encounters with people who call themselves by the name of Christ can make or break whether a person comes to faith in Him. Take Gandhi, for example. He lived his life by the principles of Christ, but refused to become a Christian because in his youth he was kicked out of a Christian church for having dark skin. It is a sad story that I see repeated all the time in the lives of some of the most ardent atheists.

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    Re: origins of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    No, one can not know God through reason, but only through Christ.

    However, one may come to believe in God through reason and later come to know him.
    I'm sorry, can you translate that into English? You can't know God through reason, but only through Christ? Is that supposed to make any more sense?

    What would you define is the difference between believe in God, and knowing God?

    I think you are just mincing words.


    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut View Post
    Origins of faith lie in the trust that is in the first instance built up in looking at the smiling face of 'your mother' and the 'warmth and intimacy of cuddles'. It then expands into a wider faith and trust that includes our own processes of reasoning. Since our own reasoning is prone to fallibility, none of us can guarantee that we have a 100% handle on the truth, but since we need to believe in something we also need to have faith. {Whether this faith lies in belief or disbelief when it comes down to specifics is usually guided by our life experiences.
    So that's your argument? We all have to believe in something, therefore we need to have a faith? I am talking religion only here.

    Skeptics of religions and weak atheists do not take thier positions from faith, they take thier position from reasoning. There may be faith involved when it comes to the reasoning itself, but who has a higher chance of having a more realistic view of things, a person who has faith in reason, or faith in faith?
    Last edited by pikatore; November 25th, 2006 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

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    Re: origins of faith

    In a more general sense of origins of faith there have been some interesting medical discoveries about the brain and religion. Some scientists believe there is a particular part of the brain that manifests feelings of a spiritual nature with regards to some things.

    http://www.godpart.com/html/the_premise.html

  20. #20
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    Re: origins of faith

    let's get this thread out in the open...

    the op asked: how does one acheive faith?

    responses:

    Quote Originally Posted by wannaextreme View Post
    No, reason is not asked for nor encouraged in most christian organizations.

    According to the bible god chooses.

    Is it really necessary to achieve?
    i think some christians and their organizations are reasonable... though some are not

    i don't think there is a clear "according to the bible" on this question. one could defend either position... i am inclined to think the weight of evidence is against god simply choosing

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut View Post
    Origins of faith lie in the trust that is in the first instance built up in looking at the smiling face of 'your mother' and the 'warmth and intimacy of cuddles'. It then expands into a wider faith and trust that includes our own processes of reasoning. Since our own reasoning is prone to fallibility, none of us can guarantee that we have a 100% handle on the truth, but since we need to believe in something we also need to have faith. {Whether this faith lies in belief or disbelief when it comes down to specifics is usually guided by our life experiences.
    are you a relativist? the question to you: how, in this view, does god judge anyone? how can someone be guilty for not putting faith in the christian god?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    I for one lean heavily towards the arminian tradition and so believe that Free Will plays a major role in man's salvation. That is that it is left up to us, as individuals, to decide to believe in God and further to accept Christ's invitation to "know" God.
    ok... so we decide to believe in god. i will ask on what grounds, and your response continues:

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Belief in God is only the first step or one of the first steps in coming to know God. And I argue that reason is one way of coming to a belief in God. Creation and revelation is one of the foundations of coming to believe in God through reason.

    Why is there insufficient reason? I find more than sufficient reason. You have judged the reason insufficient, that is your choice, a poor one in my opinion. However, just because you believe insufficient reason exists, does not mean that it is so. On the contrary many have judged there to be more than sufficient and have come to belief through such reason. Antony Flew, a leading atheist philosopher came to the conclusion that there was intelligent cause behind the universe, i.e. God. Of course his concepts of God are far different than mine, but for such a strong atheist to judge there sufficient reason just goes to show that reason does exist. But then again, it is your choice to accept or reject that reason.
    so this is my point. the "sufficient reason" you claim for deciding to believe in god has more to do with a designer of matter and possibly a creator. but this is no way leads to the christian god. i know some atheists who say they are agnostic towards a designer or creator, but are atheist with regard to the christian god. so the question is refined:

    how does one travel from point a (where there is no faith in the christian god) to point b (where there is faith in the christian god)?

    natural theology is insufficient to do this. even proponents of id such as william dembski admit that one can only infer a designer from creation. they don't even think one can infer a creator.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawkhard View Post
    Faith is recieved through asking Jesus to come into your heart.

    Everyone has the ability to ask Jesus into their heart.

    Christianity is open to everyone.
    but why should i ask jesus into my heart? i recognize i have the ability to ask this. i also have the ability to eat my own foot, but i see no good reason to do that. the question remains refined:

    how does one travel from point a (where there is no faith in the christian god) to point b (where there is faith in the christian god)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebird View Post
    I think that if faith could come by reason

    however, faith comes through encountering the Holy Spirit. This happens by being around those who are in unity with Him. If you survey those who become Christians (in a true, decision-making kind of way), you will see that it was not so much a fancy campaign or the precisely correct words spoken that drew them, but the Christians they encountered.
    how could it come by reason? by inference of the natural processes of the created order? i don't understand how people say "it could come by reason" but don't say why or how.

    what if i have not encountered the holy spirit? what happens if i have been around others but have not been convinced? am i then incapable of faith? how can i be judged for lacking something i am incapable of attaining?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebird View Post
    Encounters with people who call themselves by the name of Christ can make or break whether a person comes to faith in Him. Take Gandhi, for example. He lived his life by the principles of Christ, but refused to become a Christian because in his youth he was kicked out of a Christian church for having dark skin. It is a sad story that I see repeated all the time in the lives of some of the most ardent atheists.
    this is a sad story, but it is one of many. ghandi was a great man. there are many great men and women who are not christians. they are not convinced that they should have faith. they do not see sufficient reason to believe in the christian god with all of his attributes. they have not experienced the spirit. are they to blame?

    Quote Originally Posted by pikatore View Post
    I'm sorry, can you translate that into English? You can't know God through reason, but only through Christ? Is that supposed to make any more sense?

    What would you define is the difference between believe in God, and knowing God?

    I think you are just mincing words.

    So that's your argument? We all have to believe in something, therefore we need to have a faith? I am talking religion only here.

    Skeptics of religions and weak atheists do not take thier positions from faith, they take thier position from reasoning. There may be faith involved when it comes to the reasoning itself, but who has a higher chance of having a more realistic view of things, a person who has faith in reason, or faith in faith?
    both good critiques.

    so the question is refined, and remains:

    how does one travel from point a (where there is no faith in the christian god) to point b (where there is faith in the christian god)?
    The counterpoint is unleashed...



    This statement is false.

 

 
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