|FaithPage 1 of 2 (1, 2)|
Can you test faith? Or am I just going to have to accept what holy books say about god, miracles and afterlife? As a sceptical person, I would find that a difficult thing to do.
If faith can be tested please explain how.
I'm not sure if this example fits, but I'll relate my experience anyway. When I was 12 years old, I was out walking in the fields behind my house, talking to god/nature/my(inner)self, as I often did, and do. I suddenly felt that I had made an important leap in understanding my relationship to god/nature/my(inner)self and my fellow man.
I walked home, filled with inner joy. I felt I was glowing inside.
I went into my house and headed upstairs to my room, when I ran into my little brother. He had found a lock with 4 rollers containing 6 numbers each. Line the numbers up correctly and the lock opens.
He was going to throw the lock out, because he didn't know the combination, and couldn't unlock it. I don't know why I said what I did - it was almost as if something inside me spoke up before I had time to think - but my mouth said "Give it to me. I'll open it for you."
I took the lock, went into my room, closed the door, and asked god/nature/my(inner)self to allow me to open the lock - so that I would know I was not misunderstanding myself
I knelt in front of the window, absolutely ready to be wrong - i.e., full of acceptance, humility, and hope. I turned the lock to the numbers which seemed like the right ones, and the lock opened immediately, one try only.
I was more humbled than joyous at that point. I left my room, handed the opened lock to my shocked brother, and went about my life.
I really didn't feel like I was so much testing my faith as testing the accuracy of my perceptions. I still don't know what it proves, if anything - but I have NEVER left the path I chose that day. Hope this helps, at least a little.
Posted: 7/18/2012 12:22:17 PM
|As Trailsman says, by definition, faith means you don't test. |
Extending that a bit, anyone who does have faith, and claims to be proving it to you, is not testing their faith, they are selling you your own delusions.
OP, the way you asked your questions, shows that you haven't defined your own words in a coordinated fashion.
If you do not believe in the magic required to be religious, you don't. There is no logical way to use reason or facts to lead someone across the line between belief and non-belief, IN EITHER DIRECTION.
Every single person in the world, who has ever gone from certainty that there is no god, to certainty that there is, has done so by recognizing that they actually ALWAYS believed in a god, they just called it something else for a long time.
Posted: 7/21/2012 11:53:23 AM
|The best test of faith is prophecy, but we never know if anyone is a prophet until his prophecy comes true. The prophet is someone who makes a claim that can only be proved in the future. One has to have faith that the prophet is telling the truth (as he see's it) and that his prophecy will come true. For instance I prophesy that eventually this thread will fall off the the front page of the board. Those of you who have faith in my prophesy already recognize me as a prophet and have faith in Me. Those of you who are stupid critical heathens will have to wait until my prophesy comes true (and put up with me saying "I told you so")before they can possibly believe I was speaking the truth. Even then, they will denounce me as a "false prophet", even though i will have filled all of the requirements (i.e. they are being totally irrational). They might even crucify me over telling the truth (What else is new?). Still, the joke will be on them, because They are only human after all, which makes them stupid, irrational and malevolent creatures. Just the same, they don't know what they're doing, so i will forgive them, whether they were stupid enough to faithfully believe unproved claims, or so "anti-faith" they'll irrationally deny the proved ones.|
I have faith that humanity will destroy itself. That isn't a prophecy of course...I just have faith that humanity is headed that way.
Posted: 8/16/2012 3:29:28 AM
|Here's what happened when a kid tested his faith: Poor little Herbie had been blind since birth. One day at bedtime, his mother told him that If he prayed extra hard, he'd be able to see when he woke up the next morning. Eagerly, Herbie prayed for hours. The next morning Herbie's mother came into his room and woke him. "Well Herbie, open your eyes and you'll know that Jesus answered your prayers." Little Herbie slowly opened his eyes, only to cry out, "Mother! Mother! I STILL CAN'T SEE!" "I know, dear," said his mother. "APRIL FOOL!"|
Posted: 8/16/2012 8:52:20 AM
|With respect to Msg 17, My prophecy came true, so those of you who had faith in my prophecy are now justified. To the rest of you critical unfaithful, unbelieving naysayers, I give you the obligatory "I told you so", so you can smarten up and start having some faith that what I say is true prophecy.|
Of course I already know that you will try to crucify me for being a "false prophet" of some sort, so to spite the fact that this is also a prophecy, what I mean by crucifixion is not to be taken in the literal sense (since I know you are really gentle men & women and not a bunch of religious zealots who would really like to be rid of me, though to be safe, I'm not letting you know where you can find me).
In all seriousness, faith is simply trust and everybody should have at least SOME faith in themselves. If they have none, they are in sorry shape indeed.
Posted: 8/16/2012 4:57:28 PM
|If you test your faith and it passes the test.....is it still faith?|
Posted: 8/16/2012 8:07:55 PM
If there is no purpose to our existence . . . and there is no afterlife . . . then what sense does it make to strive for the continuity of mankind?
Death does arrive at everyones doorstep and we study to see if we can prevent it.
For what purpose?
Well, my philosophy is that it's the journey that counts, not the destination. Death is inevitable, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy life. We are the extremely lucky few who have a chance at life so let's enjoy it while it lasts. ;)
Furthermore, the whole idea of there being some external purpose to life is seriously flawed. After all, after you complete your purpose (say it's to cure cancer), then what do you do? Kill yourself? You've fulfilled your purpose in life and so have no more reason to live, right? And if it's something that cannot be achieved in this life then it's a pointless purpose (you'll never achieve it, therefore the purpose of your life is meaningless). So a purpose that can be achieved during life will end up with you spending the end of your life without purpose (or an early suicide), and a purpose that cannot be achieved in life is about as good as no purpose at all. What can solve this dilemma?
Posted: 8/17/2012 2:33:07 AM
after you complete your purpose (say it's to cure cancer), then what do you do? Kill yourself? You've fulfilled your purpose in life and so have no more reason to live, right? And if it's something that cannot be achieved in this life then it's a pointless purpose (you'll never achieve it, therefore the purpose of your life is meaningless). So a purpose that can be achieved during life will end up with you spending the end of your life without purpose (or an early suicide), and a purpose that cannot be achieved in life is about as good as no purpose at all. What can solve this dilemma?
George Eastman (of Kodak fame) solved the dilemma with suicide. His suicide note said "To my friends: my work is done. Why wait?"
To each his own I guess…For myself, I'd prefer to wait whether or not I fulfilled my personally defined purpose. But then, one of my defined purposes is to enjoy life itself, so I suppose you could say the dilemma wouldn't exist for me…Maybe I'd take up birding to kill time before time kills me.
Posted: 8/17/2012 11:46:16 PM
|In most mainstream religions, faith involves a catch-22 as faith is not to be tested by the believer but can be tested by any number of mystical forces – i.e., (god(s), goddess(s), Satan, devil(s), angels, ghosts of the dead, and even other living human beings. That’s a lot of testing going on that can leave no room for skepticism lest the individual’s faith falters.|
Another rather illogical or perhaps paradoxical situation related to religious faith rides on the tail of prayer. What is it that prayer accomplishes if not to reinforce ‘faith’? For faith that is reinforced through ‘answered’ prayer is like a positive test result, once again making faith dependent on the outcome of a test (answered prayer).
Of course one could simply give thanks and praise to the object of the prayer or one could sublimate his or her faith through prayers of utter acceptance of the Supreme will, whatever that will may end up being.
Still, humans do have faith in many things which are never actively or purposely tested – (i.e., Having faith that when I go to work I will return home safely, or when I go to sleep that I will wake up again or that the sun will not substantially change in my lifetime). So it is possible to have consistent faith but typically that kind of faith does not have to involve any kind of spiritual being.
But when we begin to attribute natural physical phenomena to an interactive supernatural being without an understanding of that being or reasons behind Its behavior, then faith can be absolutely necessary – because that world can only be seen as chaotic, uncontrollable and unpredictable. In that case faith in a loving and purposeful supernatural being then takes the place of having to understand the natural world in order to gain faith in the predictability and acceptance of totally natural phenomena.
Personally, I find that having consistent faith in naturally occurring phenomena is more easily accomplished and more satisfying because it may never, or may only rarely, be challenged, and when it is, I can adapt to the new information without feeling skeptical about all the other things I have faith in. While in religious beliefs, it is most typical to find that being skeptical about one part of the religious belief, challenges the entire faith – which then invokes the catch-22.