Hello, I am Luis, this is my first time in this forum, so I find it necessary to introduce myself. I Mostly participate in Spanish debates, this is the first time I post in English, hopefully I won't make a lot of grammatical errors.
In relation to the debate, that is, “ is faith synonymous with self-delusion”, I have to say no. the definition of faith is: “firm belief in something for which there is no proof “. now, no proof does not mean no evidence or evidence against the believe, having faith in something just means that you believe something without actually knowing it.
Believing in something with evidence against the believe is not faith, it's foolishness. Most people, do not know enough logic, so, they do not now how to infer correctly, as a result, they have believes without reasons, or better said, believes without valid reasons, or in this case, believes with reasons or evidence against the believe. It's also necessary to remember or animal nature, and how emotions affect or judgment.
I think we have to be faithful to the true meaning of the words, that is, we should not misuse words giving them more meanings than they already have, because in a way, that's the real reason why we're debating this now, that is, because people misuse the word faith so much, giving it a self-delusion quality, that we doubt weather it is synonymous with it.
I think we have to be faithful to the definitions of words, I do not think is right to use a word expressing more than the definition of the word. Faith is to believe in something without proof, faith can be rational or irrational, the religious are capable of having a rational faith just as the not religious are capable of having an irrational faith. If we are to say that someone has faith, we are not specifying weather it is a rational faith or an irrational one, so, if we want to express that someone has an irrational faith, the right thing is to add the right word to do so, for example, “this guy has an “irrational” faith. We're not suppose to leave the right understanding of the thing we want to express to someone else intuition or right understanding of the context of the conversation.
So, is faith synonymous with self-delusion?, not by definition of the word. Of c0urse some people use the word faith to express a faith irrational in quality, but that is not proper nor right.
1complete trust or confidence in someone or something: this restores one’s faith in politicians 2strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof: bereaved people who have shown supreme faith
neither of the definitions has irrationality as a quality of faith, the quality of the faith remains unspecified in both definitions. To believe that faith is synonymous with self-delusion would be like believing that to run means to run slow or fast, forward or backward ; running is a word that expresses an action but it doesn't reveal any quality of the action. The same with faith. The conclusion is that Faith is to believe without knowing the truth, not knowing the truth do not imply absence of evidence, faith can be rational or irrational, we have to specify weather we mean one or the other. Faith is not synonymous with self-delusion, although having faith in something could be a self-delusion.
Hope that I made myself understood, Spanish is my first language, so I apologize for any grammatical mistake.
Hi Groktruth, I'm sure our disagreement wont lead us to disrespect each other.
You're right about the word proof, proof is something that exists only in the field of mathematics, but still, I think is evident that with “to have faith is to believe in something without “proof”” I do not mean a mathematical proof for the believe, so, with proof I mean : “1 [mass noun] evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement: you will be asked to give proof of your identity [count noun]: this is not a proof for the existence of God” , I guess we can see this kind of proof, which is not a mathematical one, as evidence that establishes the veracity of the believe. If I ever talk about a mathematical proof or theorem, you'll know. If there's anything obscure in my comment, please try to obtain some clarity with the context.
So, you said: “faith “is” evidence of things unseen”, I believe that with “unseen” you mean “not known”. But still, I do not think that faith “is” evidence of things unknown or unseen, to have faith is synonymous with to believe, that believe or faith can be evidence based or not. So, I would say that faith is “to believe in something unseen or unknown”, which is the same as “to believe in something without proof”, again, I'm not talking about a theorem, better said, “to have faith is to believe in something without evidence that establishes completely ( the word completely is superfluous, but it'll help make things clear) the veracity of the believe, also, the absence of evidence capable of establishing the veracity of the believe, do not imply the absence of evidence, faith can be evidence based or not.
You said : “One can also trust in an idea from the premise, "It is my opinion, and it is very, very true." Completely irrational, entirely subjective. Some (not me) would call that faith. Why? To make such a call destroys the original definition of the word faith, and makes the word, trust, irrelevant. Can we really afford this?” . I would call that faith, a faith that's not evidence based, but still faith, as I said, to have faith is to believe without proof (not a theorem); I do not see any contradiction, I do not see how it destroys the definition of faith. The definition of trust is: Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something, I do not see any difference between faith, trust, conviction or believe. Of course that some of the words have other meanings or better said, other senses, but it is evident that they all have a sense in common, which is to believe; to trust; have conviction; to have faith.
Now, if I quote the Oxford dictionary, I do it because it claims to be an authority or the authority of the English language, sure it has some critics, but still, the Oxford dictionary is seen by many as the authority of the English language. Either way, I do believe we need to have established meanings for words, we need to have an organized language in order to express ourselves with clarity, I believe this to be an axiom.
The god debate seems to be present in any language, I do not mind, but still, I see faith as an action or state present in every human, so, I do not believe that we need to debate the existence of god, the authority of the bible or anything similar to debate what faith is or is not.
I'm a deist, that is to say that I believe in the existence of a god creator, I believe that the natural universe give us enough evidence to establish the veracity of the existence of a god, the universe is too complex to be a product of chance, we can even notice that in a snowflake. There is just too much math in the universe to deny the existence of a mathematical being, the universe is governed by geometry; I'm not capable of believing in the non-existence of god, for that I would need to be more emotional and less rational. Even though I believe in a god, I do not believe there is evidence in the natural world to finger point the bible god as the god creator.
Well, I hope I made myself clear in a respectful way.
Hi again Groktruth, I think you should know that I'm a man, so, that makes me a Mr. and not a Ms., anyways, common mistake.
O.K. , to trust is to believe in things unseen or better said, not know. As I said, trust, conviction, believe and faith have a sense in common, or a meaning, that is to say that we could use “i have conviction, I have faith, I trust or I believe” without any semantic change. I read your examples of trust, the one about the chair and the one about the air, but to my mind, you seem to be making a mistake. So, I'll try to be more organized in my explanation.
Trust, believe,conviction and trust share a sense or meaning, which is: “to believe in things unseen or unknown or without proof, I'm using “without proof” as “without any evidence that establishes the veracity of the believe”. So, the problem is simple, what happens when we have evidence that establishes the veracity of the believe?, well, as the definitions of the words seems to imply, if we have evidence that establishes the veracity of the believe we can not longer call that a believe, or a trust, or a faith, or a conviction; because we “know”.
So, it's wrong to say that we believe or trust that there is a chair in front of us when we are looking right at it, because we “know” there is a chair, that is to say, we do not believe there is a chair; we “know” there is a chair. The same goes for the air we blow in our hands, we know the composition of air, the kind that we inhale and exhale, we know air it's real, we know how we are capable of inhaling, exhaling or in this case, blowing. So, we do not believe or trust in the existence of air, we know it.
This is a Philosophy forum, so, you could go all Descartes on me and say that we can only know that we think, but hopefully you wont do that.