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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - Faith vs. reason

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:04 am 
Well, in science you do have laws, which are supposed to be pretty darn certain, but unfortunately they don't explain things.

And there are certain things we take on faith. 1 + 1 = 2 for instance. :)

Actually it's not really so much "on faith" as it is "by definition", but regardless, you're not going to prove it. I would argue that a lot of science gets done "on faith" whether or not it's thought of that way. At least, research gets done that is only valid if certain widespread assumptions that scientists make are true. I guess the difference is that scientists have a habit of qualifiying their statements. ("Assuming that this is true... this is true also.") You tend not to see religions that state things like "Assuming there is a God, he's like this..."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:15 am 
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Energizer Bunny
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2002 12:24 am
Posts: 1634
There is a famous line in Russell & Whitehead's Principia Mathematica that goes something like this:

From this it follows, once we have defined addition, that 1 + 1 = 2.

Thought I'd throw that in there.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:19 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:24 am 
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Energizer Bunny
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 5:04 pm 
I've read excerpts. Russell was a crank.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 5:27 pm 
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Energizer Bunny
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2002 12:24 am
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:20 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:38 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:03 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 2:27 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 2:11 pm 
... I had a feeling I might have been arguing about the wrong thing, but I wasn't certain...

I decided to sleep on it and reread your postings, and I found where I was misinterpreting things. There are two things that are guaranteed to influence my responses. One is attacks on my faith. The other, which applies here, is fundamentalists. And I mean fundamentalists of any sort (Christian, Wiccan, whoever.) When I first read your posts, I believed your point of view was that faith had <b>absolutely</b> no basis in building of a belief system. I basically saw that as a 'Pure Reason' fundamentalist line of thought (where if something isn't there, it doesn't exist), and basically had a knee-jerk reaction. One of the things I should not have done was use the word 'absolute', when it comes to faith in a theory. :oops: Yes, I do agree, a true scientist tests the hell out of anything they come across to provide a basis for their theory. (Or reads up on credible experiments on those theories.)

I believe your point of view is actually that faith <b>by itself</b> wouldn't be a valid basis on the building of a belief system. That a major part of it is what that faith is based on, and would be a factor if that faith was misplaced or not. (The evidence you refer to.) Would this be it, or have I missed the mark again?

I also have a habit of defensiveness whenever my faith is concerned (the fundamentalists that I mentioned), so I was refraining from talking much about how I arrived to my faith to avoid seeming defensive. However, now that I think I know what you're asking about, I think I can safely comment about it. I'm just not sure of how it would be taken, though, so bear with me.

At the time I had my first experience with my god (which, yes, was my freshman year of high school), I had initially dismissed it as a flash of creativity. I will certainly admit that at that time, like other stereotypical fluff-bunnies, I was also doing research on magick. The major difference in me was that I wasn't fully certain about the rituals I initially found especially since I was reading everything I could find. I wanted to know more about what others thought and had done before. The how as well as the why of it.

I would have other experiences beyond basic intuitions later on. These would be after I began to truly question what was going on. I hadn't really considered a medical reason because of the timing of these experiences (they are extremely rare). (Note: I actually spoke with a diagnosed schizophrenic about a year or more ago in the recent past. She mentioned that without regular doses of the drugs, she experiences <b>constant</b>, and at times annoying, distractions.)

I considered the possiblity of a spiritual/religious experience having occured. (I wasn't raised Catholic, so at the time I didn't have knowledge of the saints. Looking back on it, I'd also say my mother's opinion of Catholicism, my local churches, and my own bible readings at the time also influenced my search away from christianity.) I considered a possible communication with an ancestor, but that didn't explain a few of the other experiences I was having, and the beliefs I was forming.

The easiest to find faith being openly worshiped in my area was of the Christian faiths, based on the bible, children's bible stories and sundy school, so I began my spiritual search through that. I later ruled it out, though. Note I only recently(within the past few year) found others locally who practice and sometimes teach the pagan faiths(as in not just wicca).

I've been reading those Greco/Roman mythologies since childhood, and tend towards considering them to be fairy tales on par with those of the Brothers Grimm. To this day, I have problems joining in with some Greek or Roman Reconstructionists in their rituals. The doctrines of the Norse religions didn't seem to strike a chord with me either. While there was a lot of spirtual aspects of it, there was seemed to be a lot of emphasis on survival and preparing for Ragnarok. I also delved into my Slavic(once again going with the ancestor theory) gods and goddesses for a possible explanation.

I read whenever I could and everything I could get my hands on conserning the topic. I was in high school, though, and tried to fit homework and other things around this search I was doing.

During my junior year of high school (2 years after the first major vision), was when my search finally narrowed down to a specific term. Out of total curiosity, I picked up Practical Candleburning Rituals by Raymond Buckland. While reading through the pages, I picked up a definition of the core beliefs of Wicca.

This was where I found the name to what I believed from things I was taught, my own experiences and what I felt made the most sense. From there, I sought out more based on that focus, to understand more about this belief. While I wrote down the Sabbats and when they should be observed, I was still wondering the reason why they should be observed. I read a variety of authors (Amber K, and others. I tried some Crowley and Gardner. I still suspect the nudity Gardner insisted on was something Gardner himself pulled out due to a preference he had), but it was extremely difficult to find credible books that detailed Wicca. (As I worked on growing out of the 'fluff-bunny' stage, I threw out a lot of uncorrabarted ideas.) I also read up on archaeological digs around areas where Celts had lived and anything new on the druids of the area.

I'm still learning more though, and I'm still researching. In terms of doubts that I've had... yes, I've had doubts. Admittedly, none that have ever been on the level that Job ever had with his God. But still I had my times of doubt. I've kept the faith during those times, however.

Is there anything else I should elaborate on?

Oh... one final thought, and I'll be done. The coven that I gathered together is small for a very good reason. The only other coven I was in was fairly large (about 15-20...maybe more. With 8 elders, probably more). Between the politicing, gossiping, and pure negativity, it basically disintegrated in on itself. I opted to try to stay out of the in-fighting when it started to involve the whole coven, dedicants, initiated and elders alike to figure out what was really going on. (I'm still not sure what really did happen just pieces that contributed). I wanted to avoid that negativity as much as possible when starting my own. With the coven I'm in now, we all agreed (all 5 of us) to rotate the leadership role during rituals so no one gets burned out with the work (or bitchy about not having a chance to lead). Other decisions are made on concensus, so everyone has a say in decisions that effect everyone. There is also a set limit on the number of members the coven will hold at one time. This too helps to stop power struggles and help prevents the shepard and sheep type of gathering. Everyone has to think about what they are doing and why it happens in that way without simply unquestioned faith.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 9:27 pm 
Oh, here's a question. Who says that belief has to pass the empirical evidence "test?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 9:38 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:07 pm 


Last edited by Pronto on Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:14 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 4:54 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:02 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:51 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:02 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:23 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:14 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:27 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:30 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:40 pm 
Good scientists question everything and accept nothing as proven. All theories are tenative.

And for the definition of faith that this discussion is using...
http://zoo.nightstar.net/viewtopic.php?t=9966


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:44 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:15 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:46 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:51 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:24 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:18 pm 


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