Is it moral/justifiable to make the leap of faith?

Is it moral/justifiable to make the leap of faith?
derrend
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Posted Feb 25, 2013 - 5:21 PM:
Subject: Is it moral/justifiable to make the leap of faith?
Definitions-

'Matter of fact knowledge' Knowledge that could in principle be discovered for ones self if given allowing circumstances for example - The earth is a sphere.

'Faith based knowledge' Knowledge taken to be true regardless of how unlikely it may be or however little or no evidence there may be to support it.

Currently I am of no religious faith of any kind, I base my world view on what I consider matter of fact knowledge. To become religious would require me to make a leap of faith which is to say that I would have to incorporate into my world view a piece of faith based knowledge which is a problem because it would not pass the matter of fact test performed by my rational mind and so would be rejected.

As a result then a requirement of this faith based knowledge would be to turn off my critical faculties and ignore the (numerous) inconsistencies between it and matter of fact knowledge I already possess. As a result then, the faith based knowledge would reconstruct my critical faculties to protect itself first and foremost by setting itself as the new immutable standard against which all current and future knowledge must be judged which in turn would invalidate a portion of my matter of fact knowledge and reject it.

It seems then to be a requirement of the faith based knowledge to turn off your rational defences and ignore the inconsistencies within itself and all the other knowledge I currently possess (which didn't have to dodge the logical scrutiny test to be allowed in by the way) in order to be assimilated. Also my world view would have now gone from being adaptive and dynamic to static.

But how can this be justified? How can it be considered moral to potentially allow corrupt knowledge into your mind on purpose? And how can you justify trusting anyone that has done it themselves and then advises you to do it, after all they may be corrupt now yes?

I do hope I'm making myself clear...

All input appreciated.

Edited by busycuttingcrap on Feb 26, 2013 - 11:39 AM
richrf
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Posted Feb 25, 2013 - 6:07 PM:

I don't think you have to be concerned about believing something you don't believe in. In just will not happen. If you believe in something it is generally because you life experiences have led you to believe in something.

There is a possibility that you will tell people you believe in something that you really don't or that you will try to convince yourself to believe in something that you do not. This can lead to various problems including health problems, since you would be attempting to live a life that you would not necessarily believe in and pretend to others that you believe in something you do not. This would be call living a life of a lie (to yourself).

Thus Shakespeare's advice: to thine own self be true.

And there will be many, many people who disagree or may even disapprove of your beliefs and you may try to pretend you agree with them simply to avoid problems. But again, Shakespeare's advice is the best. Straying from one's own beliefs leads to disharmony within oneself which ultimately leads to poorer health.

Believe in what you believe in. Bend your self to seek approval and there will be problems. Understand that other people will have their own beliefs. There is no one way to lead a life. Be true to yourself and you should be fine.
derrend
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Posted Feb 25, 2013 - 7:24 PM:

richrf wrote:
Thus Shakespeare's advice: to thine own self be true.


Excellent advice and thanks for speedy reply smiling face No need to worry about me though I don't think I'll be believing anything I don't want to any time soon, I was actually more interested in seeing if any one could come up with a logically valid self-consistent argument to make the transition since I seem to be unable to?
Phelgm
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Posted Feb 25, 2013 - 7:36 PM:

If you're recognizing it as a leap of faith, then you are already acknowledging that there are no epistemic grounds for believing it. What else is left when it comes to deciding what to believe?

Are you looking for a pragmatic argument?
richrf
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Posted Feb 25, 2013 - 7:55 PM:

derrend wrote:


Excellent advice and thanks for speedy reply No need to worry about me though I don't think I'll be believing anything I don't want to any time soon, I was actually more interested in seeing if any one could come up with a logically valid self-consistent argument to make the transition since I seem to be unable to?

Talking yourself into something by arguing with yourself that it is a logical, self-consistent argument, is a one way path to life-long stuggles within oneself and a mistrust of the views that one presents as oneself. As you suggested, best to stay on one's own path no matter how you get there. And when you believe something different, then voila, you believe something different. It happens all of the time.

hughsmith23
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Posted Feb 26, 2013 - 9:18 AM:

Philovitist wrote:
If you're recognizing it as a leap of faith, then you are already acknowledging that there are no epistemic grounds for believing it. What else is left when it comes to deciding what to believe?

Are you looking for a pragmatic argument?

Your question answers itself; the leap of faith is the what-is-left, and it is MORE of a leap, not less, by being recognized for what it is (the absence of epistemic grounds). How could you have a leap of faith if the agent thought that they had epistemic grounds for their counter-factual belief (e.g. in god).

I think a better way to frame the question is to see "necessity" rather than god as the object of the leap of faith. As in; to make sense of the world, we must assume that the world makes sense of itself, or, to take make sense of the world, we must believe that we have to be in the world (rather than just we are in it).

There are good arguments for this necessity on moral grounds, and in terms of how we experience the world. When we smell something, and it smells good, essential we experience it as having to smell good ; alternatives (contingencies) are not available to us. The senses, the imagination, all present the world to us as necessary. If so, we'd be trusting ourselves to have a necessary being; either us, or another.

Figureitout
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Posted Feb 26, 2013 - 11:14 AM:

I think the only morally wrong thing for a person in your position to do would be judging religious person who CAN make a leap of faith. For instance, thinking that religious people are corrupt in the mind or not capable rational thought is a sweeping generalization that borders on the ignorance of racism.

I think that most people pursue religion to better themselves (i.e. find their purpose, get out of a rut, etc) not to corrupt the mind.

A leap of faith is exactly that a leap of faith. No need to sugar coat it. If you can't make it, don't think that those that can are of any less value.

Regardless, phase 1 of your atheist initiation process is over.rolling eyes

On to phase 2.

Phase 2: Make a Christian cry.
busycuttingcrap
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Posted Feb 26, 2013 - 11:46 AM:

derrend wrote:

But how can this be justified? How can it be considered moral to potentially allow corrupt knowledge into your mind on purpose? And how can you justify trusting anyone that has done it themselves and then advises you to do it, after all they may be corrupt now yes?



For one thing, not every theist would accept your characterization of religious faith- anyone who, for instance, holds that mysticism is the basis of religiosity would firmly reject your opening definitions, because for them, matters of "faith" can be an object of experience.

That said, I'm not sure whether this is a question of morality at all- generally speaking we think of as moral those actions which could, in principle at least, affect others. Your decision to take (or not) a "leap of faith" only pertains to yourself, and is a purely intellectual question, not obviously a moral one. This came up on another thread recently, but talk about epistemic justification, i.e. under what conditions one is rationally entitled to accept something as true, doesn't seem to have any ethical implications- is it immoral to hold an unreasonable belief? I would say that its not, and I'm not sure what a moral code that holds that it is would even look like.
Mariner
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Posted Feb 26, 2013 - 11:49 AM:

derrend wrote:
Definitions-

'Matter of fact knowledge' Knowledge that could in principle be discovered for ones self if given allowing circumstances for example - The earth is a sphere.

'Faith based knowledge' Knowledge taken to be true regardless of how unlikely it may be or however little or no evidence there may be to support it.


Keep these definitions in mind.

Currently I am of no religious faith of any kind, I base my world view on what I consider matter of fact knowledge. To become religious would require me to make a leap of faith which is to say that I would have to incorporate into my world view a piece of faith based knowledge which is a problem because it would not pass the matter of fact test performed by my rational mind and so would be rejected.


How can you be so sure that the 'religious worldview' is 'faith-based' according to your definitions? (Religions use the word "faith" in a very different sense). Have you studied religions (in general) or any particular religion, and can you pinpoint what exactly is 'faith-based' in those worldviews?

Beware of being too liberal with your answer, since it will be used to judge your own worldview smiling face.
dclements
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Posted Feb 26, 2013 - 12:16 PM:

Philovitist wrote:
If you're recognizing it as a leap of faith, then you are already acknowledging that there are no epistemic grounds for believing it. What else is left when it comes to deciding what to believe?

Are you looking for a pragmatic argument?

While reading the OP I was thinking something along the same lines; a 'leap of faith' is only possible if one renounces finess(self/society/moral codes/etc) and is able to live with such a choice. If one is fretting too much on whether or not they should do it on either moral or rational grounds, then there is no 'leap' or 'faith' to speak of. To me 'leap of faith' sounds sort of like just really believing in something while at the same time willing to live by the seat of your pants, but others may define 'leap of faith' differently and expect someone to be more involved in some cause or in God.
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